Sunday Night by Zita Fogarty

Prompt: She never wanted it anyway | Word count: 300 | Genre: General Fiction

I could make out Luke’s towering silhouette through the screen door, weaving in and out of view, and the family photo on the lounge room wall. I love that picture.

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The tower, the voices, and the red balloon by Tricia Everaert

Prompt: Cut the strings | Word count: 1000 | Genre: Fiction

The room was round. The cool stone wall at her back was curved so the room must be round. She knew if she opened her eyes she would see one large window and an open vista beyond. She knew the deep window seat carved into the thick wall would be worn smooth from time and much use. The room would be softly lit as if from a gentle fire or a dozen candles, but she would never find the actual source of light or warmth. It was always this: emptiness and silence in a high stone tower.

She knew her name was Nicole. She knew when she opened her eyes she would be drawn to the window and when she looked down she would see trees and a garden and a maze. She would hear voices, and they would lure her out of the room, and she would find herself in the garden or under the trees. She never saw a door or stairs or knew how she got out of the room in the tower.

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Grace by Cheryl Rush Cowperthwait

Prompt: Cut The Strings | Word Count: 1000 | Genre:

“We should go get her…”

“No. Not just yet. She may… She may still adapt.”

It was a beautiful autumn late morning where the chill was gently pushed aside with the warmth of the sunshine slanting through the trees. A slight breeze stirred the leaves, coaxing them to join the dance. Grace inhaled the fresh air as she tossed her scarf over her shoulder. A monarch butterfly dodged past, her eyes smiled and followed its bobbing journey across the road.

A green pickup truck whizzed close by and made gruesome contact with the butterfly. In that second, Grace crumpled to the ground. Her scarf caught in the breeze, tossed to the gutter like broken wings.

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Cut the… by Mia Botha

Prompt: Cut the strings | Word count: 1000 | Genre: Thriller

Warning: Violence

08:47

“Open your eyes and look at me.” He says.

His hand is heavy on my shoulder. I shake my head, a small almost indiscernible movement only someone half an inch away from me would notice.

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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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