Sometimes I have a few minutes to spare and enjoy a writing burst. This teenie-weenie exercise can be used to bring forth a few ideas or get the writing juices flowing.
Occasionally, when working on a longer project, I feel myself stagnate a little or my mind begins to wander. This is when I need to flex my writing brain, to invigorate it, wake it up – a bit like having a short cold shower when you’re feeling groggy.
‘He’s Coming for You’ is a flash fiction I wrote during one of my little writing bursts. Having a sluggish day? Try a ten minute burst. Don’t overthink, don’t stop to edit, just spew the words onto the page.
If you feel they have any merit when your ten minutes is up, then you can edit your work and add more detail.
He’s Coming for You – a tidied up short burst of writing by Carla Kovach.
He had her eyes. ‘You’re just like mummy, aren’t you?’ The mid-afternoon sun shone through the branches, casting rays of light over the pram. Charlotte gently lifted the baby to her breast, rocking the tiny bundle back and forth until his eyes began to close. She hummed a comforting tune as the baby she loved so deeply slept on her shoulder. ‘You’re so precious,’ she whispered as she kissed her baby’s soft forehead, inhaling his milky smell.
Watching the ducks swimming with their chicks made her smile as she felt the warmth of her own baby nestled against her. The doctors were wrong, they were all wrong. Jake was her miracle baby, sent to her by some sort of divine intervention. She’d prayed so hard and eventually her prayers had been answered and rewarded. It didn’t matter that Steve had left her or that her mother had moved away, never to see her only grandchild. If mattered not that the woman who’d given birth to her never returned her calls. ‘We don’t need them, Sweetie.’
Her baby would have the best money could buy. Money wasn’t an issue. She’d saved for years, paid for her house and built up a successful advertising company from scratch. From now, the team she’d so carefully recruited could run the business. She had new priorities. They’d understand.
Steve never understood. He wouldn’t have made a good father anyway. He didn’t want a child, told her she should give up the idea, citing that her motherly desires were driving them apart. He was wrong, it was him who’d driven them apart.
Her heart thumped against her ribcage as she spotted the bearded man across the other side of the lake. Why was he staring at her? He began to walk with a purpose, large strides closing the gap between them. Charlotte placed Jake in his pram and he began to whimper, his face contorting until loud cries filled the air. The man was catching up. As he disappeared, following the path behind a hedge, she ran into the dense woodland behind her, pushing the pram through the thick foliage. Sweat ran down her forehead as the wheels got stuck in a dip.
‘Hey,’ the man called. He was close. Jake let out a small whimper.
‘It’s alright little one.’ She grabbed the infant, wrapped him in his pram blanket and sprinted through the trees, coming out onto a busy road. Traffic sped in both directions. She needed to cross, to get away from the threat. Had Steve sent the man? He never wanted their baby. So why was he torturing her like this?
She pulled her phone from her pocket and darted through a gap in the traffic as she waited for Steve to answer. Horns blasted and a car swerved and almost crashed. The man had caught up, only the traffic divided them. She had to escape before he too found a gap in the traffic. Her baby screamed. ‘Shush Jake, please.’ She couldn’t think. Run – she had to run.
‘Charlotte? What do you want?’ She could barely hear Steve’s voice over the sound of her pounding heart.
‘They’re after me, Steve? You sent them, didn’t you?’
‘Sent who? What are you on about? Look, I haven’t got time for this, for your drama. The divorce papers are in the post. You’ll be hearing from my solicitor.’
As she sprinted with the crying baby, she felt her ankle get caught in the undergrowth. ‘Stop her,’ the man yelled. As she went to stand, her ankle gave way. The man stumbled to her side, snatching her screaming baby from her arms.
‘He’s kidnapping my baby, our baby.’
‘What’s going on Charlotte? We don’t have baby. You can’t have children. What have you done?’
As tears streamed down her face, she watched as the young woman caught up with the man. The distress on her face said it all. Sirens blared out as the woman cradled her baby and the man hugged her.
‘I messed up.’
The officer took her phone and led her to his car. She only wanted a baby, she wanted her Jake, but it wasn’t meant to be.
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Carla Kovach – Author of the bestselling DI Gina Harte crime series.