I sorted my binders today. Some of them had not seen the light of day since 2016. In one such forgotten binder I rediscovered a mish-mash of story ideas and prompts, like this one:
‘I took a moment to catch my breath as I stepped out of the limo and onto the multi-hued gravel pathway. The gardens of Hudson’s Manor were just as dazzling as I remembered, if not more so. The exotic plants had an iridescent quality, mirroring the stars above them as they glowed in the night with blue, purple, and green. I stopped before the gate to smooth out my dress, which was made with the same colours as the garden. Perfect for a distinguished look or an easy get-away, as needed. “Good evening. May I have your identification, please?” The gate computer asked. The programmed voice was in a British accent, which made everything just that much more posh. “Certainly! Here you are, sir.” I replied, inserting my card into a slot on the side box. I watched the lights on the box flash as it scanned my card. In my line of work things usually go wrong at this time, ending the job before it even begins. “Identification accepted. Thank you, and welcome, Miss _______.” The computer said at last, spitting out the card. I grinned in relief. My old friend “Double D” had decided to keep me in the job after all. So he should. I’ve been the main component behind his latest and best projects. In return, he’s given me a hoard of aliases, and enough tools to pull them off. A Computer could be easily scrambled with the right card. But flesh and blood people would need more convincing that I was Miss_______. Thankfully she and I both had the same frizzy black hair, but it took an insane amount of make-up to hide all my freckles, and I wore deep brown contact lenses. That was a bit of a shame. My blue eyes would have gone nicely with the dress. It was a small sacrifice, but one worth making. I couldn’t risk having anyone recognise me. Not that anyone could recognise me as the same amateur who was here ten years ago.’
I don’t remember writing this at all. Not sure where I was going with this idea, or even if I had a plan beyond this snippet. Can’t even tell when this was written, although I’m guessing I was 16 at the time. My protagonist (who was never even given a pseudonym, poor thing) sounds too young for the experienced spy/thief she is supposed to be, and I should have thought up something more interesting than a simple ID card. But still, I like the idea of someone pulling off a heist in a bioluminescent British garden party, perhaps completing a task that had failed a decade ago.
There were quite a few snippets and ideas I had forgotten, stored away in that abandoned binder. Some I’d be happy to leave that way. But there were others that brought back fond writing memories, and even some that could– perhaps– get a second chance. To think that all I was looking for this morning was a serviceable empty binder!