Writing prompt no. 1

So our first prompt of the day for the NFFD Cafe Aphra challenge is....


Write a short piece - a few sentences, whatever story occurs to you, but no more than 400 words - and post it under here as a comment.

Any technical difficulties, please email us at: cafeaphra@yahoo.com

Next one coming in three hours' time....


  1. Lucky Tommy by Joy Manné
    They said he was born lucky.
    If anyone found a coin by the roadside, it would be Tommy, except mostly he found $50 notes.
    If anyone got the most beautiful gal, it would be Tommy, and she would always come from the richest family and have parents who adored him.
    The best university, the best grades, the best job offers, and – just before choosing between them – run over and killed by the Mercedes 300SEL 6.3 that had once belonged to Mick Jagger for whose concerts he always managed to have the best seats.
    Lucky Tommy escaped before life could disappointment him.

    1. Haha! Love it Joy, great piece! I enjoyed the contrast between the very short sentences and then the very long penultimate one; helps to modulate how you read it. What a great start to NFFD at Cafe Aphra! Thanks Joy.

    2. A succinct and meaningful piece! The syntax is grand! Well done Joy!

  2. Born lucky by Emma Tinker

    As a medical student, Anya had hated the obs & gyne rotation. For all her professional indifference to cancer and car crashes, she was shocked at the brutality of childbirth: the shit, the episiotomies, the faces of traumatised women trying to look happy.

    Throughout her pregnancy she joked about opiates and elective caesarians. She said nothing of a recurring dream in which she burst like a ripe fruit, the child an alien splitting and hatching from her ruined flesh.

    She gave birth in under an hour on the hard shoulder of the M40. The police officer who pulled her over joked about how lucky she was to have a doctor present. She laughed politely and said she could take no credit, as this little chap did all the work. And in her heart the scientist held on to the knowledge that easy births do happen, that this was pure chance and genetics, and not the hallowed blessing of a benevolent universe.

    1. Oh fantastic. Yes yes yes love this piece! Reminds me of so many conversations with post-natal friends in varying degrees of trauma... Thank you Emma for this beautifully written contribution, and welcome to Cafe Aphra.

    2. The word choice in this piece has such dexterity Emma - you have a gift for crafting powerful imagery.

    3. And the subtext, pointing to the future, the scientific mother bringing up a child.

  3. "Luck and Liars"
    by Sarah Goehring

    Anyone can tell you that it's luck I was born with.

    They're liars.

    "Luck" is a word invented to make people feel special. It has no meaning to it whatsoever. Baseless, positive--it's an upper word, pure and simple. People use words like "lucky" to make up for the unfortunate past that shrouds me.

    No, it's not lucky that I was the sole survivor out of an entire school in flames. It's not lucky that I drove over the Nevada/Arizona border right as a bomb went off under a crowded overpass behind me. It's not lucky that my closest friends got the flu and died within minutes of each other while I stayed healthy.

    It's not lucky.

    It's my fault.

    1. Holy cow Sarah - this last line has resonated with me all day! So profoundly human! Fantastic!

  4. Born Lucky
    by Ginger Dawn

    How can we trick those boys into kissing us? I like the one with straw colored hair and glasses. Each ivory cube has white tape covering the black dots. Words are carefully chosen and I must use my best penmanship. Shelly hands me the pen. I write forehead, earlobes, hand, bellybutton, cheek, and lips on each of the six faces. Similarly on the second die, I write down six different actions to be performed. I start to giggle as each girl offers the verbs kiss, lick, suck, nibble, nuzzle, and blow. Oh I hope they play the game with us. I have never kissed a boy.
    “Better send Martha since she is the oldest,” I say.
    The boys smile and walk over. He is with them, I squeal inside as if I am going to explode like Mount Vesuvius. With each step, a lava of emotion flows as my heart beats faster and faster. Micky goes first and tosses both dice at once. We each eagerly read the dice and wait in anticipation. He chooses Martha and licks her on the hand. I feel relief that the boy didn’t pick me. He looks like a shaggy old dog. Shelly rolls the dice...nuzzle and cheek. I close my eyes tight. Not him. Please, don’t pick him. I open my eyes and she is snuggling Aaron.
    “My turn” he says with a sly grin.
    He looks at me and then at the dice. I hold my breath. A kiss on the… but the tape has come off. A kiss on the five. He leans close to me and it was then that I knew that I was born lucky.

    1. Great anticipation you've set up here, Ginger! Nice one - really satisfying ending.


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