All the members of the Writing Club are sat at their usual table in Alfie’s Coffee Shop.
Tina, the thriller writer, is sat weeping about there being no sales on her latest book. Her head is pressed up against the wall and Darcy, the chick lit writer, is busy consoling her.
The other Writing Club members fidget in their seats. Some even start to check their watches and phones for a pressing social engagement to rush off to.
‘Its not the end of the world’ says Darcy stroking Tina’s curly hair.
Tina lets out a loud sob which makes Richard, the military writer and Karl, the comedy writer, edge their chairs away from her.
‘Come on Tina, it will be ok’ says Moira, the romantic fiction writer, giving Tina’s arm a sympathetic rub.
‘It’s so unfair!’ cries Tina in an angry emotional outburst.
‘I know Tina!’ soothes Moira.
‘I did everything I could to save it’ sobs Tina. ‘I tried my best with it. I know I only promoted it for a week and didn’t listen to any reviewer feedback but it was a great book!’
‘I know Tina’ says Moira, passing her the plate of chocolate cookies. ‘Here eat these, you’ll feel better.’
‘Moira my sequel has died’ weeps Tina, before blowing her nose loudly on a tissue.
On hearing the word ‘died’ Alfie, the owner, hurries over clutching his silver tray and pats Tina on the shoulder.
‘I am sorry for your loss my dear’ he says quietly to Tina.
‘No one has died Alfie’ whispers Moira, as he passes en route back to his counter. ‘Tina’s book sales haven’t gone according to plan.’
‘Oh I see. Is this a normal writer reaction?’ whispers Alfie casting a worried glance at the weeping Tina.
‘When my book flopped it was a similar experience to grief; anger, frustration, upset and denial’ whispers Moira. ‘Poor Tina is like me and is exhibiting all of these’.
‘Oh dear’ says Alfie, ‘that is terrible, she looks devastated’
‘Trust me Alfie I was much worse, my husband Bob had to cook his own tea for a couple of nights and iron his own shirts. It was a dark time for me creatively and my marriage.’
Alfie mumbles something about getting back to work and scurries off.
‘Right then lets kick this session off’ says Matt, Writing Club leader, keen to divert attention away from the emotional end of the table.
He taps his spoon against his cup.
‘Can we discuss the lengths we go to in researching our books?’ he asks giving everyone a big smile.,
‘My next novel is about a young woman who falls in love with a ballroom dancer’ announces Darcy. ‘I have decided to have ballroom dancing lessons’ she says.
‘Great example Darcy, how are they going?’ asks Matt.
‘My teacher is really swoony and I am loving our Tango routine’ sighs Darcy, wearing a dreamy expression.
‘Are you any good?’ asks Karl imagining in his head the beautiful Darcy dancing the Tango.
‘My teacher thinks so, he is urging me to come to private lessons, you know one on one‘ says Darcy suggestively whilst playing with her long hair. This makes Karl fidget in his seat.
‘Ok’ says Matt, anyone else got any research tips?’
‘It’s all in my head with Grimes the fighter pilot, I don’t need to do any research’ says Richard.
‘The same for me and my character Major Tom’ says Moira. ‘You can’t research how to romance a lady, it’s all about the feelings they give you’.
Alfie appears to collect the empty cups and starts to load them onto his tray.
‘I have been researching killing people in gruesome ways’ pipes up Stacey, the apocalyptic horror writer, making Alfie yelp in shock and knock over a cup of cold tea.
After wiping up the tea he turns to look at the angelic looking Stacey, with her floral dress and blonde hair neatly pinned up. She doesn’t look like someone who was interested in killing people he thought to himself.
Stacey continues. ‘There is so much on the internet these days about death and murder. It’s great!’
Alfie shakes his head and leaves with his tray full of empty cups.
Everyone’s eyes are suddenly diverted to Tina who rises from her chair whilst staring at her phone.
She screeches ‘I have just had my FIRST BOOK SALE!’ and leaps into the air.
Sighs of relief are let out around the table and a round of applause breaks out.
‘Well done Tina!’ says Moira.
‘You go girl!’ says Darcy.
Tina stands in front of them beaming with twinkling eyes. ‘Thanks guys, it’s hard getting a book out there. This one sale could be the start of something’ she says raising her mug as a toast to herself.
Alfie appears and says to Tina ‘it’s so nice to see you happy again!’
Suzie, the newcomer to the Writing Club sits up straight and grins. ‘Tina is not the only one with good news’ she announces catching everyone’s attention.
‘As you know I wrote my debut thriller novel in eight weeks. Well, I did lots of pre-launch promotion, self published it last week and it is now selling like hot cakes!’ she exclaims watching everyone’s jubilant expressions fade.
Richard groans and Moira places her head in her hands as Tina crumples back into her chair. She lets out a huge sob and rests her head against the wall.
‘Was it something I said?’ asks Suzie, with a shocked look on her face.
Karl leans over to Matt and says ‘we’re in for another long evening’. Matt gives him a weary look.
‘Tina, time is a great healer’ says Moira, placing her hand on Tina’s shoulder.
Alfie stands behind his counter and watches the Writing Club members. Was it something in his coffee that caused such odd behaviour or are they normally like this he wonders?
For more Writing Club stories please click here.
This was my blog battle entry for this week.
The word is TANGO
The genre is COMEDY
If you want to join this fierce international writing competition please head for Rachael Ritchey’s blog which is here.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/42875184@N08/11718720144″>My hangover coffee</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a>