Writing Prompt No. 5

Once again, it has taken me ages to put a post up… anyway! This prompt is SO good, or at least I am having a hell of a good time with it. I say “having” because I am still writing it. It is just too good to put as a blog post (if I do say so myself) or more, I am having so much fun with this one that I want to continue it.


Write a story that takes place over 24 hours in one room.

Six people got special invitations to Francesca Hope’s party. All were strangers to each other, but Francesca knew each guest and they knew her, she just knew them better. Some she had worked with, others had entered her life for whatever reason and whether they knew it or not, made a lasting impact on Francesca’s life, so much so, that it led each one, curiously to the party that night. The year was 1927, mystery and romance were much more a thing back then. Getting an invitation to an exciting party at a mansion, from a beautiful woman, they were honoured even knew their name, was an incredibly mysterious and romantic thing.

Francesca Hope lived in an impressive manor house on a small island in the middle of Lake Windermere. She made her fortune writing numerous bestselling books, many of which involved deliciously stylish murders, so detailed and cunningly genius that it was intimidating for people to believe a young beautiful woman can have such ideas in her head. Her words, on paper, came from a dark, heartless place that has never understood empathy. Her words, straight from her lips, were comforting, wise, charming and enchanting. Francesca had a dangerous combination of personality traits and charms and was a mystery to everyone who met her. Her first lovers were the only ones who saw a glimpse into the real her. Since then, she learned in order to not be broken, she needed to never allow anyone to truly know her again. Instead, she took to delving into other people’s lives as if it were entertainment solely for her, turning the dark secrets of others into inspiration for best selling books.

All writers know in the back of their mind that one day when they are gone, somebody will have access to all of the scribblings of their deepest and darkest thoughts. The notebooks filled with unfinished stories, plot ideas, character sketches… then there’s the more personal ones, the scraps of paper that sometimes say words over and over again. Horrible words. Some writers know this and almost look forward to the day that somebody finds them, they didn’t have the strength to try to be understood in life anymore, but there will always be the hope that someday, somebody will find those scraps of paper and feel like they knew them. Francesca’s notebooks were the story of somebody who wanted somebody to understand her the way that she understood other people. Sadly, she never found it in life. She had a seemingly endless list of bachelors completely enchanted by her, but they never knew her and she knew that if they ever did, they would no longer want her.

Since she received her first big cheque for one of her books, she spent her days alone traveling to different cities to sit in the window of cafe’s, watch people and write down what she saw. You don’t get hurt when you just watch. She loved observing how people reacted in different situations – a car accident, an old lady struggling to cross the road, a homeless veteran being denied spare change or even a bank robbery, never helping, always observing. Unfortunately, Francesca was blinded by the darkness that tainted her own view of herself so much, that she stopped being able to see the good in anyone. The more she observed people, the more she convinced herself that people were only bad.
There is only so long a person can be alone before they start to go mad. The years spent wandering around the huge manor house on a lonely island and watching others through inky-tinted glasses had moulded Francesca’s brain into a warped and confused replica of the more put together version of herself that she used to be. But this version of her brain was what was about to write her bestseller yet and she was still yet to turn twenty-eight.

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