Daily Prompt: Being a Story!

Daily Prompt: You’re about to enter a room full of strangers, where you will have exactly four minutes to tell a story that would convey who you really are. What’s your story?

If I were in a room full of strangers I don’t think I’d be the type of person to tell them all my story… but fine, if I have to!

Once upon a time I was born in March 1997, on Red Nose Day, in Nottingham, England. The next three years were pretty uninteresting, until the year 2000 when my little sister was born. A few years later, (I don’t remember exactly when), we moved to the house I am living in now. Add two or three more years and a whippet called Toby was added to the family, (he’s still here!). Over all this time I did ballroom dancing, then Karate, then football, then played the trumpet – all while living in Nottingham! I left school, got good enough grades to get into a well-known college, did ok in my AS levels, hit a rocky patch, and here I am – studying for my A levels and still living in Nottingham! Oh, and I’ve only been abroad twice, (to Paris and Germany on school trips) – I travel mostly around the UK with my family in our caravan! This isn’t bad, but now I really want to discover places overseas!

And I think that’s about it! Not too interesting. Now, I’ll just slink into a corner away from these strangers…

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Daily Prompt: Being Creative!

Daily Prompt: Today, write about anything — but you must write for exactly ten minutes, no more, no less.

Now that I’ve started Year 13 and my A levels, one of the things I had to do was pick up an ‘extended study’ option. And, because I didn’t quite fancy doing General Studies or Critical Thinking, (they were the choices), I decided to pick up an AS subject instead – which just happened to be Creative Writing! So from now on, I may or may not decide to post some short stories I’ve written. So far I’m loving the subject – it’s kind of like a mix between yoga and English! So here’s a short story I wrote whilst in a café, (that was our homework), and because I am only supposed to be writing for ten minutes, I am copying and pasting it in!

Fight Café

Twelve pairs of eyes squint with a new interest at the two young men who have seated themselves at a single table amongst the hustle and bustle of the café. The men order quietly and settle into their seats as two tall lattes arrive just a few minutes later. To an outsider, nothing would seem odd about any of this. But the elderly customers inside know better, for these men are not regulars and the suits they wear spark the sixth sense within them, gained from years of experience and knowledge. Sure enough, the hushed voices of the men soon rise, becoming more urgent and angry as the other speaks, then dropping to violent whispers as they remember where they are. But their anger gets the better of them and within a minute every table in the café can hear their dispute – one of complicated business and deals that were never followed through. The old eyes watch with delight as one suited man shoves himself away from the table and towards the door. Then all hell breaks loose.

The dapper young man still seated at the table stands up all of a sudden, his hand shooting out and grapping his partners wrist. All this drama is sending me a little giddy with excitement. Finally something worth gossiping about! I shoot a look at Doris, her eyes wide like mine as the man who has just stood up speaks.

“You forgot to pay,” he snarls, and, still clutching the other gentleman’s wrist, throws an almighty punch at his face.

A unified series of gasps entail as the two men lock onto each other, sending a basket of bread rolls flying when they crash into it. Horrified and delighted by this turn of events, I peer through the glass window separated the seating area from the queue, staring at the tangle of limbs now rolling on the floor. The poor young lasses behind the long counter open and close their mouths in horror and one of them lets out a small squeal as the rope queuing barrier topples upon the moving bodies. I check to see if Doris is alright – sometimes she can get a bit breathless when something excitable happens – but I shouldn’t have worried. Her eyes are alight at the spectacle before us and I am taken back to my school years, reminded of the time that Peter Ackerman got into a brawl with a shopkeeper for pinching a bag of sherbet lemons. The thrill I feel now is an echo of back then, my face almost pressed against the glass as I watch the two of them wrestle. Unfortunately, it’s all over too soon. One of the older waitresses shouts over the angered grunts of the men, something about calling the police, and to our dismay the men hear her threats. Each stands and looks around quickly, red-faced and dishevelled, before hurrying out the open door one after the other. For just a moment there is silence, everyone letting their racing hearts settle, and then the place is filled with fast and excited chitchat about the day’s event. Doris looks over the table at me and grins.

