Stay Connected, Stay Creative

Our digital story chain is an online hotch potch of a story shared among us as we each write the next stage and see where creativity takes us.

The beginning of the story is below, whether you're 8 or 98, we'd love you to get involved. Every few weeks the images below will change to help stir up fresh ideas and inspiration.

You could be inspired by the view from your window, something that's made you smile, a random object or a phone call. Perhaps you fancy having a go at some poetry or have a crime thriller in you waiting to be written.

You could consider who the characters are, where are they, why are they there, what are they about to do and what will happen next?

You'll get to see the first paragraph and the last approved in the growing tale.

If you'd like one of your photos to be among the gallery please email them to us at [email protected] ensuring you have consent from anyone in them before sharing.

In the blue hour at the end of a day in spring, when the hawthorn was white in the hedgerows, two people stepped out of the abandoned cottage. Standing alone at the end of a narrow lane, banked high on both sides with cow parsley and brambles, it had been derelict for years. In the distance, the sound of a car on a tarmaced road, blackbirds quarrelling, a tractor in a furrowed field. For a moment, they stood side by side on the step, not speaking or looking at one another. The man's Trilby was pulled too low on his forehead and the woman's hair held in place by a forget-me-not blue scarf. They might have been brother and sister, cousins, even father and daughter. They were clearly comfortable in one another's company, even though they should not have been in the cottage at all. Everyone in the village knew the previous owner, dead since last Christmas, had no relations.

They began to walk towards her. The girl slipped back behind the horse chestnut and crouched down. She shouldn't have been in the lane either and, though she didn't recognise the strangers, she didn't want the slightest chance of anything getting back to her mother. She didn't want a second weekend's pocket money docked. It was Wednesday. Wednesday evening was Guides in the Church Hall. She had intended to go, but an adventure of the fields at dusk had been more inviting. The girl looked down and saw her socks were stained green with moss, perhaps when she'd climbed over the style.

As the bell tolled the half hour, the man and woman started to walk towards her. They moved steadily, seemingly not in a hurry, though there was something about the way they were talked under their breath, as if afraid to be overheard, that gave her pause for thought. When they drew level, she saw the man was frowning and the woman's brown eyes were sharp with worry.

"We have to tell her," the woman said, "we have no choice."


Written by Kate Mosse, author and playwright

She watched them walk further down the well trodden path with tall blades of shiny wavy grass that needed cutting. But William Scott's death had shocked and stunned the villagers. Families were wary and afraid, seeing a darker meaning in the sudden death of a man who had seemed in the prime of health; running, cycling and singing in the church choir, tending chickens and planting vegetables - no one predicted his death would come so soon. The post mortem had been ordered because William appeared to have fallen and police suspected someone else had been there around the time of death. Two beer glasses on the hand carved walnut coffee table, both half full. There seemed to be no witnesses and no police record for this unknown interloper. A decision had been taken by the coroner to continue the investigation - inconclusive but some medication in the dead body's system. The Detective Sergeant had been round the whole village, she'd overheard her Mother's anxious responses when she had listened at the door to their interview. And now, these two people had turned up at his house all these months later. Startled out of her reverie, she nearly fell against the root of the tree - the man had stamped his foot in anger at something his partner had said.

Kate B Newcastle

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