Bonus Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt “A Pink Martini”

Theme: Image Writing Prompt “A Pink Martini”

Many writers draw their inspiration from art or images. There are so many stories that could be told from one detailed picture.

Use this image as inspiration for your story, it can be the image as a whole, a single part of it, or several elements inside the image itself.

Required Elements:

  • a pink martini

Word Count: 1,200

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46 thoughts on “Writing Prompt “A Pink Martini”

  • CJ Rosemeck

    Read the stories here:

    (If you don’t see your story linked in this comment within a day or two, feel free to use the contact form to let Carrie know she somehow missed it.

    Meanwhile, please be patient, there is only one moderator, and she is not always online. We’ll get to it as soon as possible. Thank you.)

    • Hi All,
      Struggling with this one, without being too cliched or twee. I have a cocktail bar setting, a stemmed glass, an umbrella and a trail of letters (not texts, as set pre-mobile phones and internet). A play of ideas with fairy, cheese moon and such but they are what may seem corny.
      I would appreciate extra time if it is available and will try to get the story less twee.
      Cheers, John.
      • You now have until the 18th of September according to our illustrious moderator who has graciously extended this bonus story time. Looking for a story from you. I know for sure at this point, with only three stories, I’ve got 3rd place clinched … unless more authors join the fray.

        There’s plenty of time.


  • Signing in
  • We’re All Adults Here
    By RM York
    1189 Words

    As she walked in the door, she drew the eye of everyone in the bar. She looked around hesitantly, as if thinking perhaps she didn’t belong here, then walked directly toward me as I stood mindlessly polishing the bar top, slowly, as I took in her good looks. She took the stool directly in front of me. I stopped polishing the bar. All my attention was focused on her. It felt like time had stopped. I stared for several seconds then realized how I must have looked.

    “What’ll you have?” I asked, feeling foolish.

    Blonde, blue eyed and wearing a teal colored silk dress which silhouetted a perfect body, I thought she was the most stunning woman I had ever seen. She tilted her head to one side as she looked at me, as if trying to understand what I asked, rather than make up her mind about what she wanted.

    I said, as gently as I could without seeming rude, “Is there something I can get you?”

    “Oh,” she replied, startled I asked a second question. “I’m sorry, I was thinking about something when you asked the first question. What was it?”

    “What was what?”

    “The first thing you asked me.”

    “What’ll you have?”

    “Is that what you asked me?”

    I was beginning to think I had finally found the epitome of the stereotypical blonde – the very blonde who started all the blonde jokes in the world. “Yes, Miss … it’s …”

    “It’s Miss, I’m not married,” she interrupted.

    “I … I … I wasn’t trying to be personal,” I stammered.

    “Oh no, that wasn’t what I meant. I just wanted you to know that calling me Miss is OK. But it’s Petal, my name I mean. It’s Petal.” Her voice was soft and, as I think about it, it almost tinkled, as if tiny silver bells were ringing as she spoke each syllable of every word.

    “You’re serious? Petal is your name?”

    She smiled, perfect white teeth disarming me and making me feel foolish for asking. “Yes, she said. “Petal. It’s Petal of the Rose, actually.”

    I looked around helplessly. This conversation had been going on for two minutes and nothing had been accomplished. Well, actually, something had. I knew her name. “That’s your real name? Petal of the Rose?”

    “You look surprised. It’s a perfectly lovely name, I think. My mother gave it to me.” She looked as if she might cry the way her mouth suddenly pouted, with her lower lip slightly protruding. “Is there something wrong with it?”

    “I’m sorry, no, I didn’t mean that. There’s nothing wrong with it at all. It’s a perfectly good name. Just one I’ve never heard before. That’s all.”

    “Well,” she said, “I’m new at this. It’s my first time in a place like this. Do you want to talk to me or would you rather be doing something else?”

    My head was swirling with her disjointed answers. “Right now,” I said, “I would like to make you whatever drink you would like. Or, if you’re hungry, we can get you something to eat. I can get you a menu.”

    She gasped. “A menu. I’ve never seen one. That will be fun.”

    “OK. One menu coming up. Now, what can I get you to drink?”

    “Well, my sister told me I should get a pink martini.”

    She didn’t look the martini type at all. I was under the impression this may be the fist time she ever took a drink of alcohol. “Are you sure? Have you ever had one before?”

    “Oh no,” she said, “this will be my first.” She looked as if she was going to say more. I wasn’t wrong. “In fact, this will be my first drink ever.”

    I hesitated. “May I suggest something a little less strong for your first time?” I asked.

    “Nope, a pink martini. That will do it.”

    “Okay,” I answered. “A pink martini. Vodka or gin?”

    “Oh, I don’t know? Jasmine just said a pink martini. She didn’t tell me there were different kinds.”

    “Why don’t we start with vodka?” I was beginning to wonder if my original suspicions regarding her blondness weren’t that premature after all. But, she had said she was new at this.

    “That will be fine.”

    Two minutes later I slid one perfect vodka pink martini across the bar in front of her along with a menu. She was delighted. You could see the excitement in her eyes which, by the way, matched her dress. She lifted it carefully by the stem and held it up to the light.”

    “You can see through it,” she exclaimed. “How pretty.” Then, she brought it to her lips and drank the entire drink without stopping. She set it down on the bar and said, “That was better than I imagined. Wow. Jasmine was right.”

    I must have had a stunned look on my face, because she looked at me and said. “What?”
    I didn’t know what to say. I shrugged. “I just didn’t expect you to chug it. Normally, with a martini, especially their very first one, people sip them slowly. Something like that can hit you all at once.”

    “Hit you?” she said. “How can a drink hit you? It’s not alive.”

