Writing prompt: It was all going well, until…

I saw this flash fiction writing prompt on Twitter this morning and thought I’d have a go. In the end I had two goes: the first is less than 300 words, the second just over.

The one that got away

It was all going well, until I opened my big mouth. I was sure he was interested. He’d looked in my direction at least twice, and if you get a second look you’re doing well. At my age anyway. But I had to go and spoil it, didn’t I? He has such a nice bum too—the way it rolls in a muscular sort of way as he hurries away from the tram stop, itching to get as far away from me as possible, In fact, he’s probably on his way to the airport to buy a one-way ticket to Australia.
I can see now how stupid it was. But I was worried we’d get to his stop before I’d had chance to get him hooked. I wasn’t to know what it was, was I? I mean it looked like a hanky from where I was sitting.
I put on my best come hither smile. I can do a really lascivious one. I’ve practiced it in the mirror often enough. I swooped down on the article by his feet like a falcon grabbing a rabbit. I hoped my lipstick was still okay and gave him my Marilyn Monroe pout as I dangled my find in front of his face.
“I think you dropped this.” I said. His eyes opened wide then narrowed with restrained anger. I could almost hear his teeth grinding. I followed his cold stare, along with the rest of the tram, to the thing in my hand. The ‘hanky’ was a red lacy thong.

Bingo, Aunty Pat and the Wardrobe

It was all going well, until Bingo ate one of the mothballs. We’d found a likely wardrobe, pinched the twins’ fake fur coats to hang in it, and littered the bottom with mothballs like in the story. Me and Chrissy climbed in and Bingo jumped in too. Chrissy tried to shove him back out because the kids in the story didn’t have a dog and she said he’d like as not disrupt the ecological balance. Or something.
Anyway, Bingo started to whine and we heard Chrissy’s mum clomping up the stairs so Chrissy just said, “ Bugger Bingo,” and closed him in with us.
The three of us squatted there with the twins’ pink fluffy coats making us want to sneeze and Bingo wriggling about, the mothballs crunching nicely like they did in the story. Chrissy’s mum was just on her way to the toilet and didn’t come into the bedroom so we started to plan on where we’d go when we got to the other side. I said we ought to find the Beavers straight away but Chrissy said that Mrs Beaver reminded her of her Aunty Pat and she’d rather handle the White Witch any day of the week.
We were just starting to argue when Bingo made a noise like he was trying to cough up a walrus. He’d been licking the floor for a while and we suddenly remembered the mothballs. He sat up and struggled a bit more with the walrus. We shoved to one side to get away out of his line of fire. He gave an almighty heave, vomitted, and Chrissy put her hand over her mouth and lurched backwards. She screamed and disappeared behind the coats. There was a crash like wood splintering and an icy wind made me catch my breath. Bingo retched again, shook himself and bounded after Chrissy.
Mothballs crunched underfoot as I pushed past the coats. As I expected, the wardrobe had lost its back. I shivered and looked down—I was standing in Chrissy’s snowy footprints. Satisfied that it seemed to be working despite Bingo’s efforts, I turned and grabbed the twins’ coats. We might look like two sticks of candyfloss but it’s bloody freezing in Narnia.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

10 thoughts on “Writing prompt: It was all going well, until…”

      1. I used to love writing prompts when I was at school. Now, they kind of scare me… as does the idea of writing micro-fiction, and in fact, short stories in general. I think I need to challenge myself… I’m sure such exercises make one a better writer.

      2. I wrote dozens of short stories before I launched into full length novel writing. I found that daunting. I know people say it’s an entirely different skill, but in many ways there’s no difference. You still need an arc; it’s just shorter. Many’s the novel I’ve read that I’ve wished had been condensed into a short story!

  1. Oh Jane, such wonderful stories. If this were 500 years ago, you’d have short cropped hair, and passing yourself off as a boy, as you entertained the king as his personal story teller. Loved them both.

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