The thirty-first prompt from online writing group Tuesday Tales (my twenty-fifth story for them) was ‘ocean’ 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 319-worder.
As Rosie drove over the hill and caught her first sight of the sea, The Lighthouse Family’s ‘Ocean Drive’ was playing on the radio. ‘It’s a sign,” she said to Bertie, her tabby, now meowing from his carrier on the passenger seat of her Suzuki Swift.
Escaping Trevor had taken seven years and nothing was going to spoil this moment. Looking in her rear view mirror at a clear road, she pulled into a layby and onto uneven gravel.
She sat for a few minutes, just thinking, staring at the cloudless sky and blue sea, a postcard in the making. Fishing around in her handbag, she found her camera. She’d come up here, she decided, whenever she could, at… she looked at the dashboard clock… midday, and take a photograph regardless of the weather. They’d remind her that however gloomy the photographs or things got, this had been the perfect start to the rest of her life.
Looking through the lens she was about to take the shot when there was a tap at the window. She flinched and dropped the camera into the footwell. She knew she had to turn round, had to look through the window, had to see the face.
“Be strong,” she whispered then flinched again as a second tap came.
Checking the central locking, which she knew to be secure, she slowly turned to her right and looked at the face. Heart thumping, Rosie recognised the uniform. “Oh no!” she said. Bertie whined in unison.
The man pointed down at the ground and said something inaudible.
Rosie pressed the button for the window, moved it down a couple of inches, but said nothing.
“Madam,” the man said, “you have a flat tyre. Want me to change it for you?”
Rosie looked at the stranger’s dark skin, pale green eyes and broad white smile, and knew she was going to like living by the sea.
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.