Thursday 27th November

Yay, we have reached our target! Thank you all so much - and for your messages too. It's such a pleasure for us to run this project and with only three days to go, we're saying roll on next November already!!! And here's your prompt for today...


You can want something so badly it hurts, even when you know it's not right. The gold crucifix with paste jewels, the low cut t-shirt, the curly haired ticket collector.


  1. I want a night postman to be my lover. They go in and out of the front gates, up the leaf-strewn paths and down again, delivering ghostly letters, insubstantial parcels.

  2. But then one realises that the paste jewels are diamonds, the breasts beneath the low neckline perfect and the tickets First Class. Maybe, after all, it was the right thing.

  3. Humanity’s trick is the perjurious shroud of moral device. We covet and crave the deceitful badges of division and hatred, and in the labyrinth of our delusion irony is frittered.

  4. Unbuttoning
    the black shirt
    with the mad flowers,
    sitting on the wall
    that he'd built,
    breathing the air
    around him,
    summer in the dunes
    his hands
    her brown knees.

  5. You are ten and staring at the display of railway ticket albums. The feeling of longing is one you will next meet when you love. Time to sell mum’s jewellery.

  6. I’m buying rings on ebay, vintage 1970s, twisted silver and silver with moonstones. The rings I longed for at thirteen, fourteen, the rings boys gave my friends Linda and Maggie.

  7. She has obsession with lengthy
    Gold chains, risk to keep
    in house, the drunkard husband
    often pledged and pawned her desire,
    them as well as her peace,
    she cannot but.

  8. When the curly-haired ticket collector refused to take mine, I was devastated. Months of electric fingers now fizzled and deflated my dreams. Talk about rotten rejections! No don’t!

  9. –I want a Tamagotchi.
    –You can’t have it.
    –Why not?
    –Too expensive.
    –I want Barbie with a house.
    –And I want some silence.
    –Can’t have it, it’s out of stock.

  10. She drives up the motorway,her nerves tingling with excitment.Feeling his fingers on her body and his mouth on her lips.
    Her secret lover, her sanity from married life.

  11. There was a young man who loved cricket,
    Who often was found at the wicket.
    He sold all he had,
    But felt very glad,
    To purchase his own season ticket.

  12. The gold crucifix
    stains your skin green,
    its fake jewels
    fall out
    and catch in your bra.
    causing blisters
    the shape
    of the Virgin Mary
    so you e-bay
    the photographs.

  13. What happens when you achieve the unattainable? It's one sweet moment of pleasure followed by a lifetime of loss and disappointment. Sometimes it's best not to arrive at journey's end.

  14. He wasn’t worth dying for, her conscience was no help, so she succumbed.
    His wife rang:
    “You’re welcome, the swine’s gone anyway.”
    So she ditched him too; the pain melted.

  15. Simon desperately wanted to stay young. His wife bored him and Alison, the new girl made him ache with a desire. At five he sent Danny to drop off the post and Vanda, the dragon lady, to collect the sale returns. “Ali, be a doll and grab me a coffee. I’ve told the wife I’m working all night. Will you stay back and help?” He called.

    She came back holding a mug and twirling a woven leather strip. She peeled back her tight jeans to show him the top of a black lace thong. “Do they match?” She asked, running the length of leather against her suntanned skin. She tied the strap around his wrist and led him into the toilets. “Getting tangled with an experienced older man has been my fantasy since I left school.”

    She pressed his hands upwards. The leather twined tightly around his neck and her mouth smeared across his face. He leant back against the cold tiled wall and gripped the pipe above his head. She slid down his body and pulled at his belt.

    He heard Vanda’s voice. “I didn’t think even he was that stupid.”

    The leather strap ran from his wrist around the water pipe and around his neck. He couldn’t reach her clever knot. His belt strapped his leg to the washbasin. Danny’s voice rang out. “Tonight and possibly the entire weekend, we present the naked wiggling salesman, live on a webcam near you!” He carried in a camera.

    “I’ll have you all fired. You can’t do this.” Simon shouted.

    Alison’s pulled his head down. “And what would Daddy say about you trying to get into my knickers? Didn’t I mention I’m the chairman’s only daughter? No, you’ll keep quiet about this. By the way, Tracey left you for me today.”