    It was then that I noticed that in all the time I had been paying attention to Petal that no one else had moved, ordered, coughed or did anything since the young woman had entered. Time, indeed was standing still. ’What,’ I thought to myself, ‘is going on?’

    “May I have another, please?” she asked.

    “Of course. I made another pink martini for ‘Petal’ and served it. She picked it up and sipped it carefully. “Is this correct?” she asked. I nodded. Then she downed the rest of it in one swallow. “One more, please. I could get used to this.”

    I hesitated. I wasn’t sure what was going on, but decided to play it out. I served her another. That’s when it happened. She disappeared. One minute she was holding the martini and the next, the empty martini glass lay shattered on the bar and the young lady was gone. I thought.

    Then, looking over the bar, I noticed a tiny creature huddled on the bar stool looking around bewildered. It was Petal, now only three inches tall, and I swear, wearing wings. I ran around the bar and picked her up in my hand.

    “Jasmine told me not to have more than two, but I didn’t listen.” I understood her clearly, but faintly. I held her to eye level. “I’m going to need a place to stay tonight. It’s not safe for me in the real world. You look like a nice person. How about your place?”

    I didn’t hesitate. “Yes.” ‘Oh, Hell yes,’ was my exact thought.

    OK, don’t think about it the way you are. I wasn’t going to take advantage of her. How could I? She’s only three inches tall. I will tell you this. On the way home, she told me that fairies have the ability to turn into full size people at will. And, when she does, all bets are off.

    • Roy I thought this was a terrific story. I loved the way the bartender kept thinking she was a stereotypical blonde while at the same time you were gradually doling out hints to the contrary. A real crackerjack of a story!
      • Trish, thanks. Hmm … a crackerjack of a story. I like that. Thanks again.


    • Rumple, thanks for your kind words. Actually I have you to thank for the idea. You mentioned Spider Robinson, of whose series Callahan’s, I am a big fan. I have Asimov’s SF Pulp Magazine’s first edition and received them for years. The idea came quickly although, the ending developed as I wrote it down in one quick sitting.

      It was fun to write.


      • Rumple,

        Asimov had a monthly anthology called Issac Asimov’s Science Fiction, in which the first story Spider Robinson wrote called The Guy With the Eyes, appeared about Callahan’s Place. It’s popularity called for more over the years and Robinson then published them in several books. It was his first ever short story sale, by the way, in 1972.

        Never read the Black Widower’s books. I’ll check one out from the library. I stopped reading as much when the kids got older, although I still have an extensive SciFi First Edition collection, including an Asimov. All of my children are avid (with a capital A) and I couldn’t be more happy.

        Good luck with your story. I think Carrie’s going to extend this, otherwise it looks like I could be a sure winner. Lol.


    • Great story Roy,

      Fabulous dialogue, very clean and polished prose and a nice little twist at the end. (Easily my choice for best story so far. LOL) I finally have an idea for a story too, (but no ending yet,) and I’m hoping that… Well hell, what do I care? I’ll write it and post it. It can’t be much worse than most of my comments. Right?

      • Ken C.,

        Thanks, mi amigo. Appreciate the comments on the dialogue. This was one of those stories that wrote itself, and the dialogue came quickly as my characters literally said them to me as I wrote. I kid you not. Once, I actually had to pause as I thought, ‘Did she actually just say that?” … and, yes she had, because she repeated it. Scary stuff when you’re writing late at night. That’s probably why I don’t do horror well. I’m afraid of what’s lurking in the canyons of my mind. I know my wife tells me there’s a lot of open space up there.

        I’m wondering where the hell everybody is? Last year at this time … well, it was covid and there apparently was lots of down time for people … we had a stretch where we were numbering story contributions in the teens and once had at least twenty. This time, we have a total of three as I’m writing this. As I told John, I’ve got third locked up at present.

        I comfort myself and say it’s the quality of the writing that scares a lot of wanna-be writers away. But, I think that should attract writers looking at my work and saying to themselves, “If this bozo can write this stuff and enter it, I’ve GOT to contribute something.”

        Maybe they’re right and I’m wrong.


        • Rumple,

          Most of my better stories are written quickly, sitting down and transcribing. I don’t know what to call it, but I’ll think of something.

          Sometimes I’ll have a great concept, it will start rolling around, and I’ll let it percolate for a few days and when I sit down to write it fades faster than a waking dream.

          Keep after it John. When I first started writing I knew I could write. I just didn’t realize how bad I was. Now, while I’ve improved, there’s plenty of room for more. You’ll be fine. Just believe you can write yourself, because I think you have talent. The thing about writing is, you have to do it, or nothing gets written.


    • Yes but I could push it off, and extend it. We only have one story, which is surprising.
      • I’m surprised, too.I love this prompt.
      • E Platypus Pushitoff.

        I’ve been drunk for six days, celebrating my last victory, and when I soubouroed up last night I realized I only have a day left to invent, compose, rewrite, edit and post a story of profoundly marginal relevance. (In other words: The usual situation.)

        This is unfortunate because I love photo prompts, and with all of the visual cues in the photo, moon cheese; a cafe; etc. There’s a lot of stimuli in the prompt. But I don’t have any ideas yet.

        So… I would be grateful for a little extra time. (It’s not like I’m asking for water, or anything.)

        The lack of ‘comments or stories? Maybe everyone is boycotting the site until you get rid of me? Ever consider that? (I have.)

        I chided Ilana last week for a pointed screed that seemed accidentally aimed at one person. And then I followed that up with my own screed that castigated every parent on the planet. That’s a pretty extensive demographic, I’m guessing I insulted 6 billion people in one comment. (For those who keep track of such things, it’s got to be some kind of record.)

