Double Trouble

for Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 9th August 2020, inevitable.

Anna’s younger sister (Zara) and brother-in-law (Dan) seemed set on a particular course. Early twenties, two children already… it was inevitable that there would be more.

Imagine Anna’s surprise, then, when she received a call from Zara one evening. Could she look after the boys for the afternoon? Mum and Dad were away, and she and Dan wanted to attend a seminar up in London in a couple of weekends time.

With no special plans of her own, Anna agreed. Looking after two baby boys for the afternoon might be… educational! “What’s the seminar about?”, she asked. “Tips and tricks for self-publishing”, Zara replied. The host was somebody Anna had never heard of.

Anna had vaguely heard Zara talk about this before. With two babies in tow, Zara was trying to turn her hobby of writing children’s books into something which might, at least, bring in some extra income. With the boys, the hours were unpredictable, but at the very least, it was something she could do from home.

I’ve written a background to these characters, in the posts below.

What else to do on a Sunday Morning?

It was still quite early into their relationship. They were lying in bed one Sunday, enjoying that twilight zone – somewhere between asleep and awake, but not quite sure where. The radio was purring softly, then the midday News came on, and the newscaster’s voice roused them both. More bickering in Northern Ireland.

It was funny because Paul seemed to have all sorts of stories about Ireland, which contended with accepted knowledge. That there was not one Bloody Sunday (she had, of course, heard of the paratroopers in Derry), but three. That one of them was way back in 1920, British armoured cars had fired on spectators at a Gaelic football match in Dublin.

She could respond in kind, reciting atrocities committed by the Chinese, passed to her by her father but not widely known.

None of these stories tended to be in the history books, but, there again, who had written the history books?

for Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 6th August 2020, contentious.

I’ve written a background to these characters, in the posts below.


Paul was not at all sure about going to Anna’s sister’s wedding. Primarily, he had to go to support Anna, but he had private doubts about meeting all her family in one fell swoop. However, he had been seeing Anna, off and on, for almost six months, and her family certainly knew of him, despite nobody ever having met. It was high time.

Anna had gone on ahead, and rather than just going home after work on the Friday evening, Paul had tubed into central London, to catch the train from Victoria down to Lewes. To ease him in gently, Anna had met him on arrival, and had fed him at Pizza Express before taking him home to meet her mother and father. Also present were Anna’s rather dippy sister, and her even dippier fiancé, who was permitted to visit the house that evening purely so he could finally meet the mysterious Paul. At first glance, this couple seemed made for each other.

At the ceremony the next day, Paul stood in his morning suit, with Anna just a few yards away, looking resplendent in her bridesmaid’s dress. He closed his eyes, smiled to himself, and wondered “how did I get into this escapade?”.

for Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 5th August 2020, escapade.

I’ve written a background to these characters, in the posts below.


When Paul’s son, Jake, first met Anna, his first thought was “wow”. This gorgeous woman, whom he would have more expected to see on a billboard, had some pizzazz. What on earth was she doing with his dad?

As most boys (men!) tend to be, Jake was tongue-tied in front of a pretty girl, so it was left to Anna to break the ice. “Have you seen this buffet, Jake? Looks like there’s some yummy food over there. Want to come check it out with me?”

Anna and Jake stepped over to the buffet, where she found some vegetable samosas. A couple would not hurt, she reasoned. As Anna and Jake put food onto their plates, Paul had followed them over. Anna left the buffet, just as Paul arrived at the buffet. She turned to return to her seat, bumping straight into Paul – and her samosas went flying onto the floor.

The ice was thawing!

for Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC), pizzazz.

I’ve written a background to these characters, in the posts below.

Sports Day

Anna was now with Paul, and as a part of any couple, she had to assume various “duties”. And Paul had a son. More duties. She didn’t particularly relish them, but… she and Paul were now a team.

Which led to…Sports Day! Anna was vaguely “sporty” herself. She regularly went to the gym and had just become involved in the squash league at work, so she did not mind one bit watching the little – and not so little – children having fun.

The big test of the day was meeting Paul’s ex-wife for the first time, but in this relaxed setting, the meeting passed without incident.

Jake took part in his race, but he was not finished yet.

– Come on, dad, you’ll be good.

– What do you think?

laughed Paul, as he saw Anna approaching.

– Go for it, you could do with getting more active!

she joked. And before Paul knew what was happening, he had been entered into the Parents’ Sack Race, the finale event at the end of the day.

At the appointed time, Paul was limbering up. At the start line, on your marks, get set, GO! Paul started bunny-hopping in his sack. He hopped faster and faster but could still see he was in fourth or fifth place. Faster, faster…

The last thing Paul saw of the race was the other eight parents hopping past him, as he tripped and tasted the dirt.

It was just as well Anna was too busy laughing to reflect on the wonderful specimen she had chosen!

for Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC), perfunctory.

I’ve written a background to these characters, in the posts below.