Marian Keyes Writing Prompt 1

The writing prompt that Marian gave her participants on the 13th of January was: “Like everyone else, he had heard about the events in the rowing boat.” The idea behind these prompts is that Marian would like people to write 500 words inspired by the prompt. Marian does not want to overthink it, get in touch with your subconscious and write whatever comes to mind. I am not attempting them in order given, but in the order of inspiration. This is my attempt for this prompt.

Tabitha & The Rowing Boat

Like everyone else, he had heard about the events in the rowing boat, the question was, how did he address the matter with her? 

Sitting in his car, outside of the gates to Tabitha’s new house, Felix knew that he was the only one that Tabitha might listen too. Maybe. Hopefully. One thing was certain, he thought to himself, life was never boring with Tabitha as her fun, independent and impulsive streak made her both interesting and a little bit dangerous. He couldn’t recall how many times, he had heard her say ‘That sounds like fun, let’s do it!’. However, this time things had got a lot out of hand. This time, she had needed to be rescued, by the RNLI! 

Felix had known Tabitha since they had met through mutual friends years before and had clicked immediately. Tabitha’s life had recently lurched dramatically in a direction that deeply unsettled and upset her, and Felix knew that what had happened with the rowing boat was a reaction to that. Felix understood her, he thought, but, she needed to calm down before things went stupidly wrong for her, she had been lucky this time.

As a reaction to the recent unfortunate events in her life, Tabitha had recently moved to a lovely house on the coast, which she adored, as she really enjoyed water based activities, including sailing, diving and canoeing. From the front of her house you could see a small offshore island, Tabitha was fascinated by this Island, she told him that it reminded her of Swallows and Amazons, a book that she had read in childhood. She would tell Felix these amazing tales of adventures she planned to have, and it seems that this day, she tried to fulfil one of them. Tabitha had walked across the road from her house, to the picturesque tiny harbour and got into her new rowing boat, reportedly, she had rowed out into the open water and then experienced two things simultaneously, the first was the treacherous undercurrents, the second thing was that a storm whipped up giant, violent waves. Tabitha thought the tide might bring her back in to shore. It didn’t. In a matter of moments, she lost her oars and then her boat flipped over. “This is not good!”, Tabitha thought, as she hung on to her upturned boat and floated in the freezing cold channel of water between the Island and the mainland, noticing that both were becoming further and further away. Thankfully some people who had been watching Tabitha’s journey from the pier in the harbour had called the emergency services who sent out a boat to rescue her. When they got back to shore, an embarrassed Tabitha thanked them all for risking their lives for her, and went home as soon as possible to her cat, who she was sure would not tell her she was an idiot. Even if she knew she was.

Looking up at her house, he could see Tabitha silhouetted against the window in her office.  Suffering from a rare moment of indecision, Felix decided to test the water before he called to the door, so he pulled out his phone, opened WhatsApp and tapped out a quick message “Hey Tabs! Whatcha doing?, I might go to the cinema later, you in?”, he read it back, decided in sounded friendly enough and hit send. Felix checked her window again, he saw her pick up her phone, it matched with when the little tick appeared beside his message. Normally Tabitha would instantly reply, but, Felix sat, drumming his fingers on his steering wheel waiting for a reply. It didn’t appear. When Felix looked up again, Tabitha was gone. Dammit! Where did she go?, he thought. 

Felix was concentrating so much on a follow up message to send that would sound equally as friendly as the first, that he didn’t notice a figure approaching his car. He jumped when he heard the sharp rapping on his passenger side window, but, was equally relieved and pleased to see his friends face looking back at him, her face was streaked with tears, but, as of yet, he could not tell if there were from laughter or sadness. Felix lent over and opened the door for her.


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