The Campsite -Friday Fictioneers 

George had embarked on the adventure of a lifetime. Travelling through Africa on his beloved motorbike. The first few weeks had been glorious. Nothing but sunshine, friendly faces and excitement.

But then, the fun started to wear off. He’d been chased by crazy, rock-throwing kids. His tyres had burst on several occasions, thanks to nails left carefully on the road, by men eager to then help fix them for a modest fee.

And now, his motorbike seemed to have died of exhaustion, forcing him to settle down at the campsite where he now found himself.

Still, it wasn’t all bad. It was here that he had met Abby.

-A short story written from the Friday Fictioneers writing prompt.

The Purple Door

“Quick, under here!” urged Jenny, pulling her friend out of the rain.

“But what is this place?” wondered Nick, looking wide-eyed at the quaint purple door. “Does somebody live here?”

“Well, if they do, I’m sure they won’t mind us waiting here until the rain stops…” Jenny replied.
Her sentence was interrupted by the sound of the ancient door slowly creaking open.

“Well, hello there,” came a raspy, almost cackling voice. “I don’t get many visitors.”

Without looking to see who had spoken, the two children yelped, darted back into the pouring rain and raced along the path.

“Pity,” sighed the old lady despondently.

(105 words)

A short story I wrote for the Friday Fictioneers  writing prompt.

The Audition


Julie glanced at the row of stern faces and gingerly picked up her bow.
She took a deep breath and began to play. The blissful melody filled the auditorium, lifting the spirits of the audience. But Julie didn’t dare look up. Too much was resting on this.
When she’d finished, the judges politely applauded.
“Thank you, we’ll be in touch shortly,” said an aloof, drawling voice.
Julie smiled back, still too nervous to speak.
Suddenly a man stormed into the room, shouting vehemently.
“It’s too late!” Julie laughed boldly. “I finished already. There’s nothing you can do to stop me now.”

From a short story prompt on Friday Fictioneers

Gosh it’s hard to write a short story in 100 words!

Not enough points

I’d forgotten all about this short story that I wrote a few weeks ago, using this prompt from the Writers Digest website: Write a short story, of 700 words or fewer, that begins with the following line of dialogue: “You don’t have enough points, sir.”

         “You don’t have enough points, sir.” I apologized to the small boy who had tried to buy a bottle of cheap perfume with the points on a store loyalty card. He looked around ten years old and I couldn’t help being reminded of Oliver Twist, by the boy’s skinny frame, tatty old clothes and timid expression. 
        “You need 480 points to buy this, but you only have 120.” I explained sympathetically.
        “That’s ok,” the boy replied, looking disappointedly at the floor. “I guess I’ll just leave it then.” He took back the card with a small hand, left the perfume bottle at the counter and reluctantly trudged out of the shop.
        The shop was quiet, so my boss agreed to let me take my break. I needed to go to the bank, which was only across the street, so I stepped out of the pleasantly warm shop into the freezing February air, without going first to get my jacket. I was stopped in my tracks by the sight of the small boy crying on the doorstep. My heart filled with pity and I gently approached him. 
        “What’s wrong?” I asked.
        He looked at me with his large, brown eyes and replied that he had wanted to buy the perfume for his mother.
        “That’s alright,” I replied soothingly. “You can come back another time, when you have more money.” 
        “But my mum is really sick and may die soon!” he wailed mournfully. “That’s her favourite perfume and I know it will cheer her up.”
          I froze on the spot, shivering with the cold and shock of the child’s sorrowful tale. I wanted to do something to help him, and not knowing what words of condolence to give, decided to hasten back into the shop, to retrieve the perfume and some sweets and toys to cheer the boy up. I knew the small treats would be nothing compared to the loss of a parent, but I had to do something. 
          The boy smiled weakly and thanked me, wiping his tears on his ragged sleeve and clutching the bag of gifts tightly. I hurried over to the bank, knowing that my gesture had been feeble, but unsure of what else I could do for the poor child. 
By the time I returned to the shop, the boy had already left the doorstep. I resumed my shift, using my card to pay for the items I had given to the boy. I was happy to have done a good deed, the child had deserved some cheering up, and it had only cost me a few pounds.
        At the end of my shift, I was surprised to see a large group of ten or eleven year olds, gathered around a bench at the very end of the high street. These kids seemed to be haggling over prices with one particular child, as if at a market stall. When I came closer to the group, I realized that the child at the centre of all of this activity was the same boy from the shop that morning. To my dismay, he was selling the items that I had given him, along with a vast quantity of other toys, snacks and inexpensive jewelry, that he had undoubtedly collected from other unsuspecting shop workers that day.
        “I thought that perfume was for your mother!” I exclaimed.
        “Oh, she got better, so I decided she didn’t need it after all!” he replied mischievously, as he stuffed his wares into a large bag and sprinted away with his companions, before I had a chance to do or say anything else.
        Unbelievable! So it had turned out that I had not done a good deed at all that day. I had merely been conned by the next Artful Dodger and assisted him in this small business venture. I wasn’t sure whether to be annoyed or amused. But then the thought came to me, that even Donald Trump had to start somewhere! Perhaps this kid would also become a multi-millionaire one day, and have me to thank for the beginning of his career. I laughed at this thought and continued to walk home.

