642 things to write about – The Bicycle Accident

I’ve been entering a lot of short story competitions lately – to no avail but you’ve got to keep trying – and as a sideline to editing Choose Yr Future I decided to try some writing prompts to see if I could come up with something that I could develop further so I would have a bank of stories. 

You wake up at the side of the road lying next to a bicycle, with no memory and no wallet. What happens next?

When I open my eyes all below me is grey. The surface is cold and I’m stretched out on it. My arms are over my head and I’m nose down. There is pain but it is non-specific. All over. Everything hurts.

First step, raise head. The world is still grey. Clouds meet the road on the horizon. Pushing up further brings about twangs and clicks. Specific pain runs up and down both arms. What have I been doing? Pause before next step while I steel myself for the pain to come. Deep breath. Onto knees. Now legs are joining in with groans of pain and stiffness. The question comes to me from the side, how long have I been here?

A further look around. The road, the hedges, the bridge mean nothing. Low menacing clouds which threaten and suggest I should get home but where was that?

Final step. On feet and scanning properly. My head spins a little as the blood finds itself on high once again. There is a house up ahead. Was that home? It was still a good walk away. But it was a direction to head in. I look behind me, turning slowly which is wise because everything shifts sideways and I wobble. I bend to put my head between my knees and slowly stillness returns. As I’m bent, I see the means of my getting here. Well, I assume. A bicycle. A vision of the air flying past my head and the ground rushing up to me sends me dizzy again. I sit down heavily and each joint and muscle takes its turn in shouting out the pain.

Time passes. I can’t move. My head is too unreliable. I check through my pockets. I could phone someone perhaps. But they are absolutely empty. No phone. No purse. No keys. Nothing. No bag. Not even strapped to the bike. Had I been robbed? Maybe everything had scattered from the bike. But no chance of finding that until I could stop the dizziness.

A car. It is moving fast and I do the same. Foolishly. Darkness grabs me and the next thing I see is a concerned face, quite close to mine. He smiles and a wave of relief comes across his weathered face.

“Thank God.” His voice is soft. He doesn’t want to frighten. “I’ve no idea how to do the kiss of life.”

A general update: It’s been a while…

It’s been a pretty hellish start to the  year. For various reasons, I’ve spent much of the last three months either emptying or filling boxes. Sorting things and throwing things away is another new pastime along with visits to the tip and the charity shop. It hasn’t really been conducive to making progress with my writing and it is only in the last few weeks that I feel that I have started to get back to normal.

In terms of blogging, I have managed to keep up with my book reviews and I am pleased that I have still been able to read a lot. (All that travelling around on public transport has to be good for something.) I’ve read four books from my TBR Pile which is in keeping with what I’d planned – one a month. And when I finish John Boyne’s The Absolutist, I’ll be halfway through the Eclectic Reader Challenge so that is all to the good.

I am finding time to write but I have been concentrating on existing projects rather than using writing prompts. Much as I love doing that, I feel that I have more pressing commitments. I have entered a couple of short story competitions and I am trying to prepare Choose Yr future for publication ultimately but beta readers before that. I’m also quite excited by my other project which now has the name of The Practise of Deception. So, at the minute, whatever time I can spare to writing is being used for these. I will get back to using the prompts, I’m sure when life has settled down a bit and when I need a new project. After all, The Practise of Deception grew from one of these prompts so they are useful as well as fun.

642 things to write about – A woman thinks she might be living next to her grandson

From 642 things to write about – A woman thinks she is living next door to her grandson.

He was playing outside again. His features were so familiar, she almost expected that he had jumped out of a family photo. The bright blue eyes and fair, curly hair. Family traits that had been passed onto all three of her children. The one he was most like was her youngest. The daughter she hadn’t seen for so long it was an effort of mathematics to remember the number of years. She watched him through her net curtain. He was so full of energy; darting here and there, never completely still. She’d been like that too, such a live wire. 

It was impossible. That was what she had to keep running through her mind. She knew the couple next door and there was no possible link. They’d moved in with the boy when he’d been six months old. It hadn’t been so obvious then. Just another baby. But now, it was heartbreaking. He turned and was momentarily facing her. He grinned, holding up something in his hand so his mother could see it. He was so much the image of her daughter that she almost ran out and snatched him up. Then he turned away and she made herself repeat again the impossibility of it all.

