The Colours in Your Vials. FutureLearn ‘Start Writing Fiction’ course. Exercise 3.12 – Generate something new.

Written for the Future Learn ‘Start Writing Fiction’ course. Exercise 3.12 – Generate something new

Academics infuriate Amber Lewis and David Ramos is the worst of all...

 The Colours in Your Vials

“Stop. Right There!”

Hearing a male with a divine European accent made Amber Lewis jump. Spanish? Italian? Portuguese?

She turned to see the vision of glinting espresso eyes and jet hair. Perfect stubble surrounding a snarling mouth. Designer jeans, white T-shirt and probably a fragrance from an aspirational advertisement.

“What are you doing with my samples?” growled the Latino male model, clearly teleported by accident into the antiquity of British academia.

“Just admiring the colours in your vials.” Amber smoothed her blonde ponytail.

“Empty the bins and get out. I’m meeting that idiot from Zaxifor in here shortly.”

“Well, I better stay then,” Amber failed to suppress the flicker of anger. He thought she was the janitor. “Professor Ramos? I’m Amber Lewis from Zaxifor.”

“Who?” David Ramos grunted. “Where’s Doctor Portland? Is he coming?”

Amber felt her hackles rising. David Ramos might not look like the academics she usually met with, but he certainly had the social inadequacies and arrogance that she had become accustomed to lately.

“Call me Amber. I hate using formalities. I think Doctor should be reserved for medics, don’t you?” Amber hoped feigning ambivalence about her title would make his blood boil further.

“Where did you you read Doctor Lewis?”

“On the train this morning. I have a Kindle app on my mobile phone,” Amber smirked, not wanting to get into that game of one upmanship of academic establishments.

“I meant where did you study…” David tailed off in irritation.

“Somewhere good enough to get myself a real job.”

“You clearly have a low opinion of us academics, Miss Lewis,” David glared. “Which is surprising seeing as you need us to do your company’s research.”

“It’s called leverage,” Amber smiled. “My time is better spent on business critical activities. Not in the laboratory.”

“Come to my office,” David fumed. “I want to show you something.”

Amber felt a weakening in her stride as she followed him.


The Island’s Inventory #500wordstory #writing #flfiction16

Written for the FutureLearn ‘Start Writing Fiction’ course. 

Exercise 2.17 – Switch on the radio for a prompt. “The barriers that existed between these two people being able to be in love.”

The Island’s Inventory  (500 word story).

She instantly recognised his handwriting on the wrapper encasing the garlic naan.
“Another beer,” Dougie bellowed over the rugby commentary. “Bring it over with my curry.”
Catriona shivered at the numbers inked so neatly. She’d seen him writing orders and receipts many times. Dougie McDonald had been a loyal customer since Syed Khan opened his takeaway on the island two years ago.
She tore the laminate and shoved the scrap into the pocket of her maternity jeans.

I got your new number.
That’ll do. Won’t arouse suspicion if anyone else reads it. She knew that Syed’s father-in-law was the chef.
Meet tomorrow morning? S
Catriona’s heart contorted, this time unrelated to her pregnancy dyspepsia.
The Point. How early can you make it?
Catriona stared, then swiped the screen to delete the text messages.

She recognised Syed’s car immediately and others would too which was why he’d selected the most remote car park on this Scottish isle. She parked Dougie’s dilapidated van alongside and battled the gale around to his passenger door.
Inside the red BMW she was cocooned in his world of leather, chrome dials and blue-toothed devices. Not bad for a delivery driver she’d thought a year ago, not knowing then that he owned several businesses on the mainland.
They grinned and she realised they’d never been this close in daylight. Always separated by a cash register on a counter-top, or the porch threshold if he delivered Dougie’s takeaway. They’d only been intimate in the darkness when he’d started secretly picking her up on her walk home from work. God, he was so handsome. Illuminated by the sunrise she weakened at caramel flecks in his espresso eyes and yearned for the soft friction of his raven stubble against her skin again.
“I’m sorry,” Syed’s smile faded to torment as he reached for her pale, freckled hand. “I couldn’t stay away any longer.”
Catriona swallowed, “Me neither.”
“I wish we could leave,” Syed scowled at the jagged coastline. “But my kids are here.”
“Take them with us?” Catriona’s throat constricted, realising what she’d just suggested.
“They need their mother too,” Syed sounded resigned. Imprisoned.
“I’m pregnant,” Catriona announced it flatly.
“I heard. You need to leave him,” Syed fingered the latest bruise on her wrist.
“I’m going in two weeks,” she sighed. “I’ll stay with my sister in Edinburgh.”
“I could rent you a flat in Glasgow. I’m always traveling there for meetings. We could be together properly.” Syed choked. “A real family.”
Properly? Once a month at the most. Catriona shook her head, “That wouldn’t be right.”
“We don’t have many options,” Syed checked the rear view mirror for errant dog walkers. “A relationship here is impossible with this community and my family… and after our baby is born…”
Catriona nodded, neither knew who the father was yet, but both agreed that she couldn’t go on as a domestic abuse statistic, or join the island’s growing inventory of marital and paternity scandals.