The nineteenth prompt from online writing group ‘Tuesday Tales’ (my thirteenth story for them) was ‘chase’ 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.
I did this but had been asleep in ‘class’ as it had previously been announced that ‘chase’ was postponed and a picture prompt had gone up – I’m a glutton for punishment (which is no hardship as I adore writing something new) so did this as well as it resulted in a 300-worder ‘Where’s the fun in that?‘, posted on this blog on Monday 16th April. Below is my 356-worder second-person viewpoint (as most of my Tuesday Tales have been) for the original prompt of ‘chase’…
The photo that no-one else can get
You’ve been chasing her for days, to get the photo that no-one else can get. She knows you’re there. There’s always someone there.
It’s a lifestyle she’s had to become accustomed to, only you don’t think she ever will. It’s not one you’d want, except she’s become your job, your life.
When she emerges out of the building, you reach over to your camera, on its dashboard tripod, and set it to continuous.
You follow her car through narrow streets, wide streets – her executive to your jalopy, the only thing you could get at short notice. You’re used to this place, she’s been here a lot.
Most of the shots are of the back of her head but you know she could look round. She has before.
As her car gathers speed so does yours. It complains but it’s not yours so you’re not bothered.
As she heads into the tunnel, she edges forward and you floor the accelerator, a little too close for comfort but you decide to go alongside, get level, no other cars in sight, so you swivel your camera round in anticipation, a momentary lapse in concentration.
You scream as your car clips hers, a white graze on the black beast, but you keep driving, then slow… watching in the rear view mirror as the Mercedes’ offside hits the pillar, then spins, making contact with the front, ricocheting into the nearside, only the boot intact.
Then you see the other cars, lights on, stop at the scene and you speed away, heart pounding, sweat rising in your armpits and head back to your room, taking the smallest streets you know of, hearing but not seeing the sirens that wake up a sleeping city.
As you look at the screen, you study the dozens of photographs that you know no-one else but you will see. You’ll delete them, never printing them, burn the memory stick to be sure, buy a new computer, but not yet. You put them in a folder and know that whatever you do with them you’ll never forget – the world will never forget – the day you killed a princess.
Apart from being inspired by true events, some months ago I read Alexis Sayle’s title story from his collection ‘Barcelona Plates’ and that story’s always stayed with me.
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.