  16. That boy you used to love, the one you left because you were scared of his calm acceptance cool as winter light, still loving him after all these years......crazy!

  17. I had to have him!
    But after 374 phone calls, 1162 texts, and a serenade on platform 5, he jumped onto the track.
    Perhaps it was my choice of song?

  18. Dear Santa

    4 Xmas pleeeeeese cud u get me a gun so I can shoot Mum’s new boyfrend who keeps lookin down my top and pinchin my arse.


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  20. Wanting her was agony. Deep conversations, the brush of a hand, a stolen kiss. But even more hurt on his face when she pulled away, saying it could not be.

  21. It's raining. Elvis is at the door. He wears a white catsuit that stinks to high heaven. Jewels dangle from his stand up collar. His minder smiles, apologises. Just once.


    He was different, he was. Not like Father Anselm, with skin like wax or cold fat, and his breath smelling of sour milk when he leaned close to whisper, and hair like spiders in his nose. No, he wasn’t like Father Anselm. Everyone
    thought so. I heard mam talking to Aunt Lu, talking quiet, not knowing I heard, and saying she’d like to kiss him under the mistletoe at Christmas. Slow-kiss, is what my mam said and I did not know what she meant. They both laughed and Ithought maybe it was a joke.

    His name was Cuthbert. Like the saint. And his hands were shaped like the carved hands of the wooden angel in the church, wings like a bird sprouting from her back, and her lips pursed like a kiss would be if one person was not there. We called her Angela, and once, in the near dark of after-church, we took turns,
    Abigail and me, pressing our girl-lips to her holy wooden kiss. Not slow kisses, but quick in case someone came.

    Father Cuthbert was a 'nobut a boy'. That’s what my dad said, and he spat in the dirt he’d turned over with his spade, and said he wouldn’t be going to church just yet.

    He was not like any of the boys I knew, snot on their sleeves and beer making them brave, with their hands under my sweater, if I didn’t push them away. Abigail thought so too. Thought he was nearer to an angel. We did not hear what
    he said as sermon, not the words, just the music, and holding Abigail’s hand, and Abigail holding mine, we dreamed of how his holy kiss would taste, slow or quick, if ever Father Cuthbert leaned in close like Father Anselm used to do.

  23. She wanted the story book wedding, the old church, the stunning dress, confetti. Soft-focus photographs, champagne and strawberries, limousine. Honeymoon of bleached sands, deep blue seas. And then she wanted…out.

  24. Steven stared at the photo on the mantlepiece. Sweet little Songthrup, his beautiful catalogue bride from Thailand, scantily clad in a low cut t-shirt smiled out at him.
    He’d picked her out from the agency video. The girls were all so gorgeous he’d ended up choosing her for her pretty name rather like his ex-wife Stella used to choose which horse to back.
    In the weeks before she arrived he fantasized and longed for her more than he would have thought possible. Someone to keep him warm at night, look after him, stare at him adoringly and never answer back.
    She arrived and he was not disappointed. She knew how to cook, clean (down on her hands and knees with a bucket and scrubbing brush, none of this squeezy-mop nonsense) and iron. She even ironed his socks.
    More to the point, she never had headaches, was always eager to please and never minded trying something a bit different.
    She was a warm-hearted girl too, phoned her family every week - long, giggly calls; a bit too long, but well, you can’t have everything and you couldn’t really expect her to forget them.
    But then trouble struck. Her grandmother fell ill and needed an operation. The family were poor and had no health insurance. Steven paid. Then her brother’s crops failed. Steven sent money. Her sister was forced into prostitution in Bangkok to earn money for her studies, and well, you couldn’t let that happen could you? It was one thing after another. Then came the Tsunami and of course, she had to fly out to help. Poor Songthrup kissed him and said she’d soon be back, but as he sat brooding in the lounge watching the dust collect on the sideboard, he began to suspect that he’d lost his bet.

