A group of locals, me being one of them, have come together to create a writers group. It’s fun.
Someone comes up with a prompt, we then go away and come back the next week with a 1000 word (max) short story.
I’m enjoying it so far and the people seem really interesting. Here is my first entry into our weekly meeting.
The prompt this week was a picture.
Title: I’m Holding it for a Friend.
In the dazzling maze of apartment buildings, where secrets were as rare as finding a unicorn sunbathing at the poolside, there lived a man named Jason.
Jason had recently made a solemn promise to his husband, Alex, that he would wave goodbye to his longtime companion, nicotine. And like any upstanding partner, he was determined to stick to his word… or at least convince Alex that he was.
One sun-drenched afternoon, with the scent of rebellion hanging in the air like a mischievous prankster, Jason hatched a cunning plan. He casually mentioned to Alex that he was heading out to the shops to pick up some essentials. “Back in a flash, love,” he chirped, his fingers crossed behind his back in a display of unparalleled honesty.
Unbeknownst to Alex, Jason had hidden a pack of cigarettes like a map leading to a forbidden treasure. With all the stealth of a ninja, he snuck into the stairwell of their apartment building, a mischievous grin on his face. His destination? The rooftop—a sanctuary of solace where he could enjoy a smoke without the prying eyes of the world.
As Jason emerged onto the rooftop, the city skyline stretched out before him like a buffet of possibilities. He could almost feel the nicotine-laden breeze embracing him like a long-lost lover who was just a tad too clingy, yet feeling the excitement of a six year old who’d just been given caffeine and a puppy.
With a flourish that would make Houdini blush, Jason produced a cigarette and a lighter, his fingers dancing with the flair of the illusionist. He lit the cigarette, a triumphant glint in his eye. “One last dance with the devil, old friend,” he muttered, inhaling as if he were imbibing the elixir of life itself.
Minutes turned into moments of nicotine-fueled bliss, and Jason was lost in a cloud of smoke and introspection. But all good things must come to an end, and as he neared the end of his cigarette, reality knocked on the door of his consciousness like an overeager neighbour.
With a resigned sigh, Jason turned toward the door, his heart fluttering like a bird in a sudden downpour. He reached for the handle, his confidence momentarily shattered as he realised there was no handle to reach for. Panic surged through him like a squirrel on a sugar high, and he jiggled the non-existent handle with increasing desperation.
“No, no, no!” Jason muttered, his protests as futile as attempting to teach a goldfish to play fetch. The door would remain stubbornly closed, a monument to his predicament.
Jason’s options were as limited as a library’s collection of phonebooks in the digital age. He couldn’t call Alex, lest his secret smoking escapade be exposed. And asking for help from anyone else was like trying to ride a unicycle on a tightrope—possible, but overwhelmingly ridiculous.
In a stroke of brilliance (or so he believed), Jason decided to call his trusty friend and neighbour, Richard. Richard was renowned for his problem-solving skills and knack for improvisation. With trembling fingers, Jason dialled Richard’s number, crossing his fingers for a miracle.
“Hey, Richard,” Jason began, his voice a mixture of relief and desperation. “Listen, I’ve gotten myself into a bit of a pickle. I’m stranded on the rooftop of our building, and I could really use a hand getting back in.”
On the other end of the line, Richard’s eyebrows shot up in surprise. “Wait, you’re on the roof? How on earth did you manage that?”
Jason let out a sheepish chuckle, his embarrassment mingling with a dash of self-deprecation. “Well, it’s a bit of a long story involving locked doors and a smoke break. But the short version is, I could use some assistance.”
Richard’s laughter erupted like fireworks . “Oh, this is too good, Jason! Sure thing, I’ll be right up. Just hold tight!”
With Richard on his way, Jason settled down on the rooftop, his face a mixture of frustration and amusement. He couldn’t believe he had managed to lock himself out on a rooftop, like a protagonist from a slapstick comedy.
As Richard reached the front door of his apartment, he prepared to embark on his rescue mission. However, fate, as it often does in these tales, had other plans in mind. As Richard he opened his front door, a sudden commotion caught his attention. He turned to see his mother, decked out in all her visiting glory, marching toward him like a general on a mission.
Not wanting to leave his dear mother alone in his apartment, knowing that her curiosity would rival a cat left alone with a freshly baked lasagna, Richard let out a sigh of exasperation. He quickly called Alex, his voice a mixture of urgency and resolve. “Alex, buddy, you won’t believe what’s happened. Jason’s stuck on the roof, and he needs rescuing.”
Alex’s response was a mix of disbelief and amusement. “Jason? On the roof? Seriously?”
“Yep, you heard it right. And I’ve got my hands full with my mom right now, so if you could just swing by and save your husband, that would be great.”
Alex was intrigued. As far as he was concerned his husband had just nipped to the shops, not the roof, but he headed up to rescue him and would deal with the lies later. As the rooftop door swung open Alex’s eyes met those of his husband, who stood there with a cigarette in his mouth, attempting to appear as innocent as a cat caught raiding a fish market.
Jason’s cheeks turned a shade of red that rivalled a tomato at a salsa contest. He quickly removed the cigarette from his mouth, his voice a mix of innocence and nonchalance. “Oh, hey there, Alex. Funny running into you here. I was just, you know, holding this for a friend.”
Alex raised an eyebrow, his lips twitching with suppressed laughter. “A friend, huh? And they managed to get out when you couldn’t? Interesting.”
“Should I just Hans Gruber myself over the edge?”
“Not just now, how about you come back in, brush your teeth, and we’ll discuss what we need to do about your ‘friend’ and his nasty habit.”