This last week at our writing group Annette asked us each to bring in a couple of items from home to be the basis of stories. I took a clamp (electric connector sort!!), a mouse shape cat toy and a tape measure. There were a whole range of other items too. 

The items were placed on a table in  a circle and with the spin of a pen (spin the bottle style) we each chose three of the items, and were invited to include two of them in our stories. We each then chose three words from Annette’s flash cards.

My items were: the  mouse/cat toy,  A statuette of grape crushers and a rose quartz heart. The rose quartz heart is where the lead character in my story gets her name.  The words I had to use were disfigured, stab and  paradise.

One of the other stories really got to me this week. A ‘my words, my story’ moment which meant I had to leave for a while to compose myself. Some days I am just a mess of emotion. 

Here’s my 30 minute story…….

“Problem solved!” Rose exclaimed slamming the door behind her, dragging her suitcase. She was headed back to the airport and Liverpool, her few day’s holiday over.

A few days previously she had met Dan in a local bar and they had hit it off immediately. He was  perfect for her, or so she thought at the time. Over six foot tall and built like a rugby player. He had the thickest luxuriant hair that she had so wanted to run her fingers through that night. His slightly open shirt revealed a promise of more delights: chest covered in thick hair too. As he walked by her to go to the bar she had checked out his fine arse, and when he turned round to survey the crowds she thanked the lord for tight jeans. From the looks of things this man would be able to take her to paradise and back.

Leaving her table she sashayed to the bar and, completely by accident, spilt some of her  drink down Dan’s leg as she turned round.

“Oh my god, I’m so sorry,” she apologised in faux horror as she rubbed his leg where the gin had landed.

Dan had laughed, a deep guttural manly sound. “No worries,” he said taking her hand off his leg and flashing a smile of the most perfect teeth she could have imagined on a man.

Already he had captured her heart, not to mention all parts south thereof.

They swapped names.

They started chatting and spent the rest of the evening in the bar together.  Just before three Dan had abruptly said that he had to leave. He claimed he had an important meeting the next morning and couldn’t be late or hungover.  Rose wondered at such a quick departure, but they swapped telephone numbers and agreed to meet up again soon.

The following day around lunchtime Rose received a WhatsApp message from Dan asking if she’d like to meet for tea that afternoon. She quickly replied with a yes.

They met in a small café near the beach and again enjoyed each other’s company for a few hours. Snacking and drinking coffee they covered everything but surprisingly neither of them shared much about themselves. Not once did Dan try to make a move on Rose, and when he again said he had to leave suddenly for another appointment Rose, in her naivety, believed him.

That night they bumped into each other again at the club. Once again they were both alone. Rose tried all her womanly wiles to get more attention than the odd touch from Dan but to no avail.

“Am I wasting my fucking time  here? “ she asked after her third vodka. “What is this bloody game of cat and mouse we’re playing? Are you married or something?”

“Sorry?” questioned Dan. “What game….”

“We’ve spent ages in each other’s company now and not once have you tried anything on. I’m not that much of a munter.” Rose explained.

“Ah, I see.” Dan sighed. “I’m not married, but I think you’ve got the wrong idea. I thought you were lonely and wanted a friend, which is what I’m trying to be.”

“A friend?” Rose erupted. “How many friends do you think I have. I have fucking loads. I wanted you for more than that. I didn’t come on holiday to make friends. I didn’t spill my drink down your leg to make friends.  Do I have to spell it out?”

Dan stood up. “You’ve seriously misread the signs, lady.  Not all men are looking for a quick shag with every lonely English tourist that comes here you know. Good luck with that.”

Rose was aghast. It was her last day and all she wanted was to end her holiday with a bang, literally. She jumped up and threw some money down to cover the drinks. Dan clearly hadn’t thought of that.  Running out of the bar she spotted him walking down the road and decided to follow him.

Arriving in the quieter residential area Dan bumped into another man, who he clearly knew well from their friendly kissy greeting. They linked arms and moved on together.  Rose followed making the most of the shadows of the tree-lined street.

After awhile the two men went into one of the houses. Rose followed a few paces behind.  There was no way she was going to be played for a fool by some bloody queer.

She waited until she saw an upstairs light go on then quietly broke into the house.  Her ex back in Liverpool had taught her well. In the kitchen she grabbed a knife and crept up the stairs. Arriving at the top she dropped her clothes in a heap. At the room where she had seen the light go on she listened at the door then, grabbing an odd statue on the table nearby, burst in. Naked,  she threw herself on the bed thrashing wildly with the statue and the knife stabbing and beating both men senseless.  Once she was sure they were both safely dispatched she disfigured their faces with carefully cut hearts, casually went to the bathroom and showered. She put her clothes back on and left.  No one would ever know it was her, nor find her back in Blighty. Did the people here really believe her name was Rose Quartz?!

2017.03.12 rose quartz



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