‘Reading at the Writing Group’ by Phil Yeats

Welcome to The Spot Writers. This month’s prompt is to write something with these words:

emotion, thumb, copyright, chapter, misery.

Today’s post is written by Phil Yeats. In December 2019, Phil (using his Alan Kemister pen name) published his most recent novel. Tilting at Windmills, the second in the Barrettsport Mysteries series of soft-boiled police detective stories set in an imaginary Nova Scotia coastal community is available on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Tilting-Windmills-Barrettsport-Mysteries-Book-ebook/dp/B07L5WR948/

*****

Reading at the Writing Group

by

Phil Yeats

Beth whispered as Maurice rose to read his response to their writing group’s monthly prompt. “Not showing much emotion considering Claire’s choice of prompt.”

“Very benign,” Susan replied, smiling. “His hatred of prompts based on randomly chosen words is legendary.”

Maurice cleared his throat and opened his notebook. “William Stockton strode along the country road, swinging his left arm with fingers curled and thumb extended in the time-honoured tradition of hitchhikers everywhere. The sputtering engine and the screech of brakes signalled the arrival of his neighbour, Penny Braithwaite.

“She leaned across the cabin of her ancient Morris Mini Minor and opened the passenger door. ‘If you’re heading for the lawyer’s office, you’ll never make it.’

“Maurice turned and leaned into the tiny car. ‘I dithered, and then my stupid old heap wouldn’t start.’

“‘Jump in. My trusty steed will get us there with seconds to spare. But why wouldn’t you attend. That fool Doug Swindler has breached the copyright laws by including chapters from our books without permission.’

“Her car sagged when Maurice lowered his hundred plus kilos into the passenger seat. It belched a great fart of blue exhaust as Penny opened the throttle and released the clutch.

“‘Swindler!’ Maurice shouted as the old Morris lurched ahead. ‘Taking our books, changing the endings and republishing them under his name?’

“‘Nope. New story. He started with a chapter he wrote, added one he stole from one of us, then one or two of his own, another of ours, more of his, etcetera. Eighty thousand words. Twenty-three chapters stolen verbatim. The only things he changed were character names.’

“‘And he produced a story that makes sense?’ When Penny nodded, he added, ‘this I gotta read.’”

Maurice closed the notebook where he’d recorded his story. He sat without cracking a smile or displaying any other emotion.

Susan turned to Beth while holding her hand in front of her face. She didn’t want Claire to see her reaction to the latest engagement in Maurice and Claire’s petty battle over writing prompts. “Look at her—Misery incarnate.”

*****

The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com

Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.com/

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