London Calling

This week’s Red Writing Hood challenge at Write on Edge was Olympics themed, and with options.  Head over to submit your own story, or to read some more prompt responses.

The 100 Meter Sprint

100 words on a conflict, competition, or game.

The Road Race

300 words on a topic of your choice. The only catch? Your setting must be London, Beijing, or Rio de Janeiro.

Synchronized Diving

Partner up with another Write on Edge writer. You each have 450 words to write about a conflict between two characters; each writer should represent a single character’s point of view.

I decided on the Road Race.  Having been to London only briefly, I figured that would be the only setting that could even remotely work out of the three, not that I really discuss it all that much.  Mainly because I decided I wanted to continue the firefly story from two weeks ago, and that particular scene was NOT in London.  There might have to be some fill-in between the two scenes, but for now, we’ve got 10-ish year old Rachel in Firefly, and 16ish year old Rachel in London Calling.

Instead of the usual interesting artwork to go with this one, I’ve decided to leave you with a song, in a blatant ripoff of Lance at “My Blog can Beat up Your Blog.”  His blog should totally look out, though, because my blog is scrappy!  I lie.  My blog is like those fainting goats – it would knock itself unconscious to avoid being beaten up.  **An additional note, now that I’ve gone through and started reading other blogs from the prompt response.  Yup, I did, indeed, manage to pick the exact same song as Lance used for this prompt.  Clearly it’s just the song to think of when thinking of London.  So, please note that I was only planning to rip off the ‘music in blog’  idea… not the ‘London Calling’ idea.  Go figure.

Rachel clawed her way back to a groggy wakefulness as the plane started its descent into London.  Her head pounded and her mouth tasted of ash.  Always ash after that dream.  Running, from the fire or to it, through a strange house, scorching heat from the door she sought.

She collected her bags and glowered around the passenger pickup area, the light too piercing even through her sunglasses.  A woman hurried towards her, a tight smile on her face, and equally beautiful and stylish daughter in tow.

Oh great, Rachel thought, self consciously fiddling with her rumpled Tee, the welcoming committee. 

“Darling, you look a fright!  Was the flight dreadful?  Of course it was, you must be exhausted, poor thing.  Chelsea, help her with her bags.  We offered to have your ticket upgraded, you know, but your mother insisted you were fine.  Oh goodness, where are my manners, I’m Miriam, darling, and my daughter – Chelsea, I said help her with her bags!  I’m sure you’ll get along like gangbusters.  Ah, there’s James with the car.”

She awoke as the car pulled up at an old country home, sand-coloured bricks covered in creeping vines, windows peeking out from the greenery like watchful eyes.

She remembered her mother describing the Florence Cottage as charming, quaint.  It looked more like a mansion.

“Wow.  You live here?”

Chelsea snorted.  “No, we figured we’d just bring you to a random house.  Come on.”

Rachel froze at the top of the stairs, clutching the banister.  The dream.

She pointed, eyes locked on the door, heavy iron handle stark against pristine white that blurred in her vision, bubbling with heat that wasn’t there.  “Where does that one lead?”  She could smell the smoke, so real, the heat.

Darkness shrouding her eyes, she heard Chelsea yell, “FIRE!”



  1. Scary sense of deja vu there. I love the set up.

  2. Lance

     /  August 3, 2012

    There’s a lot of “craft” here. It’s impressive. The hopping from times in her life gives the characters depth.

    when I saw the title I smiled. this song is too good and too important to let one fool have it, me. I loved this.

    Play it loud lexy

    • Thanks. The song is definitely kickass, and perfect for anything with the theme “london”, really.

  3. I loved this! Rachel’s exhaustion, the feeling that she’s swinging at the end of her rope, is palpable. Great job!

    • thanks – I was definitely aiming to show her at a very low-functioning kind of a time… jet-lag’s a kicker, even without nightmares

  4. I love the idea behind the third prompt. I’ve not done a lot of collaboration and I think a project like that would be fun.

    But you did an excellent job with your choice as well. I love short pieces like this. They leave so much to the imagination, especially with this set up. Good job!

    • The people who did that prompt turned out some really interesting pieces – very cool to see both sides of a situation in that way.

  5. Ah, very well done. I love the interaction between the characters. The conversations have a natural ease to them. Great take on the prompt!

  6. Scary, dreams coming true, a warning perhaps! Then all of a sudden Chelsea is yelling fire. Great job!

    • dreams coming true… “Bam bam baaaaaaam” ignore the rumble of thunder in the background 😉

  7. Great story and excellent descriptions.

  8. oooh! Spooky. Great lead in to the vision/deja vu.

    • thanks – the dream is definitely an important part, but I didn’t want it to be set entirely in dreamscape

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