Bi-Weekly Story Prompts

EXTENDED! July 6 – July 26, 2023 First Line Writing Prompt “Fire”

Theme: Fire

Your story must start with these three lines:

The fire spread quickly and he(she) looked up in dismay. All of his(her) hopes and dreams were about to go up in smoke unless he(she) acted now. What happened next may have cost him(her) not only his(her) life but his(her) freedom.

*Feel free to switch from 1st person to 3rd person or not, as you see fit.

Required Elements:

  • none

Word Count: 1200 (1235 including the required words.)

Next Prompt to be chosen by Ozjohn66.

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69 thoughts on “EXTENDED! July 6 – July 26, 2023 First Line Writing Prompt “Fire”

    • Ken Frape
      Hi ,
      Sorry to be a pedant but the prompt appears to have three sentences rather than two or the number of words 35, doesn’t work. I am assuming I am going to use just those first two sentences?
      Ken F
      • Carrie Zylka

        Oh geez. I have no idea why I typed two. No you must use all sentences provided in a given prompt.
        I fixed it.
        Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  • Adrienne Riggs
    Signing in for a blazing good time!
    • How are you doing these days, Sunshine? Hope things are going better and that dark gray cloud that’s been hanging over you is starting to turn white and dissipate. Mine has and things are so much better. Good luck on your story.
      • Adrienne Riggs
        Roy, I’ve missed you! I choose to shine whether the dark cloud is there or not. 🙂 Life constantly changes in my world, and I just go with the flow through the ups and downs. LOL. I haven’t been writing much and I need to get back into the flow with that. My asylum novel has been languishing for quite some time waiting for me to complete it and I really need to buckle down to it. I have two days to complete a 5000-word story for an anthology my writer’s group is putting together and I have put it off until the last minute which is totally unlike me. Guess I need to get busy!! I finally had gained a reprieve from being President of the group and now, the man who took over and has done an AWESOME job, is being transferred with the Army, and we will have to vote in a new president. No one really wants the job and I don’t have the energy anymore. I was president for YEARS. I’m definitely not as organized and energetic as our young Army guy. I’m trying to convince to stay as President long distance over Teams or Zoom. Birmingham isn’t really that far from West Tennessee. So, Roy, tell me how to access this AI program you are talking about so I can play around with it. Especially if we do a contest with it. It sounds intriguing. What have YOU been up to lately? I hope the family is all well!
        • Go to Open AI. You’ll find it. You give them an email and password and you’re in. A comment line will come up and you start telling it what to do. You’ll get the hang of it really quick. There are others, but this is free. Fool around with it. You can argue with it, discuss things, tell it to be Al Capone and then tell “Al” you are Tony Soprano and need someone whacked. Should be interesting. Or, you can finish your novel in record time.

          I’ll catch up with you tomorrow, but things are going well for an 81 year old who’s been feeling his age until recently. 60 is the new 80! Or is that 80 is the new 60? You get my drift. Glad you’re better Adi. Truly.

        • Yes, I missed the last writing prompt with my 750 words and story unfinished. Happening a lot lately as I get overwhelmed with things that need to be done. I sleep more than I should at the moment. Very very weary. Think my age and body is agin me lately and I am only 69 years old. I am hoping to participate in this one. I did not even get a chance to vote. But I did get a look at the stories. Doing some editing for someone and that got in the way of my writing. Finance before pleasure as I have goats to feed and care for and a son.
  • Carrie, I’m in, but can you do me a favor? Changed the second quickly in the first two lines to now. I didn’t mean to repeat it and didn’t notice it until I read the prompt. Then it stood out like lighthouse beacon.
    • Carrie Zylka


  • Alyssa Daxson
    Haven’t been on this site for at least two years haha, but I’ll try to pop back into the groove with this one
  • Robt. Emmett
    I use the prompt sentences, for the most part, as is. However, I made two changes. One to make my grammar checker happy and another to make the thought logical. If this doesn’t pass the smell test, let me know.
  • Robt. Emmett
    By Robt. Emmett

    The fire spread quickly, and I looked up in dismay. All of my hopes and dreams were about to go up in smoke unless I acted now. What happens next may cost me not only my freedom but my life.

