There was a one hour break
before the next workshop at the writers
Sally took her coffee to a
vacant table in a corner of the refectory. She
sat down and removed her writing pad and pen from
her bag. This was an ideal opportunity to use the
ideas she had heard in that last workshop to
start a new short story.
Marcus walked into the
refectory, she wrote as she observed a
random but rather good-looking delegate enter the
refectory and approach the serving counter. The
idea of taking inspiration from events in the
world around her was working well, so far.
He approached the
serving counter and purchased a coffee, she
wrote as the stranger paid for his drink and came
to sit at the table next to hers.
Sally waited for the next
action of this man to lead her into a subsequent
paragraph. He sat motionless, however, which
Sally thought rather uninspiring.
He took a laptop from
his bag and opened it on the table, Sally
continued without awaiting a prompt from life.
Suddenly, the man reached
for his bag, removed a laptop and opened it on
the table in front of him.
Marcus looked towards
the woman on the adjacent table and smiled,
wrote Sally. Are you writing a story
from life based on that last workshop, he
said. Sally added her first line of dialogue.
Are you writing a
story from life based on that last workshop,
enquired the man at the next table, smiling at
the reply of the second protagonist on Sally's
Yes, said Sally
in a perplexed tone, pausing and briefly glancing
at the man before returning to scribbling further
words on the page
I must admit,
Sally attributed to Marcus, that I
could hardly concentrate in that session as I was
too distracted by looking at the beautiful woman
who was sitting just in front of me.
I must admit,
said the handsome stranger as soon as Sally had
finished writing, that I could hardly
concentrate in that session as I was too
distracted by looking at the beautiful woman who
was sitting just in front of me.
Sally was a little spooked
at what appeared to be happening, but resolved
that this was the time to take advantage of the
phenomenon rather than pause to analyse it. She
knew that she must quickly clarify in her writing
that the girl to whom Marcus was talking was
the beautiful woman to whom he had referred and
that Marcus was leading-up to revealing his
feelings for her. Also that Marcus was a
millionaire, and that he had ultimately swept the
aspiring authoress off her feet at what was the
start of a wonderful, fairy-tale romance.
In her panic to write so
much, so quickly, her hands fumbled with the pad
and pen and both fell to the floor. She bent down
to retrieve them and accidently kicked the pad
under another nearby table.
As she stood up to recover
her notes, the man spoke again: Ah, the
lady to whom I was referring has just walked into
the refectory. I must go and speak with her.
Excuse me. He stood and walked away.
Sally, under her breath.
Sally retrieved her pen and
pad, turned to a new page and started to write
once again: Brad Pitt walked into the
refectory, she scribbled. He thought he
would never get over his split from Angelina
Jolie until he saw the woman of his dreams. She
was sitting in the corner of the refectory
wearing a red top and a beige skirt
Sally briefly checked the other tables to make
sure no one else was sporting the same colour
combination that she had chosen to wear today
Brad at once fell desperately in love
with her and they had an idyllic partnership for
Sally looked up and scanned
the recent arrivals in the refectory. She was in
luck. Brad had not yet appeared.
She placed her pen and pad
on the table in front of her and waited