22 October, 2013

Scorpio by Derek Thompson

Welcome to Part Seven of my 12-part Zodiac Blog Series. On Tuesdays in autumn I'm posting a story or poem each written especially for this blog by a different author. Each piece of writing has taken one of the signs of the zodiac as its inspiration. For the full list of participants - from established authors to first-time writers - plus the posting schedule and links to previous stories and poems, please visit the Zodiac Blog Series Page.

This week's story is inspired by Scorpio and is written by Derek Thompson.

Derek enjoys writing fiction, non-fiction and comedy; finding each has its challenges and its rewards. He's carried notebooks around since his teens and ventured into freelancing in 2009. He says, "When you start with a blank page, an open mind and an active imagination, you never quite know where you'll end up." He chose Scorpio  for its associations with the darker aspects of the human condition. You can find Derek on his excellent blog or buy his fantasy book, thriller or novel The Superhero Club (Musa Publishing, 2012) on Amazon.


I don't think you can call it stalking if we haven't really broken up - not officially, I mean. And it's not as if she has changed the locks; that extra key I had cut, for emergencies, still works. Oh, sure, I know she sees other guys now and then, but that's not important. They never stick around long after a tyre gets slashed. And it's not like I'm naturally violent, or anything, only when I get provoked...you know? We're both Scorpios, so we're both really intense people.

I like to keep an eye on things. After all, I helped pay for some of that stuff originally. The first few times, I was dead clever. If I had a cup of tea while she was at work, I'd wash up after myself and put everything back just the way it was. I did get a bit riled at the locked bedroom, but then I remembered the scotch at the back of the cupboard and calmed myself down. See, I told her I could change.

And then I got to thinking that maybe she was testing me, waiting for me to win her back. So I started leaving her little clues. Nothing major at first - a teaspoon on the table or a whisky glass in the sink. Then I left some flowers in the glass. She must have liked it because I never heard from the police like before.

I only went in a couple of times a week and never when she was there. I watched the house first - wouldn't want to frighten her or anything. And then she left me a sign, something only I would understand. A fresh bottle of whisky in the cupboard - the same brand I always drink. Well, there's no denying it, is there?

So, after a couple more times, I leave her a letter. Nothing fancy, but I let her know that I get what's going on. It's some sort of game between us. And I figure she'll call me on my mobile when she's ready.

I went over this morning and it was like being a teenager again. So excited I could hardly sleep last night. And this time she's left the whisky out on the table. I couldn't believe it - I actually shed a tear. So I had a couple of doubles there, to celebrate, and went back home to wait for her call. Only now I don't feel so great and I can barely keep my eyes open. Must be all the excitement catching up with me...

Really? That's just awful, but thank you for telling me, officer. And he had an old key in his pocket when you found him? That's odd because I changed the locks, but maybe he couldn't let go of the past. We were both Scorpios - that's an intense sign, isn't it?


  1. Excellent. Great story. A sting in the tail...

  2. Subtle and understated - great concise psychological study!

  3. Wow, what a cool take on the prompt - and definitely nice that the woman fought back

  4. Thanks all for your comments. This story came about though my (somewhat) tried and tested method of waiting for a voice and then finding out the character and seeing where that leads me. I wasn't sure how it would resolve itself until I saw the bottle in the cupboard.

  5. This works really well, Derek. I will be particularly wary of Scorpios from now on!

    1. Thanks, Dan. Just make sure you change your locks...


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