    “He’s lucky to be alive and with only a small patch of second-degree burns on his forehead.”
    “The police said if he hadn’t paused on the porch and waved to the neighbor lady, he’d be a crispy critter like the other guy.”
    “Do they know what caused the van to explode and catch fire?”
    “The neighbor lady said the 1995 GMC van was a father-son restoration project.”
    “I’ve done one of those father-son projects. I did the work, and my old man never stopped kibitzing and telling me I was doing it all wrong.”
    “The carburetor on old vans is close to the driver and passenger, and a backfire could cause an explosion and fire if there were fumes in the engine compartment. The Fire Marshall said. It seems like that’s what happened. My watch says break’s over. See ya after work.”
    I know damn well it was no accident! It was an assassination to stop my Dad from publishing the truth. All the recordings and papers are gone. I know what happened, but now I can’t prove a thing. And if I try, I’ll only be laughed at … or worse. “Michael, old son, it’s unsafe for you to linger flat on your back in this hospital. So, best you get your ass outta here, and fast.”
    It was suppertime, and the ward was hectic. Now seemed like the most opportune moment for me to leave.
    I settled into the hack’s rear seat and tried to relax. It’s harder sneaking out of a hospital than sneaking in.
    “Cabbie, you know the way to the old Ralston lodge … out on South Lake Road towards Two Harbors?”
    “Yeah, I know, but that’s way outta the city. Company rules won’t let me travel …”
    “I’ll make it worth your while.”
    “I … I don’t …”
    “That’s where I need to go, so just name your price.”
    “Ah … double … triple the meter reading.”
    Was I followed? Glancing around, all seemed clear. “Cabbie, Drive slow and make sure we’re not being followed.”
    “Got it. South Lake Road. Alone.”
    My cell phone was at half power, but it should be enough. I had had the forethought to load the reporter’s number on speed dial. I pressed the button. It rang twice, three times. “You have reached Jefferson Morley’s private number. I’ll call you back when I feel like it and if I feel like it.” Snapping the phone closed, “Damn, investigative reporters are a pain in the ass!”
    I needed to get Dad’s story straight in my mind to creditably relay the facts to Morley if he returned my call. I ran what I knew of Dad’s career around in my gray matter. He started as a shadowy wartime G-Man and later as an OSS operative stationed in London. Dad occupied a key position in the founding generation of the Central Intelligence Agency as the right-hand man to its director, Allen Dulles. He was station Chief of Mexico City from 1956 to 1969. He reigned for more than a decade as a virtual proconsul in Mexico. Dad knew the truth about this man who believed he was an important Company operative; in reality, he was a necessary pain in the ass.
    Dad, in his day, had run hundreds of covert espionage operations from his headquarters in the U.S. Embassy. While keeping three Mexican presidents on the agency’s payroll and being consulted about the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Uncovering the truth of his meeting with Lee Harvey Oswald would totally discredit the Warren Report.
    On September 26th, 1963, he arrived in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, at about 1400. He traveled to Mexico City aboard bus number 516 of the Flecha Roja Bus Line and arrived at 1130 at the Fletcher Rojas Bus Terminal in Mexico City on 27 September 1963. Within an hour of his arrival, he registered at the Hotel del Homercio. The half-star dump was four blocks from the bus terminal.
    He’d learned in July he would receive no more training. Meaning his services were no longer needed. He realized he was, as they say in Company speak, expendable. And probably would be eliminated in late November or early December. The trip to Mexico was of utmost necessity because Dad owed him a favor, and he thought an in-person plea would save his hide.
    During his entire 5-nights in Mexico City, he remained sequestered at the Hotel. On October 2nd, 1963, “O. H. Lee” left Mexico City by bus and arrived in Dallas the following day, where he began working for the Texas School Book Depository company. The TSBD was in Dealey Plaza at 411 Elm Street. He was an assistant to Mac Wallace. Mac later worked as Lyndon Johnson’s problem eliminator.
    On November 22nd, O. H. Lee was photographed standing in the doorway of the TSBD as President Kennedy’s motorcade passed by. In the afternoon, he attended a movie and was accused of shooting a policeman. And later shot to death by a gambler named Ruby.
    When asked, Marina, Lee Oswald’s wife, turned over his passports to Cuba and Russia to the FBI. They didn’t know about the ones for Argentina or Brazil. Only Dad and I, as his proofreader of the pre-release version of Dad’s tell-all novel, knew of them.
    “We’re being followed. Whaddaya want ta do?”
    “Shit! Ah, take a right at the next corner and then left. When you get the chance, run a red light, and pray they can’t.”
    “This shit’s gonna cost ya!”
    Twenty minutes and a super E-ticket ride later, the driver said, “Lost’m.”
    “Great. Slow down.”
    The phone startled me. “You can run, Michael, and maybe even hide, but not forever.”
    “Good evening, Mister Wallace, and what can I do for you?”
    “Pull over NOW. I’m in the vehicle behind you.”
    Palming my phone, “Driver, where are we?”
    “About ten, twelve miles out of Duluth, heading west on 61.”
    Oh, Great! A sheer rock wall on my right and a two-hundred-foot drop to Lake Superior on our left. All on the zig-zagest road in northern Minnesota.
    The left side of the cab’s rear window spider-webbed. I ducked as bullets stitched the rear seat beside me. “Wallace, it seems, is not happy we didn’t stop.”
    I emptied my 9mm at his windshield. It disappeared. The dazzling glare of truck lights blinded me as it rounded the sharp curve. The blast of diesel horns added to the cacophony of squealing tires as they lost their tenuous grip on the road.
    Cabbie jammed on the brakes. The truck tires smoked as it slewed to a stop at the edge of the precipice. The car had disappeared, just as Lee Oswald had.
    — Ԙ —

    • Adrienne Riggs
      Interesting story Robert, with some history mixed in and a wild and crazy ride at the end. So, what happens next? Does the real story get told? Do people believe it? Or is it just dismissed as just another crazy conspiracy tale? I love stories that leave me wanting to know more. Good job! Adi
      • Robt. Emmett
        Adrienne & ozjohn66
        Russia has two major newspapers: Izvestiya and Pravda, translated “News” and “Truth.”
        A Russian comment, “In the NEWS there is no truth; in the TRUTH, there is no news.
        We, in the United States, have a similar situation, it’s called the WARREN REPORT.
    • Hey Robert
      A mix of fact and fiction or is it ‘faction’, anyway, I enjoyed the idea and the storytelling. Kept me reading and wanting to know more. Thank you.
  • Crazy? I was crazy once.
    By Alysaa daxson

    “The fire spread quickly and he looked up in dismay. All of his hopes and dreams were about to go up in smoke unless he acted now. What happened next may have cost him not only his life but his freedom.”

    Huh, thats an interesting phrase. Never heard that before, but then again this whole new hobby I’m starting, everything is all kinda of new, lots of places to go wrong. I didn’t get a chance to ask the woman who’d told me what it meant. Thats okay though, next time I’ll make sure they don’t die as quick.

    I ended up getting a little poster of that phrase made. I hung it up on my wall.
    Right infront of their faces. Of course sometimes they can be a little stubborn, too busy screaming to answer my simple questions. A part of me is mad, but its part of the human nature to be rude.
    Thats why I am here though. I was gave a mission, but not those ones you see in movies. Not the “save the world” type bullshit, no mine is much more ugly, much more hands on.
    Quite literally in some cases, when I’m feeling like a surgeon. All those silly medical degrees and years spent learning the human body, for what? I’ve done one or two amputations, next up is a vivisection, but y’know, don’t count your chicks before they hatch.


    What was I talking about again? Oh right, my mission. Excuse my forgetfulness, sometimes I get lost in the darkness, takes awhile before I can find my way out.
    Ah, calm down, I know it hurts, but deep breaths. That what my dad always told me when my mother was finished.
    Its only a finger okay, you have nine more!
    My little quest is to help you, okay? I know right now it doesn’t feel like it, but I’m telling the truth.
    In a couple days you will die, and you will be free. I got to have my fun first though, prepare you and all that good stuff.
    Oh why are you crying? Only bitches cry.


    God you are screamer aren’t you? Its okay, you’re young, crying is acceptable for you little boys and girls.
    How old are you? 12? Wowzers, you make me feel old.
    When I was 12 my mother broke my arm and let me starve for a week, but it was to teach me a lesson. I learned alot of things from her, very much a teach by example kind of parent. My dad wasn’t there alot, only showed up a couple times. My mother said he wanted to take me away, that I would stop learning, and I would fail my mission.
    I’ve got a deal for you sweetie. You tell me what that phrase means, the one on that little poster in front of you, and I’ll let you go, let you crawl right out that door.
    You don’t know? Huh, what a shame. Don’t worry I’ll try again in a week.




    Oh…. It seems I went a bit overboard with this one. Lost control for a bit I’m afraid.
    Good lord, they’re still alive? Now thats a miracle.
    You can be my example, my first public showing of my art.
    Oh the news is gonna love this, I’ve heard that even gave me a name.
    The Bucther, how unimaginative.


    Ah, you ever try to do something nice for yourself and it just backfires?
    I just wanted to show them my art, show them what I am capable of.
    But I guess I was a little careless, left a bit of evidence behind.
    Oh mother would be so disappointed…
    Well anyways, back to you, my special project.
    I want to see how much limbs I can cut off before you die, so try to hold still, mkay?


