Two years ago Charli Mills started prompting 99 word flash fiction. This week in a homage to the ‘just one’ person who took her idea outside her narrow circle of family and existing friends and spread it round the globe, we have
March 16, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write about the idea of “just one.” If all it takes is just one, what is the story? Explore what comes to mind and go where the prompt takes you. Bonus challenge: eat cake while you write, or include cake in your flash.
I wonder if the course taken by each person’s life is the result if a series of just ones? Mine is. I explored my tortuous trail into the law her recently, a series of happy
accidents opportunities that came my way.
And it isn’t just people. I live in a beautifully green part of London but there are many suburbs and places to live in and around London. Generally when you arrive in this city the sprawl leaves you reeling and your first residence is a lottery.
But once that roulette wheel has spun your first anchor is dropped. Now you are either a citizen of the north or south. Those, like me, who inhabit the civilised south barely venture north beyond the northern boundary of the City and West End, the demarcation line being the A40 Marylebone and Euston Roads. If you have the misfortune to start life in the festering souk that lies to the north of that line, you’ll barely ever cross the river voluntarily to come to my neck of the woods.
That still leaves plenty of scope. In the early 80s we bought our first flat in the quaintly musically sounding Tooting, near Amen Corner after which name the eponymous band of the 1960s took its name.
2 years on we looked to move and naturally headed west and south, towards the posher suburbs, Wimbledon being favoured. Then one day my law firm played cricket against a competitor. Hints were dropped that attendance by my fiancé, who had much better things to do, would be a good idea for my career. So reluctantly she agreed to come along.
The game took place in Dulwich at the school both our children subsequently attended. This is further east than a Tooting and not somewhere we contemplated. The Textliste spent most of her time looking in Estate Agents’ windows before joining us for tea. We found a house, bought it one snowy January and we are still here 30 years on.
Proof if ever it were needed that cricket is The One.
So we turn to Mary and her Just One…
The One and Only
Rupert sighed. ‘We’ll have to stop.’
Mary nodded. ‘If we don’t find our sister this time, we’ll give up.’
The little seaside village in Galway felt cold, despite the sun. No one had heard of the Potts family or a girl called Katherine. The detective had been sure was their home.
The van stood by the store as they emerged. ‘Potts? No, but… Maud McGonnel had an aunt – a Potts. They lived here for a few years in the 80s. Try Newbay. They went there.’
As he drove off, Mary smiled at Rupert. ‘It only takes one.’
If you want to catch up with Mary you can go here.
And here’s a second for Amen corner…