The Writing Group was holding its weekly meeting in Alfie’s Coffee shop.
Matt, the Club leader, cleared his throat and waited for everyone to stop talking. He surved the Writing Group’s members, huddled around the table.
Moira, the romance fiction writer wore an intense faccial expression as she enjoyed a deep conversation with Richard, the military fiction writer. Darcy, the romance writer, twirled her long hair around her manicured finger as she updated Tina, the thriller writer, on her latest dating exploits. Karl the comedy writer sat looking uncomfortable whilst Stacey, the paranormal horror writer, explained her latest plot twist to him.
Matt cleared his throat again. Everyone stopped talking to look in his direction.
“Hello writers,” Matt cast his best smile at the table of writers. “Hope everyone has had a good week?”
The writers nodded before returning to their conversations.
“Right then, let’s do some work in progress updates.” Matt rubbed his hands together. Hopefully one of the Writing Group would cheerfully announce a literary break through or share some good news. He couldn’t remember the last time someone had spoken of a creative achievement.
Richard and Moira raised their hands first.
“Grimes, my Second World War fighter pilot character, has recovered from his serious injuries and is back to full flying duties,” advised Richard, stroking his grey beard.
“That’s a quick recovery Richard,” remarked Karl.
“This is Grimes we are talking about, Karl.” Richard’s sharp response made Karl raise his eyebrows.
“Oh yes, sorry I forgot Grimes is superhuman.” Karl let out a sneaky smile to Stacey.
Moira spoke next. “I managed 230 words last night,” she said quietly. “Bob, my husband, wanted a game of Charades, but I refused and spent the evening alone with my characters.” A blush started to blossom on her cheeks.
“With all your characters or just one in particular, Moira?” teased Karl, giving her a wink.
Moira giggled. “I can’t help it if there is one male character who demands a lot of my attention, late at night.”
Matt looked at Darcy, who was next to give an update.
“I am still doing novel research on Tinder.” Darcy inspected a lock of her long brown hair, avoiding anyone’s gaze.
Before stuffing a handful of chips into her mouth Tina said, “are you taking notes during these dates?”
Darcy sighed. “Good novels require a lot of research. Last night’s date with the policeman in the Holiday Inn was very interesting.”
Tina stared in horror at Darcy. “You went to the Holiday Inn with him?”
Darcy nodded as Moira and Richard shifted uncomfortably in their seats. “I wanted to know what it would be like to date a policeman.”
“At the Holiday Inn?” Tina shook her head with disapproval. “On a first date.”
A grin spread across Darcy’s face. “What’s your issue, Tina?”
Tina scowled. “You could have gone more upmarket on a first date.”
Darcy smiled. “It was just research, Tina. Not the start of a relationship.”
“If you want to do some date research on me Darcy, I am all yours.” Karl ran his hands over his smooth bald head.
“Tina, do we have your update?” Matt turned to the thriller writer.
“No update. I have been really busy.” Tina folded her arms.
“On Twitter and Facebook you mean?” giggled Darcy, giving her friend a playful nudge.
“And Pinterest,” piped up Moira, giving Tina a wry smile.
“I don’t understand Pinterest,” moaned Richard. “I have checked to see whether Mission Control, [his wife], understands it and she doesn’t get it either!”
“It’s so much fun,” cried Tina, looking at Richard. “I am constantly pinning pretty stuff.”
Karl scratched his shiny head. “Do you do anything with the pretty stuff?”
Tina shook her head. “No, I just stare at it.”
Richard plucked some fluff from his beard and cast Tina a puzzled expression. “Why on earth would you do that? What a pointless activity!”
“And that’s why there is no writing update from Tina,” joked Karl, grinning at Tina.
“Shut your face, Karl,” barked Tina.
“Karl,” said Matt. “Any update from your comedy blog world?”
“I have been busy writing comedy blog posts, which no one finds funny.” Karl stirred his drink with a sorrowful look.
“I saw no one had liked your blog post from last week,” said Stacey. “Dark times.”
“Yes, dark times.” Karl lowered his bald head. “I have been wondering whether I should write something else.”
Tina leaned over and gave Karl a playful shove. “Yes I agree, you should.”
“You should write zombie apocalyptic horror, I love writing that stuff,” explained Stacey, her sea blue eyes twinkling with excitement. Everyone around the table sat quietly for a moment and stared at her.”
“Stacey what is your update?” asked Matt.
“I have brought along my latest paranormal horror short story, can I read it out?” Stacey raised aloft her black skull notepad.
“Is it going to make me feel unsettled again?” Richard buttoned up his cardigan and adjusted his red bow tie.
Stacey glared at him.
Matt gave her the nod. She started to read out her paranormal horror short story titled “Spirit of Death.”
When she had finished everyone sat in silence with wide eyes and open mouths. For a while no one spoke and Alfie, the coffee shop owner, shook his head in disapproval from behind the counter.
Moira dabbed her forehead with a hankie, Karl shifted uncomfortably in his seat and Richard started muttering something to himself about his intestine issues.
“Well Stacey, that was…erm…erm…very different,” mumbled Matt. He often wondered where this sweet looking girl with her complicated floral skirts, billowy white blouses and long blonde hair, neatly pinned up, got her graphic and violent ideas from.
“I didn’t get it,” piped up Richard, causing Stacey to roll her eyes.
“Why couldn’t your main character just talk to the headless man who kept trying to kill her?” asked Richard.
“OMG Richard, he was a GHOST,” snapped Stacey.
“And the man he was talking to was headless,” piped up Karl trying to look serious.
“Right then,” said Matt, “my update is that I have finished my first draft.”
Everyone gave him a round of applause and he did a mock bow which made Moira smile.
The door to the cafe opened and in walked a tall, young woman with long auburn hair and a red notebook, tucked neatly under her arm.
She came over to Matt. “Is this the Writing Group?” she asked, with a posh accent.
“Yes it is, do you want to join us?” asked Matt, rising from his seat to greet her.
“Thanks, I am Suzie.” The woman glanced at the other writers. “I am writing a best seller so I won’t be around in this group for very long.”
Everyone groaned and Karl piped up, “we all said that when we first joined, you’ll get over it!”
Suzie scowled and looked away.