Tuesday 18th November

Lovely responses yesterday. Thank you. And we're two thirds of the way to our charity-raising target, so thank you for that too. If you haven't already, you can click on the 'Kids Co' logo to see what it's all about. And here's todays prompt:


The History of Doubts was the world's heaviest book. 'Are you REALLY sure you want to take it out?' the librarian would ask. The book always stayed on the shelf.


  1. But, after 5pm, when the blinds were drawn, the doors bolted and the librarian had retreated to drink Brandy Alexanders: the book let out a sigh of relief, and laughed.

  2. Thomas struggled home with the Book of Doubts. He was ecstatic. There were enough doubts contained within it to inspire him for years. His World’s Greatest Doubter status was safe.


  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. But Sally was certain she DID want to take it out. The librarian sighed and dialled the number of the forklift truck company they kept to hand, just in case.

  5. Book of Doubts was on the middle shelf, by a volume about Doucs; varigated monkeys from South East Asia. They never left the library, and shared tips on dust management.

  6. This could be
    the answer
    then again
    maybe not
    what if
    I wonder
    is it possible
    let's weigh it up
    black dress
    black shoes
    black book
    I'll take it.


  7. Should I? Why not? She can only say no. Librarians are people. What have I got to lose? Apart my library ticket. Should I ask the librarian for a kiss?

  8. What to do
    With all these doubts droning
    In my ears, sucking my sweat,
    Getting fat on his lies. I need
    A doubt swatter. Then a home
    To run to.

  9. If a book was to tell
    my life
    it’s title would be
    The History of Doubt
    with scores upon scores
    of what if’s
    and should I’s?
    or should I not’s?

  10. Perhaps, if I'd told him at the time, perhaps - if I'd stayed - love may have come, perhaps I should have had dyed my hair red, pretended to have green eyes.

  11. She reads , verbatim, every
    page of her book of life,
    voluminous, doubts and
    misgivings, sweet memories
    backlashes, why to hug another
    heavy, The Book of Doubts?
    she Ponders, pities shelf.

  12. ‘The Beginning of Doubt’ remained forever in the bookshop, its spine dry and cracked with age, the papyrus sheets brittle and still showing traces of blood from Thomas’ doubting fingers.

  13. Her warning went unheeded. Am I affected? Should I leave my house after dark? Am I really liked? Am I too old? Are they laughing at me or with me?

    Mary Rose

  14. You, yes you! With your passion for words and dreams, what are you doing in here? It is a beautiful day outside, sunshine, fluffy clouds, there is a squirrel pinching nuts from the bird table, so why are you here reading this? Is it because as child you craved attention that you perceived everyone else received, except you?

    Listen – in the other room; voices, laughter, conversations, a lover, husband, wife, children, cats, dogs, a goldfish, all living creatures each desperate for your time, your company, your love. The fire is lit and crackling, the radio is on or digital ipod, there may be board games on the floor, cards, or charades. Some one always brings chocolates – usually their favourite.

    Do you think that by sending your doubts into a virtual space and watching it returned here, to you, is a sign that life is out there? That you are wanted, needed, liked? How many times have you read the work that is here, other then your own? How many times have they read your work? Have I? They don’t care about you any more then you care about them!

    Do they really exist, do you exist, isn’t this world the one where boys can be girls and girls can be boys, or the old can be young again, the underage can be overage. Do you think in metaphors, live in a world of similes, are you creating a world you want as apposed to the world as it truly is? Are you safe here?

    So shut down, switch off this machine, close the door, go back into the other room. Kiss them, hug them, feed them with food or love or both. Tell them you are sorry, that you will never ignore them again. But I doubt that you will.


  15. A difficult read. The compiler(s) had obviously struggled with editing. Language was vague, sentences long-winded and rife with conditionals. Doubting its usefulness, I ploughed on notwithstanding. The legacy of history.

  16. This library has the book of Life. It’s never on the shelves, though, too popular. I’ve tried to reserve it, but you can’t do that apparently. Oh to peep inside!

  17. No, The History of Modern Conveniences was the heaviest book in the library. It was the most extensive example of work in progress that could ever have been imagined.

    It is difficult to pinpoint the moment at which the entire population agreed that inconvenience was no longer acceptable or if, indeed, they actually hadn't noticed just how inconvenient their lives were. Or maybe, it hadn't even been inconvenient at all. Perhaps it was a fallacy. A political campaign by the Party for Mass Improvement to convince their constituents that their lives were truly terrible and that upon their election to government, things would change.

    So it is probably safe to assume that the records did not take into account earlier developments in this field. However, it appears that common consensus was that the invention of sliced bread as the most monumental of modern conveniences. Others have argued that the locomotive train or industrialisation in general were more significant. For the purposes of this entry, whilst not wishing to appear that we are 'dumbing down' and pandering to the popular masses, we will ignore the arbitrary nature of this choice and work on the premise that sliced bread was actually the best invention ever.

    Initially, man made bread because it was filling, cheap and tasty. It could be enhanced by the addition of meat or dairy products. The consumer would cut off chunks on an ad hoc basis, thus producing the bespoke lunch. Then came the slicing machine and the consumer handed over control to the bakeries and no longer had to wield a knife to make his/her lunch. In the process, the recipes for the loaves were altered using cheaper, less wholesome ingredients. The results were disgusting, tasteless loaves with no nutritional value. That's a modern convenience for you.

