Now for something completely different.
I belong to two writing groups – one on the Internet – (The Iron Writer) and one at my local library – (Scribblers).
Both groups challenge me and their members to write a short story of 500 words maximum and include the prompt word/s. Scribblers give me one word – here is one of my stories written with the word ‘red’ as the prompt (my blog ALWAYS uses the letters R.E.D. as the starting point.
Enjoy this story:-
Helen surveyed the scene in front of her. The laughter and chatter rose above her like a cloud. The crowd was in constant movement, and yet she felt isolated – beyond them, like she was in a bubble of dead calm. Finding John in this swirling monster of bodies was going to be impossible.
She was nervous, and just a little afraid. She stood with the wall of a building behind her, giving herself a little security. The night was disguised with sparkles, sequins and streetlights, but she knew that in the shadows there was menace.
A couple twirled towards her, with their loud laughter assailing her ears. She didn’t move, couldn’t move, and they bumped into her, danced on and never even noticed, their eyes only for one another.
Where was John? He had promised to look after her.
Helen sniffed as tears ran down her cheek and tickled her nose. She tried to see, to search the crowd, but her height was against her. Never had she been so overwhelmed with people. Coming to the city at festival time was supposed to be exciting, but she was yet to feel that rush of exhilaration.
She was swept along the pavement with a group of celebrating youngsters, and she was pushed along, until the wall behind her ended. She tumbled into a side street, and the darkness became darker by comparison to the glow coming from the street. She felt cold and bewildered.
A hand clamped over her mouth and she felt a hard object press against her ribcage. She blinked her eyes as they watered and blurred the scene. She tried to scream, but the hand was too tight across her mouth.
An accented voice whispered in her ear.
“Don’t struggle, love! I only want your finery!”
Helen was terrified. She wanted John to appear and save her. What was she to do?
She felt the headdress ripped from her head, and she was pushed back towards the street.
She stumbled, clasping at her head, feeling like her hair had been pulled out by the roots. The lights of the street dazzled her, and she flung her arms around the first person she saw. He twirled her along, laughing with a mixture of intoxication from drink, the intimacy and the pure joy of the moment. She whirled away from him.
And then a hand touched her shoulder. She screamed.
“Wow! Darling,” John said. “ Are you alright? Where’s your headdress?’
She collapsed against him with relief.
“Thank God, you’ve found me. Where were you?”
He smiled. “I wasn’t far away. I just got us a drink.” And he handed her the long, decorated glass of a cocktail she had never seen before.
“I don’t think I will ever come to the Mardi Gras in Rio ever again.” She sighed. “ I was so scared. Fancy being robbed of my headdress. It was only made from the feathers of our red chook at home!”
Next time, I’ll post up a story that I did for The Iron Writer.
I hope you enjoyed this – please leave a comment.