An evening walk in Tulum, Mexico 2018. Photograph by Tanya Clarke

An evening walk in Tulum, Mexico 2018. Photograph by Tanya Clarke

Writing Prompt No. 84

“Well, that’s charming.”

“You never said how to use it. Take a picture, you said.”

“I thought you’d be able to point and shoot. That’s why they’re called point and shoot.”

“I like it actually.”

“For once I just wanted a half-decent picture of myself.” Amy flicked through the thick pack of photographs she’d picked up from Boots.

“I think it’s quite good. Very arty.”

“They’re my legs, Richard. In the dark. Not even the back of my head. Just legs.”

“Christ. You’re really making a fuss.”

Amy didn’t reply. She shoved the pack of photographs back in the envelope and threw them on the kitchen table. Richard picked them up and moved towards the bin.

“No, no!” said Amy, just as his foot hovered over the foot pedal. Amy leant over and grabbed them from his hand.

“You’re all in a bad mood because there isn’t one of you looking all pouty.”

“I know. Yes. I know.” Amy rubbed her eyes.

“Amy? What is it? What’s this all about?”

Amy dropped her head and tapped the envelope of holiday snaps on the table. Her shoulders began to shake and large tears started to roll and drop off the end of her nose.


“I slept with him.” The words came out of her in between gasps and sobs.

Richard blinked, the colour drained from his face. He gripped the top of a nearby chair.


Richard lunged at the packet of photographs and threw them in the sink. He picked up the small can of lighter fluid he’d bought the other day in Homebase and sprayed half of it over the envelope before setting the whole thing aflame with his lighter.

“Keep your fucking photos,” he said as black smoke rose up and billowed in a thick acrid smelling mass.

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