  18. "Not for you? Something a little less ponderous then. The Tome of Forsaken Resolutions, perhaps? Closer to home than the rats in your roof and as rare as Teutonic humility."

  19. His house was full of easy music, gold as the sun. Shelf upon shelf of it. Dustless in the bright afternoon air. Even now, I'd give anything to touch one.


  20. He had a dream: a book
    bound in leather, cracked
    with age, eclipsing the stars,

    He hefted it easily, hurled it
    high, but awoke to a weight
    he couldn’t explain.

  21. Trust: important to build, but easy to destroy. A careless word, a lingering look, a miss-addressed email--it doesn't take much to tear it down. If only I'd realised.

  22. I had been persuaded and dissuaded so many times I was starting to feel like a yoyo. Should I go? Should I stay? It hadn’t seemed like such a big deal at the time. Quietly I had gone to the post office and filled out the forms, had my picture taken and spent the next three weeks rushing to the mailbox to see if it had arrived. After the arrival of the little blue book that practically screamed “Portal to Adventure” it was simply a matter of choosing where and when.
    I spent the next three weeks investigating this place and that, spinning the globe and sticking my finger on it. Often I would land on some island in the south Pacific – although not totally random. The trouble started when I began to tell people of my plans to travel. Suddenly every horror story, every fear and so many what ifs that the whole process came to an alarming halt. What about disease, or terrorists, or those sorts of men who prey on women who travel alone?
    There’s a part of me that longs for excitement and adventure. There’s a part of me that is scared to death of the whole thing. I’ve thought about shelving my plans but there’s part of me that fears a boring life where you slip and die in the bathtub and never get to enjoy anything anywhere because of being afraid of the what ifs.
    My bag is packed. My passport is in my purse. The taxi is outside. I’m ready to go. Where, I don’t know. The plan is to go to the airport, walk up to an international ticket counter and find the next available flight to somewhere.
    “Are you sure this is what you really want to do?” My mother asks.

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. She hoped it would crawl off the page into her head, but worried it would slink past under the cover of Times New Roman 10pt.
    Then how would she know?

  25. A teacher once showed me how
    to explain away a poem,

    as if meanings never danced
    in and out of words

    like dust in classroom sunlight.
    Thank God for doubt.

  26. History as we know it is largely incomplete. Though there are tales of battles, war and ignorance, lighter things like happiness, contentment, joy and kindness are swiftly ignored by Historians.

    Jamieson Wolf

  27. The book I borrowed most from my school library wasn’t about Ancient Egypt or Nancy Drew but an encyclopaedia of death with every page almost too unlikely to be true.

  28. My fianc├ęs aftershave made me queasy. I described it to a friend:

    “It’s between sun and shade, sea and moon, fire and ice’’

    “That’s not aftershave,’’ she frowned, “that’s Doubt.”

  29. I found a shopping list in a book once. It read:

    1 tin of tomato soup
    3 rolls
    1 cucumber
    1 onion

    Scribbled underneath were,

    The Tales of Peter Rabbit

    coll @ literaryspot.com

  30. “But I have to find out. I have to know the truth.”
    I watched Heather wither and thought I could help. “Are you sure? Doubt is like herpes. Once you have it, it’s there forever. It goes for a time, but it flares up again. The truth is dangerous, take what happened to me. I knew he was having an affair. A new girl had started work at his office and he seemed to talk about her too frequently. Teri said this, Teri said that. Even the name Teri screamed warnings at me.”
    “Did you check his pockets? That’s what my friend told me to do.” Heather asked.
    “I checked his pockets and I hit redial on the phone. I checked the messages on his mobile. I even looked in his emails. I knew I would find something, I just couldn’t figure out where to look. Luckily, every woman’ magazine had an article full of suggestions.”
    “What gave him away, his credit card?”
    “No I checked that. Each time he came near me, I sniffed to catch her perfume. I looked at his collar, his handkerchief. Anything that might have telltale stains.”
    “Did he know you were looking?”
    “I didn’t think so, but of course, bedroom action stopped, I just kept imagining him with her.”
    “What did she look like?”
    “Never knew. In my mind, she was everything I’m not, long legs, great taut figure. You see, one doubt pulls in another and another. I spiralled out of control down into misery.”
    “So if nothing was wrong, what happened?”
    “Would you live with somebody who pushes you away, won’t talk and bites your head off if you ask them what’s wrong?”
    “No, I’d hate that. I’d get rid of them pretty quickly.”
    “And that’s what he did, he got rid.”


  31. It keeps growing fatter. The librarian thinks it might be eating the other books. She fantasises about putting it on the stock for sale table, but so far, she hasn't dared.

  32. I believed my watch but it had stopped. I’m late for my thirties and I doubt if they’ll let me in. But I’ll sneak in and watch the pc clock.


Add Your Own Message Here
If you want to take part - great. All you need to do is add your response to our message here as a comment, but remember it has to be exactly 30 or 300 words, and it needs to be posted before 8am GMT the morning after the original post for each day. Please also remember to add your Name and Email Address to the end of your message, so that we can get in touch if your work is selected.