The twentieth prompt from online writing group Tuesday Tales (my fourteenth story for them) was ‘car’ 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 473-worder (second person, as I so often do).
Appearances can be deceptive
Sitting outside the bank isn’t your idea of fun. They said they wouldn’t be long but whenever Ernie’s involved you know his clock works differently to everyone else’s. You should have brought a book but he wants you to be on your guard, be bored while he’s chatting up some ‘skirt’ as he calls them. You’re more of a ‘know what you want, go in and get it’ person, although this isn’t exactly shopping.
“It’s not life or death,” Jack says, which you find funny as you know it could be. Not funny ha-ha, of course, it’s never ha-ha.
“Got to keep your mind on the job, professional at all times,” Jack says every now and then, within earshot of Ernie, despite knowing it won’t even go in one ear let alone out the other.
You expect violence and sometimes you get it, or Ernie or Jack do, but it’s part of the risks you take, doing what you do. Your heart’s thumping – you want to know what’s happening on the inside, be part of the ‘action’.
Each time you see them go in you wish you weren’t the driver, the “getaway” as Ernie calls you, only without the ‘t’.
Your trousers are too tight and wish you’d not had an extra slice of toast at breakfast but the adrenalin will burn it off soon enough, it’s only the first job of the day.
The clock on the dashboard is fast, Jack’s idea to try and keep Ernie in check, but you both know that’s pointless.
A brand new Mercedes pulls up on the double-yellow lines in front of you and you tense. The door opens slowly and you reach for a gun you know isn’t there. White hair is the first thing you see and when the man turns round to shut the door, you realise he must be at least 90. He hobbles between your van and his car and reaches inside his jacket. You lean forward to get a better look and see him pull out a wallet and continue his slow journey to the cashpoint. A simple transaction and he returns, carefully putting what looks like a single note into his wallet and placing that with equal reverence into his pocket. He smiles at you as he passes, lowers himself stiffly into his car and drives away.
Relaxing a little, you look at the bank as your colleagues come out laughing, Ernie patting Jack on the back, Ernie wiping his mouth. They’re both holding cases you know are stuffed with money and you start the engine.
With the cases stowed, Jack gets in beside you, Ernie in the back and you speed away.
This is only your first month but you know you’ll fit in – three being the magic number, one for each red dot on your Securitas logo.
The link to the other stories for this prompt is here.
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.