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Start Writing Fiction – Exercise 7

Ideas for a story

Picture © The Open University

And now we come to Exercise 7.  for this exercise, I had to turn on the radio and note down the first thing I heard.  then use it as either the start or basis for a 500 word story.

So in turning on the radio, my prompt became the lyrics of Brown Sugar by The Rolling Stones – “Drums beatin’ cold, English blood runs hot.  Lady of the house wonderin’ when it’s gonna stop”

And here’s my story.  I hope you like it.  let me know your thoughts in the comments.


The incessant drumming of the enemy relentless edged closer.  The family knew when they reached the house, they would be fighting for their lives.  Lady Willoughby sat in her usual chair by the fire in the front room wishing it was all over.  The drumming was driving her mad.  If only she could light the fire.  The warmth would provide some comfort but it would also alert the approaching army to their location.l


When the British army retreated, they insisted the lady and her surviving children followed but the house had been in her family for generations and she wasn’t about to walk away.  When gone, she destroyed anything that tied them to the British crown.  Flags and left uniforms were burnt, medals and other artefacts were buried under the house.  Paintings were hidden in secret rooms.  Every shred of proof was removed from view.


Justin and Thomas wanted to fight the enemy.  But at 5 and 9, they were far too young.  The way things were going, they might never get the chance now.

‘Arrr!!!  When will that infernal drumming end?’

“Mummy, mummy, I see them.”  Justin came running down the stairs.  “They spotted our house from the road and are coming this way.”

“Quickly, go get your brother.  You know what to do!”

Looking through the window, they watched as the army began to appear through the trees.  Four drummers at the front of the line.  Behind them, their general barked orders to fan out and surround the house.  He ordered the drummers to stop, then spoke towards the front door of the house.

“To whomever may be inside.  I am General Abershank.  You are now under my jurisdiction and I would like an audience.  If you are civilians, we will drink tea and be on our way.  Any British will be captured as prisoners of war.”

Lady Willoughby heard his words and looked at her boys.  Both begged her to let them fight but she shot them a glance, invisibly saying ‘you will do as I say and follow the plan.’

She stood up and, after a long pause, opened the front door and stepped outside. “Good day sir.”

“Thank you ma’am, why I believe it is.” The general kicked his heal into the hind leg of his horse, moving him forward.  Approaching the porch, he got off and stood at the bottom of the steps. “to whom am I addressing ma’am?”

“Lady Willoughby and my two sons, Justin and Thomas.” Stepping out, they ran behind their mum, pretending to look scared.  “You will not find the British here for they abandoned us in the cold.  You are welcome to check and have tea, but I must ask you be on your way.  The front line is a few miles away and it is down the road you were on.”

“Thank you ma’am.” He signalled to two men to check the house.  “tea would be lovely.”

About McCarthyMR (41 Articles)
Creative Thinker, Nitpicker, Analytical, Friendly, Sociable, Writer, Author, Fictional World Creator.

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