A Change Me Life Row by Mark Patterson

Prompt: She Never Wanted it Anyway | Word Count: 300 exactly | Genre: Feel good

I’m sitting here, just minding me own business. Sipping from me brown bag and eating the polony sandwich from the bin.

Suddenly I’ve company. A young woman sits on the bench, farthest from me – I take no offense, most folks do. Her make-up is running, but even so, I can tell that she’s pretty. A man comes, stands over her. ’e puts his hand on her shaking shoulder and she swats it off. Right cross she is, innit?

He whispers something to her and she whispers back – probably on account of me – but even so, it’s like they’re shouting, innit? The veins in ’is neck starts popping, his face turns red and he’s moving his hands a lot. She folds her arms like she wants none to do with ’im. This one looks like a right argument.

Suddenly she looks down at her left hand and twists the ring off her finger. Woo, I told you this here’s serious! She has to wiggle it a few times before it comes off. Then she throws it at ’im! But it misses ’im and drops.

She don’t care. She stomps off. ’E runs after her, but she just ‘talk to the hand’ ’im again and walks faster.

A glint in the grass catches me eye. I put down me lunch, get up and follow the inviting sparkle. I’ve never touched anything so beautiful.

“Mister! Hey, mister!” I walks up to where he’s standing, still watching her. ’E looks startled to see me, but doesn’t flinch like others. I hold out the ring.

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Friday 11:22:63 by Mark Patterson

Prompt: Cut the Strings | Word count: 1000 Words | Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

He was the first one there. Well not actually there were others there but in terms of what happens next, he was the first of the three of them. His name was Clive but he preferred to be called Jack which is something that goes back to his childhood.

It was a very odd space that he was in. Quite unlike anything that he had ever experienced before. The air was very still and it looked like he was in an enormous tented structure similar to a circus tent that was a glistening white without relief of any kind. White floors, white walls, white ceilings and no evidence that they joined. It could have almost been a white, opaque bubble. He could see other forms standing around some tall some very short like a pet and you could sense they were talking but you did not hear anything. Not even a murmur let alone the cacophony of sound as you would normally have with an audience inside a circus tent waiting for the entry of the performers.

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A Pultor Insertion by Mark Patterson

Prompt: Mastermind | Word count: 1000 Exactly | Genre: Crime Drama

“Which African Country is …”

The buzzer sounded.

“….I started so I will finish, is approximately the size of France or Texas?”

“Botswana.” Was the confident answer I gave. It was over.

“Correct! That gives you a total of 15 perfect answers on General Knowledge and a grand total of 30 a perfect score. You are the Mastermind champion of 2016!”

It is now 2017 and the doorbell rings. I wheel myself to the front door and open it to see 2 police warrant cards.

“James Pultor?”

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Daddy’s Little Princess Anne by Mark Patterson

Prompt: The Club | Word Count: 750 Words| Genre: Drama

“You tell her! She is your Little Princess!”

With that my wife ended the call.

She had never wanted to have children and having Anne was a major concession from her. Career was all she focused on and it was me that was really responsible for bringing up and caring for Anne.

The school bell rang in the distance and I turned to look at the steady stream of Grade 2’s coming up to the car park. Some ran, some dawdled but I could see Anne talking to two other girls before turning and running towards me. Tears streamed down her cheeks.

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Man on a Wire by Mark Patterson

Prompt: Coming Undone | Word Count: 1200 | Genre: Crime drama

Warning: Language

Detective Sipho Dlamini knew that hanging on an illegal electrical connection eight stories above the back alley parallel to Stiemens Street was not likely to end well.

Fuck what a mess. How had it gone so badly wrong? He thought back to the 11 am briefing with Chief Inspector Blessing Skosana.

“This prostitute killer is a big issue. He was seen again last night but the girl fled into the Hyatt and called the police. He is getting more fucking brazen everyday. Dlamini go over his modus operandi with us again. Maybe we can spot something that will help us catch this bastard.”

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What Did You Say Dear? by Mark Patterson

Prompt: Conversation with my Spouse | Word count: 1200 words | Genre: Comedy

Warning Adult Content

“Donald would you like another cup of tea?” Jenny asked the pate peering over the top of the paper.

She didn’t expect a reply as it looked like he was on to the business section.

Seconds passed.

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Everything Changes by Mark Patterson

Prompt: Going Home | Word Count: 500 | Genre: Memoir

You sink into the seat at the back of the black cab.

“Kiln Lane please” you instruct the driver.

“Which number mate?” he asks you with his nasal accent.

“Just go down Kiln Lane to the bottom near the Co-op will be fine” you tell him as you adjust your coat to sit more comfortably.

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Getting the List Done by Mark Patterson

Prompt: The List | Word Count: 1500 | Genre: Memoir

“Well Mr. Patterson cancer of the kidney is a very slow condition. It may respond to treatment but at your age I would suggest that the treatment would be more draining on you than the disease.” Genuine empathy glowed from his skin.

It was exactly as my father had said last Friday when he told us about the condition. On that occasion next to him at the dinner table was a piece of paper and a pencil. He had started a list.

“Doctor”, I enquired, “how long does my father have?”

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I don’t think I can do that by Mark Patterson

Prompt: A White Lie | Word Count: 2500 | Genre: Drama with violent sexual scene

“If we slept together what would be the impact on our friendship?”

I knew all evening that John was building up to ask a question and his asking it now didn’t really take me by surprise. We had been good friends from nursery school right up to we went to universities in different parts of the country. We had stayed in touch until a few months ago when we go together and started seeing each other.

The question though was a bit out of the blue. I had always seen him as a good friend rather than a romantic liaison. I reached for my glass and took a sip of wine. What had once been paired beautifully with the meal was now acrid. My old fears were welling up in my throat.

He must have seen the look of terror in my eyes. He reached across the table and gently stroked the back of my hand. I pulled it away sharply.

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That Voice Inside by Mark Patterson

Prompt: New Life | Word Count: 1000 | Genre: Drama

Day one. Hour One. Minute one. Second One.

This is it. After forty plus years treading the corporate ladder this is the start of a new life. A new chapter and one that has been pushed to the back burner too often.

In front of me is my laptop with Word open and a blank document blinding my eyes. A notepad and pencil fresh from the sharpener at my right hand. Nothing else cluttering the desk.

This is the start of my career as a writer.

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