“Well I never, just wait ‘til I tell Joyce about this!”

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Daily Prompt: Being Intrigued!

Daily Prompt: You’re sitting at a café when a stranger approaches you. This person asks what your name is, and, for some reason, you reply. The stranger nods, “I’ve been looking for you.” What happens next?

“Right. You’ve been looking for me?” I have an uneasy feeling in my stomach.

“Yes, you.”

I look at the man and assess the situation that has arisen. The stranger wears his dark hair short and fiddles with the bottom button of his suit. Almost as if he is nervous. He awaits my response with intense grey eyes.

“Sorry, I – I don’t think I know you,” I utter as surely as I can. I tap the side of my mug nervously.

“Will you come with me? I need to show you something. And it’s important.” The gunpowder eyes glisten and seem so sure of themselves. But I don’t know this man.

“Sorry, but no thanks.”

He nods and smiles quickly. “No problem. Thanks anyway.” And like that, he’s gone.

I sit for precisely ten seconds, counting each second with a tap of my nail on the mug. Chink Chink Chink. My eyes follow the stranger as he trots across the road, hands shoved into his suit pockets as protection against the autumnal chill outside.

I can’t help myself. I grab my coat and swish out of the café, keeping my distance as I follow the man round the corner.

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Daily Prompt: Being Blank!

Daily Prompt: When was the last time you experienced writer’s block? What do you think brought it about — and how did you dig your way out of it?

A few months ago in a rush of inspiration, I began writing a story. It was one of those moments when an idea sparks in your head and you’re too impatient to plan or draft or do anything other than rush straight into it and get all your ideas down before you forget them. I got two amazing chapters in and then hit a brick wall. I had no idea what was going to happen after these first chapters and no amount of thinking was helping me. Then I reread what I’d written and decided that it wasn’t even that good. I was going to restart with the same ideas but the spark had gone and my mind had gone blank. The bad thing about me is that when this happens, I don’t dig myself out of it – for some reason I have to leave that story behind and that’s that.

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Daily Prompt: Being Odd and Old!

Daily Prompt: Time for another Odd Trio prompt: write a post about any topic you want, in whatever form or genre, but make sure it features a slice of cake, a pair of flip-flops, and someone old and wise.

 The woman tried to be discreet and took another bite of carrot cake. Slowly, she peeked over the large menu set in front of her and looked once again at the man on the opposite table. His eyes were an echo of past things and not only could she detect frown lines, but also crinkles of laughter, lots of them etched into his wise face. There was something different about him and yet so familiar. His hair, silver like hers, was brushed hurriedly over his head and his clothes were clean but ancient. Suddenly turning his eyes to hers, the woman hid once more behind the menu, blushing slightly.

The man smiled at the woman, the woman eating the cake like she did every Thursday. Her silver hair was almost water-like, shining in its tidy bun and as usual, he couldn’t help but grin at the pink flip-flops she wore – her favourite. In his eyes, she was perfect. Today’s the day, he had told himself this morning over his jam and toast. He was going to speak to her. Butterflies sprung to life in his stomach and he felt as giddy as a teenager falling in love for the first time. This is it. He stood up slowly, took a breath and took a step towards the blushing lady.

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Daily Prompt: Being Curious!

Daily Prompt: It was sunny when you left home, so you didn’t take an umbrella. An hour later, you’re caught in a torrential downpour. You run into the first store you can find — it happens to be a dark, slightly shabby antique store, full of old artifacts, books, and dust. The shop’s ancient proprietor walks out of the back room to greet you. Tell us what happens next!