    They say mimicry is the highest form of flattery, so honestly, instead of crying you should be happy, honored even.
    All you gotta do is hold this knife, yep, just like that. I’m gonna leave you here, in this cabin, and I’ll go outside and pour gasoline around the exterior, light that match and boom! Now I know you can’t run, It’d be a little hard to move when you don’t have any feet.
    Once I get back, we are going to play a game. Its called will the police come in time to save me from, well, me.
    I’ll be playing the part of the helpless victim trapped in a burning house, and you can play the big bad Butcher.
    And don’t worry, I like foreplay.


    The news spread fast, every mainstream channel broadcasting the breaking news.
    The Butcher had finally been caught, his year long regin on terror had ended.
    His last victim had been saved, dragged out of the burning cabin by the local PD.
    He had suffered only 2nd degree burns and was currently recovering in the local hospital.
    While no positive identity of the Butcher had ever been confirmed, the burnt husk of a man had been found in the same building as the recovering victim. Police were quick to pin the blame on the unidentified body and everyone was all to willing to put that horrible year behind them.


    Ah, 2023, what a beautiful year. Of course you little mister don’t remember that, too young.
    But dammit I had the time of my life, pulled off probably the greatest trick in mankind.
    I had to move of course, but thats fine, good things must come to an end.
    Now now, enough with that crying. I’ll let you get back to your mommy for an hour or two, but after that its my turn with her, okay? I may not be as reckless as my younger days, but I still need to have fun once in while.
    Off you go young man, down those stairs yep.
    Tell your mother to stop crying okay? She needs to save it for when I get my hands on her.

    • Adrienne Riggs
      Creepy and very, very wicked. You would get along well with my 11-year-old granddaughter. She went from playing with dolls to telling horror stories and telling people she wants a life-size replica of Jeffrey Dahmer to put up in her room. (She’s kidding – I hope). Masterful tale. I’m pretty sure I do not want to see the movie version of your story. The bad mother psychologically damages the kid forever and he grows into evil incarnate, and continually strikes out at others trying to kill her over and over again – but he can’t shut her voice out of his head no matter how hard he tries. Mommy dearest never goes away, does she? Clever bait and switch at the end, since the Butcher’s real identity wasn’t really known. Great work! I may not sleep tonight. LOL Thanks! Adi
    • Hey Alyssa,
      I have not read any of your words before. What a great introduction. Loved it, great interpretation of the prompt and well executed (excuse the pun). Looking forward to reading more of your words. Well done.
    • Jeez, Alyssa. Why’d ya go and do that now? Write a simple, horribly good, horror story after so long an absence? You show up with this? Good job and kept me on the edge of my seat and now I won’t go in my basement because I heard this strange eerie noise a while ago. I know, I’ll make my wife go look. Yes, that’s it.

      Great story kid. Loved it. I saw a few places you could have used a comma, but nothing I’d slap your hands with a ruler over. Great start! Kind of cheated on the prompt, but I forgive you.


  • marien oommen
    Who’s Rocking My Boat? Words 1229
    By Marien Oommen

    The fire spread quickly and she looked up in dismay. All of her hopes and dreams were about to go up in smoke unless she acted NOW. What happened next may have cost Zoe, not only her life but her freedom.

    That morning, totally clueless of what the day held in store for her, she lay in bed, singing softly. Bit of a stretch here, a wiggle of toes there. A good night’s sleep always made her feel good.

    ‘He’s still working on me. To make me what I ought to be.
    How long did it take for Him to make Jupiter and Mars?
    Just a week.
    How loving and patient He must be. He’s still working on me.’

    The days she woke up with a song in her heart, she knew the day would go well.

    Adam was downstairs sipping his coffee. His morning glory.
    Coffee making was holy ritual to him. Never mind he spilt the beans, the powder, making big sugar granule puddles on the floor. Zoe didn’t know a thing because she was still in bed, smiling, taking one day at a time, one dream at a moment.
    Yesterday was gone and today was a new day. She brushed her hair, her teeth, oiled her face and went downstairs.
    Braced to meet the challenges of the day.

    Today the challenge started with mopping up the coffee beans off the floor.
    Easy because she was focussed elsewhere, her book read being -The Dynamite Woman- which was totally her story.
    Zoe was very social and her life blood was talking and laughing.
    But if she chatted just randomly, without thinking, Adam would shut her up at once. She had to play down her dynamism a couple of notches.
    At first it annoyed her tremendously, but now she was a veteran in handling her response. It was a sign of their growing old together.
    A second nature to him now, be like the mooing cow.
    Impatience at the wheel, furrowed brows, one sock missing, loud annoyance in voice, either too much salt, or not sauteed enough.
    These had to be dealt with TLC. Zoe had plenty o’ milk of TLC flowing through her veins at all times.

    Except when Tara visited.

    Tara was the embodiment of discontent in summer and winter. She grumbled and giggled, then giggled and grumbled. Those listening to her woebegone tales had to abide with the flow.
    She gossiped and she swore, delighting in painting ugly pictures of those folks she especially didn’t like. But unaware she was gossiping or swearing, justified her innocence, in her reasoning.

    “Hey, do you know Tuna? Ever heard her story? Sure glad I ain’t like her. What a loser.” This way Tara dissed everyone, one by one.

    There was one more flaw. Anything that Zoe did, Tara loved to copy and make it her own.

    Zoe’s latest passion was painting. The easel stood in the corner of the large dining room.
    The picture of the boat hitting against the rocks and the turbulence in the waters was beautifully captured. Her deft fingers swiftly formed the waves, the lines, the shades.
    It was getting prepped for the grand exhibition at the Manarat Museum. The event was to take place in two days, where dignitaries would arrive to make the final announcement of the winners who would get to go to Italy.
    It was very exciting for Zoe. Almost as if her life’s passion was working out perfectly for her.
    No other longing. This was it. Her ultimate dream was to make her man really proud of her.

    Tara saw the passion with which Zoe worked on her easel. She hurried to the store and got herself one. However, she was clueless what to paint, what colors to mix. She might as well have taken up quilting or playing the flute.

    But copying was her life’s calling, having made an art of it.
    Slowly but steadily she aped the picture that stood near the dinner table. Her own easel standing tall in the hallway. It wasn’t looking great, you could safely say.

    When someone imitates you, it’s a form of flattery if you look at it one way. It should please Zoe then, but it bugged her no end.

    The guests were to arrive at 7 pm.
    Tara put out the colored candles to decorate the table. The table linen was sheer nylon and it looked very pretty.

    “Take care, Tara, that linen is dicey. Can’t have so many candles burning on it.”
    “ O you worry too much, Zoe. Today is special. It’s your birthday.”

    The cake was arranged in the middle. The dishes looked appetizing. Six of the guests had already arrived and there were little gifts strewn all over the sofa.

