It Started With Three


A number of you may remember the recent project my friend Gary Holdaway and I started, the Theme Exchange. We took it in turns to write a piece on a given theme, and to respond to each other’s pieces by thinking of a different theme which the previous author hadn’t focused on in their latest piece. It’s a bit like a game of word association, but with many, many more words. I absolutely loved it, and would strongly recommend you try it with a friend or co-writer.

Well now, we’re changing the dynamic. I’m going to present Gary with a picture, and then he must write a short piece of fiction which either a) is based entirely on that picture or b) more interestingly, has that picture  – or something related to that picture – as its turning point.

So that’s the crux of it: stimulus and response. Then Gary chooses another picture – any picture – and presents the same challenge back to me. Reciprocity, inspiration, creation.

I think to really get this project off with a bang, I’m going to present Gary with three choices. How generous of me. What’s more, to start off we aren’t even having pictures, but gifs. Creepy-ass gifs. One thing I know Gary and I have very much in common is a love for downright eerie, cinematic horror. I love a measured amount of self-indulgence, too. Perfecto.

Remember: these could either be the summary of the entire piece, or a turning point. And the twist in the tale may not be something quite so straightforward as the gif would have you believe…

So Mr Holdaway: choose your poison.


1) Her Chair




2) His Coat

Moving coat


3) My Hand

My hand


And let the story unfold.



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