Writing Prompt Exercise: ‘She hastily replaced the…’

I’m back! My super scary exam is over and I have more time again 🙂

So the prompt was as above. I adapted it slightly and came up with the following. I think this one is more an excerpt than a standalone. Tried not to pack too much in and went with the flow.

The sound of a key turning in the door made Rita jump. She hastily put the photograph back inside the tin, replaced the lid and stared at the logo for a moment – ‘Finest Shortbread’ – with her mouth still hanging open in disbelief.

“Rita? I’m home!”

She leaped up, kicked the tin back under the bed with her foot and hurried out of her parents’ room. She slowed down on the other side of the door and closed the door as slowly as possible behind her.

“Hi, mum!” she called, crossing the hall and running down the stairs, a smile fixed in place. She needed time to figure out what to do about her discovery, but that would have to wait a while.

But, as she spotted her mum, who was hanging her coat on the hat stand, the same question kept running through her mind, over and over, threatening her smile – who was he?

“Hi, sweetheart,” her mum smiled, walking over and giving her a one armed hug as she dislodged her handbag from the other shoulder. “How was your day?”

Rita followed her into the kitchen and flopped into one of the dining chairs, on which she had hung her blazer earlier. She forced herself to not stare questioningly at her mother and act normally. “Fine. Jenna’s cut her hair short and dyed it red. You should have seen Mr Bowler’s face…”

Her mum laughed, and opened the fridge to peer inside. “Bless him. I remember when he taught me. Never knew how to react to things like that then either…I wonder why she’s done that?”

“She broke up with Rob last week,” Rita explained absently, her eyes following her mum as she shut the fridge and carried some vegetables over to the counter. Who was he?

“Ah, I see. Well, she can do better, definitely. Have you finished your homework?”

An excuse! She had finished, but Rita had to have some time alone to think. “No. I’ll go finish then come set the table?”

“Sure,” her mum said, starting to cut up an onion. “Your dad’ll be home late tonight because of work…”

“Cool. See you in a bit,” Rita stood, grabbed her blazer then left the room, sneaking a long, lingering glance over her shoulder at her mother’s back.

Once she was upstairs, she quickly visited the biscuit tin, took out the photograph – she doubted it would be missed for a few hours – and then went to her bedroom. She settled cross legged on her bed and looked down again at the photograph.

A perfectly framed four by six colour print of a young man – she couldn’t tell how old he was, he could have been sixteen or twenty five – with floppy dark hair, green eyes focussed somewhere beyond the camera, a slightly serious expression on his studious face.

Something about him was familiar, but she had never seen him before in her life.

She fell back on her bed, letting the photograph fall to the side. She closed her eyes, deeply confused and not sure how to feel. What started out as a very childish but innocent search for her Christmas present had morphed into something a lot weirder.

Thanks for stopping by and reading 🙂

More to follow soon!

Ro x


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