Ghosts, Invisibility and the Spectre of a Certain Mr. D Trump – 11 November 2020

The second club night of the 2020-2021 season proved that Ayr Writers’ Club members’ pens and fertile imagination are always at the ready. Jeanette launched us off with a selection of ‘what if?’ writing prompts.

The first one was What if you could go forward to the end of 2021. What has changed?

            Interestingly, both Nigel and Matthew took the view that, in the case of a certain Mr. D Trump, not a lot. Nigel had the checkers still laboriously counting votes over and over, while Matthew had Mr. T and a few pallid and care-worn supporters, holed up in a bunker under The White House. I had a face-masked person rejoicing in the fact that everything was back to normal now and was preparing for a ‘traditional,’ Christmas, family Zoom. New member Tony commented on all the bicycles and electric cars, but couldn’t stand the latest ‘music’ and fashions. (Bring back flares – that’s what I say)

Our second theme, What if you could be invisible for two days – how would you make the most of your time? produced some interesting suggestions. Greta would join the chorus line of every musical in The West End and sing and dance to her heart’s content – and nobody would know! Tony turned into an invisible, naked rambler, teased policemen and stole things. However, the game was up when they followed his footprints in the snow. (Snowy day – naked rambler? – sounds a bit too chilly for me). Nigel was the invisible covid virus, while Fiona checked to see if a neighbouring couple’s reputation for wild sex was justified – (naughty, naughty Fiona!) Joanne wanted to sabotage reporters’ and news readers’ autocue devices in the interests of more truthful reporting, while Linda was an invisible loo-roll thief in a Tesco warehouse. Her Ayr Writers’ Club pen even followed the mood of the moment by going all invisible too.  After long and reliable service, it had finally run out.

Our third, spooky what if? involved a ghost looking for a new home. Damaris’s ghost would inhabit a rose-scented candle, bringing soothing scents to the whole world. What a lovely idea Damaris. Nigel’s doggerel verse had the ghost of Donald Trump still not leaving, and Tony’s homeless ghost finally takes up residence in Buckingham Palace. When my ghost’s old haunt is demolished, he plans to occupy the cab of the wrecking ball that knocked it down. Scaring the operator into knocking down the wrong buildings might provide a bit of innocent fun.

After the coffee break, Fiona delivered the long awaited results of last year’s Drama Competition.

1st  Carey McCabe

2nd   Graeme St Clair

3rd  Carolyn O’Hara

Congratulations to the winners.

Writing prompt number four asked What if you woke in the night and the light won’t work – why?

We had lots of duff bulbs and blown fuses. Damaris blamed the dog for tripping over the cable and pulling the plug out. Kirsty had an evil blackness swallowing all the light in the world – (creepy) My worrying night-time experience was revealed as a dream by the unexpected presence of orange, fluffy slippers.

Our final exercise was – What if you find an old chest of drawers with a piece of paper inside? What does it say?

Nigel’s was a lovely piece full of wood-working references, as his chest of drawers was an apprentice piece. Tony’s junk shop bargain held an envelope saying ‘Do not open.’ Inside was a note saying, ‘Didn’t you read the envelope?’ Ha, ha! My torn paper only had half a message, so we shall never know where the key to the safe is hidden. Damaris’s note says ‘Destroy me – I will self destruct.’ Destroy what – the paper or the chest? Damaris is still waiting for the bang.

So, another enjoyable and productive evening. Thank you Jeanette for a great selection of prompts. You never know, some of these might surface in future competitions as stories, sketches or poems. We’ll be looking out for them.

Maggie Bolton

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