Monday, 15 March 2021



Debb Stanton, Author offers a weekly writing challenge with prompts. 

Please join in if you feel creative

The prompt this week was to construct a story using these five random words:

*careful*  *obnoxious*  *gutteral*  *voracious*  *dispensable*  *vivacious*

 Here is my story: 


She walked in on a conversation in the office that she probably shouldn’t have been a party to.  It wasn't her fault that they were shouting at each other, the office at the end of the corridor probably heard the slanging match going on.

Gareth was becoming quite obnoxious in his utterly guttural voicing of all the wrongs the young apprentice was not doing.  He reduced her to tears which only led to another barrage of insults.  If she couldn’t take the heat she shouldn’t be in this business, it’s cut-throat, dynamic and to be a journalist of any sort of repute she would have to be voracious in seeking out the stories that would sell their online newspaper.  No long the printed matter for them. According to Gareth it didn’t matter how adept Milly was at IT and getting the items published, what he needed was prompt copy, fact checking and editing in a fast turnaround time. 

Finally, Gareth ran out of steam.  He stormed out the office wishing it wasn't open plan so he could have the satisfaction of slamming a door, he just made do with stomping down the corridor.  Boy, did he need a coffee.  He really didn’t enjoy dressing down a young, new member of staff, let alone one who was as attractive and vivacious as Milly was.

Susy rushed in and took Milly in to her arms, cuddling her fast to her matronly ample bosom, the mother hen in Susy coming in to play.  She shushed and told her it be alright with comforting strokes on Milly’s back.  She passed Milly a tissue to wipe her eyes and nose while they had a whispered heart-to-heart conversation. 

‘You have to be very careful around Gareth. I’ve seen the way he looks at you, even though he is at least 10 years older than you.  Just take care and if he acts in any way out of line we will go to HR and lodge a sexual complaint.’

‘It won’t come to that,’ Milly replied.  ‘I know I am dispensable in this team, there are hundreds of graduates like me just waiting to jump into my shoes.  Somehow I have to make my mark and prove I am worthy of this job and valued as a bona fide journalist.’

Susy nodded her head, knowing Milly would pick herself up, she left her alone and went back to her own work station.  As she walked away she noticed Annette, Gareth’s wife, walking into his office.  He was the only one with a ‘proper’ office, a door and windows out in to the office.  The door was shut, the blinds came down, so privacy was wanted.  Susy knew Annette was the power behind the throne and she would calm Gareth down, probably enough to elicit an apology from him to Milly at some point during the day.

Milly noticed as well.  Right girl, time to sit up, straighten that backbone of yours and think of an article that would blow his socks off.

Got it!  Last week was International Women’s Day.  Everybody jumped on the band wagon but now was the time to keep it going.  She would open up a competition of sorts, asking for essays on the women who influenced other women’s life, poetry perhaps.  She knew a lot of people were put off by poetry thinking it was dull and staid and old fashioned.  She’d pitch it as; you listen to poetry everyday and don’t realise it.  What are song lyrics if not a form of poetry?  Oh, she was on a roll now.  She could have a section called ‘prosetry’ a mixture of flash fiction and a poem.  She could open a blog, a chat room, a forum, a safe space for women and maybe men who were influenced by great women in their lives.  There was so much stuff she could do, this could run and run.  She punched her fist in the air as she figuratively put pen to paper while her fingers pounded across her keyboard hardly able to keep up with her thoughts.

She’d write a poem herself, mark it anonymous to be able to pitch it as an example to Gareth.  Leading with the title of women over the last 70 years – 1950’s – 2020’s.

A few minutes later she was ready to print her poem:

The housewife of old was meek and mild

She looked after the house and her child

She tended to all her man’s needs

Then found time to pull up some weeds

She cleaned and washed and cooked all day long

Listening to the radio enjoying the pop songs

Matching handbags and shoes

Twinsets and pearls

Hair neatly coiffed and lacquered

All meals were home cooked and catered

No machines to save time and energy

Any ambitions to work were thought to be haughty

She was there to toe the line

To comfort, nurture and be his sunshine

Nothing was too much trouble, never angry

Abused physically and mentally by all and sundry

As time went on it wasn’t enough

Soon women found the strength to rebuff

The social norms of their lives and times

Sometimes having to commit crimes

Suffragettes and pioneers who wouldn’t be beaten

We need to thank our brave women who were certain

Who led from the front for their sisters and daughters

To find the right answers our female warriors

Taking voice and fighting hard to unite

Making sure it’s everyone’s birth right

Regarded and respected as any other human being

Genuinely admired and loved with feeling

So now we are in the 21st century

Some women are still living in penury

Working hard to change women’s lives

No longer willing to be captives

Standing against discrimination and prejudice

Knocking down the walls of the fortress

Dismissing the world of unfair bigotry

Trying to get everyone to agree.

Standing up for women’s rights and others

As did our grandmothers and great grandmothers

Not only for sex discrimination or prejudice

Righting the wrongs in the world with fairness

Thinking of the whole world with compassion

Helping out others with consideration

Lots of empathy and sympathy along the way

Hoping to make it a brighter day.




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