The Meet-Cute

Here is the final instalment of my successful night of writing in the 642 Things to Write About book by the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto.

I had passed this particular prompt on many occasions when flipping through this book, and it was last night when an image just popped into my head and I decided to create it. It is supposed to be a short story, and maybe some people will argue that what I have written is a short story, but to me however, I think it is more of a “meet-cute.”


Prompt 3: Write a short story that is set in Detroit in 1956, in which a car floor mat plays a crucial role.

The large, canary yellow taxi that smelled oddly of pickled eggs, rolled to a stop in front of her hotel.

“Thank you sir,” Esther said kindly as she handed the driver some money. He grunted in reply, and got out of the taxi to open the door for her. She bundled her skirts together, grabbed her purse and made to get gracefully out of the strange smelling car. Unfortunately for Esther, her feet had other plans, and she tripped on the car floor mat behind the passenger seat and flew out onto the pavement with a glorious thud.

“Are you okay Miss?” Esther rubbed her poor nose as she looked up as the hand that was held outstretched for her.

“Why yes, I’m fine, thank you,” she replied gratefully as she took the hand. The grip was warm and firm, and she was hauled up onto her traitorous feet in no time. She patted herself down and then looked up into a pair of dazzling, emerald eyes.

“Thank you again sir, you are most kind,” Esther said as the boorish taxi driver thumped her travel case down beside her and drove off.

“You are most welcome. Say, you’re not from the States are you? What brings you to Detroit?” the tall, kind, handsome gentleman with the green eyes asked. Esther felt her heart leap; this was the first real conversation she was having since her arrival.

“Oh no, I’m from Northern Ireland, Londonderry to be exact. During the War, I was a burse at the barracks, and the stories the GI’s would tell me of the US had me desperate to go. Why Detroit? Well it sounds a lot different to New York, Los Angeles or Chicago,” she explained a little too breathily. The man smiled warmly at her, his eyes twinkling in the light.

“Well that sounds like a great adventure! This is forward of me but would you care for a drink Miss?”

“Esther, my name is Esther, and I would love one umm…?”

“Charlie, the name’s Charlie,” he said as he shook her hand and picked up her travel case.


The Mind Wanders and Creates New Things

Here is the second instalment of my successful night of writing in the 642 Things to Write About book by the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto.

642 things to write about

This particular prompt took me down a path that was a littler darker than I had intended. You know the way you start out with an idea, and fully intend on writing it down, but when you start putting pen to paper something else just seems to emerge from the depths of your brain? Well that is what happened with this prompt.

Prompt 2: Write a scene that begins: “It was the first time I killed a man.”

 “It was the first time I killed a man.”

The wary reporter faltered, his pen coming to a stop on his writing pad while the Dictaphone recorded on. He looked up and Henry looked back at him with a look of feigned innocence on his face. The reporter motioned for Henry to continue on, even though he was now painfully aware of how small the metallic table that separated them truly was.

“Yes it was the first time I killed a man when I knew it was my mission in life to rid the earth of vile, meaningless creatures. I knew being a Vicar wasn’t my only role, and when those thugs broke into my church, it was like a sign from God that I should punish the worms who dared to desecrate his house.”

Henry paused for a moment, as if savouring the memory for all that it was worth. He continued on in an almost wistful tone.

“I picked up a heavy, golden cross and bashed one of them over his head. This caused the other two cowards to scarper, with the evening’s collection tumbling from their pockets. The other one lay wounded on the thick, red carpet, which was being dyed a darker colour due to his blood. His breathing was laboured and I could tell he was in a considerable amount of pain, so I decided the best thing for him was to rid him of his misery. I took the cross and bashed his brains in. He was dead within seconds. I’ll always remember how the crack of his skull sounded like a clap of God’s thunder, and it resonated through me, through my very being. After I had disposed of the body in the graveyard, I set about cleaning the mess, and I was truly happy for what felt like the first time.”

The reporter had suppressed a shudder, and Henry could tell. He smirked and then finished his story in a condescending manner.

“Well you know how the story goes from there. For 15 years I cleared the world of evil. The Martin brothers was the first time I had used acid to get rid of the bodies, and the Harris woman was the first time I had used a cleaver. I felt it only befitting as she was a cheating Butcher’s wife. It was the media that gave me the title of “Hell’s Vicar” and it seems to have stuck with me, even here on Death Row.