Crime Log

“Ugh, my head!” I winced, clutching my pounding head and glancing around at my surroundings. 
I was in my hotel room, a cheap hotel in Las Vegas. Far away from the dazzling lights, colors and energy of the Strip, it was the only one we’d been able to afford. Still, we didn’t mind it. The important thing was that the six of us were together for Stacey’s hen weekend. We were so excited to be on the holiday of our lives, far away from our peaceful, quaint little English village, just a short bus ride away from all the shows, casinos, bars and parties we had previously only dreamed of.
I was, however, unsure of what Jessica and myself were doing back in our hotel room. I was still wearing last night’s dress, laying on my bed, with a stinking headache. 
“I’m never drinking again!” I murmured, as I slowly plodded to the bathroom, feeling nauseous and clutching my pounding head.
After peeing and feeling relieved at not vomiting, I decided to make some instant coffee. While waiting for the kettle to boil, I absent-mindedly flicked through the free newspaper the cute guy at reception had given to us. It mostly comprised of adverts about shows and events. But two words stood out from the others. Lucy Reynolds. 
“It can’t be!” I exclaimed. 
“Lucy Reynolds is wanted by the police for questioning, following last night’s murder of the well-known gambler and millionaire Bob Collins. If you have any information about her whereabouts, please call the Las Vegas police department on…” 
I stopped reading. This couldn’t be real. I hadn’t murdered anyone. I put down the paper and lay back on my bed. Perhaps I was still dreaming. I tried dozing off again, when suddenly there was a loud banging on the bedroom door.
“Police! Open up!” 
There are no police, I’m just dreaming. I reached for some headache pills and gently massaged my head. But the banging did not stop. I felt nervous, sweaty, achy and tired. But I had to open the door to be sure. Jessica was stirring in her bed.
“You’re bed’s nearest.” she muttered. 
I got up, gingerly crept to the door and two burly police officers bust in.
“Lucy Reynolds. We have a warrant for your arrest. You do not have to say anything…” 
I zoned out as they read me my rights. My knees gave way and I sank to the floor, faint from shock. The two officers lifted me back to my feet, handcuffed me and led me towards the door, amidst Jessica’s terrified screams.
“Let her go! What are you doing? Where are you taking her?” she shrilled, loudly enough to wake everyone in the hotel that hadn’t already been awoken by the police officers’ incessant knocking.
Hotel guests and the other members of our group raced to our room, as the officers calmly led me towards the elevator. My friends all joined in with Jessica’s screams.
“Let her go! There’s been a mistake!”
But the police officers replied blandly that they were merely doing their duty. On we went. Into the elevator. Trapped. Without my friends, accused of a murder I hadn’t committed and all alone in a vast, crazy city. 

(A 500 word story I wrote, after seeing a creative writing prompt on Writer’s Digest)