Perhaps it was just a product of her own longing. She saw her other children and the ones they had produced but the one she really wanted to see would never be coming back. And she knew whose fault that was. She watched as the boy trotted into his house, trying to keep a hold on herself. Why was she so intent on this form of torture? Everyday she came to the window to remind herself how impossible it all was. She couldn’t rest until she had seen the boy and reminded herself that he was nothing to do with her. Her mind would not let go until she was utterly destroyed.

642 things to write about – Write two very different love letters

You are a thirteen year old. Write a love letter to your boyfriend.

OMG, you are so beautiful. Your blond hair is all gold like the sun. Your eyes are blue like the sky. When you smile, my heart flutters round like a butterfly. The other day, when you waited for me outside chemistry for you and I saw you there, all handsome and tall, I thought I was having a heart attack, it was pounding so hard. I was tempted to faint. Jen. Lisa and Caro were so jealous. LOL. If I had died right there, it would have been perfect. 

Yesterday, when you held my hand for the first time, I was in heaven. All I can think about, all the time, is when you kiss me for the first time. I am literally dying for that to happen. I hope it will be tomorrow when we go to the pictures but it doesn’t matter how long it takes because I love you forever. 

You are twenty one years old. Write a letter to your girlfriend.

I’m not sure I should write this down. Is this stupid? Perhaps it will scare you away. Don’t get me wrong, I do like you. I like you a lot. But words on a page are very definite, aren’t they? They can’t be unwritten. Does it seem a bit full on?

I would like to have a future with you. I can see it sometimes, like in the morning when I wake up and you are still sleeping. I know then that I wouldn’t be sorry if this was forever. You look so content and peaceful. There is a calmness in my life now and I know that I like that very much. That’s not too scary, is it? You feel it too, don’t you? God, I hope so.  

An Excellent Gift for a Writer – 642 things to write about.

My favourite gift this year was a book called 642 Things to Write About which is full of writing prompts. I could barely wait for guests to leave before I started to write in it.

As I am always looking for things to write in this blog, I shall share what I write. I’m not going to promise to do it everyday as once I am back at work, that will be impossible but I will try to do it regularly.

Here is the first one:

Write a scene that begins “It was the first time I killed a man.”

It was the first time I had killed a man. But not the last.

It didn’t feel as bad as I might have supposed. The distance was the thing. It was the bullet rather than the knife so I didn’t have to witness it eye to eye, as it were. There was no hot blood oozing over my hands. I saw his body drop though, all heavy like lead. Straight for the floor. Like a giant hand had cut all his strings. The wound was to the head so death was probably instant. If not, it would surely have been quick.

Of course, he was one of the bad guys. That was what the Government said. So his death didn’t really trouble me. No more than shooting a rat might have. Vermin. Better off dead. And of more use. 

Now that the Fuel Wars are over and the Government has retained supreme control, it is hard for the young ones to imagine what it was like. The fear we had then was all-consuming. And then there was the cold. That sneaks up sometimes. I’ll wake in the morning and the toes are outside the quilt and they are like ice and I get transported back there. To huddling together with all the people in your building. To having nothing to sit on, nothing to read, nothing at all because it had all been burned. And the thought, what would happen when everything had been burned. 

That had been my reason for going to fight for the Government rather than the rebels. The Government gave you a thermal uniform. You got gloves, socks and regular meals. All the rebels could give you was a sense of moral superiority and that does not really keep you warm. 

I admit I don’t think often of those who died, whether by my hand or one of my fellow soldiers. I think, instead, of how warm it is now. 

 

Day 7 – What is your favorite season? Use vivid details and even include memories you have of that season.

Day 7 of Chrys Fey’s 30 Day Writing Challenge –  What is your favourite season? Use vivid details and even include memories you have of that season.

The colours of autumn are the last gasp of the trees before the death of winter. The reds, browns and yellows are beautiful in a way that the greens of spring just aren’t. The green’s beauty is understandable. It represents birth, renewal, the continuance of life. It shows off the life of the tree. By contrast, the reds and browns are representative of the nearing of the end. There is no need for such beauty. Looking at the glory of colours, the riot for the eyes, you would not necessarily believe that the next step for the leaf will be to crunch under someone’s foot.