        It follows then, ipso factoid Motorola, (my Latin’s a little rusty,) an apology to that demographic would be the largest, most extensive, comprehensive apology in the history of apologetics, hands down. So… here goes.

        I’m sorry parents. Please accept my grand, multitudinous, record-breaking apology.

        This apology is due to some further consideration of the issues on my part, and some experience dealing with other people’s kids. (Real kids in a real-life setting.) I feel that most parents are already burdened enough. With medical bills, keeping them from eating the cat litter, running out into traffic, drowning in the bathtub or toilet, choking on a goldfish, etc., (and this is before they’re even teenagers yet.) Parents don’t have the time, or the energy to save the planet. (Let alone get a decent haircut.) Which leaves the job to us childless people. We’re the ones who should be saving the planet. But who are we saving it for? YOUR KIDS. Which is all you parental types ever talk about. Your KIDS, and how marvelous they are.

        And when you can get one of us, (the childless) to admit that we don’t have any kids, you act like we’ve been cheated by God out of some great gift, rather than congratulating us on our luck! Or, in my case, lazy sperm. I thank my lucky stars for my lazy sperm. I’ll confess, I just assume they’re lazy. I know I’ve introduced them to as many women as possible over the years. Maybe they just get disoriented or they’re afraid of the dark. I don’t know. Maybe they can’t swim in a straight line. (I know I can’t.) If it sounds like I’m making excuses for my sperm? Honestly, I just feel like we’re on the same page.

        And how can I not be sympathetic? I don’t know what an egg looks like to a sperm, but ‘some people say’ a sperm is pretty small compared to an egg. Must be intimidating to a tiny little armless sperm, racing up to this gigantic egg, (He doesn’t even have a sword, much less arms.) And he’s supposed to infiltrate it? Uh-huh, but how? Hmm, maybe this is where the pink martini comes into the picture.

        And then, as soon as just one of these sperm successfully ‘establishes egress’, (as it were), the entire egg structure slams shut to all the other sperm. ‘Ka-thunk.’
        “Sorry boys, she’s closed for business.”
        “What? But I swam all this way…”
        “Actually, she’s over there, but yes, I know how you feel.”
        “Do you? I’m tired, all right? I was lazy to begin with, now I’m tired. Should’ve stuck with my original ‘instinct’. Get the lawn chair out, slather myself with sunscreen.”

        I want to thank the moderator for providing me with this platform and this prompt to make my record-breaking global apology, explain the reason why I never had kids, and in the process, tell ‘The True Story of My Lucky Sperm’ (…and their lazy ways.) I’ve had a lot of questions about it over the years. You know? Mostly from parents. (God bless their pea-pickin’ hearts.)

        With a little more time, and all that historical apologizing behind me, I can now focus on the martini story. Hope everyone’s okay. And not making plans to kill me.

        • Nope. No killing thoughts in my mind. Just chuckling to myself and wondering how Kim has lived with you for so long. I have to imagine you say some interesting things to her from time to time, and SHE might be plotting something, although not killing … nothing that drastic … maybe just a Lorena Treatment. You know. A Bobbit.

          Keep the comments coming, Ken. I love ’em.


  • Rumple,

    Funny, as I was writing the story I checked to make sure I had the prompt correct, and saw the girl in the glass, too, hence my girl in the story wearing a teal dress. She was already blonde, blue eyed and stunning. I have a thing about stunning, blue eyed blondes. I married one.

    I’ll take your compliment and enjoy it for a short while. I’m glad it came across that way.


  • Is legit grammar somewhere now.

    I got 522 words. Have to run some chores before I can finish though.

  • Trish
    Rumplefinkies- terrific story. I loved the plot and thought the interjections of the narrator made the story much more fun. Also enjoyed the word sibilant. Great job! Thanks for giving me a great read today.
  • John,

    I second Trish’s comments whole-heartedly. A really fun read, great plot, I really enjoyed the interjections as well. (I just didn’t know what to call them. Thanks to Trish for that.) I confess I didn’t know what ‘sibilant’ meant either. A minute ago. But you and Trish knew. (So, how can I get into this little sibilant club? Do I have to know the meaning? Of the word? Or what?)

    I think you’ve done more for my vocabulary than all the books I’ve read in the last two years. It’s a bit annoying, but, I’ll survive it.

    As far as editing or typos? Other than the missing ‘my’ that you mentioned, I saw one thing that you could tweak. (‘…looking forward to the chance…’) Everything else is excellent, though. And, I should tell you that, I’m not into the whole vampire genre. I’m not into it. I haven’t seen more than 17 minutes of the Twilight series, if, that is, it actually was a series. Was it? I don’t know, and it doesn’t matter. Because I don’t care. See?

    But your story is so entertaining that I didn’t mind that they were vampires. The main character has a certain charm or appeal, too. Which reminds me to ask. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this character, is it? He seems familiar.

    Your writing is excellent, by the way. And this is a great example of it.

  • Good Old-Fashioned Horse Sense. (1201 Words.)

    The Editor-in-Chief called Alex into his office, handed him a business card and a tablet with directions on it.

    Alex glanced at the ‘card’, ‘Lost in Time Dating Service,’ and rolled his eyes.

    The editor squinted up at him. “You go. You make date. You write nice… nice, positive story for new client. I publish.”

    Then the ringer clanged and Alex was driven from the cubicle and out into the courtyard. He stood there in the sunlight, looking at the directions. Then at the card.

    It must be some kind of retro-dating thing, Alex thought. He’d seen hostels, inns and, even entire towns, dedicated to preserving or replicating the past. But he wasn’t sure how the principle would work with a dating service. Should he dress like a Hun? Wear a toga? Or toss a bearskin over his shoulders? He had no idea. But his job was to find out, and then write something positive that made it sound like fun.

