Flash Fiction: First Sentence Prompt

“You’re late”

He stopped adjusting his turned in collar to thrust his left hand out and twisted his wrist to check his watch. It was an automatic response. He glanced at the pale band of skin. His watch, he remembered, was in his inside pocket. He hadn’t the time.

“Not too late”, he offered. The seated man’s brows, raised briefly in astonishment at the farcical spectacle, dropped at once into a tight knot over his narrowed eyes, his lips pursed, then raised as if to join the brows in a scowl. He’d let it do its worst, allow the icy tide to wash him down, the hot irons to pierce his pride. Then he’d go for a coffee consolation.

“You’ve an attitude problem”

I’ve an alarm problem, actually, he thought. His son had showed him the app on his smartphone, and they had gone through all the ringtones he hadn’t liked. You can upload your own, his son had said. Brahms’ Lullaby. Naturally, he’d said it as a joke. It had sailed clear over the boy’s head. And speaking of which…

The seated man seemed to be silent, and glowering. Their eye contact impossibly magnetic, like a rabbit before a cobra.

“Have you been listening to a word I’ve said?”

He opened his mouth as if to speak but his mind was out to breakfast, and strains of the lullaby played softly and sweetly.

(234 words)

Thank you, Rachel Poli for this week’s fiction prompt, First Sentence Starter no. 33.

I haven’t written much fiction since school but I’m relating to these prompts as I do preliminary warm up sketches in drawing lessons. It gets, and keeps, the creative chi moving. And all practice is good practice.

Don’t be shy, give a prompt a go. Don’t fear the block.


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