Scraped Hands

WotH Writers Writing

by Elaine Martini

She had lost count of how many times she washed her hands today. It was difficult to know if it was all the anxiety or justified. She checked the time again. It was difficult to get used to this new routine. Time passed by quickly and slowly. Last month felt like last year. She heard somewhere that was natural, there were so many changes. She looked up the stairs to check if she could see or hear her husband. Nothing. She sat at the bottom of the stairs, waiting, gathering her thoughts and feelings. It had been a long week, she missed his hug and kiss before her shifts. But doing that now was too much of a risk. Although the risk for her at work was unavoidable.

She would have never imagined her home one day being like this, divided in two. She could only use certain parts of the house. Yet through this, her husband cared for her in every possible way. They talked through closed doors, he cooked and put it outside her door. Always her favourite meals with a flower on the tray and a note under the cup saying I love you.

Sitting at the bottom of the stairs was breaking the rules. But all she knew lately were rules, worries and procedures. Before all this started they were trying to start a family. She remembered the heartache every time she got her period and realised this wasn’t the month. Now that was a relief and a blessing, she wouldn’t have wanted their precious family to start at a time like this. People said it was a war. She didn’t see it that way. For her, it was a tragedy that destroyed and swept through unforgivingly. In war, your main weapon is not love, care and compassion for others. For her, that’s what her role was in all this. She looked at the phone again, it was time to get ready for her duty. Once again she washed her hands and felt the sting from the soap on her scraped hands.

© Elaine Martini

Elaine is an architect, worktop designer, writer, jewellery maker, traveller, explorer and student. You can find other examples of her writing at her website and blog

Fri 17th April 2020

Admin User Event, Uncategorized

This will be our first online meeting!

Looking forward to our on-screen meeting tomorrow, the 17th, at our usual time of 7:30 … here’s the link to zoom, courtesy of Fabrizio who is our host and inviting you all … with a few pointers below for those less used to what happens: (It should just work in a web browser or you can download the free app first if you wish)

Join the Zoom Meeting by clicking on this link:

The app is available from if you want to load it on your smartphone or PC – but this is optional!

  • Here are the login details if you need to enter them directly in the app or the login page
  • Meeting ID: 795 144 248
  • Password: 013187

+ You should explain to the people that are not familiar with Zoom that there is no need to download the Zoom app. They simply need to click the link and it should open their browser. Another thing to mention to people that might not be familiar with Zoom is that depending on their settings the camera and mic might come on when the Zoom conference starts so if they don’t want to be caught in their PJs they’d better be careful. 😉

  • So see you all tomorrow … ‘scraping palms‘ is the writing prompt for those inspired to read 200 words
  • And Gary will be taking us though his favourite writer!

Zoom – is so simple even the Cabinet have managed to use it!

Absent Friend

WotH Writers Writing

by Laura Paton

The rain falls like coins from a one-armed bandit. Jackpot, thinks Sam, as he watches the huge drops smacking onto the tarmac.

Sheltering under the hotel’s awning, he removes a cigarette from a brand-new packet, jams it between his lips and lights it, flicking the match out into the storm. Taking a long drag, he steps forward to get a better view of the folks coming down Fifth Avenue, searching for Vi in the crowd.

Office workers emerge from the subway, but before he can make out their faces, umbrellas are unfurled, hats donned and collars raised. Like an oil slick, they move along the sidewalk as one.

There’s laughter behind him. He turns to see a young couple leaving the hotel. Nodding their heads as they pass, they step out into the downpour and walk slowly away, love-blind to their already soaked clothes.

Sam checks his watch. She should’ve been here half an hour ago. He prays that it’ll still be raining when she finally arrives. He can picture it now. Her face flushed from exertion, she’ll make a hurried excuse about a last-minute task she had to finish before the weekend. He’ll listen, watching her blue-green eyes dart around, as she avoids looking directly into his.

It’s no day for admiring birds and flowers in the park, he’ll say, when she stops to take a breath. A downtown diner with steamed-up windows, coffee and slices of pie is what this weather calls for.

She’ll laugh, but won’t resist as he leads her to a shabby establishment on the corner of Crosby and Grand. They’ll find an empty booth in the back, where they can sit close, shoulders pressed together, only cotton between them.

Five minutes pass, and then the doorman appears with a telephone message.

© Laura Paton

  • Laura Paton is a property magazine editor by day and a food blogger and restaurant reviewer by night. Find other examples of her work at

Building New Worlds

WotH Writers Writing

by Fabrizio Sitzia

The moons were already up in the sky, red as they usually become during the eclipse. That Eclipse, the one that covers like a mantle the five kingdoms every month. This time, the kings didn’t gather together to watch it or to give their offerings to the gods they feared in front of the priests. This time they stayed in their towers with their loved ones, silently waiting. The gods descended from the sky and the moons cracked in half and fell with them.

© Fabrizio Sitzia

Rock Metal Vibration

WotH Writers Writing

by Paul Davey

As the band swept into the middle eight the pounding riff shook the air around the audience. Like a single frenzied organism it pulsed with every rock heartbeat.

Having whipped up the crowd Jeff held his pose at the mic stand and caught his breath.  His larynx still shrieked, in a silent echo of his high pitched vocals.  He gazed out at the seething blend of hair, leather and denim.

At the next chord change he turned away and strode to the Jack Daniels bottle that stood between the two bass drums. Necking on full view it he gulped down mouthfuls of Evian before striding back to centre stage for the last verse.

This gig at Cambourne Miners Club and this song were special, a tribute to the lineage that had had inspired it and set them on their path.  He gave it his soul, not only a public performance but a personal pilgrimage as well.  Three hundred heads nodded in unison as Jeff’s voice cut through the hall.

Your hands, on mine, so weak, but so fine. Hard sweat, down mine,

Metal ore to refine, Tin man, granite drill, hard work, high skill

On cue the lead guitar dropped away leaving only the overdriven bass guitar and stuttering snare drum buzzing its high speed staccato as he followed the vein of emotion home.

Ten years of litigation – not a sign of compensation – damaged hands – drills vibration

But even while lawyers linger, miners suffer white finger      

© Paul Davey

You’ve Got Mail

WotH Writers Writing

by Jenna Wimshurst

Are you sad, lonely and desperate? Sucks to be you! But that’s beside the point… I’m writing to tell you that you need to go online dating! You know that film You’ve got mail? Well, online dating is a lot like that, but also it’s nothing like that, so I’m going to give you a bit of advice on how to do it:

We need to start with your profile. Let’s be honest, the picture is the most important part, you might be hilarious and bloody great in the sack but if you look like a moose then I’m swiping left.

Ensure that your profile picture is just of you and doesn’t feature any sort of weird stuff that you have. For example, if you’re really into traffic cones maybe save that until you’ve met instead of having your entire collection in the picture.


  • Be light-hearted and fun, unless you’re not light-hearted and fun, in which case just be yourself,
  • Write what you want and not want you think other people want to read. If you’re a crackhead with bad breath then put that, be your true self child.


  • Write too little,
  • Write too much,
  • Be a dick (in life really, not just on dating websites),

When you compose a message have a think about what message you’d like to receive. Because “Hi” doesn’t get any conversation started, neither does “how are you?” But don’t write huge dissertation revealing everything that’s interesting about you before you’ve even met; because then you leave zero things to talk about when you do meet. For example, if you’ve got three legs and a fourth eye then keep that for the first date.


Oh look, you’ve got mail.

© Jenna Wimshurst