Let’s create a virtual writing group

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Well people, the aim is simple to get you, the inhabitants of Utrecht, UNESCO City of Literature to write.

Below is the start of a story. You can make comments on it as you see fit. It is a starting point. It doesn’t say where the story is set. All we know are the facts given and the name of one of the characters Erin Flood. All you have to do is write between 500 and 1000 words to carry on the story. You send it to me at utrechtstories@btinternet.com. I will decide which is the best one and print it on UtrechtCentral.com. All I ask that it can be read by a family audience, so no erotica, porn or racist writing. When it goes online you will be able to comment on it as well. Be as positive as possible. We don’t need unpleasant remarks.

I want to see a group of writers who represent the city. Who love writing and are willing to share their ideas. Perhaps we can move from the Virtual setting to meet in real life in the future, but let us see how this goes first.

Photo credit: By Bobdog [CC0], from Wikimedia Commons


“Erin Flood” extracts from a work in progress

“I’ve just fallen out of love with you.”

I put my pen down. The marking of books could wait.

“Nice…” I spat right back at him. What was I supposed to say? Then he capped it all with.

“In fact, I don’t know if I ever did love you.”

I hardly knew how to respond but told him “It’s taken you long enough.” But that didn’t really hit home because he floored me with

“And there is someone else…”

I could feel my face burning and I wanted to hit him, but all I could offer was

“Just get out and leave me alone.”

So, two bags and three years quietly closed the door and that was that. I felt empty and returned to what I had been doing, marking essays. What bliss, my world could be collapsing, but I had work to do. So, I moved on, the story of my life. What could I do, he’d gone. I stared at the wall then at my work. What would you have done? Chased after him with a saucepan or a knife. Cut his… but I couldn’t. Talk about feeling numb. I didn’t want to get up. I hadn’t moved since he told me. I think my body was in lock down or shock. Anyhoo, I reached for the vodka and a glass.

Two hours later I looked into the mirror and saw my panda eyes. I hadn’t realised I had been crying. Then it really hit me and the tears flowed as I watched in the reflection. Great big charcoal blobs running down my cheeks. Why was I sad? I hated him even though I thought I had loved him. I really hated him.

The classroom was emptying as she approached my desk.

“Miss Thomas?”

“Erin?”

“What happened here?”

“It was an A wasn’t it?”

“Yes, but look…”

The tears had spread like pools over her work, blotting out words and meanings as they merged with one another, just on the second page, but it was ruined just as my love life had been ruined last night.

“I am so sorry Erin.”

“Are these tears?”

I felt myself going red.

“Maybe, your work is so moving…” I suggested.

“Don’t be silly, but were you crying are you okay?”

I looked up into her riveting blue eyes and was stunned by how gorgeous she was; looking so concerned and sad for me. But who wants a student to be sad when you should be in control.

“It was nothing Erin, you’d best get on.”

She smiled. “If you say so.”

We stood by the bar, finishing our drinks. It was loud and sweaty. It would take my mind off whatever it was I was thinking.

“He’s gone and I’m glad.”

“Really Braith? But it’s been years, as long as I’ve known you.” Philly didn’t believe me.

“Three, wasted, all wasted years. I should have learnt…”

“But, how can you?”

“You know when it’s not right don’t you Philly? I fooled myself, but really I’ve known for a long time…”

“What now?”

“Move on,” I sipped my drink. “I must move on, I don’t need anyone else. I have my friends. I don’t need a man to make me whole.”

“No, none of us do.”

“It’s just that I know I could have done so much better.”

“That’s sad.”

“I know, it’s so disappointing to throw all my eggs into his one bloody basket, to give him everything when…”

“No point in sob stories Braith.”

“No, I promised I would not feel sorry for myself. I just feel a fool for being taken in for so long.”

“He must have…”

“He said not the bastard. He said he’d never loved me.”

“He’s a liar. How could he not?” Philly snarled

“You’re right. How could he not love me? Well his loss. My freedom. Let’s get dancing!”

So, we made it to the dance floor, ignored everyone else and just danced. Dissolving into the music and forgetting everything and everybody. I didn’t have a care and I didn’t give a damn about the world. It could pass me by and I would get back on when I thought the time was right. At the moment I didn’t need anything. The lights flashed and the music pumped in time to their strobe and I could see Philly flickering as she got caught in the rhythm of the strobe. Over her shoulder I recognised Erin Flood who was dancing on her own; she caught my eye and waved shyly. I waved. What was she doing out on a school night were my thoughts. What a prig you are I told myself and then floated off in to my own musical world.

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Jon Wilkins

Jon Wilkins

Jon Wilkins is Welsh and lives in England. He is a writer. A Europhile and Remainer, he is a regular visitor to Utrecht and has set his crime novel series in the city.

1 Response

  1. Jon Wilkins Jon Wilkins says:

    What have we got so far?
    Plot
    Partner leaves girlfriend
    Interaction between teacher and student
    Night club activity

    Character
    Boyfriend unnamed. Will we see him again?
    Braith a Teacher
    Erin a student
    Philly friend of Braith

    Place
    Where is it set?
    Anywhere you choose.

    The canvas is yours!

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