I’ll update this post with new stories throughout the day. But be warned, some of them might be a lot less polished than my usual work.
First Draft Alert
- One: Crack
‘It’s tiny. Won’t take me long at all, love.’
‘Brilliant. Bobby hasn’t slept in a week because he’s convinced it’s a portal with little alien creatures going in and out. Children – good thing you love them, right?’
‘Portal, eh? I may need a word with your Bobby.’
‘Why? You said you’d fix it.’
‘Before you told me, I did. If we’ve another portal here, plastering over ain’t gonna help.’
‘Please. I’m knackered.’
‘It’s okay, love. I know people who know what to do. They’ll have to relocate you, of course. Can’t say much, but be grateful you’re only knackered, love.’
(10:06; prompt supplied by Holly)
- Two: Shower
The rain soaks through her cardigan, drenching her skin. Squeals of children splashing in puddles fill the air. They have the right idea. She peels off the cardigan and steps out of her skirt. She stands and lets the water rinse her. Old people still talk about taking showers. Now she understands why.
She looks around and finds people in various state of undress washing, dancing, catching raindrops. The sensible ones carry out buckets and pans to catch the water.
It might be freakish weather, the drought might return tomorrow. But she’s determined to ignore all worries for a day.
(11:21; prompt by Bré)
- Three: His Best Friend’s Girl
‘I think this one – it’s the same colour as her eyes.’
‘I thought her eyes were green.’
‘Are you sure?’
‘Yes I’m sure. She’s my girlfriend, isn’t she?’
She is. Which is why Murray feels he shouldn’t help Jezza choose a lingerie set for her. He disagrees with Jezza’s choice, as well. It doesn’t suit her, she isn’t the lacy type. Murray eyes the emerald silk ensemble again – she would look stunning wearing it but he mustn’t imagine it. She is Jezza’s girlfriend.
Jezza doesn’t deserve her, obviously. Because Murray would bet anything that her eyes are green.
(11:59; prompt by Joy)
- Four: The Problem With Having Strong Opinions
You hear stories about people in sandals getting stuck on a mountain and you think, maybe they should let them perish. It’s awful, but do we really want such morons to propagate the human race?
It is with the utmost reluctance I admit that maybe they shouldn’t come for me. I should have known better. In my defence, I’m not wearing sandals. But the sun shone this morning, so I chose to ignore the weather forecast. Because what do the MetOffice know, they’re only experts on weather and climate.
They don’t dispatch the rescue helicopter in gale-force winds, do they?
(12:49; prompt by Ben but I went off course a bit, I’ll have another go later)
- Five: Star-Crossed
He’s throwing another major tantrum – because of Lego. If I’m honest, I’ve had it. I duck to avoid a couple of bricks he’s thrown at the wall.
‘What’s the problem now?’
‘The pieces. They don’t fit. They’re supposed to fit.’
I check the package.
‘No surprise. These were produced in late November while those were made in September. Everybody knows that Sagittarius and Virgo make a bad match.’
‘Oh, Marie, grow up. Astrology’s for teenagers.’
Says the man playing with children’s toys.
I don’t know the manufacture dates of the pieces. But I know that he’s Virgo.
And I’m Sagittarius.
(14:20; prompt by Frank)
- Six: Hive Mind
The year when the wasps didn’t die at the end of summer, we thought it was a bit strange. If we’d had any idea then. If we’d smoked them out. We might have changed our fate.
But we couldn’t imagine it. Then we didn’t believe it – anyone who dared to fly in the face of popular opinion got ridiculed. What harm could a few stingy insects do?
Turns out they have no trouble terrorising us. There are so many of them, they’ll attack large gatherings. We should have acted while we could. But we didn’t believe they posed a threat.
(23:23; photo prompt supplied by Flash Fiction Day host Damon)
- Seven: No Bread, Please
My local shop have installed a bread oven. The moment you walk in, the aroma assaults you. I know what they want to achieve – recreate that warm, homey feeling everybody associates with fresh bread.
Let me tell you what the smell of bread, the heat of the oven remind me of: my grandparents’ house. The place I got ferried off to once a month at first, then every other week, then all the time. And always, Nan was baking bread. Fresh bread, the smell of divorce.
It might work on some, but I’m looking for another place to buy food.
(23:41; prompt by Laura)
- Eight: Doll
Her dead stare burrows into your brain and you know it will never be erased.
See you in your dreams, she whispers.
Aren’t you already trapped in a nightmare?
It is 23:57 in the UK, so that’s me finished. I suppose twelve stories was always a bit ambitious. Given how little time I gave myself to write these, I’m happy with how they turned out.
Thanks everyone for providing me with prompts and for reading!