Lorna’s Gin-spiring Prompt #4 – People Watching – The Coffee Shop #Ginspired

The lovely Lorna over at Gin & Lemonade With A Twist Blog has started a new writing prompt.

She hasn’t named her challenge, so I have – Lorna’s Gin-spiring Prompt!

This week, we have the words: Write about someone you see while People Watching.

I am recycling a much older post which I had taken off my blog – a bit of fiction which was kinda about people watching… and there are a few instalments that followed it too!

The Coffee Shop
She sat amongst the crowd, looking aimlessly around. This wait… It seemed like forever she’d been sat there, mentally twiddling her thumbs. She didn’t want to really do it, what if people thought she was mad?
The queue at the counter grew and shrunk, almost like the ebb and flow of the tide. Six customers, five, four, three, oh, up to five again. Then down, four, three, two. And up again. It was a continuous flow of caffeine-starved individuals, or groups of friends, meeting for a catch-up.
Glad she’d got there early, bagging her favourite spot, she had set up her ‘tools’ ready for the day. Laptop up and running, pen and paper, iPod ready with suitable music.
She was on her third drink so far, and it was only 10am. But still, she was waiting… Her cursor flashed at her impatiently on the laptop screen. She glanced at her notebook… An empty page stared back at her.
Slowly, the coffee shop emptied and there were just a couple of tables occupied. Great! A bit of calm. It’ll happen, any time now. Before the lunchtime rush started would be good. She hated being jostled around, or glared at, as she sat at her special table, not moving, but gathering empty cups over the day. Wouldn’t but be easier if they served coffee by an intravenous drip for people like her? So no need to queue up again and again. And while they were at it, a colostomy bag, to save the trips to the toilet too.
Looking around, she observed the others, manning their stations. She wasn’t the only one, regularly haunting this place for days at a time. There were a couple of others.
There was old Bill. He used to come here with his wife, was here at the opening 23 years ago he told me once as we queued for our refills. They would come each Monday to Friday at 10am for a cup of tea and a slice of cake. Apart from when they were away, they were here every day.
Until his poor wife, Mabel, was taken ill. Cancer, he told me. Breast cancer. They hadn’t realised there was anything wrong. Mabel hadn’t noticed anything unusual, Well, she wasn’t used to really looking at herself, or feeling for anything different.  At her age, she thought she was past all that nonsense. Then one day she noticed a stain on her bra, discharge from her nipple, and realised that was not normal. Off they went for the checkup.
And after all the tests it was discovered that she had breast cancer, at quite a late stage too.  No wonder she’d been feeling so tired recently.  The weakness hadn’t gone unnoticed, but she had put it down to her advancing years.  The doctor suggested all the treatments, but what would it do?  Strip her of more energy, her hair and of her dignity, and for what? Maybe a year or so extra onto her life.  She took a decision, with Bill’s agreement, to not have any treatment, and to live whatever life she had left as best she could, with her head held high.
They continued their daily routines, while Bill watched his wife gradually grow weaker and weaker. Soon she could no longer get out, the appointments and check-ups were becoming more frequent.  As the end drew closer, she was admitted into a hospice, and before the day she left Bill forever, she made him promise to always go to their ‘special’ place and have tea and cake, and remember her.  She would joke that maybe he’d meet a kindred spirit there to take away the loneliness.  So here he was, regular as clockwork, Monday to Friday at 11am.  it had taken him a while to stop ordering two cups of tea. Habit, he said. But still, he would sit and reminisce, thinking of his beautiful Mabel and when they would be reunited.
Then there was Sarlota. A beautiful, haunted-looking girl who sat at the same spot every day for up to Two hours with her skinny lattes.  She would sit, and wait, drinking her coffee, and after a phone call, she would up and disappear.  sometimes it was more or less straight away, sometimes it was for longer. but without fail, when that phone rang, she went.  She had never got a chance to speak to Sarlota.  In fact, she wasn’t even sure if that was her name.  She had heard her say it on the phone sometimes so had christened her anyway. She had a slight accent, possibly Eastern European, but who knew… She wondered who would phone her, and what was so important that she would often leave a fresh cup of coffee and rush off…
Today, however, as the crowds dispersed, she noticed another solitary camper.  A new face.  A young guy, maybe her age.  Dark hair, slightly longer than his collar, jeans and a simple tee shirt and jacket. A pair of last seasons Nike on his feet and a pair of black rimmed glasses rested on his nose.  He was reading a book, she couldn’t quite see what he was reading, but it must have been good.  He hadn’t looked up it seemed since he sat down an hour ago.  Quite possibly she had been staring too hard, and he must have felt it, that sensation of someone’s eyes on you.  He looked up, and straight over at her.
She looked away. Oh, how embarrassing! To be caught staring at someone.  Especially when she had something more pressing to do!
She quickly picked up her pen and started to draw.  She had to make herself look busy.  As she doodled, her mind started to wander. What might his story be? As she looked up, she noticed him watching ‘Sarlota’. Then she saw a strange thing, his book that he was reading was covering what looked like a phone, and he had it pointed right at ‘Sarlota’.  He appeared to be filming or taking pictures at least.  Why would he be doing that?
Bill was still sat there, looking at his cake.  He hardly ate any of it nowadays, pushing it around his plate, then after finishing his tea, he would leave.
‘Sarlota’s’ phone rang. She picked it up, answering “Sarlota” then listening and within a few minutes, she had gathered her things, ready to leave.
The guy behind was watching. It looked like he was definitely taking pictures. As she left, he got up too, and quietly followed her out of the door, seconds later.
Bill sat, oblivious to his surroundings. No one else seemed to have noticed… But she definitely had… And finally, she got what she had come here for. Her fingers began to whizz across her keyboard, pausing, only to reread her typing, and scribbling ideas down.
She’d never really know what the truth was, but her imagination had been running wild. Inspiration had hit, and she felt good.