    Tara stretched forward and lit up all the candles. But as she moved away, her belt buckle pulled a thread on the table mat. And the candles fell in succession, like ninepins. Before anyone could do anything the entire table was ablaze. It caught the turpentine soaked frame of the easel and amidst a dumbstruck audience, the prize painting went from a watery theme to a towering inferno.

    How fast can fire spread? The nylon tablecloth was the culprit.

    “Ahhhh!” Zoe cried out and clinging onto her painting. Then she flung it down in distress- for her own belly was now on fire. She threw herself on the carpet and rolled. Quick action learnt from her scouting days.

    Chocolate burning, caramel burnt. Black velvet cake. Pork roast in cinders. The guests stood watching far off. No one seemed unduly worried since nobody seemed to be in imminent danger. Adam fetched ice to rub on Zoe’s tummy. She groaned while smiling. God had kept her safe. There was not a single burn. She stripped her blouse off. Someone gave her a shawl to cover up.

    The guests slowly began to leave. The couple retired to their beds.
    Zoe thought, “It’s just a painting.”
    The things of earth will go strangely dim at the light of His glory and love.
    She needed some God thoughts.
    What did it matter? She could paint again. Anything. It was all in her fingers. Today what mattered was that God had kept her safe through what could’ve been her disaster…as she walked through the valley of the shadow of death.

    Tara appeared early the next morning. She had her paints. No question of ‘How are you, sis? Slept well? Feeling any good?… Nothing at all.

    Instead she yelled out….
    “Hey Zoe, can you help me with the colors? What should I paint on this wave to make it show its rising fury?”

    Sweet natured Zoe went to her paint collection. Picked out the purple and red bottles. She opened them her way back to Tara’s easel.
    With absolute precision and artsy dexterity, she aimed the open bottle onto the painting and let it fly. Like a waterfall of blood, the paints dripped down to the patio.Then she flung the purple fury on it.

    Doing it gently, as an art, dealing with her own fury left behind, not yet burnt.

    Victory, she mused, was hers for she was only human. She did no wrong, just played an even game. Deuce.
    But later that night, sleep played truant. Her tired eyes wouldn’t shut.

    Till she knelt down to pray. “Father, forgive.”
    On her knees.

    • Adrienne Riggs
      Loved the story! It was beautiful, waking up with a song, and positive thoughts. Finding joy in painting. Getting ready for her birthday. Then, the inevitable – the sheer table covering, too many candles, and that beautiful painting nearby. Amazing how fast fire moves, like a hungry animal devouring whatever is in its path. Accident or intent? Does it matter? Zoe gives in to her anger, but it is not in her heart to be content with how she acted. She knows she must make it right and she prays for forgiveness. I thought it was the perfect ending. Maybe because it reminded me of me. Very lovely tale of human emotions and interactions in a family. Adi
      • marien oommen
        So satisfying to read your comments, Adi. Thank you!
    • Adrienne Riggs
      I don’t know if I’ll be able to get a story in this time. I’ve been working on a 5000 word story for an anthology my writer’s group, the Word Weavers, is doing and time slipped away from me. I’ll try to get something in by morning, but if I don’t make it, we have some great ones already posted!
    • hHey Marien,
      Another great story. I didn’t know where it was leading but that was the best part about it. A story must keep the reader wanting to know more and keep reading, and I did. Loved it.
      • marien oommen
        Thanks for reading.. and the kind words. It’s good to be back here.
  • Adrienne Riggs
    Blazing Justice
    By Adi Riggs (1,225 w)

    The fire spread quickly and she looked up in dismay. All of her hopes and dreams were about to go up in smoke unless she acted now. What happened next may have cost her not only her life but her freedom.

    All was black. She could not hear, see, or feel anything. She could not move.

    ‘I’m dead. I know I’m dead. What happened?’ Before she could think of anything more, she fell back into a well of silky darkness.

    The nurse watched her vital signs settle back into an even rhythm. The doctor joined her and picked up the chart.

    “How’s she doing?”

    “I think she’s trying to wake.”

    The doctor reached for the woman’s wrist. “Her pulse seems steadier than it was. Waking would be a good sign, but I imagine it will not be pleasant for her. Be ready with some pain medication when she does wake.”

    “Mrs. Rhett? Can you hear me?” The doctor raised her eyelids and looked into the woman’s eyes. There was no response. “We will give her some more time.”

    Two police detectives were waiting at the nurse’s station.

    “Dr. Rhett? We are working the case involving Sharon Rhett. When can we speak to her?” Detective Sparks was tall, dark haired, muscular, and no nonsense.

    Dr. Rhett matched him in height and was not intimidated. He looked the detective in the eye and stated firmly, “She’s still unconscious. You will be able to speak to her when I say you can speak to her. Is that clear?”

    Detective Flora, a buxom brunette with a dazzling smile, said, “Doctor, you’ll have to forgive my partner, he left his manners outside today.” She elbowed Sparks who grunted.

    “We just want to know how she is doing. What can you tell us?”

    The doctor crossed his arms over the medical chart he held in his arms. “You know I can’t break HIPAA laws.”

    “Whatever you tell us will remain confidential Doc” Sparks assured him. “It’s for our records only. We are trying to find out who set the fire.”

    Payne looked the detectives in the face for several long minutes. “Come to my office.” He led them across a short hall to a wood paneled office, the walls lined with medical degrees and accolades.

    Closing the door, he gestured for them to have a seat near his desk.

    “I can’t tell you who set that fire” he said as he sat behind the desk. “But I can tell you, that if she had the ability to do anything to cause the fire, it would have been a miracle and it was most likely justified.”

    “What!” Sparks sputtered.

    Flora just placed a hand on his arm. “Let’s hear the doctor out. Go on, Doctor Payne.”

    “Mrs. Rhett is lucky to be alive. Not only does she have serious burns from crawling through the fire, but she also has numerous broken bones. It’s a miracle she was able to crawl as far as she did.”

    Sparks was shaking his head. “So what?”

    Dr. Payne continued, “Some of the breaks were new, many were older but barely healed.”

    Detective Flora was beginning to understand. “What type of breaks and where are they?”
    e looked at Sparks. “You sure you are ready to hear this?”

    “Yeah, go ahead” Sparks said gruffly. He had the distinct feeling he didn’t want to hear this.

    Dr. Payne consulted the record in front of him and pulled out several x-rays. “She has a broken tibia on the left leg, a fracture of the femur on the right leg which probably would have prevented her from walking. She has a spiral fracture of her right arm, several fingers are broken, and she has fractures around her orbital bones and in her jaw.”

    Detective Flora was biting her lip in suppressed anger and dismay. Sparks looked confused.

    “Fires don’t usually cause breaks or fractures, do they?”

    “No, they don’t. Not unless the bones are exposed to the heat.” Dr. Payne was serious.

    “And what causes a spiral fracture?” Sparks winced as he asked.

    Dr. Payne held up the x-ray. “Someone having their arm twisted behind their back until it breaks.”

