Sunday, 18 September 2011

A Fifteen Minute Writing Exercise

Following on from the last post, this is the result of the 'on the spot' exercise I did yesterday at my writing group. As promised, I've only used spell checker, and therefore typed it up as I wrote it down in my notebook.

I can see where it can be improved, expanded, and played around with, but the point I want to make, is that its amazing what you'll come up with when faced with a challenge. I now have something I can work upon to improve should I wish to do it. 

A reminder of the four randomly generated words used to create this piece.

Character - Fortune Teller
Setting - Supermarket
Object - Torch
Emotion - Hope

               ON THE CARDS

     There had to be hope. Nancy wheeled the trolley up and down the aisles, stopping to gaze at the shelves laden with packets and tins, declaring 2 for 1, buy one get one free, or some such offer.

    She ignored everything; there was nothing in her trolley other than the torch. He’d asked her for it, said he wanted to read. The only pleasure he had left nowadays. She had hoped he wouldn’t linger, had read it would all be over quickly, but somehow it hadn’t worked out like that at all. Angus languished, growing weaker yes, but not at the rate she’d been told. Matter of days the information had said.

    Aisle five - tinned fish, salmon, tuna, sardines, pilchards – he liked pilchards, used to eat them on toast with grated cheese melted over the top. She remembered those days.
Nancy placed a tin of tuna into her trolley. She liked it mixed with chopped onions and mayo on wholemeal bread; she’d get a loaf now.

    Time had passed quickly between them, Angus had become distanced over the years, she’d been lonely for a long time, and now at the end, she realised she would miss him. The fortune teller had been right, you never knew what cards life was going to deal you, but when she’d turned over that last card, all the others paled into insignificance. All the years of pain and loneliness didn’t matter anymore.

    She found the bread on aisle seven, she wanted thick cut. Angus would have insisted on thin sliced, but he couldn’t eat it now. She placed the loaf into her trolley.

    All done, she pushed it towards the till, she’d let him have the torch.  After all, it would come in handy later – when she buried him in the garden.


  1. Excellent snippet for 15 mins work, and what an end hook, LOL, I hope this turns into a book

  2. Point well made. I am impressed with what you can produce so quickly!

  3. I might have known there'd be a twist like that from you, Maria. Well written ;-)

  4. Claire - I love flash fiction, some of my best stories have come from them.

    drummer - Thank you :-)

    Beth - There were eleven of us, and all the flashes were really interesting...

    Rosalind - Thank you, Not sure if I need to worry - I'm getting a bit of a reputation for killing people off!

  5. What an excellent piece of flash fiction! And what a twist at the end ;-)


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