The One And Only

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…



About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
This entry was posted in creative writing, flash fiction, miscellany and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to The One And Only

  1. ” little seaside village in Galway felt cold, despite the sun” – good line that sets not only the image of the scene, but also the mood and gives clues about how characters are feeling themselves.
    Enjoyed your take on the challenge

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anabel Marsh says:

    Good choice of music!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful background and heartwarming story. 🙂


  4. I never knew there was a real Amen Corner! Your story continues to unfold and I continue to follow along happily with no need to go back in time for reminders. Isn’t that amazing – especially given my memory! Since your introduction to me of Charli last year and I’ve gotten to see how much esteem she is held in by her dedicated followers it surprises me this initiative is just two years old. It’s great 🙂


  5. jan says:

    Wow, I don’t know how you guys do it! I struggle to get just one blog post out a week! Good job!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Sacha Black says:

    I love how you incorporated the prompt that ending made me smile

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I wasn’t sure I’d see the day Mary genuinely smiled at Rupert. Nice flash.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Charli Mills says:

    Interesting how that first anchor is so important, as well as that first opportunity to a career. Mary is holding onto that hope that comes with “just one.” Thank you for all your contributions and support at Carrot Ranch! You need a founders brick with your name on it. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Pingback: It Takes Just One « Carrot Ranch Communications

  10. davidprosser says:

    Nice continuation of the story Geoff. Great to see Andy Fairweather Lowe belting them out.I’m also glad to find out where the name Amen Corner came from for the group.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Nostalgic places, nostalgic band

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Norah says:

    I hope this is the one that will help Mary and Rupert find their sister. Well done. Cricket has an obvious importance as one sport in your life.

    Liked by 1 person

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