The thirtieth prompt from online writing group Tuesday Tales (my twenty-fourth story for them) was ‘money’ 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 387-worder which brings back Thelma and Eddie from Eddie’s fault and is written in second-person point of view.
Root of all evil
Thelma was your root of all evil, not money, although being poor most of the time didn’t help.
She’d wanted a new car and blamed you for not being able to afford one.
You’d wanted a dog but she’d only allowed you a cat, which you adore, but which she now hates even more, given that it was Tommy that made her swerve and hit her mother – you’re the easier one to blame.
It doesn’t take much for her to remind you that you had a good job – as if you’d ever forget – Manager then Director then lost the lot. She blamed you for not knowing what your Finance equivalent was doing when you were just selling the things.
You soon learned that no-one wants a 50-something salesman, however good you used to be. Thelma never appreciated that either.
You’d hidden it, like many do, same routine, only off to the library instead of PFT Engineering. When they came to collect your car just as you were going off to ‘work’ you could hide it no longer. After the initial eruption of Mount Thelma, she lay dormant, simmering like a slow cooker. Then she checked the savings account only to find less noughts than she’d expected. Lava flowed that day.
Your trips to the library hadn’t been wasted though, the hours you’d spent researching methods.
She’d threatened you once too often and you’d finally flipped, although part of you had meant it. It had been quick, silent and she’d slumped to the floor, your petite wife losing her power in an instant.
With the neighbours of the only house to overlook your garden away in the Algarve you knew you could take your time burying her body, in the whole dug deeper than any pond, the lining material set in place just to be sure.
And now you have the house to yourself. When your neighbours return you’ll have filled the pond, be admiring your new fish when they pop in to thank Thelma for watering their plants. You’ll turn on the waterworks, tell them she’s left you and say you looked after the plants, then offer to look after their dog the next time they go away.
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.