The Cottage

A series of short stories, mainly written either at my Creative Writing meetings or for homework, from first line prompts. I have purposefully used the same central characters, and will eventually roll these short stories into a book.

Rachel’s trip to England – February first line prompt
Preparations for L.A. – March “M” words story
The Documents in the Drawer – May 10 minute tale at Creative Writing meeting
The Mobile Phone
 – March First line prompt
The Full Mailbox – April first line prompt
She was a Wonderful Liar – Feb 10 minute tale at Creative Writing meeting
A Sympathetic Friend – March prompt from

and the ending might be:-

A Night in the Cave – April 10 minute tale at Creative Writing meeting


Rachel – Single, Assistant to Cory, working at a company based in Los Angeles. Rachel is in love with Cory
Cory Carter – Single, Director of the L.A. Company which has taken over RMI in Oxfordshire, England. Cory falls in love with Janice
Robert Metcalfe – Director of Robert Metcalfe Industries, in Oxfordshire, married to Jenny. Robert is having an affair with Marie.
Janice Chadwick – Robert’s assistant, married to Tony. Janice is having anaffair with Cory
Tony Chadwick – a tycoon, married to Janice, who lives at 39 Church Close 
James – Janice Chadwick’s brother
Colin Cross – the regular postman at 39 Church Close 
Jennifer Alex Metcalfe – An extrovert bimbo, Marie’s sister, married to Rob. Jenny (Alex) is having an affair with Des, Ruth’s husband.
Marie – Ruth’s best friend, Jenny’s sister. Marie is having an affair with Rob. She is often the story teller.
Ruth – Des’s wife, Marie’s best friend from school.
Des – Ruth’s husband, having an affair with Jenny (Alex)

Harriet – Marie’s ‘niece’. 


Rachel’s trip to England – Synopsis

Due to having broken her leg in a riding accident, Rachel couldn’t go to England to help install their company’s Integrated System in RMI, the company they had taken over a year ago, so Cory Carter went alone and was met by Janice Chadwick at Heathrow, who took him to Oxford where her boss Robert, director of Robert Metcalfe Industries was taking care of problems in the factory. Cory fell instantly for Janice. Meanwhile Rachel was making plans to fly over to England for a few days and surprise Cory.

The Documents in the Drawer – Synopsis

Janice left Tony in fear of her life during an argument with Tony when he showed her an envelope containing documents showing positive evidence of her having an affair which he was going to give to his solicitor the next day. Janice went to her older brother James’s for the night and asked him to recover the documents from the drawer in Tony’s writing desk in his study. James went back to the house after midnight to find Tony still up.

Preparations for L.A. – Synopsis

Janice handed her notice in to Robert, saying she was leaving her husband Tony and going to Los Angeles to stay with relatives. However, Robert had noticed the changes in Janice and suspected she was having an affair. Janice left work at lunch time, went to the beauty parlour then went home to pack. She was upstairs with her packed suitcase in the hall, almost ready to leave, when Tony arrived home early.

The Mobile Phone – Synopsis
Tony came home early to find his wife at home, suitcase in the hall, and a letter from her to him on the hall table. Janice was upstairs, but told him not to open the letter. She then told him she was leaving and going to L.A. with an American she had fallen in love with and was carrying his baby. Tony went upstairs and pleaded with his wife to stay, but as she was making for the stairs and he was trying to stop her, Janice tripped and fell all the way downstairs to her death. Tony was worried how  it would look so unpacked her suitcase, burned her letter, cleared away any evidence and smashed her mobile phone against the wall before calling the emergency services. Or did he even call them?

The Full Mailbox – Synopsis
Postman Colin Cross was called back from his two-week holiday because the relief postman had left. He discovered a surprisingly full mailbox at the cottage of one of his regulars – Tony & Janice Chadwick at 39 Church Close. On investigation, he found the back door unlocked, Janice Chadwick lying dead on the hall floor, and Tony Chadwick tied up to a chair in the sitting room, barely alive. He called the emergency services and Tony was taken to hospital. The papers reported “Village wife savagely murdered by thieves but tycoon husband miraculously saved by vigilant postman.” 

Other short stories to add to the marital intrigue in “The Cottage”

A Sympathetic Friend – Synopsis

A story told in the first person by Marie Jenny suspects her husband Rob is having an affair.  Jenny discovers who with when when she went to her sister Marie’s house to confide in her. 

She was a wonderful liar – Synopsis

A story told in the first person by MarieRuth suspects her husband Des is having an affair with a girl called AlexMarie, realises it was with her sister, Jennifer Alex, and  had try to cover for her sister when Ruth came to cry on her shoulder.

A Night in the Cave – Synopsis

A story told in the first person by MarieMarie and Rob were on a school reunion holiday when they got marooned in a cave while rock climbing when the tide came in and had to stay there overnight.


To continue the story so far:-

We know that Janice was killed accidentally by Tony, but who has tied Tony up and left him for dead, making it look like they had been robbed, and why?

We need to know more about the love affair between Janice and Cory. An episode of resistance, surrender and torrid passion is to follow.

Rachel was in love with Cory. She has come over from L.A. to see Cory now her leg is better, and discovered the affair. An episode of jealousy, distrust and discovery is to follow.

Stories about the other affairs need to be wound into the final book at an appropriate place.

Can I wait for next month’s homework prompt or shall I continue regardless? I really should do this as a Creative Writing project, for publication in magazine.