    He fed the name of the café into the vehicle’s CPS, after memorizing it: ‘Moon Cheese Café’. No such place existed. He was reduced to following the directions on the tablet.

    386 South to the Mercian Causeway, but bear right to avoid the giant, once safely past, merge up onto the Downhill Parkway, drive until you see the three new concrete bridges, take the next turn off which puts you on Bunkers Creek road. You take that past the old sportatorium and into Potter’s Marsh.

    Not surprising that he took several wrong turns and arrived well after dark.

    The light from the Moon Cheese Café illuminated the mists like a glowing dome. It resembled an alien force field. A big round sign on its roof served as a welcome beacon as he pulled into the parking lot, a graveyard for potholes.

    The thickening mist gave everything a multi-colored halo in the torch light. He was thinking that this godless British climate would kill him before his time as he tromped through the flooded parking lot, and launched himself through the double-doored entrance with a touch of impatience.

    The place was packed.

    A woman waved at him from the far end of the café. Hers was the only table with one occupant. He moved through the room, winding his way past groups of cheerful and animated patrons.

    She was a young, flat-chested woman with perfectly straight, platinum hair, and a see-through dress. She had enormous turquoise eyes and a long regal nose sitting above an impish smile.

    “Are you…?”

    “Yes I am,” she said. “And you must be…”

    “Alex,” He replied.

    “One name, huh?” She wrinkled her nose. “For the sake of the date would you consider using two?”

    “Sure,” he said. She smelled good, had good posture and seemed friendly. For her, three names.

    She said, “Are you afraid of me? No? Sit here.” She patted the table with her glittered hand and he sat.

    She was halfway through what appeared to be a pink martini, with a miniature paper umbrella dangling from the lip of the glass.

    “Are you my date?” He wanted to know.

    “No.” She smiled and set the drink down. “No. I’m thee, uh… sales rep, let’s say. For now.” She snapped her fingers and said, “Management, that’s what you would call me. Okay?”

    He nodded.

    “Want a drink?” She asked.

    “Sure,” he said.

    She waved a waitress over. A stunningly carnivorous looking brunette approached. “What’ll you have?”

    Alex turned to the woman. “Any suggestions?”

    “They have something called a Plutonium Time Bomb.”

    He nodded at the waitress, willing to play along. “Sounds good.” She looked impressed and whisked herself away.

    “Did she look familiar?”

    He nodded. “She did.”

    “She’s an ‘amo-morph’. Their appearances morph into your long-lost love.”

    He said, “Really? Didn’t work.”

    “They’re illegal in some places, some times. They use their gift to take advantage of people.” She took a long sip of her martini. “…and make money.”

    The waitress delivered the drink and left before he could get another good look at her. Probably just as well.

    “So, how does this work, this retro-time dating thing?”

    “Retro-time?” She laughed heartily. “That’s you all over, Alex. Retro-time. That’s funny.” She downed her drink and signaled the waitress to bring another. She touched the table in a way that turned it into a screen or communications device, and began tapping it adroitly, pulling up a gallery of menus subdivided by historical eras. He could see portraits of women in their natural element and put a restraining hand on her arm when she’d come to a particularly primitive looking set of women.

    She smiled. “I might’ve known. Early forties era. Good choice for you. A lot of women in the forties are willing to time-date, and they’re, no offense but, very easily impressed by men of your era.” She had another drink in her hand.

    He was amazed at the power of this woman’s device, but used to the idea of impressing women of inferior knowledge. He could do that any time he wanted. But this was a service! And these women were different from what he was used to.

    Then his machine-oriented brain kicked in the brakes. “Wait a minute, you act like these women are actually from the 40’s, but how authentic is the actual experience? How much do they really know about the era they supposedly come from?”

    She allowed the images to blur, and turned to look at Alex directly. “They know all they need to know about the 40’s, or any other era, because that’s where they come from.”

    They stared at each other for a few moments until she said, “This is no gimmick, I don’t know what made you think this was a gimmick.”

    “I didn’t say it was.” He said flatly.

    She downed the rest of her martini and slid it across the table out of her way, and said, “You have a fetish for women from the 40’s?”

    “No, not. I don’t know, why?”

    “There are women from other times and other places, Alex. There are woman from the future who would, god help them, enjoy the attention of a man like you.”

    Alex was aware of this truth, but curious, too, and that’s what made him great. She pulled up women from the near, not-so-near, and relatively distant future. Alex made her stop at one and pointed at the screen. “That says, one-nine-four-eight. Is that the date?”

    She nodded.

    “That’s almost two-thousand years into the future.”

    She nodded, “Now you’re getting it.

    He was thinking the 340’s. B.C. It made him thoughtful, and he chose his next words with care. “You control powerful machinery and I respect that, but…”

    …when the Gods offer other-worldly pleasures, the price is often terrible.

    “I’m not sure I’m interested in your enterprise. It’s too much like a traveling brothel, isn’t it?”

    The whole place got quiet and a couple of her cross-bred bodyguards came over and escorted him, politely, to the exit.

    To satisfy his editor, he would have to invent a different story on the long ride home, but the horses knew the way and pulled the chariot to its destination with little oversight.

    • Thanks John. I’m not sure there IS anyone else.

      This dearth of participation on such an easy prompt seems like an omen, or maybe a sense of ‘disapprobation.’ I would’ve spent more time on this story but knew it was already past the deadline. It all came together in the end, I think. (Maybe it’s jibberish and I’m just drooling on my straight-jacket.)

      I’ve got five books waiting to be read, one of them is urgent, a small stack of magazines, several letters to write, and a trilogy with mold on it that is just about complete. I want to compile the best of my short stories, clean them up and create an anthology or two. Maybe offer them on a website, for donations, or donuts, whatever works. I gotta mow the lawn, too.

