(1500 words) Fiona looked up from her test tubes. What on earth was that noise? She went to the door of the laboratory and looked out across the valley. A blue van stood there, in the distance, along with a Mini Cooper, parked outside Swarfdale farm. She hadn’t noticed the car last night, she realised. She guessed they must be musicians, but that noise sounded like the soundtrack to a nightmare. Fiona looked at her watch and noticed it was time to pick Emily up from school. She’d been listening longer than she’d realised.
(1500 words) I poured boiling water onto freshly ground coffee, inhaling the feisty aroma. 11.30 p.m. Joanne should be here any minute. What the hell did she want? I couldn’t get my head around it. Unless someone had tried it on with her inappropriately. Molested her. That was the last thing I needed. “Darling, are you coming to bed?” It was Becky, my wife. Her blonde hair was ruffled and her heavy breasts pressed through her thin nightie. I felt my body stir. “No, someone from work called. They’re calling around any time now. … they want to talk. It’s urgent. I don’t know what it’s about. Some neurotic woman. I’ll get rid of her as soon as I can.” I kissed Becky’s warm nose. “Love you.” But Joanne didn’t call round and she wasn’t at work the next day. In fact, she wasn’t at work ever again.
(1450 words) Reaching the end, I closed my eyes and turned around on the plank by feel. Then I opened them again and looked back at Jessie, silhouetted against the top of the tall spire. I couldn’t see her face, just blonde hair blowing in the breeze, against the slate-grey tiles. She was stood on a platform close to the top of the steeple of St. Stephen’s church, Budhaven, one of the tallest in Britain. Above, on the very tip of the spire, a small but ornate metal cross surmounted a thick strip of copper lightning conductor which ran down the side of the steeple and ultimately into the earth. “You OK, Ben?” she called. I gave a thumbs-up sign. The plan was to photograph me for Facebook, standing at the end of a narrow plank with a four-hundred-foot drop below! Now, out here, the reality was a bit different. It was really quite breezy, it might be dangerous.
(1500 words) "Hey man, how much further?" A young man huddled in a great coat, unshaven, with long black hair flopping over a Romanesque face, lay across the rear seat of a battered Bedford van. The headlights traced the track between high dry stone walls, suddenly illuminating a sign, ‘Swarfdale farm 3 miles.’ The driver, a tall, thin man in his twenties, laughed. He had the long, misshapen face of a gravedigger and black hair combed across his forehead. “Three miles. Hey, break out the whisky, Sid, … or were you thinking of acid?!” The man in the passenger seat turned round to face the back seat. He was good-looking, his face thin-lipped and framed by curly brown hair to his collar. “Hey, Sid, leave off the fucking acid!” “I never brought no fucking acid!” “Like we believe you,” laughed the driver.
(1500 words) It was almost 2 p.m. by the time they got back. I’d taken the dogs to the park for a run and a ‘poo,' poop bag at the ready, but the grey-haired lady wasn’t on self-appointed duty today. Still, I did my bit, now knowing the ropes. Henry was the more affectionate of the two, trying to stand on his hind legs, with his front legs on my shoulders, to lick my face, but his head was so far above mine he could only lick my hair, not that I was sorry. He weighed a ton too.