“Typical weather,” the wrinkled man smiles at me, making him all the more wrinkly. I nod and smile and do that awkward sort of laugh you do when you can’t think of anything to say other than ‘I know’. He walks behind the dust-coated counter and begins sorting through some papers, letting me take a wander around the strange little shop. I shuffle behind a couple of cabinets, looking at everything from fragile painted teacups to fat stacks of yellowing photographs. I really wish the rain would die down a bit. I come to a little wooden table and stop to flick through the ageing books stacked on top of one another, their covers crimson and adorned with swirls of gold. Their pages are smooth beneath my fingertips and I stop when I come to a beautiful illustration in the middle of one of the books. A laughing girl with bright cheeks and bouncing pigtails is running through a blossoming meadow, her patterned umbrella swinging behind her as little drops of rain splash against her shoes. I brush my fingers over the drawing and laugh in astonishment as the ink girl springs to life, galloping across the page with all the energy of a feisty pony. I must be going mad. I turn to see the old man behind the counter grinning at me knowingly.

“You never know what you will find in this shop,” he chortles. I just stare rather rudely, but he continues anyway. “Why, the other week I think I may have stumbled upon Narnia.”

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Daily Prompt: Being Photogenic!

Daily Prompt: Open the first photo album you can find — real or virtual, your call — and stop at the first picture of yourself you see there . Tell us the story of that photo.

The photo I can see is of my sister and I when we were much younger. I must only be about six and so she is probably three. We are on holiday, (I think it might have been in Norfolk?), and are standing behind a caravan on the grass, surrounded by two ducks and their ducklings. I remember so clearly that there was a river behind our caravan pitch, and that this family of ducks kept waddling up to us on a daily basis and we would throw them bread. In the photo, I’m watching as a duckling pecks at my foot. There is a reason for this. Because I am me, I decided to put pieces of bread on both my feet and watch the duckling eat them off my trainers. I remember being so entertained!

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Daily Prompt: Being Aspirational!

Daily Prompt: As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? How close or far are you from that vision?

I have lost count of the number of things I wanted to do as a kid. I don’t remember most of them – I just know there was a lot!

I wanted to be a vet – then discovered that the sight of blood on TV made me run out of the room until the programme was over. I once remember my mum’s friend asking me what I wanted to be – for some odd reason, I told her I wanted to be an actress. I had never even thought about acting before – I think I just said it because I felt like it!

When I was around six or seven, my friend and I were adamant that we would either become farmers or own a chocolate factory – a nice idea but highly unlikely! When I was older, I was set on being a graphic designer, but unfortunately my graphics teacher put me off the whole idea with his interesting teaching methods. Now though, I wouldn’t mind being a designer of some sort. What I would really like to do now though is become a writer – I honestly don’t know which direction of writing to head towards, but I know that is what I want to do!

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Daily Prompt: Being Hopeful!

Daily Prompt: A Pulitzer-winning reporter is writing an in-depth piece – about you. What are the three questions you really hope she doesn’t ask you?

  1. Anything – at all – related to my love-life. I am seventeen. It is non-existent and probably will be for the next twenty years.
  2. What I think about any current political situations – because politics really isn’t my area of expertise.
  3. Who is the one person who has influenced you the most in life – I really just wouldn’t be able to say, and then I’d probably just come across as arrogant, when the fact is everything and everyone influences me. I feel bad just pinpointing one person!

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Daily Prompt: Being Good? Or Bad?

Daily Prompt: While walking on the beach you stumble on a valuable object buried in the sand — say, a piece of jewelry or an envelope full of cash. What do you do with it? Under what circumstances would you keep it?

If it was a beach full of people, I think I would most definitely hand it in, probably to the life guards, (they always seem to know what to do). Seeing all those faces on a beach would make me feel guilty, and I would hope that if I lost something valuable, someone would hand it in for me.

However, if it were an empty beach, the story might be different. I think I’d be tempted to keep the treasure. Unless it was a lot of money – then I’d be scared of being dragged into some dodgy drug business and being chased by the police!

I’ve not been put in a situation like this yet – so I guess I won’t know what decision I’d make until it actually happens!

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