      Things are such, right now, that if you live in a place that isn’t being blown to smithereens, infected, flooded, quaked, burnt, poisoned, polluted or radiated… you feel grateful, don’t you? I know I do.

      Then I went swimming the other day and took my shirt off for an hour and the sun tried to kill me.

      When we’re outside sometimes, Kim has lately started saying to me, “This isn’t conducive to humans, is it?” I say ‘what?’ And she clarifies it, “This environment: Do you think it’s suitable for human beings?”

      I like to vary my answers. ‘Dead humans. Underground humans? HUMAN-ALIEN HYBRIDS! Etc. When you’re facing annihilation as a species, it’s important to maintain at least a marginal sense of humor. Irony at the least.

      My eggs are burning.

      • Working on the anthology as we speak, John. I’ll keep you posted. I have several hundred stories, of which, I’m sure I could settle on a nice neat 100 or so. Depends on how many pages it would be. Not all of them are worthy of print for the general public I don’t think. Not content, but competence. Some of them need work.

        At the ripe old age of 79, I’d better get cracking if I want to see them in print.


    • Wow. Very impressive feat of literary sleuthing You’re very close, John. I actually had this at the end of the story: CPS – Chariot Power System. (Horse.) But it would have exceeded the word limit. So I deleted it for the contest. But yeah, the directions were written on a clay tablet and the ‘business card’ was the name written on something edible, which he ‘fed’ to his horse after memorizing it. Hee-hee-hee.

      Hey, you never told me if your character Desmond has appeared here before. I assumed you named him after the ‘windy’ sax player from the Dave Brubeck Quartet. Paul Desmond. I mean, it just seemed so obvious to me. (You don’t buy that, do you?)

    • Ken C.,

      A perfect example of how a prompt can deliver a story with absolutely nothing to do with the prompt except in a throw away manner. I mean that with all respect. I use the prompts far more implicitly, to my downfall in some cases, instead of using it as you did. What I’m saying is she could have been holding a Mauve Manhattan because the drink had absolutely no bearing on the story.

      Interesting story, and well done. Nicely written, but I do have a quibble punctuation-wise. I don’t think you need a possessive apostrophe in 40’s or 340’s and all of the numbers should be this way. You spelled it out in one instance. And, the use of ellipses as in the paragraph below (and in a couple of other spots):

      “You control powerful machinery and I respect that, but…” (Put a space after the ‘t’ in put.)

      …when the Gods offer other-worldly pleasures, the price is often terrible. (Put a space after the last ‘.’ before when.)

      “I’m not sure I’m interested in your enterprise. It’s too much like a traveling brothel, isn’t it?” (No spaces between phrases … this is all one sentence.) See what I did there?

      Unless, of course, you are making literary history with your unorthodox style and will become an author who changes how things are written by writers in the future all over the world. It could be called the “Cartisano Ellipse’. In this case I apologize in advance, stand corrected and will bow in the direction of Florida this very evening.

      Seriously, I enjoyed the plot and loved the way you used ‘the 40s’ to mean in any century. And, being in the past and going into the future. Nice twist. Very nice. I promise to steal that device and use it sometime in the future, no pun intended. Well done. Your dialogue is believable and your story has great flow. That used to count for something when we voted, and I’m not really sure why it was dropped.

      See you over in ouroboros?


  • John,

    I’ve got mixed emotions about Author Intrusion (Interjections of the narrator, which is truly the author). Your story is rampant with it. Not that it is a bad thing, although there are those in the literary world who will have you drawn and quartered for it in any amount, even slightly.

    And, in the past, I have pointed out this infraction to would be authors on this site, from time to time, once not that long ago. I think it should be used rarely, if at all, but in a fluff piece like your vampire story, OK, go for it. .

    I have used it myself occasionally in my early writing. You’ve used it successfully for at least Trish and Ken C., and, I must admit I’m coming around a little bit.

    One of my favorite authors uses it successfully all the time. He not only uses author intrusion successfully, but also foreshadowing. And that is none other than Stephen King. Dear Reader is a calling card of his.

    I can’t think of the title of the book off hand in which he wrote about a mailman happily putt putting down the road in his mail truck, farting merrily along as he drove, not knowing he had a series of inoperable tumors in his intestines causing the excess gas and that would one day kill him before he could retire. It was an inconsequential character that really had nothing to do with the story at all, yet, to this day I remember that paragraph.

    In my roundabout way, I guess I’m just warning you about using author intrusion, because it can backfire on you. There are those who get annoyed with it quickly, and may even put the book down never to pick it back up again.

    On the other hand, if Stephen King uses it, why can’t I, and for that matter, why can’t you? But, then again, I’m not Stephen King.

    Let’s just say I thoroughly enjoyed your story and the plot you used to get from a good beginning to a moral and a warning at the end. Good job, Rumple.

    Although I’m not sure vampires slither, and I was really surprised they had morals, but that’s the nice thing about being an author. You can make up stuff, on purpose. But, I did know sibilant, and sanguinary – I was a hospital corpsman (medic) in the Navy.


  • The Fairy of Bohemia.

