The Main Character is Startled Awake By…

It’s time for another Picadilly: Write the Story writing prompt. To choose my writing prompt I–or someone I enlist–slide my business card between the pages. One of us then decides left or right. I open to the selected page and find a title plus ten words to be included in the story.

Photo by Faruk Tokluou011flu on

The Main Character is Startled Awake By…

Include the following in your story:

  • subway
  • swine
  • evergreen
  • poised
  • core
  • occupation
  • emblem
  • inspector
  • wild
  • gate

He nodded off in his seat, exhaustion taking over and leaving him no choice. The car swayed gently as it sped towards their destination. He snored softly, completely unaware of the beautiful evergreen forest the road snaked through.

His companion–the beautiful inspector with the fiery red hair and jade green eyes–sat poised behind the wheel. Electric energy coursed through the core of her. After years of chasing the stolen painting, they were finally going to get their hands on it and the thief who’d stolen it.

It had been a wild year chasing the bread crumbs the piece of swine had been dropping in their wake. He had tracked them to their hideout deep within the forest, far away from the comforts of subway trains and grocery stores.

“Holy shit!” the bombshell behind the wheel exclaimed.

He jerked awake, startled by the loudness that still reverberated around the enclosed space.

“What?” he growled.

She pointed out the windshield. Ahead the road was blocked by an oversized gate that stood above the highest evergreens. The emblem in the center verified they’d arrived at their destination.

The occupation of the gated colony had been reported to him by a concerned citizen. He tapped in a quick message to the phone number of his anonymous contact. The gate rumbled open.

Inside, children played in the streets. They ran alongside the car, holding out their dirty hands in the hopes of treats. She drove slowly, and they kept their windows closed up tight.

“Should be just up here and around the corner.” He squinted against the bright afternoon sun.

“There,” she said.

He searched the landscape for what she’d seen.


“Running across that field towards that helicopter,” she shouted. “Hold on.”

The children had fallen back, certain there’d be no treats from the newcomers. She cocked the wheel, aiming for the opening between two buildings that she’d seen the art thief running between. She stomped on the gas, and the car rocketed forward.

They bumped over the grassy field in the little coupe. It wasn’t designed for off-roading, but it held up surprisingly well.

They’d almost caught up to the culprit when he started drawing a circle with his finger in the air. The helicopter blades whirred to life. The aircraft started lifting off of the ground as their adversary hopped onto the skid.

They pulled themself comfortably into the passenger seat as the pilot lifted them higher. That foe of theirs laughed and flipped them the finger as they leaped from the car.

“Damnit!” he exclaimed in frustration.

“They got away, again,” she sighed.

Love Sick: Stories is out now

Do you enjoy reading Tiffany’s stories and poems?

Book Cover: Heart with arrow through it; in from bottom left coming out at top right Inside the heart reads, "Love Sick" To the right of the bottom point of heart it reads, "Stories" Across the bottom, below the heart, it reads, "Tiffany Higgins"

You can own a book of Tiffany’s stories

Love Sick is a multi-genre collection of stories about the love we find ourselves caught up in.


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