Writing Exercises

Ten Weeks, Ten Prompts, Ten Minutes #8

It’s Tuesday again and that can only mean one thing- prompt writing exercise time. Number eight on the list from my Narrative Prompts post is a dialogue prompt. I have ten minutes to get creative and expand on it.

Prompt Eight:

“Do you see that woman at the bus stop, the one with the head scarf?”

“Yep, what about her?”

“Well, that is an issue. You shouldn’t be able to see her.”

“Okay, I think I better be going. Nice to meet you, err, Dale. See you around.” I hurry away from the dishy, but crazy guy. Why does that always happen to me? Why do I always attract the crazies? Katya is going to have a field day when I tell her about this one.

I wait for the tube and play Candy Crush on my phone. I hate Katya for introducing me to this time wasting, soul sucking, weirdly entertaining, new obsession of mine. The doors open and I step aboard, and for the first time in weeks I actually get a seat. I keep my bag on my lap, so someone can sit beside me. I’m not a total people phobe, just weird ones who tell me I can see invisible people.

After some minutes a man sits beside me. “Yasmine,” he says. “We have to talk about this.”

Oh shit, oh Christ, Oh Jeez. I’m being stalked. My lips turn dry and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. Dale turns in his chair, so only I can see his face. What the hell do I do? “Have you been following me? This is so not okay.”

“Aren’t you even curious as to why you can see these people?” he asks, tilting his head as he speaks.

“I’m curious as to why you’re clearly not on medication.” He recoils slightly. Okay, Yasmine, rein it it, don’t antagonise the psycho. “I’m sorry, but you’re scaring me,” I say in a small voice.

Dale stands instantly. “Of course. I’m sorry. I’ve gone about this the wrong way. You don’t need to be scared of me, Yasmine.” He hands me a business card. “You’ll know when to call.” His silver eyes swim with genuine remorse, and he turns and exits the train with the other passengers.


I lie awake listening to Katya’s snoring. She offered to stay the night after I told her about the weirdness from before. Mum is working nights and if I told her about Dale she’d have called the police, gave up her job, and set me up for home schooling in the blink of an eye. The strange thing is that I’m not awake because of how Dale acted, but because of the look in his eye when he apologised. He was sincere, and ever since I have had a niggling feeling that I can’t place playing on my mind.

A cat cries in the street, and I get up to see if Mum has locked Garfield out again. I peek through the curtains and see a line of cats positioned on next door’s garage roof. They all start mewing, their bodies rigid and defensive. Garfield enters the room and coils around my legs, and on hearing the mewing he springs onto the sill and joins in the chorus.

“What is wrong with him?” Katya moans, half asleep.

I ignore her, craning my neck to see further down the street in the direction the cats are staring. A man jogs up the road in ripped cargo pants, a black t-shirt and bobble hat. His face is twisted from the effort of running and he pulls a knife from his waist band. He signals to the wall across the street and Dale steps out of the shadows. He too is dressed all in black and has the obligatory black cap. My heart lurches from it’s position in my chest and rests in my throat like a wedge stopping the air getting to my lungs.

Dale hasn’t glanced at the house once. His attention falls on the cats, and then down the road. He moves forward as a woman in hot pants and a bikini top sprints toward him. She moves faster than I’ve seen another human being move. She holds out her hand toward Dale and his friend with aggression written all over her face. Shining wisps of light emerge from their bodies and drift toward her outstretched hand. The man falls to his knees in physical pain, but Dale staggers on, pulling his own knife out of his boot and charging the woman. He stabs her in the chest and she bursts into a firework of light.

The light holds such a brilliance that I scream out and stagger away from the window into Katya. She stands zombie like with birds nest hair, but her eyes tell me that she has seen it too.

“Ring him, Yasmine. Ring Dale, right now.”

“Did you see her? Did you see how fast she moved, what she did to them?”

Katya shakes her head in confusion. “No, but I saw something. I definitely saw something.”

All excerpts are the works of K.J.Chapman


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