    I am waiting in the courtyard attached to Club Bohemia, which I have recently been frequenting. I wanted, and needed to feel comfortable and, in a place, that did not add to my anxiety. I have not done this before. I have been living in the city, and almost a year since I moved from my small rural town. Many letters and telephone calls have exchanged, I am finally ready today.
    Standing alone, but surrounded by people, each and every one of them engaged in their little cliques, and conversations. Trying not to stare or to engage or interact as I don’t wish to stand out. I secured a table with a couple of a high stools, but I stand between them, reserving this spot. Holding the glass by the stem I can feel my hand trembling. I steady the glass to the coaster and wonder again what I am doing here.
    A few minutes later with the cocktail in hand again and aptly name a ‘Tinkerbell’, as all the drinks have literary or artistic names. How Bohemian and modern. Time is ticking, passing, and I am early as always, never late, anxiety won’t allow tardiness.
    The alcoholic spirits are adding to my courage, but I am a clock watcher, always have been. Due to arrive at 7 pm and it is almost that time now according to my wristwatch, I prefer clock faces over relying on wall-mounted timepieces any day.
    Courage comes by way of each sip, working up to this day for some time, I don’t rush into anything and he has often said the same of himself, softly, softly. We realised that we share interests, the love of books, all the classics, modern art, theatre and jazz . I glance down at my watch and it is now several minutes after 7pm. Have I been stood up?
    I don’t know what to do, should wait a bit, see if he is lateness is excusable, give him the benefit of the doubt. I finish the last drops of my drink and place the empty on the table for collection by the wait staff. I wouldn’t want him to think that he is late and I had needed to drink a full cocktail whilst waiting. Best pretend I am waiting to order when he arrives.
    I had gotten the feeling from him that promptness and time management were important, but not essential. I glance at my watch once more just to fill in some seconds, then look up slowly once more.
    As I raise my head, the courtyard doors open in front of me, about six foot away. I can see him, he scans the darkening space that he enters, adjusting his eyes, and then spies me. I see him mouthing the words, ‘I’m Sorry’, as he walks my direction. He is just like the photograph I have seen, maybe even better than I imagined, and I am glad he is now here, all the lateness regret is gone from me. I smile in return, as he weaves his way through the crowd.
    He is almost with me, when he extends his hands and his face lights up, my actions are mirroring those of his. As we meet we instantly hug, I feel his warmth and I do not want this to end, I can sense that he wants the same.
    Our embrace continues, I raise my head, and being almost the same height, our eyes connect, as our embrace remains. I am, for the first time, looking into the eyes of my father.

    • John, nice bit of misdirection, in my case anyway, making me think it was a blind date. I guess it is, but not a romantic one. So, I liked the story from that aspect. You write well, and I really don’t have any quibbles with your grammar or punctuation at this point. Just a nice story about someone who is connecting with someone obviously important she wants in her life and it turns out to be her father.

      I just feel there is so much more that you could have written. Maybe that’s what I feel is wrong with your story. There’s not enough of it and I want more. Maybe that’s a good thing, to leave your audience wanting more, maybe not.You don’t want them to be thinking, I don’t know if I want to read Filby today. He always leaves me wanting more. Your character build up of the protagonist is very good, and, although there is no gender mentioned nor specified in any way, I feel the character is female. Perhaps it was the frilly drink, even though you take care to mention all the drinks have literary or artistic names. I really didn’t think a guy would be ordering a ‘tinker bell’, but then, that’s very presumptuous of me, isn’t it?

      Anyway, I like the story.


  • LaraBlissFiction
    “Major Distraction”
    a short story by Lara Crave (

    “The strongest you’ve got,” Sander orders a drink from the slender blonde bartender washing glasses at the empty hotel Pool Bar.

    “Why knock yourself down so early?” She tilts her face up from the sink towards Sanders, stopping for a moment on his well-chiseled pecs under the unbuttoned shirt. His skin’s flushed. He hasn’t been in Mexico more than two days. Enough to burn, too little to tan.

    “Can do with some distraction,” is all he says.

    “Got dumped, right?” she reads his mind. Fast. It isn’t difficult – it’s written all over his face. “Okay. Speak to Auntie Lara,” she teases him as she dries her long fingers on a cloth.

    Auntie? Oh, as in ‘Agony Aunt’. It takes Sander a moment to get around that. She’s at least half his age. He nods. Another thing he’s only now getting around is that Jacqui’s gone. He’d started thinking Jacqui was the woman of his life. No other stuck around this long. Three years. On and off, true. They’d tear each other apart over nothing. But they’d then get back together. And each time, it’s hotter than ever.

    Too bad he said things today he’d never said before. Jacqui gave him a piece of her mind too. It was World War Three. He saw her loading her suitcase onto the taxi. To the airport, presumably.

    “What was her problem?” Lara the bartender pushes for more.

    “Tell you the truth, I’ve no idea. It’s silly, you know. Little things; trifles really. We were in Mexico for her birthday tomorrow. And now I’m alone…”

    Lara listens to his quick bursts. She’s a woman too, knows the game. Women get bored sometimes, need some rocking the boat. Even the greatest relationship gets dull after a while. A woman misses the thrill of falling in love. Kick up a fuss, and he’ll come sucking up to you afresh with teenage eyes. It’s like the first time every time.

    If she’s really done with a guy, she’ll leave him clean, gives no shit. No war. If she kicks up the dirt, that’s because she’s still very much into him. But Lara doesn’t tell Sander any of that. She eyes his Rolex with interest. This is not a bird to let go of.

    Sander shows the bartender Jacqui’s photo. Lara snatches the phone, and swipes for more pictures without asking for his permission. She’s still most surely hanging around here, Lara thinks but doesn’t say.

    She leans forward and gives Sander an ample view of her breasts together with his phone back. And then reaches for a bottle from behind.

    “You’ll be good after this,” she assures Sander, as she pours the liquor in a tumbler. The glistening ice-cubes crackle at the embrace of the dark warm liquid.

    Lara holds the glass out to Sander and spreads her elbows out wide on the counter, resting her upper body on them, once again allowing her breasts to span copiously right under his gaze. High cliffs fall gloriously inside her cleavage, and Sander’s eyes slip down those precipices into the unknown. Distraction is what he needs, distraction’s what he gets. Major distraction.