    “How can you tell the age of the breaks in the bones?”

    The doctor held up another x-ray. “See the white areas here? That’s calcification. That is sign of the bone healing or trying to heal. The eye and jaw fractures are new, while the finger breaks are older, see the difference?”

    “Let me ask some questions now” Dr. Payne asserted. “How was Mrs. Rhett found? Was she lying under debris?”

    “No, she was found lying near the door.”

    “Were there a history of police calls at the home?”

    Detective Flora answered. “Neighbors often called to report the husband was yelling and threatening others or was hurting his wife, but she never pressed charges.”

    “Doctor Payne, did she have a history of unexplained injuries?” Sparks attitude had changed.

    “Yes, she did. I checked with her family doctor. Bruises, contusions, black eyes, small breaks. She always told the doctor that she was clumsy, fell down the stairs, tripped over the dog, etc.”

    The doctor clasped his hands together on his desk. “And what about Mr. Rhett? What does he have to say about this fire?”

    “Not much” Sparks answered. “He’s lying in the morgue, burned to a crisp if you’ll pardon the description. Firefighters couldn’t get to him until the fire was extinguished.”

    “Where was he found; do you know?”

    “Near the remains of a couch, surrounded by melted beer bottles and crushed cans.”

    “Well, let me get back to my patients.”

    “Thanks Doc. Let us know how when she wakes? Here’s my card.” Detective Flora handed him her card.

    Payne nodded.

    The phone at the police precinct rang. A sergeant answered it, listened and after a short conversation, hung up. He looked at Sparks and Flora.

    “She’s awake.”

    “Let’s go.”

    They could hear the crying down the hallway before they got to the hospital room. Dr. Payne and nurse were trying to comfort the woman. The detectives paused at the doorway.

    “Where am I? What happened?” Sharon Rhett wailed in confusion.

    Dr. Payne spoke softly and tried to comfort her. She saw the detectives and became frightened.

    “What’s wrong? Where’s my husband? Did he do something? Did something happen?

    Detective Flora moved forward slowly and sat next to the bed. “What do you remember?”

    “I don’t remember anything. Everything hurts. Why does everything hurt?”

    “We gave you some pain medication, remember?” Dr. Payne said, “It will help soon.”

    “Why am I bandaged? Was I in an accident?”

    Sparks answered. “There was an accident at your home. You were fortunate. They were able to get you out.”

    “An accident?”

    “A fire.”

    “How?” She looked fearful. “Did I do it? Is that why you are here?” Her voice rose in terror.

    “No, your husband was drinking and knocked over an oil lamp. I’m afraid he didn’t make it out.”

    “He didn’t make it” her voice was strange. She began sobbing loudly and then suddenly stopped. “He put me through hell.” She laughed hysterically as the doctor and detectives looked on. “I never told!”

    “She’s in shock” Dr. Payne injected medication into her IV.

    “He’s dead? HE’S DEAD!” Sharon screamed before passing out. “JUSTICE!”

    • marien oommen
      Hi Adi,
      Just read your divine retribution, blaze on justice story. Well written as usual, and accomplishing that in 30 minutes is remarkable. The long suffering wife bears it all till she can do it no longer.
      Good to see all the familiar names once more.
      Let’s get moving!
      Good that the date is extended..
    • hi Adrienne,
      Another excellent story. Always enjoy reading your work. Cannot believe that you wrote it in 30 minutes. You must have had it all planned in your head and it escaped quite nicely in that half hour. Well done.
  • I would have loved to have finished my story, but I am so time poor with work that I must do for lessons and marking papers, my own creative efforts must go by the wayside. Looking forward to voting after reading in a break in the tsunami of work.
  • Carrie Zylka

    Good morning/afternoon/evening all – had a reach out to request we extend it by a day – since we only have 4 stories, and quite frankly I’m half way done (my BF had a medical emergency and ate up a whole week), so selfishly I’d like to enter my story…I’m extending the contest a week!

    • Adrienne Riggs
      Thanks Carrie! If you get a chance, could you fix my mistake? It’s Dr. Payne, not Dr. Rhett. About a third of the way down. That’s what I get for writing too fast. 🙂
    • Time passes quickly these days, especially for those who are on the other side of the life expectancy curve. I can’t believe two weeks passed that quickly. Thank you Carrie, I will be posting my story in the next day or so. Thanks for the extension.


    • Hi All,
      I won’t get a chance to submit this time.I just wanted to read, comment and vote on the submissions this time.
      We are moving interstate in a few weeks. I am hoping to establish a better writing routine in our new home and life there.
      I will try for the next prompt, promise.
      Cannot express how much I enjoy being part of this group. The support and camraderie is unbelievable. Thank you all, especially Carrie for facilitating it all.
      • Carrie Zylka

        Awww 🙂 🙂

  • Adrienne Riggs
    In my rush to get my story done, I have the doctor’s name wrong in one sentence. Please overlook it and any other mistakes. I wrote this is in about 30 minutes last night just to get it in. Forgive me. Adi
    • Carrie Zylka

      fixed! I’m surprised I didn’t catch that right away when I read it.

  • Pyre by Carrie Zylka

    The fire spread quickly, and she looked up in dismay. All of her hopes and dreams were about to go up in smoke unless she acted quickly. What happened next may cost not only her life, but her freedom.

    The flames licked at the stake where William was bound, Rosalind’s heart pounded in her chest. She knew she had to save him, for she loved him more than anything in the world. Desperation fueled her determination, and she drew upon her darkest magic to summon her powers.

    Despite her powers, she had fallen in love with a mortal man named William, who was not aware that she was a witch, blessed with ancient light magic, passed down through generations.

    She rued the day she’d made a pact with The Dark One, a malevolent entity from the depths of the netherworld. In exchange for dark magic, she had agreed to sacrifice her first-born daughter by the end of the following year. The pact had been sealed with blood, and breaking it would have dire consequences.

    Chanting ancient incantations, Rosalind closed her eyes and extended her hands toward the sky. A tempest formed above her, dark clouds swirling with thunder and lightning. She channeled her energy, drawing it from the very essence of her being. The winds howled, and rain poured down, attempting to extinguish the flames that threatened to consume this mortal she’d allowed herself to fall in love with.

    She could not have possibly known The Dark One had been watching her every move, had planted the evidence against her beloved. He’d grown tired of Rosalind’s attempts to evade her end of the bargain and felt it was time for him to intervene.

    In a sudden burst of crackling darkness, The Dark One materialized before Rosalind. He was a tall figure, shrouded in a cloak of shadows, his eyes burning like red-hot coals. His voice echoed with an otherworldly resonance as he addressed her.

    “You cannot escape your fate.” He hissed.

    Rosalind felt a mixture of fear and fury coursing through her veins. She knew defying The Dark One would come with a heavy price, but she couldn’t stand idly by and let William perish in flames he did not deserve. She mustered all the courage she could find and faced the malevolent entity.

