The exercise – Pick one of the last lines, from published stories, provided by the author. Use the line as trigger, either for an ending, or alternatively the opening scene to a flash back story to which you can return at a later date, safe in the knowledge that your ending is in place.
The phone rings but neither of us gets up to answer it. Neither of us wants to be the first to hear the news that we know is coming.
We sit at opposite ends of the sofa, she leafing through a magazine with vacant eyes, oblivious to whatever is on the pages. I have the TV on a news program but I have no idea what they are talking about.
‘Who are we kidding, we know what they are going to say, ignoring it is just prolonging the agony. The sooner we hear it officially, the sooner we can move on with our lives… whatever direction that takes.’
I think she is right but the idea of losing the place we have called home for over 10 years is unbearable. I look around, at the shelves I have built, the curtains she has made and my heart tightens. But she is right, we need to face the facts, this is just driving us further down.
I get up and go over to the window. I look into the garden, remembering what a sight it was when we moved in and how much work it has taken us to get it to look as beautiful as it does now.
I put out my hand to stop her getting up and I cross the room to answer the phone.
Last line from The House of Stairs by Ruth Rendell