    The dark drink kicks in and Sander’s head swirls gleefully. Maybe this is meant to be. Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. Bye, bye Jacqui, hello Lara. There’s almost something mystical about it. Like the way it happened back at Columbine High. He’d pumped iron for months to finally get accepted on the team. Just to break his arm days before his debut game. He cursed his luck in the hospital ward. The same ward where he got the news of the shooting.

    “Jesus lifted you by your very hair, son!” the visiting preacher told him.

    Maybe this is another big Jesus moment, Sander pondered, his gaze still sunken in the abyss between Lara’s breasts. Is there a heart too beneath those breasts?

    Lara refills his glass, and runs a finger down the middle of his chest. “I can distract you more than you’ll ever know,” she whispers in his ear, her hair tickling his face.

    “A gal like you? You must have a boyfriend, don’t you?”

    “I killed him,” she says flatly, like it’s what people do from time to time.

    “You did? Why so?” He doubts if this was the fearful truth or just a bad joke.

    “This other girl worked here at the bar. Dave fell for her charms. Thought I’d be cool about it. Well, I made him his favorite cocktail…”

    “You poisoned him?”

    She nods.

    “You’re kidding me, right?” Sander tries with difficulty to think straight, “You’d be tucked away, if you did that…”

    “Nope, Sir. I prepared his drink. Did I say I served it? She did! One clean sweep and I sorted out both of them. He bit the dust, she jailhouse rib-eye.”

    ‘Bull!’ Sander thinks, but doesn’t say. “You wouldn’t be telling me this. I could’ve been a police-officer – Interpol whatever – for all you know.”

    “You, a policeman? You’re just a pussy in a tight rib-cage!”

    Sander isn’t sure if that’s meant to insult or tease.

    “When did you kill him?”

    She thinks a moment. “Like a month or two ago.”

    A month or two? Something this big, and she’s off by a month ? She’s bluffing. Sander’s overwhelmed by an odd mix of relief and disappointment: she’s a liar not a killer!

    Lara finally abandons her sultry stance the second a chubby twenty-something hurries towards her, panting.

    “Sorry, I’m late. Overdid it with the siesta!” says Chubby.

    “It’s okay, Carlos. I’d good company here. Hmmm what’s you name – ?”


    “Sander, hmmm. It’s the end of my shift. You stay with Carlos? Or join me?”


    It’s already eleven-thirty when Sander wakes up in his hotel room the next day. The night with Lara is a distant, hazy dream. A strange heaviness descends upon him. Jacqui! He stares at the mirror where he last saw her making herself up. He realizes he loves no-one else but her.

    Did she perhaps message back? There’s nothing on the phone.

    Wait! Roaming’s switched off! Sanders turns it on, and a flurry of messages comes in:

    Maybe you could join me at the Pool Bar?

    No news is good news?

    I’m really sorry for yesterday. I took it out on you…

    When I shouldn’t have…

    I’m sorry.

    Your silence’s killing me.

    Maybe I deserve it…

    Reply me…

    Where are you?

    I’m wearing the golden bikini-bra you gave me… in front of a pink Martini like this time last year…

    The Pool Bar? Damn it. No! Jacqui! Stop. Don’t drink…

    Sander calls her frantically, but she won’t pick up.

    An ambulance siren shatters the resort lull and races towards the Pool Bar, now awash in flashing blue and red. Sander looks out the window. There’s a police-car too. The cops handcuff Carlos the barman and slam him on the car’s hood.

    A knock on the door jolts Sander. He opens and Lara’s there in a semi-transparent dress.

    “What you’ve done to her?”

    “Done what to whom?”

    “Jacqui! At the bar…”

    “Don’t look at me like that. I’ve long finished my shift. Carlos replaced me early, to make up for yesterday…”

    • Loved the characters, I could feel them, they came alive. The twist that was stated but palmed off earlier, came true. Great writing. Twist was very Christie -esque, expected of course, but never really sure of the actual ‘Whodunit’. Wow.
      • Lara Crave
        Thanks John (it’s John, right?) for your praise. Christie-esque – wow! That’s one trophy I’ll cherish (although I’m sure I’m far off from Agatha’s standards, but thanks just the same! Made me feel pampered!)
    • Lara, welcome to the mix. The only thing about your story that really doesn’t make sense to me, is why Lara kills people off without good reason. OK OK She’s a freakin’ psychopath, but even psychopaths are clever enough to avoid the law. And, your modifier about I didn’t serve the drink didn’t hold up for me.

      The writing is terrific, the grammar, the plot, the character build up, everything is good. It’s just that pesky business of I’m not sure this could have been done twice in the same bar without involving at least a bit of suspicion to fall on Lara. Wait, late addition. In the fourth line from the end Sander asks, “What you’ve done with her?” and I think it should be What have you done with her, or what’ve you done with her. Minor, just pointing it out.

      It’s funny, until I wrote the character’s name Lara a moment ago, I didn’t connect it to your name … if that’s your real name. And I’m certainly glad you don’t know where I live. Just saying.

      I’ve never once used my own name in one of my stories. Not even a minor character. Nothing wrong with it, just something I’ve never done. Fascinating.

      I loved the paragraphs regarding leaning over the bar and having Sander lose himself in his lust. Very well done. Ii’ve seen women who do that and do it well. That painted a very descriptive and lusty picture for me, too. My imagination ran away with itself. Good job.