    “I will not let you take him,” she declared, her voice trembled. “I refuse to bow down to darkness any longer.”

    The Dark One chuckled ominously, amused by her defiance. “You are bound by our pact, witch. Your choices have consequences, and you shall not thwart destiny,” he sneered.

    Rosalind’s eyes blazed with determination. She realized that fighting darkness with darkness would allow him the upper hand. If she truly wanted to protect William and salvage her own soul, she needed to embrace her light magic fully. Ignoring the taunts of The Dark One, she began to chant again, focusing on her ancient heritage of light magic, of the witches who’d come before her, powerful women and power that ran through her bloodline.

    As she chanted, the clouds above her began to shift. The tempest of darkness clashed with her newfound radiance, creating a breathtaking display of conflicting energies. Lightning crackled and danced between the darkness and light, illuminating the night sky.

    In her heart, Rosalind made a silent plea to the forces of her ancestors for aid. She had to break free from the shackles of darkness and uphold the legacy of her predecessors. She knew her choice would determine not only her fate but the fate of those she loved.

    The magic surged within her, and she directed it towards the stake where William was bound. A radiant beam of pure light burst forth from her hands, countering the darkness surrounding the pyre. The flames that had threatened to consume her beloved were pushed back, their intensity dimming under her power.

    William’s eyes widened in amazement as he felt the warm embrace of her magic enveloping him. Their eyes met and her heart sank, she saw fear and misunderstanding behind them.

    The Dark One roared in fury, his dark cloak swirling violently as he attempted to extinguish the bright tendrils. But Rosalind was relentless, channeling her love for William and her desire to protect him into her magic.

    The battle between light and darkness raged on, and Rosalind could feel herself growing weaker with each passing moment. The burden of her choices weighed heavily on her, but she knew she had to endure. As long as she had breath in her body, she would fight for the man she loved.

    She felt a light touch on her shoulders, almost as if someone rested their hands, and her magic swelled.
    With one final surge of power, the light magic, imbued with the power of those who’d come before her, overwhelmed The Dark One’s darkness. The malevolent entity let out a horrifying scream as he was banished back to the netherworld, defeated by Rosalind’s unwavering determination to choose love over vengeance.

    The storm above dissipated, and the night sky cleared. The townsfolk scattered, fearful the with would turn her gaze upon those who’d convicted him in the first place.

    William stood unharmed, his eyes filled with fear. She untied him and led him into the forest.

    “You have powers beyond imagination,” William said, his voice filled with emotion as she took his hands in her own. “I may not understand everything, but I understand that you risked everything for me, and I can’t deny that I still love you.”

    Tears welled up in Rosalind’s eyes, and she embraced William tightly. In that moment, she knew she had made the right choice. Embracing her ancestors magic had not only saved him, but it had also saved a part of her own soul.


    As the days passed, William struggled to come to terms with the reality of Rosalind being a witch. He couldn’t shake off the fear and misconceptions society had ingrained in him about witches and dark magic. Despite her best efforts to convince him otherwise, he couldn’t fully accept her true self.

    One night, as Rosalind watched him sleep, she knew what she had to do. In a heart-wrenching decision, she laid her hand on his stubbly cheek and cast a spell that would erase all memories of her from William’s mind. It was the only way to set him free from the burden of her identity and the conflict it caused within him.

    With tears streaming down her cheeks, she whispered, “I love you, William. And for that love, I’ll let you go.”

    As the spell took effect, William’s memories of Rosalind began to fade, leaving only a vague feeling of loss in his heart. Heartbroken, Rosalind retreated to the depths of her sorrow, alone and heartbroken, once again feeling the pull of the dark powers she had abandoned.

    • Carrie Zylka

      I don’t love my story.
      It’s a shorter version of a 10,000 word story that I tried to cram into 1200 words.
      I’m not totally sure I did it any justice.

    • Hey Carrie,
      I enjoyed the story. Struggling to reduce word counts for ‘competitions’ is hard as we know exactly how many words are needed to tell as tory.
      Saying that, I think you did a wonderful job in getting the story across and keeping me reading to know more.
    • Adrienne Riggs
      I absolutely love your story, Carrie. It amazes me how you come out so fluidly with your characters and the magic and fantasy. My mind just doesn’t work in those ways, and I am so envious!! You make it sound so real and possible. I could see it all in my mind. Great work!
  • Alyssa Daxson
    Hey Carrie I can’t vote this time around sorry, I’m in a field ops right now for the next week and will have no contact with Wi-Fi. Sorry!
  • Phil Town

    The fire spread quickly and they looked up in dismay. All their hopes and dreams were about to go up in smoke unless they acted now. What happened next might cost them not only their freedom but their lives, too.

    The father grabbed a quilt and began to smother the flames where he could, giving his wife time to rifle through the drawers of the sideboard, gathering the forged papers they’d paid a king’s ransom to acquire from a friend of a friend of a cousin.

    Their son wandered from his bedroom into the midst of this frenzied activity, his dull eyes taking in his parents’ desperation.

    “Get your coat!” his mother urged. The heat was stripping paint from the doors but she knew that outside, a biting cold was waiting.

    The boy stood where he was, seeming not to hear.

    “Get your…” His mother began to repeat the order but realised it would be quicker to get the coat herself; there was no time to lose. She finished collecting their papers and ration books and rushed through to the hall, waving away the smoke from in front of her face.

    “Hurry!” her husband shouted over his shoulder while he continued to flap at the flames with the singed quilt. “Someone’s bound to see the smoke, and then they’ll be here in no time!”

    His wife reappeared with three coats and three scarves and three woollen hats.

    “Get your shoes on!” she hissed at the boy.

    Once again, the boy’s blank eyes showed no recognition of the command, nor of the crackling danger all around him.

    The woman dropped the coats and scarves and hats and fell to her knees, reaching under the sofa for her son’s only pair of shoes. A frantic hand swept left and right until she found them. She got hold of her son’s left foot and forced it into one of the shoes, repeating the action with the right.

    She got to her own feet and wiggled them into her shoes. Then she picked up the clothes she’d dropped and threw her husband his coat, put on hers, negotiated her son’s lumpen arms into the sleeves of his. A scarf was wrapped roughly round his neck, a hat pushed firmly on his head, and he was ready to go.

    The father had given up on the flames now; they were tickling the walls and the ceiling, heading for the curtains.

    The couple took no time to bid farewell to the space that had been their home for six months, bundling the boy – blindly because of the smoke – into the hall and out of the front door.

    In the street, the icy wind cut through their thin coats, their mouths three sources of puffed vapour. Now the couple did take a moment to turn and look back at the house, with smoke rising from the roof, and out of the windows through an ominous orange glow.

    “How did it–?“ the woman began to ask, but the man snatched her sleeve.

    “No time for that,” he said. “Listen!”

