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The Storymatic Returns

July 18, 2016

Last week I took my Storymatic into class – always a big hit. My cards were:

  • daydreamer
  • surprise party 
  • person who needs to remove a tattoo right away

and a wildcard directing me to select three more cards, which were:

  • offer is refused
  • safety deposit box
  • glasses


Here’s what I came up with:



Astrid took a step back. A moment earlier she’d been unlocking her front door, looking forward to a quiet Wednesday night of solitary Netflix and wine. It was her birthday, but she’d arranged to go out on Friday night to celebrate with her boyfriend Ethan.

Now she stood in the doorway, blinking in the light at all her friends and family, who grinned expectantly. And at Ethan, who looked nervous.

He stepped forward, took her hand and led her into the room. “Are you okay, honey?”

“I’m fine. It’s just…” She took off her glasses and polished them on the tail of her shirt. “You took me by surprise.”

“Yeah, that was kind of the point. You’re such a daydreamer.” Ethan chuckled indulgently, and to her mild annoyance everyone else joined in. “It’s one of the things I love about you.” He cleared his throat. She realised that the group had formed a circle around the two of them. She looked back at Ethan, who was fumbling in his jacket pocket. “Astrid, from the day we met, I knew there was something special about you… Ever since Granny died, I’ve been keeping this in a safety deposit box, for the day I found that special girl.” This couldn’t be happening. He was actually getting down on one knee. Astrid felt an asthma attack coming on. “Will you do me the very great honour of making me the happiest man on earth?”

Where had he got these lines from? In the midst of her panic, she had a vision of him watching rom-coms by himself, taking careful notes. The circle of guests had drawn close around them. She realised she was frantically shaking her head. Wheezing, she backed away from Ethan, struggled through the mass of people and fled to the bathroom.

Once safely behind the locked door, she took out the inhaler she kept in her shoulder bag and took a long, deep hit. Then she got out her phone and started googling. It didn’t take long to find the phone number she needed.

While she waited for the call to pick up, she reflected ruefully on all the lies she’d told. Making Ethan wait, stringing him along. Making him think she was so innocent, when her past was anything but.

At last, a gravelly female voice answered her call. “24-Hour Tattoo Removal, from ink to pink in a blink, how can I help you?”

“Hi, my name’s Astrid,” she whispered. “I have an emergency.”

“They’re all emergencies, sweetheart. How about you send me a pic of your tatt and I’ll let you know roughly how long it’ll take to clean up.”

“Okay.” She pulled down her skirt to reveal the extravagant cherub on her left hip, trailing a banner across her midriff, bearing in heavy Gothic lettering the words:




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