Monday, 8 June 2015

Loose Lips

"Working with wine," said The Bore, "has the perk of allowing one to really appreciate cheeses." He took a nibble of aged Brie and looked down his nose at everyone.

"And crackers," drawled The Self-Conscious Rebel (no bow tie at a formal event). 

The group tittered.

Maxine, Recently-single, First-year sociology student re-discovering her passions in life, and People-Labeller, took a drink of wine to counter the dead-end conversation.

Thankfully, a bell commanded everyone to dinner. 

A handsome stranger pulled Maxine aside. "Where's the key?" He hissed. 

A Thief? A Blackmailer? An Adventurer? 

Maxine decided to find out. "This way."

This story is based on a rather unusual set of prompts - a set of words drawn from overheard conversations in public places. I've nicknamed this approach to prompts OOPS (Occasional Overheard Prompts for Stories); one, because character count is important for Twitter and the shorter, the better, and two, I'm a sucker for silly acronyms. The name may yet evolve into something more elegant and appropriate, but OOPS it is for now.

OOPS was born out of a Twitter conversation with Roger Jackson (@jabe842) and Dee Lancaster (@dee_lancaster). You can read the OOPS genesis story here (Roger's) and here (mine). I think OOPS may have also successfully tickled the interest of the Queen of Flash Fiction, Marj (@whithernow); we'll see :-)

The prompts for this latest OOPS were: dead end; cheese; bell; perks; passion.

Because the first OOPS attempts were 99 words, this has become the default word limit. (After all, there are other avenues for, say, 200-word stories... ;-)

Edit to add newsflash: Marj took up the gauntlet with aplomb; her story is here. Roger sharpened his creepy muse to a fine point here

It is actually Roger's turn to provide the next couple of OOPS. But... I forgot my phone one day last week, and my commute is long and rather painful without it. Fortunately or otherwise, there were a couple of old boys on my train having an animated and wide-ranging conversation. So I eavesdropped shamelessly. However, I will (be trying to) cut down on any further OOPSes until everyone else has had the chance to share their respective OOPSes (unless of course I encounter some that are too delicious to not share!)

Thanks for reading! :)


DeeLancaster said...

Love this! Great story. Makes me want to know more. Great OOPS story. And thanks for the mention.

ReeD with a Bee said...

Thanks Dee!! It's in the (unruly) good ideas pile! :)

Sarah Brentyn said...

What an awesome idea. Love it. Also, I am a huge fan of the flashing. Fiction that is. And love the 99 word limit challenge. Great flash! :-)

ReeD with a Bee said...

Teehee! I will have to quote you on flashing! ;)
I've added you to the OOPS list (hope that's ok). I find 99 words a huge challenge - thanks for the encouragement :)