    In the distance, the unmistakeable whine of a siren, getting louder, announced a new danger.

    “Come on!” The man picked the boy up and began to run unsteadily from the house, his wife at his side. With his head on his father’s shoulder, their son looked back at the flames now squeezing out through the windows and the open door.

    And the boy’s dull eyes at last brightened, his lips twisting into a smirk.


    • Hi Phil
      As always a story with me wanting to know more, but enough to keep me reading. So may questions but really do they matter? Loved the pace and the inner dialogue of the characters. Thank you for another great read.
    • marien oommen
      There’a something about that smirk, dear Henry, dear Henry.
  • Phil Town
    Sorry all – no time to comment this week. But I’m hoping to be able to read the stories and vote.
  • One Last Cigarette
    by RM York
    1232 words

    The fire spread quickly and he looked up in dismay. All of his hopes and dreams were about to go up in smoke unless he acted now. What happened next may have cost him not only his life but his freedom. Nigel’s thoughts were only of Marie-Claude.

    Nigel Stewart, a happy-go-lucky Englishman, had arrived in Paris in January 2019, celebrating a long-promised Christmas present to himself. It didn’t take him long to fall head over heels in love with the city and its people. But it was Marie-Claude, a saucy French girl with sparkling eyes and an infectious laugh who stole his heart.

    Strolling along the Seine one afternoon in April, a thought struck Nigel. He had decided to propose but in a manner that would leave Marie-Claude breathless. Her birthday was on the 19th, and his ring would be the ultimate present.

    Inspired by the Notre Dame Cathedral, with its towering spire and magnificent architecture, he thought it would be the perfect place for his newly formed idea. He would climb to the top of the cathedral, and declare his love for her by unfurling a large banner for all the world to see asking her to marry him.

    Later that week, as he and Marie-Claude dined in their favorite cafe Nigel said, “Mon Amour, tomorrow, I won’t be able to have dinner with you until late but I want you to promise me that you will be here, in our favorite cafe, by 6;00 PM.”

    “Why, Nigel, what is it that you can’t tell me?” She smiled and watched as he stuttered an excuse.

    “Uh … it’s just … uh …It’s just that I’ve something planned, something I’ve been working on for days now and it’s a surprise. If I told you it would spoil everything.”

    “Nigel, darling, I promise you I will be here.”

    Nigel beamed with joy. He reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out a pack of cigarettes. Lighting one up, he leaned back casually and blew the smoke out slowly, savoring it with his thoughts.

    “Nigel,” she said, her voice raising an octave, “you promised me you would quit. You know how I feel about it.” She crossed her arms and pursed her lips in a pout, turning her head to show her contempt.

    “Ah, my dear,” Nigel sighed. “This is my last pack of Dunhills. They cost a fortune; almost 20 Euros, and I’ve only two left. As God is my witness, these are my last two. I promise.”

    She couldn’t resist his charm. “Remember, you’ve promised.”

    The next morning, Nigel picked up the items he needed and procured the special white silk banner he had ordered. Spread out it reached almost forty feet in length, and was ten feet wide, spelling out the words, “MC, will you marry me? NS.”

    Marie-Claude would know who it was, who was so daring, as she gazed with thousands of Parisians at the banner suddenly unfurling from the Cathedral tower and shining in light’s last glow. It would be on the world’s lips. “Who are MC and NS?”

    Knowing workers were not going to be in the cathedral this particular evening and carefully tracing each step in the plan, Nigel would only have to avoid the usually bored guards who carelessly patrolled the entrances to the cathedral.

    Nigel had learned of special entrances to the cathedral for members and had spent three days rehearsing how to get in without being seen, then climbing to the top. The banner, made with parachute silk, was stowed in a knapsack and rested carefully on his back. All he needed to do now was to make his way to the top of the cathedral and declare his love for Marie-Claude. He made his way up the ancient stone steps

    Adrenaline coursing through his veins, Nigel reached the top of the cathedral. Looking down, he could see the restaurant where Marie-Claude would be sitting, wondering what Nigel had planned. He checked the time: 5:48 PM. He would fly his banner, climb down and then join Marie-Claude. She would take him in her arms and declare breathlessly, “Yes.”

    Carefully, he secured the banner to the installation hooks he had made. They wouldn’t last forever, but they would hold the banner for tonight. After that, let the wind take it and fly it over Paris. He was ready. He paused and pulled out his last Dunhill. He drew the smoke into his lungs slowly, savoring it, knowing it would be his last, keeping his promise to Marie-Claude.

    He smiled, and took a last puff from the cigarette; carelessly flicking it with a flourish, not giving it another thought. He then turned his attention to his sign. Just as he launched the banner into the gusts of wind that were swirling at the top of the parapet it hooked on a nearby gargoyle.

    Risking life and limb, he very carefully crawled out and attempted to free it. He almost lost his footing and had to catch himself. He made a last effort to unfurl the banner and watched as it unfolded and suddenly picked up stretching out.

    Satisfied, and crawling safely back to the parapet, he turned to go and looked down. Just below him, he saw a large fire that had suddenly blossomed and was curling around the wooden beams that held the tower while he was on the ledge. Unbeknownst to him, his cigarette had landed on a pile of oily rags left by workmen. He looked at his watch. It had been almost thirty minutes since he tried to launch the banner.

    He looked up through an open window and saw that the tower beams where he had just been were ablaze, the fingers of flame lighting the silk banner which then disappeared in a wall of flame. That Marie Claude may not have seen it broke his heart. That no one else saw may be his salvation.

    The fact he set a fire that could destroy the Cathedral of Notre Dame could ruin not only his life but Marie-Claude’s as well. He snapped back to the moment. He made his decision. He would face the consequences of his act.

    Nigel’s only thought now was to escape this fiery hell. Heart pounding, surrounded by flames, and his lungs filled with smoke, he plunged forward, his only thought to get to Marie-Claude. Holding onto the stair railing he managed to escape and slip into the street. I’m safe, he thought. Or am I? I will always know the truth.

    A quick self-examination revealed no burns, and a few bits of soot, but no other damage. He made his way to the cafe. Marie-Claude saw him approach and waved, but then, along with the hundreds of other Parisians, returned her gaze to the inferno raging at the top of the cathedral, sirens and emergency vehicles careening by.

    He ran to her side and hugged her. “Sorry, I’m a bit late. I was …”

    She cut him off and whispered, “NS, the answer is yes, from MC,” then kissed him passionately.

    “Then, you saw the banner?” He whispered back. “But, the fire.”

    “What about it?”

    “Marie-Claude, It was me. It was having my last cigarette that may have accidentally started the f-.”

    She placed a finger on his lips, shushing him. “No more talk, Nigel, whatever happens, we will face it together. Unlike our love, towers are not forever.”

