Finish the Story #12 – A Night at the Opera


A Night at the Opera

Joshua planned the night perfectly. He bought her favorite flowers, picked the perfect bistro, arranged for her favorite book to be in the bookshop window, and purchased the best box at the opera nearly six months earlier. He waited for Lana to come home from work, take a shower, and start to relax. His plan was then set in motion.

“Why don’t we go out to eat tonight,” he suggested.

“Oh, that sounds lovely,” she said.

On their way out the door, Joshua reached into the refrigerator and whipped out the bouquet of flowers.

Lana squealed. “They’re lovely!” She kissed his cheek and wrapped herself around his arm.

The meal was perfect and she nearly flipped when she saw the book she loved on the way to the opera house.

Everything was going as planned. Everything until the opera. Instead of her favorite tenor as scheduled, Faust was played by…

Part 2 by Fresh Hell

… “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. It completely spoiled her expectations of the evening. The wrestler barreled around the stage, ungainly as a three legged pig. He nearly knocked part of the set over.

As he belted out the last broken note, unconsciously clotheslining a member of the chorus with one beefy arm, her temper burst. She just had to go complain.

“No, no, not again,” Joshua said. “Please, let’s go home.”

“I can’t enjoy my evening if I don’t settle out my confrontations,” she said snippily. “Let me do this.”

She joined the line to meet “Stone Cold.”

Joshua kept his hand in his pocket, sadly palming the small box hidden there. He had planned to give this to her after the show, but he knew her well, and what she had said was true. She needed to tell somebody off. If she came out on top, she would be in the finest possible mood and he could continue his plan without a hitch. However, if she lost face… he might have to re-plan this whole thing.

But the closer they got, the smaller his current dilemma got, and the bigger “Stone Cold” got. Joshua’s courage was wilting, but Lana simply held her head higher. At last their turn in line came.

“MISTER ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin,” Lana began huffily. “I have to something to say to you!”

“Stone Cold” took her hand in one of his ham fists. “Hello beautiful,” he said pleasantly.

Lana’s eyes bulged, and her face turned bright pink. Her opera glasses had not done him justice. Up close, his eyes were ocean deep, his bald pate such a compelling shape. She couldn’t remember what she was angry about. “W-would you like to join us for a late coffee?”

Part 3 by Michael at Morpethroad.

Joshua couldn’t believe the same Lana he had earlier taken out was now standing starry-eyed and blushing in front “Stone Cold”.

She muttered something he took as a yes and then followed him and his entourage into a nearby coffee shop. By now her focus was on the former wrestler, and Joshua was feeling totally ignored. So much for all his plans for the evening.

In the coffee shop, Steve was surrounded by sycophantic admirers and as the evening progressed he appeared to be lapping up all the attention they gave to him.

By now Lana had become completely enamoured by him and by her second cup she was sitting on his knee, stroking his pate with one hand while gurgling sweet nothings into his ear.

“Stone Cold” appeared to be becoming less stone cold by the minute and began fondling Lana in ways Joshua thought was his domain only. To make it worse, Lana was in the throes of enjoyment and in Joshua’s opinion was making a right spectacle of herself.

Finally, Joshua had had enough and…

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Three Things Challenge (3TC) – The Headless Horseman.


Three Things Challenge, the words are: headless, sleeping, mountain.

It was while sleeping on Sleeping Mountain that I encountered the headless horseman.

It had been an arduous day, uphill all the way.

Rest was screaming at me to give it a go, and so I fell into my sleeping bag and drifted off.

It was sometime later when I was awoken by the sound of a horse galloping my way. It came closer and closer, and I became frightened at the intrusion into my camp. Soon under the light of the silvery moon, I made out the approaching horse. The rider was encased in a black robe, but as it came closer, I could see there was no head upon the rider’s shoulders.

As he drew level with my camp, the horse reared, and I could see the silver horseshoes against the night sky.

It then came to a complete stop, and the rider appeared to be looking at me, at least it would have if it had a head.

Then the rider raised an arm and pointed to the west and rode off. As the dust settled the atmosphere on the mountain returned to its sleeping self.

I wondered if upon my return my grandchildren would believe what I had just seen.


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Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – Stuck Upright


It came as no surprise when they raised the bridge, and it stuck in the upright position. After years of neglect and the council crossing their fingers hoping for the best, the bridge stayed up.

The rust had become so bad there was a call for major refurbishment as the neighbours to the bridge had been complaining for years about the squeaking it made when being opened and closed.

All along the river, the old bridges had been taken down, and this one in our town was the last mainly because someone thought it a good idea to leave it as a relic of the past.

The inconvenience was profound. Priceless Joy the convener of the “Aspiring Writers’ Association was stuck on one side of the town unable to get home from the doctor and so had to ring her friend Joe to take over while she navigated her way home.

As it was everyone considered, an eyesore.


