With my typically excessive descriptions, today’s task, to banish all adverbs from the piece, was to prove a bit of a challenge. Hopefully none have sneaked their way in…



Whispers of steam pirouetted through the air and headed skywards. The cafe had the most eccentric taste in china. The bodybuilder had a thick black moustache and his prowess was shown in lifting a hefty dumbbell above his head whilst the rest of his body focused on a pose: hand on hip, muscles flexed, side parting lacquered. He wore burnt orange jogging bottoms and a muscle tee, quite the vintage pin up against a backdrop of purple roses that were teetering on the edge of bloom. The rim was lined with gold, a regal finish to this working man’s scene. Every day Gabriel would order coffee and it would be a different mug. Every day it was a different scene on a different mug. Yesterday’s beverage came sloshing within a brown pencil illustration of a bunny rabbit. Who knows what tomorrow would inflict.

Gabriel gazed out the window from his usual spot. The tawny vinyl chair perspired beneath the clammy bare legs of a 30 degree day. Each sip of coffee made the sweat ascend further to his pores. Gabriel felt a presence as he detected a shadow sliding across the table. He looked up to find two coffee coloured eyes scowling at him.

“What is your name?” The stranger asked.

“Why?” Gabriel responded. He wasn’t in the habit of presenting a stranger with his name.

The man had long blonde eyelashes and his pallid skin was showered with freckles. He was carrying a bright green holdall, it swung heavily as he stood. He bowed his neck and brought his face within inches and sang in a whispered tone “Gabriel.”

24 thoughts on “China.

      1. I apologise. Succinctness is a noun. Succinctly is the adverb. You win. (Note how I waited until after midnight to apologise; I’m sooooo evil – or a Gremlin.)


      2. You ruined my day.

        At least Thursday has perked up. I thought they were mostly ‘ly’ words. I should have trusted my feminine intuition… it’s a girlishly, womanly mannered, accurately meticulously honed skill.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. That was creepy but intriguing and it aroused my curiosity as to who that stranger is. Is this something you witnessed? if so i would be creeped out. 🙂


      1. Well then who is the stranger?! My first inclination was that this person is shadow of Gabriel himself or his twin, I don’t know why I thought that though? What was your thought process when you were writing this?


      2. I know of 2 Gabriels, one of them is my cousin and that can’t be her and the other is an Angel who is not at all sinister!


      3. I was thinking of something along the lines of the Angel Gabriel, as it’s the stranger that’s sinister rather than the Gabriel in my story… maybe I’ll explore it one day in a longer piece!


      4. I think you should, would love to read what you come up with. I would encourage you to read all the written accounts of him to get a sense of his character.


      5. That’s a good idea, I will definitely look into it. Truth be told I was actually rather stuck with where this story would go as a longer piece so I think that will help. Thank you!


      6. Yes I will send you an email with all the relevant passages. You probably noticed on my blog that the biggest theme of my writing is biblical studies. Been studying the bible for a long time and Jesus is my biggest inspiration for writing! It may not be today or tomorrow bit definitely by Friday! Stay tuned

        Liked by 1 person

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