First Friday Fix – August 2022

The prompt for the Australian Writers’ Centre’s (AWC) First Friday Fix for August 2022 was three creative writing exercises to write three scenes, focusing on showing not telling.

  • Write a short scene about a sad man standing in the rain. You CANNOT use the words “sad” or “rain” – focus on showing this in other ways. (“Ruined Plans”)
  • Same again, but this time, a toddler having a temper tantrum at a supermarket, alongside an embarrassed mother. (“Acting Out”)
  • Finally, engage the SHOW, DON’T TELL, principles in a scene where a 98-year-old woman is watching a lottery on TV and gets all the winning numbers. (“Lucky Numbers”)


Ruined Plans

Everyone was talking about their plans for the evening at work all day.

Some planned on getting cozy in beds and reading, some cozy on their couch and watching TV, others were planning on doing a jigsaw. I had no plans.

I had no plans because they were ruined by what was happening outside.

Now I’m outside, waiting for the bus, feeling my hair and shoulders getting more and more drenched, which was reminding me of what I was missing out on – a picnic with friends I hadn’t seen in forever.

Now all I can do is go home and have a cold dinner.

I hate bad weather and I hate my life.


Acting Out

I made sure that it only happened in public.

Nothing was the same once mum and dad brought the tiny one home. They only wanted to spend time with it and not me, and things weren’t much better when other people were around. Even Nanna and Pop ignored me when they visited a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t get the cookie that they’d always bring over with them.

Something had to be done and I knew it could only happen in the one public place where she had to go where there would be the most people.

I asked her for the chocolate bar and she said no, like I thought. I made sure I was loud, crying, screaming and wouldn’t stop. I made sure that everyone looked at me, including her, she kept saying ‘sorry’ before picking me up and leaving without the chocolate bar.

I may have been in trouble but at least she couldn’t ignore me anymore.


Lucky Numbers

Lisa had a busy day today.

She miraculously managed to get herself life insurance from Real, despite only being two short years off her age reaching triple digits, she bought some cooking products from Danoz Direct, and even make-up from Maybelline, even though she didn’t leave the house much these days.

Towards the end of her busy day, she channel surfed until she finally found what she had been really looking forward to all day – the glamorous woman in a red dress, reading out numbers on coloured balls drawn out of the air mix machine behind her.

Guessing the numbers everyday were a nice, fun little game for Lisa, although usually nothing would come of it.

She felt a little thrill when the first number drawn was the day of her birth, an additional squeak of laughter came out of her mouth when the next number was the month of her birth, followed by another bout of excitement when the third number drawn was her (abbreviated) birth year.

However, disbelief and shock started to wash over her when the following numbers on the screen showed her the number of children she had, the month she married her long-departed husband, the number of grandchildren she has, and the number of her great-grandchildren.

The final number, the big one, was her long-time lucky number but regarded as unlucky by most, 13.

She didn’t know what to do with this too-late-in-life changing news or with herself now, other than to change the channel, where she found a supermarket ad about a never-ending Christmas lunch. She started making a shopping list in her head, wondering how many of her family members would show up, either for her, her food, or now her newfound wealth.  

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