Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not; practising flash fiction.

Two for Tuesday #25 – April-Mae Joon

with 7 comments

I’ve gone a little off-piste with Andy’s Two for Tuesday Challenge again this week. I read the prompt early enough, just couldn’t see how to work the prompts, until this happened.


Standard Prompt:
house blend

You have lots of creative leeway. The limit is 200 words. The words can be used:

  • simply as a point of inspiration and do not have to be used directly
  • they can be included exactly as provided
  • or each word can be used independently of each other (for example if Death Row was the prompt instead of crafting a story about an inmate on the way to the gallows, you might write something like: Despite feeling like death from an excess of cheap vodka consumed the night before, Evelyn moved on to planting her next row of spinach).

Non-Standard Prompt:
For this week’s alternative prompt write a story about a girl who has been cruelly named April-Mae Joon. As per usual with the Non-Standard Prompt there is no word limit (to allow for more in depth explorations) but there is a minimum of 200 words.


April-Mae Joon (~800 words)

John and Will, feet on desks, flicking through piles of A4 job applications.

Will: Who on earth calls their child April-Mae Joon?

John: Someone with a sense of humour? I had an auntie May. I even knew a June. But April-Mae Joon? That’s pushing it.

Will: It’s child abuse.

John: Yep, but it’s fun too.

Will: You try living with it.

John: What? You think toting around the moniker John Lennon isn’t enough of a handicap? What’s she coming in for anyway?

Will: The research assistant’s job.

John: She any good?

Will: We won’t know until we interview her. That is sort of the point of this morning.

John: Oh yeah. Sorry, I was just thinking I might find it hard not to laugh.

Will: At what?

John: Her. When she says, “Hi. I’m April-Mae Joon,” I might not be able to hold back.

Will: It’s time to grow a pair, John Lennon.


Interview room. John and Will casual behind a desk. April-Mae Joon straight-backed, legs crossed, immaculate, appraising them.

Will: Good morning, Miss. Joon and thank you for coming to see us. We’ve been through your application and I’d like to ask about –

John: How do you cope?

April-Mae: I’m sorry?

John: No, I’m sorry. Shit, I didn’t mean. What I meant to say was, what should we call you?

April-Mae: April-Mae?

John: You don’t find it difficult?

April-Mae: Do you want to ask when I plan to have children now or later?

Will: Miss. Joon, April-Mae, you know we wouldn’t, couldn’t ask such questions.

April-Mae: Yes, and they are about as relevant to my ability to do my job as my name.

Will: Exactly. Please excuse my colleague. He’s over zealous.

April-Mae: Or maybe a little jealous. Walking round with his name can’t be fun.

John: Hey –

April-Mae: You started it.

Will: She’s right, John. You did sort of walk into that one.

John: Fine. Can we all agree we have bastards for parents and move on?

April-Mae: Sure.

Will: Thank you. Now, April-Mae, instead of a standard question and answer session, we’d like you to role-play a situation where –

April-Mae: Do you want me to dance too?

Will: I beg your pardon.

April –Mae: Dance. Apparently it’s all the rage. Terribly relevant for how well I can hunt out facts, identify discrepancies in data, précis and write copy. I suppose the role-play helps me demonstrate those skills.

Will: (Coughs.) Well, how would you suggest we continue?

April-Mae: Why not set me a task? Ask me a question? Give me a time limit and see how fully I can answer.

John: That’s a very good idea. Only –

April-Mae: I’ve got all day. Maybe you could think about it over coffee and get back to me.

Will: If you’d excuse us for one minute.


John and Will in a corridor.

Will: This is not going well.

John: It is for her.

Will: What are we going to do?

John: Come up with a question for her to investigate, sit her in front of a computer, give her half an hour, and see what she comes up with.

Will: You mean let her hijack this interview.

John: I think I managed to blow any credibility it might have had at the outset.

Will: Be that as it may, I don’t think –

John: Let’s embrace this opportunity. We’ve been bogged down long enough trying to discover whether there’s a genetic link between stammering and dyslexia. Let’s put her to the task. See what research papers she comes up with, what hypotheses she suggests. It can’t do any harm.

Will: I need coffee.

John: So will she. And somehow, I don’t think house blend’s quite her cup of chai. I’ll get the double espressos from round the corner. You set Miss. Joon up with a terminal. We see what happens.

Will: And the other candidates?

John: We do the same.

Will: But how will we choose between them?

John: You fancied Miss. Joon for the job from the start. That’s why she was the first we saw. You never change your habits, Will. Favourite always goes first, the chaff get compared to him or her. Unless someone shines a little brighter, candidate one wins.

Will: Do I do that?

John: Always.

Will: How does that help?

John: Unless anyone produces a superior document to Miss. Joon, she gets the job.

Will: How will we know?

John: For pity’s sake, Will. Who needs to grow a pair now? How many research proposals have you read in your life? You’ll know. Besides, Miss. Joon has fought through life thus far carrying her name. She knows what she wants and how to get it. Look at the jelly you’ve turned in to. Be careful or she’ll be after your job next.

Will: Point taken. One more thing, John, would you mind telling her while I get the coffees?




Written by Sarah Ann

September 17, 2013 at 9:41 am

7 Responses

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  1. OMG S love the dialogue – very clever and bloody funny 😉 I liked.


    September 17, 2013 at 10:31 am

  2. I like how every week you approach the prompts from a completely different direction—style, genre, construction, humorous, scary, etc. The script approach worked very well this week and the conversation was delightful. Another great job of combining the two prompts!


    September 17, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    • You’re making me blush, as you make it sound as if there is some method or planning involved. If only that were the case. Glad you enjoyed the conversation – I wasn’t sure about it. Okay, on to this week’s prompts….

      Sarah Ann

      September 18, 2013 at 9:02 pm

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