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During the Intro Session I recently hosted for a team of aspiring authors we spoke about spontaneity in storytelling – do not get bogged down trying to get the first draft ‘perfect’. To emphasize my point, when given a prompt – murder/thriller – I took a few moments and told the following story.

I never post my first drafts; this is an exception, and perhaps a little formulaic. Please forgive the rough edges.

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Esther rang the bell again but received no response. Strange, as Magdalene was a bit of a homebody and at ten in the evening, should be home.

Rifling through her handbag, she pulled out a heavy key chain and after several attempts, found the key to the lock. With a click, the lock gave and she gingerly pushed in the door. The hinges squeaked and she grimaced.

The apartment was dark with a dull glow coming from the kitchenette. Esther felt a sharp prick in her heart, as Magdalene was afraid of the dark and always kept her apartment blazing bright. Tabby, where was she; that feline would have curled herself around Esther’s ankles by now.

Swallowing hard, she closed the door behind her and stepped tentatively into the small living room. Everything looked neat and screamed of Magdalene, the tidiness freak. Esther headed for the comfort of the light and threw nervous glances over her shoulders.

She missed the wet patch. Too late!

She slipped, lost her footing and, with a small cry, fell in a heavy heap. Catching her breath, she rolled to get up but froze!

Staring at her, at eye level, was a man, his mouth opened in a frozen scream.

———— Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2014 ————

Calling all Singapore based writers – come join our Short Story Book Project

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