Once a month I attend an encouraging, enabling writing group called Writebulb which is held at Chelmsford library and run by two very hard-working women called Carlie and Maria. Each month, at the group, we are given writing prompts and thirty minutes to come up with a story inspired by that prompt. I have decided to share some of the stories that I have furiously scribbled down in those labour intensive, frankly terrifying thirty minutes, with you. I hope this will encourage you to have a go yourself but I also wanted a way of giving these little tales a chance to live, however briefly.
The prompt for this first story was a list of four things that had to be included in the tale, they were: a door, a tree, an explosion and a golden key. Please remember this story was written under time pressure so does not represent my ‘best work’ merely a fun story which I hope you like.
Robert hurled himself to the ground as the blast wave hit, feeling the vibration rip through the earth around him. The castle itself seemed to explode, rather than merely the small device he’d planted. Instinctively he buried his face in the grass and covered his head with his hands as the first, smaller, shrapnel began to fall around him. He silently prayed that the larger stuff, when it came, would miss him – or at least leave him able to escape. He screwed his eyes tight shut and pushed his thumbs over his ears as the choking cloud of dust enveloped him. The air became hot and thick, making breathing like sipping treacle, and his prayers more fervent as he waited for the onslaught to pass. His back and legs were slowly being buried under a rain of debris but, by frequently wriggling, he knew that, so far, he would be free to run when the time came.
Something sharp and heavy hit his head, bounced, then landed on the ground beside him, resting against his arm. It was hot, and he quickly jerked his arm away.
Eventually, the dust storm began to subside and Robert knew he’d better begin his escape. It wouldn’t take the authorities long to arrive and, when they did, they’d be looking for someone to blame for the Great Commander’s demise.
He jumped to his feet, risking a quick glance back at the smouldering pile of rubble that only 15 minutes ago had been the jewel in the state’s crown. He couldn’t help it, despite all the death and destruction he’d caused, a tiny smile escaped his lips. He looked down, feeling slightly ashamed, and that’s when it caught his eye. The heavy, sharp, hot thing that had hit him. It was a key, a large, golden key with an intricately patterned top and five teeth standing to attention at the business end. It piqued his curiosity so he bent down and, pulling his sleeve over his hand, scooped it up and into his pocket before taking off into the forest.
He ran full-pelt, keeping the sun always behind him, which, at this time of day, would ensure he maintained his trajectory westward, towards the safety of the hinterlands. He was so intent on maintaining his course that he never even saw the tree he ran into at full pelt.
A brutal blow to Robert’s side roused him from unconsciousness then a cascade of water hit him full-force in the face.
“Get up worm!” A rough voice yelled, before another blow to the side winded him.
Robert forced himself to open his eyes and, as his vision came into focus the unmistakable shape of a state prison door came into view, half way up the wall. You had to be standing to reach that door and, as he felt the manacles around his ankles and wrists, he knew that was something he would never do again.
If you liked my little tale and want to find out more about my writing you can follow me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hellen-Riebolds-Author-Page/530521043655534 or take a look at my website: http://www.hellenriebold.com/