    • Adrienne Riggs
      Lovely story Roy. I just love a romantic French love story! And now we know the truth behind the great fire, but what is a fire, against true love? Oui? Ooh la la.
    • Hey RM
      Love the story mixed with some historical stuff too. True love always wins they say. What we do for love? Thank you for sharing this story with us, great use of the prompt too.
    • marien oommen
      Ah! Mon Dieu! That’s a fiery story of love. Hope it will last and not end like the cigarette.Partners in crime.
      Very detailed and well done, Roy!
  • I have had out-of-town guests all week, and like Phil may not be able to comment. I hope to, but we’ll have to see. I will be reading and voting, however. Hopefully. We’re expecting severe winds and thunderstorms and if power gets knocked out, well then, so will I. Glad this group is a thing again.


    • Adrienne Riggs
      I pray your storms are nothing like what we have had here. Days of torrential rain and severe winds. Last Thursday was horrible! I nearly had a massive oak tree in my bed. Praise God it was not two feet taller than it was. As it was, the top of it brushed the roof and the leaves and branches scratched their way down my window. I’m no longer young and sprightly but I guarantee no one could have gotten out of a bed faster than I did that night when I heard the trunk crack as it broke at the base of the tree and it began to fall! I pray that you and your family are safe! (Now, I have to find someone to come chop up this very huge tree lying across my back yard.) Adi
      • marien oommen
        That sounds scary! And I see the beginnings of another tale in your telling.
        ….Big tree just missed my bed…
        Take good care, Adi.
      • Adi, I see the cloud has begun to dissipate. Two years ago and it would have been in your lap. Glad you’re safe. Ours blew over without a whimper.


        • Adrienne Riggs
          Roy, you are so right!
  • Ken Frape
    Hi All,
    I planned to enter a story this time round but I have been involved with writing and performing in s sitcom based upon my town of Stroud in Gloucestershire. Finished last night and great fun it was. I notice the deadline for Fire has been extended so, if there is time, I would like to read, comment and vote on this super batch.
    Well done all,
    Ken Frape
    • Phil Town
      Ooh! Any links for that, Ken? (Or too early maybe?)
      • Carrie Zylka

        Yes we need links! That is very cool!!

    • Adrienne Riggs
      Ken, what fun!! Please share the links!
    • Ken, hopefully, there will be plenty of sharing by you as to how it went over after all the reviews are in. Looking forward to hearing all about it. Great stuff. Fame always starts locally, you know.


      • Kenneth Raymond Frape
        Hi Roy, Phil, Adi and all,

        Sorry I have not been active enough to get involved lately. It is my intention to do so as soon as possible.
        As I mentioned, I was working with a group of seven others with a very skilled teacher Chris Head, (look him up – he does comedy workshops, stand-up etc.)

        Our task was to write a sitcom based upon the people and the quirks of the town we live in which is Stroud in Gloucestershire ( just say Glostershire if you are in the US!). It is a quirky town with many character types including therapists of all types, hippies, dreamcatchers, Earth Mothers (bless them) , vegans, climate activists, actors, writers and performers in all shapes and sizes. In short, it’s a great town to live in if you love nature and the arts and are at least a bit politically aware, green and left of centre.

        So, we decided to write about some of these lovely people whilst poking a bit of fun at their expense.
        The main issue we decided to highlight is that our town, which has around 36000 inhabitants in and around Stroud itself, has lots and lots of coffee shops (we think 35!) that reflect the mixture of people.

        We decided to “pick on” four particular people, all living or working in Stroud;

        A TV personality, Marie Porta-loo, who was nicknamed The Queen of Shops;

        The famously vegan owner of the local football club, Vince Dale who is also the boss of a Stroud green energy company;

        The local Conservative Member of Parliament, Chiffon Daily, who no-one had ever heard of until the day after the last election when she mysteriously appeared in the town centre.

        A local newspaper reporter, Ed Leverage, who lost his job when the paper closed down but is now set on creating a new one.

        We altered their real names slightly but everyone locally knows exactly who they are.

        Also there was Daz and Ocean, the PAs to Marie and the MP. Then there was Gloria who runs the cake shop and she has lovely baps and glorious buns. Max the owner of the oldest coffee shop in town.
        We set the Queen of shops against the town as she felt that there were too many coffee shops and wanted to use her celebrity status to get one closed down. She visited them all, in disguise but everyone knew who she was anyway. We set her up against the local MP who suggested that the number of coffee shops was a direct consequence of excellent Tory rule during her time in office.

        When it was announced in the new local news blog that one coffee shop would close, there were protest marches ( and that’s another feature of Stroud…there’s always a march about something.)

        I don’t know how interesting this would sound to anyone not associated with our town. In the event, well over 100 people turned up for an event that was supposed to only seat 60. They loved it.

        One of our cast didn’t want to agree to a film being made (shame) so there’s no FaceAche or ViewTube or whatever. On the night, it was a live, rehearsed reading in front of microphones like a radio play so an audio file might have been better.

        For those who might be even slightly still be interested and awake I will post a scene that I wrote only IF YOU REQUEST IT. No point cluttering up this space otherwise.

        Anyway, now I need to get on with thinking about the weather. It’s a subject that us Brits just love talking about.

        • Adrienne Riggs
          Ken, I’m REQUESTING it! I’m obsessed with British television and it’s all I watch. If I can’t watch your little sitcom, I definitely want to read about it! So, post away!
  • Ok writers!

    Time is up and it’s time to vote!

    Here is the link to the voting page:

    Good luck to all!

    …. and for those of you who’d like to get a head start on tomorrow’s prompt, it is “weather” no requirements.

  • Leaving shortly for the day, but the voting site isn’t up yet, so I hope to vote later. Good stories so far. will catch up after a day on the town with friends.


  • Well hell’s bells, for some reason my own site marked my own comment as spam, what the heck…
    I will simply tally votes when I have everybody’s emails lol
  • Carrie Zylka

    And without further ado, here are your winners!

    1st Place: Blazing Justice by Adi Riggs
    2nd Place: Pyre by Carrie Zylka
    3rd Place: One Last Cigarette by RM York
    4th Place: A Race Against Time by Phil Town
    5th Place: Who’s Rocking My Boat? by Marien Oommen
    6th Place: Disappeared by Robt. Emmett

    The favorite character was Rosalind Carrie Zylka’s “Pyre”.
    Story with the favorite dialogue was 1st Place: Blazing Justice by Adi Riggs.

    Congrats to all! I really enjoyed reading through all the stories.
    The next prompt is up – good luck to all!

  • Adrienne Riggs
    Thank you all! I am surprised and happy. The stories were all so good!
  • Congrats Adi and Carrie. Glad you extended it Carrie, I’ll bet you are too. Good job, people. Now, onto what everyone’s talking about, but not doing anything about … (apologies to Mark Twain) … the weather.
  • Phil Town
    Congrats Adi, Carrie, Roy et al!

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