A schoolboy prank, a murder, the pharaoh’s daughter and a haunted chandler’s

It was our writing group today and as I’ve mentioned not only were we thinking about a topic for our pieces, we were also challenged to write in a different genre. I struggled trying to think of anything different to write about ‘rope’, our chosen word, but to think of a different genre – I write so much her in so many varied ways! I realised that because I usually don’t like stories written in the present tense (with a few exceptions) I’ve never written speculative fiction – imagining what would have happened if actual events had not followed the course they did. I imagined an incident which might have happened if we had never moved to the southwest and I had continued to live in Cambridge, and if I’d not had glandular fever and had been an even better swimmer.

We met in a large café/bar which is usually emptyish at that time, but not today – there was a celebration party on the table next to us with loud cheerful voices, loud laughter,, loud babies, barking dogs… not conducive for a writers’ meeting! We soldiered on, but will meet somewhere else next time!

So what did my friends write about rope?

  • a piece imagining the events leading up to the hanging of Ruth Ellis for murder of her lover
  • a sea shanty (always lots of rope in shanties!) – which was sung to us, luckily before the noisy party began!
  • a disturbing story about a family facing disaster because of climate change
  • a schoolboy prank involving an explosion in a telephone box which had been roped chute
  • a hilarious story about a long married couple trying to make their love life more interesting
  • Baby Moses in his rush cradle, rescued from the Nile by the pharaoh’s daughter’s handmaidens pulling the basket ashore
  • a creepy man named Rhope who met his death on the banks of a river
  • a creepy story about a haunted chandler’s (the rope was the villain!)

As usual I was so impressed by the talents of my friends, by the variety of stories which they had written – each one differnt from their ‘normal’ style and genre, and also what a jolly nice bunch of people they all are!

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