Prompt: Lost fragment


Curled, creased fingers struggle with the tiny clasp. Fingernails, once manicured to perfection, are cracked and chipped. It was hot in here, always, but worse during the summer. Her damp fingers slip on the worn silver locket.

“Here, Ada. Let me do that.” Tiny Asian fingers, extending from a blue overall, pick at the latch. Ada might have thanked her, but Ada never spoke.

With the tiniest of clicks, the latch springs back, and the locket opens.

“Who is this, Ada? Is it your husband? He looks very handsome.”

She turns to look at the speaker, round cherub face with a huge smile, then looks away into the locket. All of her past is in here, locked away for those rare occasions when she wants to remember. Everything, in two photos.

“And was this your daughter?”

She touches the creased and faded black-and-white photo. A tiny creature, in a tiny locket.

To one side, Steve, the auxiliary, opens the door to the garden to let in some air. A sudden breeze, cooling and pleasant, picks at the photos, lifting them slightly. Ada is dreaming, eyes open, tearfully again, remembering the joy of birth, and just a few months later, the sadness of death.

Ernie never understood, even to his dying day, but tried his best, bless him.

The door bangs closed, distracting attention, and the tiny, fragile photos are lifted, and carried away, out of sight.

Ada doesn’t understand. Her memories are gone, which was all she had.

250 words, excluding title © Robert J Curtis September 2010



I’ve been a little bit AWOL from this blog. I’ve had major stuff happening at home, which looks pretty near settled now. Several thousand bucks down, we’re getting pretty straight.

So much so that I’m thinking of writing ideas again. It would be so good to be creative for a change.



Well, the Whittaker has started. OMIGOD.


Prompt: a cat in the window

Silently, it gazes out at the world, seeing or not seeing, who’s to know? People walk past, on their way to school, work, the shops. It moves its head, follows the movement. Does it see people?

It knows dog. When dog appears, it glares, and licks lips with anxiety. Will dog come in this time? Will dog chase it, hurt it, eat it?

Dog goes.

Owner comes. It knows owner, and stands in greeting. It sees owner has bag. Bag is heavy, with things. Things could be food.

Cat jumps, from window ledge to bed to floor, and stands, waiting.

100 words, excluding title © Robert J Curtis February 2009


Prompt: Miniature roses

Stan waited patiently. The queue of predominantly middle-aged couples crept forwards towards the huge, oak double doors. The shopping bag weighed heavily in his right hand.

“It’s only a piece of rubbish”, Dotty had said. “Ghastly rose pottery nonsense. I should have thrown it years ago. Why waste your time taking it there?”

His turn came. The was a slight intake of breath. Production staff with walkie talkies squawked. A table and chairs was hastily set up, cameras were positioned, an expert came from makeup.

History, analysis, the final question. How much?

And then the drive home. What to do?

100 words, excluding title © Robert J Curtis February 2009


Prompt: in a vegetative state

As the day gave way to dusk, Redgrove Street allotments fell silent. With one eye on the upcoming prestigious Annual Produce Competition, the allotments had been the scene of furious activity.

The evening sounds of the city drifted across well-tended gardens – also the sound of a padlock being opened, a chain being withdrawn, and the squeaking of hinges. Bill Evans paused, listened, and then advanced on the allotment of Tom Peters, his great rival. He didn’t know what his chemist friend had put in the syringes he carried in his pocket, but he was assured it would do the job.

100 words, excluding title © Robert J Curtis February 2009


Prompt: love in a time of loss

Gordon unknotted his tie, and folded it neatly in the drawer.

Each anniversary of her death, Gordon tidied Betty’s grave, chatting quietly to her. He remembered telling Betty, on one of his visits, about Tessa. He hoped she wouldn’t mind. He felt it was time to move on.

It had been two years since Tessa had come into his life, visiting so many places together, injecting a joie de vivre he thought he’d lost.

Tessa came in from the other room. Yes, there had been enough grieving. She looked into his eyes, understanding, and put her paw on his arm.

100 word, excluding title © Robert J Curtis February 2009