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  26. Wanting is a strong word. Wanting is a conscious desire to get something. Sometimes, it's used lightly as a throw-away comment and sometimes it's loaded with desire, need, or sits heavily on a scale weighed down by an emptiness waiting to be filled. Wanting is more urgent that liking, more aggressive and determined. You can be left wanting but not left liking. 'I want you' carries entirely an entirely different meaning to 'I like you'. Imagine someone saying either of those statements to you in a bar. One may make you feel warm all over. But which?

    I'd like to go to Barbados for Christmas. However, this isn't going to happen. The practicalities of escaping the festivities when you've got young children who expect Father Christmas to deliver their presents mean that it would require a web of lies that I would be incapable of weaving or sustaining. And so it will be business as usual.

    I'd like to have my term paper written before the end of term. This isn't going to happen either. We could be moving house next Friday and so it will remain tantalisingly close, circling around in my head, swooping down like a gull before taking off again along with fantasies of having presents wrapped well in advance or having made a Christmas cake.

    However, when I say I want to lose weight, I mean it. Whilst others remind me that Christmas is only a month away, the adverts parade a series of tempting party bites and with the stack of ready meals in the freezer seeming more convenient than the piles of vegetables I'm eating, I remain determined. What this means is that when the diet adverts come on television just before New Year, I will be ahead of the game. For once.

  27. Smooth-nosed,
    slit down middle,
    glides in, out
    with a nibble,
    a bite
    a flood of saliva.
    Jam's in,
    lips glisten
    the cream melts.
    'Oh, doughnut!'
    she cries.

  28. The phlebotomist loathed the trend for 'bling'; all those flashy crucifixes meant she got to use her teeth less. Thank God she didn’t live in France – all that garlic breath.

  29. I hummed a hymn full of syn-
    onyms to him while my whims
    and my wants faltered on an infected altar.

    I never know which way is up when I'm down.

  30. Longing hung round her neck like a saint Christopher. You cannot imagine what a journey she’s had in her head, suffering in silence, on the out side – a normal smile.


  31. I suppose the tight jeans were OK, but the low cut t-shirt showed too much hairy chest. The last I saw was her curly hair swirling as she turned away.


  32. You can want something so badly it hurts, even when you know it's not right. The gold crucifix with paste jewels, the low cut t-shirt, the curly haired ticket collector. Some decisions, are clouded by want. Bella knew this, but was able to control the urge in herself. She couldn’t control the want in others.

    “I think he doesn’t even know he’s on the brink of disaster. Look at him, just look at his face. No idea…”

    Alan adjusted his tie, “Bella, we’ve been over this. Let’s not go over it again. Not now.” he looked behind him as the Bridal Chorus struck up, “Besides, it’s a bit late now, here she is.”

    “I can’t face this,” Bella said as she rose, and smiled forcefully in the direction of the Bride’s parents.

    “Try,” grimaced Alan, grabbing and pressing her hand like it was an off-switch.

    Watching the ceremony, many of the wedding guests noticed Bella crying into her handkerchief softly and afterwards they would remark on how sweet it was to see the groom’s mother so full of emotion.

    No one there knew that Bella and Alan had spent the week before consoling their son’s former fiancée. No one knew that Bella had sat with her as she fell asleep, exhausted from crying on their couch, and stroked the wet hair away from her red blotched face as she slept in their house, afraid to leave and be on her own. She was afraid to leave the people she always called “Mum” and “Dad”.

    No one knew that their son, Elliot had come back from six weeks working in Houston with a different girl from the one he promised to marry, declaring that he had “met his soulmate”.

    No one knew, because none of his friends came to the wedding.

  33. The collector eyed his new subject anxiously. She was tall and slim, bright red hair flowed down her back. She would be his shortly. She just didn’t know it. Yet.

    Jamieson Wolf

  34. Badger had no sooner left the room when Toad's eyes misted over. His pupils dilated into spiralling rings and he started to dribble down his waistcoat. 'Doughnuts' he mouthed dreamily.

  35. Gerry said

    The voice is calm, the voice is firm
    saying Lay Down
    the dagger, spear
    the manacles and fetters
    the stinging tail
    the knife, the gun.
    Let yourself be
    found wanting.

  36. You wanted the job, the house, the kids and the smiling, smart husband. You signed, and she handed you the key. 'Step this way' she smiled. You opened the door.


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