The twenty-seventh prompt from online writing group Tuesday Tales (my twenty-first story for them) was a photograph of a limousine and a plane (with a 300-word limit) and below is the result.
Tuesday Tales provides a new prompt each week, the members write a story inspired by it and post it on our blogs / websites. Then we email the link and first two or three sentences to Jean Joachim. She then posts them on the Tuesday Tales blog (on a Tuesday ), gives us the link then we go out and shout about it. So, without further ado, here is my 292-worder.
Winning a luxury weekend for two to Paris, all expenses paid, should have been the thrill of a lifetime for Nicky until she realised she’d have to choose someone to go with her. Boyfriend, girlfriend, or mother.
Mother could be discounted quite easily, she would have assumed she’d be last choice, and wouldn’t even have to know.
Nicky’s girlfriends would be too engrossed in their own love lives to notice that she was away.
So that left boyfriend, but which boyfriend should she take? Graham who she’d known since school and was now more boring than watching a slug climb uphill; Terry her boss who would say “yes” but cancel at the last minute because his wife picked that weekend to drag him round Ikea; or Pierre, the sickly-smooth eye candy who came from the city of love and would jump at the chance to show her round his old stomping ground, probably bumping into a few of his amours in the process.
Nicky’s heart told her Pierre – he’d have to ask for time off from the restaurant but she’d met his boss and thought that was feasible, he’d seemed fairly human.
But her head told her Graham – put some romance back into their relationship, see if there were still embers glowing or whether they were as soggy as his fishing gear.
“Graham,” she said when she arrived home from work.
“Yep,” he’d replied, half-listening, hovering over a tub of maggots.
“Busy next weekend?”
“Great,” she said, smiling. “Going away on business, so you’ll look after the house, yes?”
“Er, OK,” he’d said just as the front door slammed.
On the way to Chez Bernard’s, Nicky figured that even if Pierre’s boss was only half-human she could do a lot worse.
The links to the earlier prompts, and resulting stories, and the forthcoming prompts can be found on this blog’s Tuesday Tales page. Do go and check out the Tuesday Tales blog – it’s a wonderful idea supported by talented writers.
So, not only can you read these stories but you could also write your own using the prompts given each week. There’s no word count limit. Single-word prompts are something I regularly give my Monday night workshop and it’s amazing how different our stories can be.
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Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.