      • Lara Crave
        Thanks Roy, that’s a great second pair of eyes you lent me, your review I mean. I’m pleased the “lusty bits” seem to work with you boys. That was a challenging part to write. As for the improbability that my MC could have got away with (literally) murder twice, well, to tell you the truth, I did have some rubber padding against that in my first draft. She says, when Sander brings it up, “The cops here? They drag the first suspect they lay their hands on to courts, if he’s found guilty they’re happy enough with that. Job done. Long as there’s something to show for their toil, you know. They don’t like to dig deeper. Prefer to go home early instead.” Then Sander remarks, “And where’s the police tape? How’s this bar even open again so soon?” “My boss rubs shoulders with important people in this town, and he prefers this bar open with me in it.” But then I removed all of that! Perhaps I shouldn’t have. I thought that leaving all that out would open up the story, in a way that the reader is still not sure if Lara killed Jacqui after all. Perhaps Carlos is the villain (but then I should have made him look like one, drop something along the way – I think the way he’s portrayed, he seems too innocent). Or perhaps Sander himself was behind Jacqui’s demise, maybe through a quick deal with Carlos, in his fit of lust for Lara. But he has a 180 degree change of heart after he wakes up from the night of sex and drink. But I don’t think that that whodunit bit played out too well, and Lara remains the obvious suspect in the end. Which means that you’re never gonna let me know where you live. Yes, I often name my MC’s Lara, especially if they are sexy and intriguing. I think I took after mom…

        Ah that pesky line… it was “I know what you’ve done to her!”, then I chopped off the “I know” bit, and turned it into a question and didn’t bother to read it again. Thanks for pointing it out.

    • Lara Crave
      Hi Rumplefinkies (spelled that right?) Thank you for stopping by to read and comment on my story. I loved your pun “skirt around descriptions of bodies”, really did, you didn’t botch it! What can I say? I think PC and CC kill a writer, right? Kills just about anyone doing anything really. So ditch them! Write the way you feel; repressions are for sad people only, and there are lots of them nowadays. Ah, ok, so then you say you already do just that in your writing (if not in your life), a perfect mysogenist feminist haha. I’ll look for your stories then! I reckon they’re right up my alley. I like intrigue not equality. Don’t believe the equality brigades; women are superior to men, period. Equality! Come off it, king bee… I had to look up the Bechdel test, I didn’t know about it. Thank you for educating me! Wikipedia says it’s coming from a lesbian comic-strip “Dykes To Watch Out”, so, well… But I suppose it makes sense sometimes, women in real life talk about things other than men, too. Quite often actually, so there is a misrepresentation of reality in Hollywood.
      Ah, how to make text-lines in wordpress? Just add > before the lines in question!
  • Lara Crave
    Thanks Roy, that’s a great second pair of eyes you lent me, your review I mean. I’m pleased the “lusty bits” seem to work with you boys. That was a challenging part to write. As for the improbability that my MC could have got away with (literally) murder twice, well, to tell you the truth, I did have some rubber padding against that in my first draft. She says, when Sander brings it up, “The cops here? They drag the first suspect they lay their hands on to courts, if he’s found guilty they’re happy enough with that. Job done. Long as there’s something to show for their toil, you know. They don’t like to dig deeper. Prefer to go home early instead.” Then Sander remarks, “And where’s the police tape? How’s this bar even open again so soon?” “My boss rubs shoulders with important people in this town, and he prefers this bar open with me in it.” But then I removed all of that! Perhaps I shouldn’t have. I thought that leaving all that out would open up the story, in a way that the reader is still not sure if Lara killed Jacqui after all. Perhaps Carlos is the villain (but then I should have made him look like one, drop something along the way – I think the way he’s portrayed, he seems too innocent). Or perhaps Sander himself was behind Jacqui’s demise, maybe through a quick deal with Carlos, in his fit of lust for Lara. But he has a 180 degree change of heart after he wakes up from the night of sex and drink. But I don’t think that that whodunit bit played out too well, and Lara remains the obvious suspect in the end. Which means that you’re never gonna let me know where you live. Yes, I often name my MC’s Lara, especially if they are sexy and intriguing. I think I took after mom…

    Ah that pesky line… it was “I know what you’ve done to her!”, then I chopped off the “I know” bit, and turned it into a question and didn’t bother to read it again. Thanks for pointing it out!

  • CJ Rosemeck

    Good morning writers, the time period for submitting stories is now up.
    I’ll be posting the voting page in just a few hours.

  • All – my apologies for the delay, I am working on the voting results and the next prompt.

    Here is the next prompt, I’ll have it up soon. 🙂

    Prompt Title: Dominoes
    Description: A story in which cause and effect are quite central to the plot. Perhaps something bad ends up leading to a good outcome after all. Or the opposite. Or to something surprising. There may be a case of “the butterfly effect” too, where the slightest of things causes disproportional consequences. One of the characters buying a pizza from Domino’s doesn’t count.
    Requirement: Somewhere in the text there should be the phrase: “One thing leads to another, and…”

  • CJ Rosemeck
    ok people – here are your winners:

    1st Place: Good Old-Fashioned Horse Sense by Ken Cartisano
    2nd Place: We’re All Adults Here by RM York
    3rd Place: The Fairy of Bohemia by John Filby
    4th Place: Major Distraction by Lara Crave
    5th Place: Pub Slither by Rumplefinkies

    The story with the favorite character is “Petal” in We’re All Adults Here by RM York
    And the story with the best dialogue is Good Old-Fashioned Horse Sense by Ken Cartisano

    Congrats to all!!

    • Hey All,
      Missed the voting, due to time differences in Australia. Am I able to vote earlier than when announced? I think my votes may have stirred up the ratings a bit. I like to think that my vote would be the one that changed the ranking. LOL.
      Congratulations to all the worthy winner. I love sharing the journey with you all through your words and stories. Bring on the next one.
  • Congrats Ken C., and everyone, Petal thanks everyone, too.

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