Sword and Coffee

Pinterest Story Prompt: You live alone in your apartment. One day you return to find a sword and an old, leather-bound book lying on your coffee table. – margaretterblanche.com

Not too happy with this one – it’s boring! If I had any idea on where it was going, I’d wipe out 95% of the scene below and get on with it. The thing is, trogging through this boring stuff is sometimes needed – it helps me understand the characters and the germ of the story, and whether there’s enough there to actually create something a bit more worthwhile.

So please remember while reading the below that it’s not good work, but might be interesting to re-visit in another post in a few weeks and see what’s progressed (or it may just vanish into the swamp).

Sarah juggled grocery bags, laptop and a wet umbrella to get at her keys, then the right key into the lock. The door opened and she staggered forward. Home! Finally! The day was over and there was wine in the fridge.

There was also a sword on the coffee table.

Sarah stopped in the middle of her 15th floor apartment’s living room. Yep, definitely a sword, with a rather battered looking leather book that just begged to be called a tome propped up against the crossbar.

She took a deep breath and lugged her bags through to the kitchen, grabbed the largest, sharpest carving knife from the knife block and searched the flat. It was a quick search, even including the cupboards under the basin and the bedside drawers. The place was empty and nothing was disturbed (other than Sarah).

Several deep breaths later and the groceries away, Sarah perched on the sofa, knife in one hand, wine in the other.

Putting the knife down (priorities), she gingerly poked the book. When it didn’t bite or explode, she opened the cover.

Barely before she had time to blink, script began to cover the blank page in front of her, “Greetings hero, we beseech your aid. We need your courage and experience in battle to save your beloved home of Organdia.”

“Where?”, Sarah stared at the page in bafflement.

The flowing script stuttered, “Organdia, verdant and illustrious, home to all fair creatures, currently under attack by the dark forces of Endelgorn…”

“I live in Australia.”

“Um, you are the great and glorious, noble and heroic warrior Sir Elthred the Oaken?”

“No, my name’s Sarah and I’m a creative strategist.”

At this point, the book’s page washed black, as if an ink pot had been spilt. The air above the coffee table started to waver and turn purple, Sarah swapped wine for knife.

A face poked itself through the purple waves – quite an ordinary face really, not young, not old, quite nondescript but definitely stressed. The face looked at Sarah, “Oh dear.”

The face looked down at the sword on the table, it was the first time she’d seen someone’s hair actually stand on end, “Oh great lizards, the Broadsword of Ignatius the Brave, it’s been swaggled!”


The now frantic face glanced at her, “Swiped, swapped and smuggled away! This is a disaster!”

Sarah was starting to feel a bit sorry for the owner of the face, despite her scare and the ongoing confusion.

“Can I help?”


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