Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #21 — Tale

Welcome to Week 21 of the Friday Fiction Writing Challenge! Here’s a complete list of all the posts so far. Feel free to join in.

This week’s random word is: Tale

I really didn’t think I had anything for this week’s word. Really. But, when I started to think about it, two scenes popped into my head. The odd part is, I have outlines for Oliver and Claudia—very bare-bones. And the first iterative outline for Xander and Leigh. Both couples are from the Deniable Unit series. It was a lot of fun playing with these characters.

I know it’s meant to be one 250 word piece, but I’m going to bend the rules. I’m posting both!

Here’s the first (Xander’s scene):

Xander stood outside Matt Brenner’s office door and schooled his expression. Grief. That was what he was aiming for. He gave a slow, unenthusiastic knock on the door.

A hand landed on his shoulder from behind. It was Matt’s hand. Shit.

“I didn’t get your report on the Erikkson debacle,” Matt said, ushering Xander into the office.

Xander shrugged and stared at the floor. “Things didn’t go according to plan.”

“No? How so?” Matt sat behind his desk.

Don’t go overboard, don’t over embellish, just give enough detail to make it believable. “Erikkson was behind many Consortium hits—just as we suspected. He turned on his protegee, Leigh Frost. He used me as bait—to kill both of us.”

“Uh-huh.” Matt started typing.

Xander shifted in his seat. “I thought I could work her. Use her to get close to Erikkson, to get him out in the open. But, that went tits up.”

Matt leaned forward. “Was that before or after you told Mitch to let her escape custody?”

“I wanted to give her the illusion of freedom so she’d lead me to Erikkson.”

“And did she?”


Matt rolled his hand, motioning for Xander to keep talking.

“We took Erikkson down,” he took a shuddering breath, just enough to sell his tale, “but Leigh died protecting me.”

Matt grimaced. “You might want to tell Ms. Frost that.”

Damn it, Leigh. “Where is she?”

Matt laughed. “She’s in your office.”

“You know she wasn’t involved with those hits.”

Matt nodded.

Here’s the second (Claudia’s scene):

“For the last time, Oliver is dead. Your men killed him.” Claudia braced herself for another fist. Pain exploded somewhere near her kidney, and she slumped. The only thing keeping her upright were the ropes holding her to the girder.

Montenegro gripped her shoulders and pushed her back up. The boyish grin as he leaned into her almost made her throw up. “Tell me,” he gripped her hair and yanked her head to an unnatural angle, “where the fuck is Ether?”

She couldn’t hold out much longer against the ruthless dictator; pain and exhaustion were pulling her under. Who she was holding out for, she didn’t know. It wasn’t like Oliver was coming to rescue her, not with how she’d thrown everything he’d told her about his past as Ether in his face. “He’s dead.”

“It’s a very nice tale, but it lacks a body.” Montenegro pulled out his trademark machete and held it to Claudia’s throat. “Tell me a more believable one.”

Claudia shook with fear—too close to that damned blade. She needed to get herself under control, or there’d be no reason for anyone to help her. She closed her eyes and took a few calming breaths. When she opened them again, she saw it. A little red dot dancing over Montenegro’s forehead. Then another. And another. Relief flooded her.


“I know where Oliver is.” She couldn’t stop the smile spreading across her lips. “I’d drop the weapon before he drops you.”

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!


  1. Don’t think too hard on the word; just write about it for a maximum of twenty-five minutes or 250 words.
  2. Once you complete your sprint, give it some basic editing.
  3. Be courageous and post your results to your blog.


  1. Complete the challenge on your blog before 1800 UK time of the following Friday.
  2. Link to the original prompt post and make sure to use the tag Genre Scribes so that we can see all the posts together in WP Reader.
  3. Your text must be fiction (preferably one you publish in (or plan to).
  4. No real-life stories.
  5. The text can be dialogue, an interior monologue, a scene, flash fiction, anything… so long as it’s fiction.

Full information is on the Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge page.

Author: Susan T. Braithwaite

Royal Navy veteran from Scotland. My journey into writing started with a screenwriting certificate program at UCLA Ext. Since then, I've worked as a freelance content writer, erotica author, proofreader, professional beta reader, and content editor. I'm now working hard on my dream writing career: romantic suspense author. When I'm not writing, I can be found drinking too much coffee, obsessing over yarn, and planning world domination with my husband,, and our squirrel army.​

4 thoughts on “Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #21 — Tale

  1. The Writers Club: I bent the rules and posted two responses to this week’s Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #21 — Tale #amwriting via

  2. Love the first one — funny; great description in the second one 😁

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