The best autumn weather is the low sun, the blue sky and the cool dry day. The blue is not the deep blue of a summer sky. It isn’t brazen and it doesn’t suggest heat. It’s a subtle, gentle blue. You know it will be cold but also crisp, also dry. A time for pulling on the layers. Gloved and scarved, you can keep your warmth while walking in the beautiful sunshine.

The definitive noise of autumn is the leaves under the feet. The last thing the leaves give us, after the glorious fire of their colours, is the wondrous crunch and crack when you run through them.

As my birthday is in November, Autumn is associated with a sense of heightened excitement. As a child, the excitement would start in October and not really lessen until Christmas. I still feel a sense of anticipation at the start of the season which gives the weather and the colours a sense of optimism that they wouldn’t otherwise. It is the start of the season of celebration. 

Chrys Fey’s 30 day writing challenge – Pick one of your favourite songs and write a piece about it.

Okay, so I’ve skipped ahead a couple of days as I was feeling uninspired and this challenge caught my eye straightaway. I will go back and do the others later when I have some ideas for them. This day 8 of Chrys Fey’s writing challenge. I thought of quite a few possible songs – in fact, I may still write those stories as well. The song I picked is M-Bike by PJ Harvey.

“Why did you do it?” They had asked that straight away. The female cop asked it. No sympathy there. You’d think she would understand. It wasn’t like she was God’s gift. How would she manage to keep a man when Lise hadn’t been able? Lise had a nice figure, good boobs, long legs. The female cop was chunky, to put it politely.

“He looked at her shape, not at mine.” Lise’s voice had been cold. She didn’t care. She wasn’t sorry. She had got what she deserved.Lise had looked down the cliff side at the burning carcass at the bottom and her heart had sung. Served the bastard right. Not giving Lise the attention she deserved. That had to be punished. 

It had started about six months ago. That was when she had arrived. A Sunday night. Lise hadn’t known she was coming. No warning. Lise had arrived at his house and there she was on the drive. Foolishly, Lise hadn’t even realised that she might be a threat. But that was before the spell had been cast. He was mesmerised. Lise was second best. He’d even cancelled seeing her a couple of times. Imagine that if you will. It was unheard of.

Even when they were going out, Lise would arrive and she would be on the drive. Lise would see him look over his shoulder at her as they left. It was mere anger at first, the warm glow that rose to her face. It wasn’t long before it was hot, red rage. She burned with it.

But at first she tried. Perhaps it was a novelty that would wear off. That meant she could be accepting at first. So much so that she even came on a couple of dates with them. Lise allowed it. Foolish. That had showed her to be weak. That he didn’t need to care about her feelings.

It had been on one of those dates that Lise had realised exactly how smitten he was. She was recounting her day, playing it for laughs, pausing so he could supply the requisite chuckles. Only they didn’t come. Lise realised that he was staring out of the window. Staring at her, out there on the pavement. Longing for the moment when he could be on her back again. His eyes were filled with it: need. That had been how he looked at Lise at first.

Later that evening, when they made love in his bedroom, Lise imagined that he was still thinking about her, her streamlined shape, her chrome curves and about the way it felt when she was between his legs. She had dug her nails into his shoulders until he yelped.

Plans for murder started then. Lise watched them carefully, thinking about opportunity, about vulnerability. When did he leave her alone, when was he out, where did he keep the keys to the garage and so on until a plan began to form.

It was the middle of the night. It seemed apt. She’d pulled him in to kiss her, earlier that day, swiped the keys from his pocket while he was sticking his tongue down her throat. Now she crept up to the garage, let herself in. She had wondered if she would been able to do it, once she was there but the sight of her gleaming in the moonlight, it brought unbearable hatred. It had to be done.

Quietly, she began to roll her out of the garage. It’s okay, Lise whispered, I’m a friend, remember. She moved slowly and was far heavier than Lise had reckoned but she didn’t have far to go.

Lise wasn’t sure how long it took to get her there but she knew she was panicked by the thought of spying eyes. There was no hiding what she was doing. It would be clear that there was something wrong. Still, they would understand when Lise told them. The usurper had to go.

When she stood at the cliff edge, Lise revved her engines up. That’s the last time I’ll have to listen to that, she thought as she gave one final push. Away it went, over the edge. Lise smiled for what felt like the first time in ages.
“I fucking hate his motor bike,” she screamed as the machine bounced down the hill.