https://ginlemonade.com/2018/09/26/a-month-of-ginspiring-writing-prompts/

 

 

Flash Fiction Must Run In The Family… #YoungWriters

I’ve mentioned the Lil Princess a few times with regards to creativity, be it singing, drawing or writing.

This time I have to report that Lil Man is now nearly up there with the published authors of our time!

His school sent some entries to a company here, who encourages and promotes young writers, and Lil Man’s flash fiction piece was one that was chosen! The compilation is called Stranger Sagas…

Here is his piece!

The Magic Pen
It started at my birthday and Grandpa came. I like Grandpa
coming on my birthday, he gives me presents which were his
when he was a boy. This year, Grandpa gave me a pen.
Grandpa handed me the pen.
He said, “Click this pen when you are in great trouble.”
By the way, my name is Billy. I’m twelve years old. Later, I
went to school. I had the pen that Grandpa gave me, just in
case I needed it. I clicked it. Click! Time froze. What do I do?

The Young Writers Association is a company which targets schools and encourages entries into various competitions for children of all ages.

They select ‘winners’ to go into books, and yes, it is a ploy to get proud parent’s to buy the books, but if it gets kids writing, I am all for it!

(Yes I have already ordered one copy – not going mad and ordering one for every member of the family!!!)

What did you think of his flash?

 

#WritePhoto – Between

Sue’s #WritePhoto Prompt this week:

I thought I’d continue the adventures of Barbie and Ken.

#writephoto

“So, like I said hun, I can’t do anything else. He’s just not interested.” Sindy spoke quietly into the phone, sat in a coffee shop.
“Yeah, I tried so hard to come between you too, but he didn’t take the bait once. In fact, he was more interested in talking about you. Yesterday, he spent half an hour scrolling through photos of you on his phone and showing me. There was this photo of you standing in some field, full of yellow flowers. He just stared at it for ages… Babe, he is loved up good and proper. Why do you think he’s going to play away?”
On the other end of the phone, Barbie sighed. “I don’t know Sind. It’s like he was trying too hard all the time, and I thought he was probably hiding something, you know.”
“I think you just need to realise you’ve actually got yourself a good bloke there, and be happy.”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right. I need to make it up to him when he gets back. Listen, thanks for being such a good mate. I know there are a few out there who would have jumped at the chance of breaking us up, but you’ve been amazing. See you back here, yeah?” Barbie rang off.
Sindy put the handset on the table and picked up her cup of coffee. Yeah, Ken was never going to look at her… but she still had a chance with Joey…

https://scvincent.com/2018/02/15/thursday-photo-prompt-between-writephoto/

#WritePhoto – Sanctuary

Sue’s #WritePhoto Prompt this week:

I thought I’d continue the adventures of Barbie and Ken.

Ken sat back, contemplating his surroundings.
They had only been here a couple of days, but what with Joey copping off with whichever female he encountered, he had needed to occupy himself more than usual.
The old stone tomb found in the middle of the woods they had trekked in on the first day had become something of a sanctuary for him. He felt a peace that had been eluding him in recent weeks.
He sat there, scrolling through his photos on his phone, smiling at the images of him and Barbie – pictures filled with contented smiles and positivity.
What had happened to them?
He felt emotion welling up within, and this time, rather than will it away, he allowed tears to moisten his eyes.
“Oh Babe,” he said to the photo on his screen, “you know I love you. Why do you always think I’m interested in others? No one could ever take your place with me, not even that Sindy…”
Sindy stepped back into the shadows after pressing pause on her phone camera.
Did she have enough now, or should she go in for one last try?

#writephoto

https://scvincent.com/2018/02/08/thursday-photo-prompt-sanctuary-writephoto/

#WritePhoto – Shrine

Sue’s #WritePhoto Prompt this week:

shrine

I thought I’d continue the adventures of Barbie and Ken.

Ken’s face was plastered across every surface available, like a shrine to him.
Photos of him coming and going from various places, smiling, terse looking, with friends or colleagues, but most often alone.
There were a few of him with Barbie, but not many from the recent weeks.
Sindy sat, looking at them, trying to glean something from the images in front of her.
Nothing.
Nothing to report.
It wasn’t often that she was unsuccessful in these challenges she was set, but Ken was proving to be a tough one.
Could he be… honest?
Unlikely for a man, but if he was… that Barbie was a lucky woman, and she didn’t realise just how lucky she was.
She still had a few days though.
Could Sindy break him?

#writephoto

https://scvincent.com/2018/02/01/thursday-photo-prompt-shrine-writephoto/

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