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

How had her parents died? What were this couple on about? She took a deep breath, the evening air scented with jasmine. Her head was full of questions, she knew she’d have to help, help save her town, but all she could think off was her guide promise. I promise to do my best, to be true to myself…
‘Hurry up,’ Marilla waved her hands to usher Blair into the cottage.
I promise to do my best. Help. She looked at her watch 8.35pm, guides would be finished, Mother would be waiting for me, but no Mother is dead. Help.
‘How, I mean, where are my parents now?’ her voice quivered.
‘You’ll find out soon, but we must rush, everyone is in danger.’ Matthew said, taking off his trilby.
She had to be brave. Last time she was in that living room, brown cord carpet, gold framed oil paintings, stale tobacco smell, she was asking Bill about the war for her school project. How had Bill died?
‘We’re from the government, where had your parents been this afternoon?’ Marilla said.
‘To see my sister in Repdicth, why?’ She was sure that’s where they were.
‘OK, Blair, you’d better sit down.’ Matthew bought a chair through from the kitchen. ‘Your parents were on a special mission this afternoon.’
Blair’s eyes widened. ‘No, really?’
‘Yes, they were recruited by the government to investigate..’
Blair interrupts. ‘No, not my parents, Mother’s a teacher and Father’s a mechanic. They don’t investigate.’
‘Listen, they were close to the truth.’ Matthew withdrew a piece of paper from his folder. He showed Blair. ‘This is confidential information on the work they were doing.’
She snatched the paper, Mr and Mrs Blossom, special operatives. ‘Oh, it’s true.’

Jenny Carr. West Sussex

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