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Bonus Wordle “The Letter E” – Egbert


This week’s words: Easement Ethereal Exoteric ((adj.) suitable for or communicated to the general public: not belonging, limited, or pertaining to the inner or select circle, as of disciples or intimates: popular, simple, common place
Emulation ((n.) effort or desire to equal or excel others: jealous rivalry) Edge Elsewhere Enough Equipment Entry Erase Exact Evil

Egbert was an evil low down egocentric man who deserved everything he got. He was very much an exoteric character which described his exacting nature in alienating as many folks as he could.

He lived on the edge of the equatorial forest and refused to allow an easement to be driven through his land preferring to see people walk the extra mile to get into the forest despite a clear entry point being available.

Egbert was very much into emulation, he hated to think that anyone was exactly like him, in fact, he abhorred the idea. Egbert craved the edge over others, he spent so much of his time planning how he might achieve an advantage. Enough was never enough for him, his egocentric character drove him on to make his neighbours and his acquaintances aware of his superiority.

Elsewhere people spoke about him is disparaging terms, mostly wishing they could erase from their minds all memory of Egbert and his evil ways. Everyone remembered the time when he took all the sporting equipment from the school and sold it on eBay as a way of getting back at the school for expelling him when he was a young boy.

It was true there was nothing ethereal about him, he was a rough, ready and downright horrible example of evil and one whose behaviour exacerbated every situation.


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Weekend Writing Prompt #76 – Unlock


She didn’t know how she did it but his heart she unlocked. His hardened heart impenetrable at first glance she loosened and opened. From there flowed a love she never thought possible.

He cried on her shoulder as his burdens were unloaded. She held him close knowing the joy of an unlocked heart. The responsibility of his freedom weighed on her shoulders, happily.


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Sunday Writing Prompt “Collage Prompt #43” – The Pretend Girl


When the time came to leave it was with disappointment and a sense of the past repeating itself.

So often in the past, he had felt in a similar place only to have it plucked from him.

He liked the freedom of being in the now. The past which haunted him was always there to fall back on, to cast him into the abyss of loneliness a place where so much he was familiar with existed and allowed him to roll in with such a sense of depressing normality.

But here in this place, he was leaving where the furnishings, the ambience and the mood opened his eyes to new possibilities he had felt the exhilaration of a new beginning where he might be freed from the terrors of the past and embrace a state of safety and rest.

He spent plenty of time sitting observing the snails in the aquarium, the pretend girl who served the dinner, who made him his coffee and who at night turned out his light. She had shown him what it might be like to be in charge of his own destiny and he knew he would miss her.

Tomorrow he would return to a life where looking over his shoulder would be the norm, where watching what he said would need all his concentration for fear of the question why?

He looked round one last time, the thought struck him as to why this had to be. Why was he not strong enough to resist the pull of the past? Why couldn’t enjoy the pleasures of the now?

Was he so weak, so inept?

The pretend girl took his hand, bid him farewell and invited him to return. “One day,” she said, “the real me will appear, and you’ll understand the man you can be. Be kind to yourself.”


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Reena’s Exploration Challenge #Week 58



Pick minimum two keywords – preferably which is not from your post, and weave a story/poem around it. The onus of identifying your keyword is also on you :). It is not necessary that the keywords appear in your post. It is only a theme, a personality, a mind-set that one works with. It will be interesting to see how these interact with each other.

Hats off to those who can take seven keywords, and create something!


  1. Whiner
  2. Patience personified
  3. Pessimist
  4. Testing Times
  5. Doer
  6. Jilted Lover
  7. Circumstantial
  8. Devoted

William was a whiner and good one at that. No matter the circumstance he could find a reason to complain and did with a vigour that left his mother wondering what she had done wrong to have produced a child such as her William.

The mother was far from a pessimist and was in so many ways a fine example of patience personified. No crisis seemed to faze her and reacted with reason and understanding no matter how dire the situation might be such as William refusing the attend his sister’s wedding because he had a falling out with the groomsman a guy he’d only just met.

Every day for the mother was an example of testing times. It seemed not a day went by without William raising his objection to what appeared reasonable and okay for every other person around him. Because her mother was a real doer considering she was once a jilted lover having arrived at the church to marry the love of her life only to discover, he had run off with her best and only friend. Never one to allow life to get her down for too long she had made it her life’s work to front William every time he decided to raise his pessimistic head and suggest and then demand a positive response.

She was devoted to her son, believe it or not, and no matter the circumstantial evidence would confront him with the reality of life. Basically, that in life, and this was in regard to his sister’s wedding, that life was made up of relatives and everyone else and he was not in any position to pick and choose his relatives and who they associated with, so he’d best ‘suck it up’ and allow nature to take its course.

Thankfully William was prepared to accept his mother’s advice even though in most cases he didn’t understand.


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