We meet at 7:30pm on

the first Thursday of

each month at

The Biffa Room,

St. Mark’s Church,

Calder Rise

(off Avon Drive),

Bedford, MK41 7UY

 

 

Visitors (18 and older) and prospective members are VERY welcome, whether experienced writers, beginners, or just curious.  Simply turn up on the night or contact us by clicking on the 'Get in Touch' icon for an interesting, enjoyable, and possibly instructive evening.

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Cafe

Cafe Society by Barrie Hyde

 

The sun shone brightly, lighting up a deep blue Mediterranean sky. It gave me a sense of calm, beating down on the back of my neck. A crowd of about ten people sat at the table next to mine, with a smaller group in front. They were all speaking in voluble French.

 

I heard the word ‘Brexit’ and there were howls of laughter. My linguistic skills weren’t good enough to pick up on the entirety of the conversation. However, it was pretty obvious they were being far from complimentary about my nation. Not that I was bothered.

 

I sat alone, sipping tepid café au lait and munching on a stale croissant. ‘That’ll cost them a tip’, I thought.

 

He walked out on me last night, by now he’d be back at Gatwick.

 

‘Bastard’.

 

It had all been planned.

 

‘I love you dearly but I can’t live like this. I need someone I can be with all the time, I’m sorry.’

 

With that he picked up his rucksack, turned and walked to the door.

 

I stood, not knowing what to say.

 

He was gone, and I was alone, again.

 

I sighed, threw some coins on the table and got up to go.

 

‘Bon chance cherie’ said an old man smiling.

 

I raised my hand in acknowledgment as I wandered away, holding back the tears.

 

 

Cafe story by Veronica Sims

 

When I turned the corner, I could see her sitting with her back toward me.  Her beautiful, long, golden hair hung loosely about her shoulders. She sat alone at a table for four. I was so happy to see her there, waiting for me, that I stood for a moment savouring the joy. A welcoming smell of coffee and fresh bread hung in the air.  An occasional laugh arose from the muted babble of the other customers. The morning felt happy and bathed in goodwill. Safe.

It had been a long three years. All my worries about her safety. Very little news filtering through via the embassy. Her mission had been very secret. I knew I had been fortunate to get any word at all. And only did, I expect, because of my own rusty links to the world of espionage.

I walked towards her and placed my hands on her shoulders. She half turned her head to look up at me.

‘Daddy, its been a long time!’ she said smiling. ‘Coffee?’

 

 

What if? By Joy Wilkinson

 

Corsica, what memories!  Where Richard proposed.  After a glass of the local brandy for courage, he had taken her to the beach.  Silhouetted against a golden sunset, he got down on one knee and produced a tiny green box.  Inside lay a large sapphire surrounded by diamonds sitting on a band of gold.  “Marry me,” he said.  And she had replied “Yes”.

He had a well paid job in the city and promised to look after her.  Both children had done well and were now happy at university.  She was content with her flower arranging classes, and her reading group, and her volunteer day at the local Oxfam shop.

But the painting brought back other memories.  Those of catching the eye of the handsome young waiter.  Making excuses to visit the same restaurant over and over again so she could see him.  Almost joining him when he invited her inside to “see the wine cellar”, regretfully shaking her head no.  

Her life with Richard was all planned out, giving her the stability she thought she had needed.

The best day of her life.  That’s what she always told Richard whenever he caught her glancing at the picture.  

But what if?

 

 

Anna by Sue Barrton

 

 That day the café owner had put extra chairs on the pavement.   Customers, dressed against the early Spring chill, sat out in the sun.

  I am Anna.   You can see me in the picture.   Blond hair; green jacket.  I was twenty-seven then, a widow, taking my first short holiday alone since the accident.    

 A cameraman was setting up to take shots of the square.  I deliberately sat with my back to him seeking anonymity as usual.  

  The waiter brought my chocolate.   ‘Our artist is here today,’ He told me.  ‘He takes photos, then paints beautiful pictures.  He sells them in the café.  Come, see!’

  ‘Later.’ I told him.

 Still dreadfully lost two years after Ben died, I found it easier to be alone.  

 But that day something changed.  I felt the sun, saw the effect of it on the buildings in the square and let the light, warmth and colour seep into me.  I listened to the chatter of the group next to my table, allowing their voices to brush over the tenderness of my soul.  I became aware again of life around me.

 I promised myself I would come back the next spring.  And when I did, I bought this picture.

Cafe

For one of our writing exercises we collaborated with Houghton Conquest art society. They kindly provided paintings which Writers' Circle used as inspiration to create stories or poems using a maximum of 200 words. This is a great way to see how the same image stimulates different ideas.

 

Picture reproduced by the kind permission of Dave Williams who retains all rights. Do not copy without consent of the owner.