Paradise

Another one word, 15-minute writing prompt. I actually do know where this one’s going after the abrupt stop that represents the end of the writing time, but I’ve never got around to extracting it from my head!


Stacy Andrews stood in front of the travel agents in the high street, daydreaming. She wasn’t on her lunch break in a miserable grey northern town, having stuffed in a greasy pork pie and two sickly chocolate doughnuts and about to go back to her soul-destroying job for an insurance company. No, she was Stacy Andrews, millionairess – or at least very-comfortably-off-ess – and she was just about to round off her lunchtime, spent mainly over a wonderfully healthy yet tasty salad at that expensive Raw Food place up the road, by booking a three-week trip to a fantastic resort in the Seychelles.

‘One of those places where you live in a little straw hut on a coral reef but there’s a jacuzzi in your bathroom’, she’d confide to her equally wealthy colleagues at the office where she’d go three days a week ‘just to stop me vegetating’ and from which would periodically issue gorgeously produced cookery books of the “cottage garden but with wonderfully styled photography” genre.

She’d go away, have a fabulous time, meet a rich, handsome and interesting man who’d fall instantly in love with her and propose – but she’d say no because she valued her independence so much and when she went home he’d write her intense letters every other day and they’d meet now and then and have passionate yet tender sex in equally exotic locations.

‘Spare some change, love?’ came a voice from beside her, instantly accompanied by a waft of unwashed body.

‘Ugh…er…’ she turned her first response into a kind of cough and rummaged in her handbag. After all, it wasn’t the… she peered at the grimy figure before her with its hand out. Woman? Yes, definitely female, despite the baggy layers of clothes and bobble hat. It wasn’t the woman’s fault she was homeless. Probably.

Stacy had seen that documentary about the homeless – the one proving that only 5% of those living on Britain’s streets had actually chosen in any way to be there. So she always gave money to help them when she could. Or at least when she couldn’t avoid not giving, anyway. It was her own fault for standing still. Usually if you maintained a sufficiently high speed you could be past even a persistent beggar before they got more than a few words into their spiel.

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