The Masterminds by Anusuya Kashi

Prompt: Mastermind(s)   l  Word count: 1000 exactly  l Genre: Coming of age?

Matt slammed the door shut and threw himself onto the only chair in the room. He grabbed his cellphone and scrolled through the notifications. Painstakingly, he read through each and every one of them, forcing his mind to move away from the events of the past few hours. And yet, it kept coming back to him. The way those people sneered at him oh-so-politely, the pitying looks they gave him, a rank outsider. He’d tried the past few months but not anymore. He was done with the group. If his talent was meant to flower, it would have to be some other way.

Rose drummed her fingers on the table, mentally composing what she wanted to say. Would it sound nice that way, or would she sound too pretentious? Was it correct to use that phrase…maybe, she ought to rework that a little…., yes, she’d do it this way. A loud scream interrupted her thoughts. “Mom, where are my skates? And I’m already late! Coach will be really mad at me…come on, Mom, help me a little here. Mooom..what are you doing sitting there when I’m so desperate! You can finish your dreaming after dropping me to class…let’s go, Mom!”

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Mastermind by Mia Botha

Prompt: Mastermind | Word count: 1000 words | Genre: Thriller

The blonde bobs hover near their Range Rovers, clutching their take-away cappuccinos. They have exchanged their pastel twinsets for luminescent active wear, complete with neon sneakers and matching puffer jackets.

The old school building looms over everything, stately and disapproving all at once, waiting for the school day to begin. We’re scattered about the playground, our uniforms making us alike, but no uniform can make us the same on the inside. I have never been like them and I never will be. Not with a mother like mine.

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Husband Material by Kathy Gates

Prompt: The Club | Word count: 750 | Genre: Women’s Contemporary

Brianna’s revelation shocked them into silence. Damon’s confusion made Laura flinch but she let him sit with it. There was nothing she, or anyone, could do to help. Not yet, anyway.

The young woman batted her too-thick-to-be-natural eyelashes and smiled. ‘We’ve cleared the air. Now we can move forward.’

She’s probably pretty, under her camouflage. White-blonde hair, out-of season tan, acrylic finger nails and impossibly high heels, not Laura’s idea of femininity.

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Pearls by Cheryl Rush Cowperthwait

Prompt: Coming Undone | Word Count: 1206 | Genre: Drama

She sat at the table for a very long time, looking down at her blurred reflection in the highly polished wooden table. The table they had bought together at the Anique Bizarre. When was that? Oh yes, fifteen years ago. A sigh escaped her lips.

Slowly she reached behind her neck to unclasp the pearl necklace. She placed it upon the table, her fingers rolling the pearls as she gazed out of the window to the back garden. The garden still bloomed profusely and she wondered how that could be? Didn’t they know the world had gone black? Featureless, colorless, suffincatingly black?

Her fingers pulled at the strand of pearls until the clasp was torn away. She watched as the pearls came undone and rolled free from its’ noose. Twenty nine pearls. A mere three months short of thirty pearls, a pearl for each year of marriage. There would be no more such pearls, no more celebrations, no more anniversaries. That all ended when he said, “I don’t love you anymore”.

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Counsellor, Heal Thyself by Kathy Gates

Prompt: Coming Undone | Word count: 1200 | Genre: Women’s Contemporary

Laura covered the pages of her notepad with doodles.

Rod clicked his fingers in front of her face. ‘What did I just say?’

‘I’m sorry?’ She blinked.

‘Bloody waste of time. You’re about as much use as a—’ The door slammed.

Wonder if his wife will turn up for her session?

She stood at the window and stared at nothing. What’ll I do with the rest of the day? Can’t go home yet…

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MindShift by Annalie Kleinloog

Prompt 6 : Coming Undone | Word Count : 1200 (exactly!) | Genre : Travel Memoir

I should have listened to that little voice.  

I squint into the setting sun. They’re true; those movies depicting deserts as a golden blended haze of sun and sand. My reveling evaporates with the hollow sound of my water bottle. Empty.
“Have you guys got water?”

My croaky question sends a few lizards scrambling. I stare at my two silent friends, realizing the meaning of their non-commitment. Shit!
“We have to turn around,” I say as casually as I can, “we cannot spend the night with no water.”

The rising panic is palpable. But we know. There is only one way, and that is back to the river.

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The List by Komal

Prompt: The List | Word Count: 1500 words | Genre: Thriller

6:15 AM                                         

Cool breeze did very little to keep away the sweat beads forming on the guy’s forehead. He took out his handkerchief to wipe the sweat away. He had been planning this for a few days now. He tried getting a formal meeting but couldn’t get through. He was determined to make this ‘meeting’ work.

He looked at his wristwatch. It was time.

In a couple of minutes, he saw an old man jogging towards him.

“Mr. Banerjee” said the guy in a formal suit as he passed him on the jogging track. Mr. Banerjee stopped and turned around to look at him.

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New Life by Komal

Prompt: New Life |  Word count: 1000 | Genre: Fiction

Mira and Ashish entered Café Hideout, a restaurant they frequently visited after work. It was almost closing time but they weren’t worried. They had a regular table.

“So, Mrs Verma, how have you been?” Ashish said teasingly, once they settled.

“Oh, it’s been a busy week Mr Verma. How have you been?” said Mira with a grin, playing along. Both had hectic schedules this week and despite staying under the same roof, they hardly had any time to talk to each other.

Catching up on the week that was, she gulped down her glass of water and asked for some more. It’s been quite hot since past few days and a glass of water couldn’t stand a chance to quench your thirst completely.

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A Peaceful Rest by Rachel Dye

     Prompt:  Going Home | Word Count:  500 (exactly) | Genre:  General Fiction

       Martha stretched as she woke and reveled in the peace of her body. She felt amazing; what a strange feeling. The sun draped her face, as she sighed.

       “Good morning, beautiful.”

       Martha’s eyes widened. “Hank,” the name tumbled from her lips as she stared at  her husband. He was dressed in the Army uniform he’d worn the day he’d shipped out.

       “Surprised to see me, love?” he tapped her nose playfully.

       She tried to remain calm. “Since you’ve been dead more than fifty years, a little.”
Hank smiled. “I’m dead too.” The words felt scary…and right.

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