Saturday, 18 September 2010

Coffee Break: Consequences

This week's coffee break is late - I'm sorry. To make up for it, I can offer you extra strong, bitter Arabic coffee laced with cardamom, sweet, succulent Eid pastries and a plate of almondy Baklava. The cafes have only just reopened here after Ramadan, and it's still a novelty to be able to go out and meet friends, eat and drink during daylight hours. As anyone with small children knows, cafe visits are not so much about the coffee as reminding yourself there is an adult world out there beyond finger-painting and Charlie and Lola (as much as we love them). The last month has been ... challenging, the city like a ghost town, and the kids bouncing off the walls unable to go outside in the 55 degree heat. But, schools go back tomorrow, and I've been thinking about ways to kick start your writing.

Do you remember playing the game Consequences when you were younger? You draw something at the head of a sheet of paper, and fold it over leaving a couple of connecting lines for the next person to pick up their drawing from. The drawing is passed round the group, and at the end you unfold the concertina to see what surreal or wonderful thing you've made. A couple of years back, I set up a blog project called 'Burning Lines' - over the course of a month a group of us created the fiction equivalent of consequences, writing an entire story online. As we took it in turns to add a chapter or scene, the story often took incredible twists. By the end of the month it had transformed from 'Brief Encounter' to something resembling 'Lesbian Vampire Killers' :)

I wondered if we couldn't try something similar to Consequences today with the comments box and take it in turns to add a line or two - a quick Coffee Break Flash Fiction? Don't know about you, but my brain cells could do with a limber up after the summer holidays ... Let's begin:

'What is that?' Alice screwed up her eyes, peered into the dark attic. 'I think it's ...


Leatherdykeuk said...

probably not supposed to be there. It looks like a bat wearing a wrinkled old overcoat." She turned to Sam. "Have a

Debs said...

quick peak," Alice stepped back. "I think it just moved. Do you think

HelenMHunt said...

it's alive?'Sam asked.

'Well if it's not, I think we should be really worried that it moved,' said Alice. 'I'll just

Kate Lord Brown said...

give it a poke ...' She reached for the dusty black umbrella at her side and edged forwards gingerly.

'Aargh!' Sam cried, shielding his face. 'It's

sheepish said...

it's grabbed hold of the end" They watched in terror as it bit noisily through the shaft of the umbrella. "What

Denise said...

is it?'

'That's a Greech,' said a tall man, stepping out of the shadows. 'Don't let it touch you or

Karen said...

you'll turn into one of them."

Sam looked at Alice, eyes wide. "I read about this somewhere," he whispered, but Alice was staring at the man.

"I know you, you're

Mrs de Winter said...

the man in the portrait in the hall - but ...'
Now Sam was staring at the man too.
'But that was painted over 200 years ago' he said very slowely.
The remnants of the umbrella fell to the floor by Alice's side.
'So - who - are - you?'