We know from feedback on our Absolute Beginners online writing course that our clients love the exercises where they write for five minutes incorporating certain words. Here’s Max Carr’s short story, which includes the words: Elvis, colander, trombone, lemon and bruise.
We lived in a Spanish coastal town, in a tiny flat, surrounded by other tiny flats, all with paper-thin walls. Every morning as I lay in bed I could hear the clink of the razor against the sink as our neighbour, Elvis, knocked the foam from his safety razor before leaving for work, slamming the door behind him and rattling my bedroom windows. In the evening I could hear on the other side, Paloma, pouring pasta in the colander, and I could visualise the steam adding to the heat in her already roasting kitchen. We lived in each other’s pockets, we knew each other intimately, even though those walls separated us.
So there was no way on earth, when I took up the trombone that I could practise at home. Every day I would grab my trombone case and my helmet from beside the door and descend down the shady stairway, out into the blinding sunshine, the heat hitting me like a force-field, and get on my 50cc scooter. I putt-putted out of town, to one of the abandoned housing developments that surround our town thanks to the ‘ economic crisis’: with fully built roads and wires poking out of concrete boxes where the houses should have been; empty of people but full of cicadas, the air humming with their song. I would sit under the shade of a lemon tree, cross-legged amongst the fallen fruit, and blow until my lips were bruised.
We invite you to send in your short story, written in five-minutes or less incorporating the following five words: drench, rollerskates, astronaut, bloody, handbag. Email your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will publish our favourite story on our Blog.