WRITING STIMULI

To find but not discover.

I often visit Jersey. (If you are not from the UK, this is an island nearer France than England with its own government and personality. It is not in the UK, but a crown dependency – in fact a bailiwick.

From time to time, little observations that strike me as a mainlander also suggest themselves as possible triggers for a story. Here’s one:

Mobile phone with broken screen isolated on white.

I sat with friends for a picnic lunch and shared a photo from my mobile phone; a bridesmaid who had impressed for elegance. A left-behind phone on the bench resulted. I won’t be the first or the last to do that.

If I’d been in England, that would have been the last I saw of my mobile. I still mourn a particularly nice Samsung full of scenic photos that somehow I dropped in South Devon, and no amount of form filling that the police offer brought the faintest hint of a recovery.

But this was Jersey. It took me an evening and the next morning before I realised the phone was not in the house. In the meantime, a man passing the bench had picked it up and immediately messaged on Facebook that he’d found it, including its photo (a good identifier since I’d cracked the screen producing a particularly artistic web pattern). He added that if it was not claimed within an hour or two, he would take it to the police station. Well, Jersey is a small place, smaller than the Isle of Wight, so there is only one police station. The man will have had to drive there, the other end of the island from where the bench was. Bless his kind heart!

We contacted him to thank him, and filled in a form for the police. They phoned us to confirm they had the phone (!) and said, because it was so hot, just collect when it suited us. Can you imagine that happening in England?

I said to my host, “I wonder if that man is a cousin of yours.” Not a great joke, because if you’ve always lived in Jersey you will be related to a large number of other residents…a matter I’ll discuss in another post.

Meanwhile, the WRITING PROMPT. Suppose your lost phone was picked up, unknowingly, by the one man you would least like to contact? Due to its security code, the only thing this man could see on my phone was my step counter. You might not want your man finder to see even that… The rest is for your imagination.

Published by

Rosalind Minett

Author of historical trilogy, A Relative Invasion. Rosalind has an extensive background as a psychologist.

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