Your Friday Neil Gaiman Story Prompt

Were you inspired by last week's prompt? I have to admit it's a toughie. I think because of the words "everything else." I feel I have to work in "everything" and work up to the "murder". My story is still not done; I'll give a look at the first 500 words. Here's this week's prompt:

For the record, I don't expect you to believe any of this.

- Neil Gaiman, Fragile Things

Has a bit of an unreliable narrator vibe, doesn't it? Let me know in the comments if you're participating, so I can cheer you on.

Here's what I wrote from last week's prompt:

It wasn't just the murder, he decided. Everything else seemed to have conspired to ruin his day as well. Even the cat.

It all started when the cat abruptly pounced on his face, ending the first bit of sleep Sam'd had all night. In the course of flinging the feline off the bed, he'd inadvertently spilled the items from his nightstand—starting with the wedding rings and the antique pocket watch, and ending with an entire glass of water.

He'd of course jumped out of bed and snatched up the watch, but it was too late; it was soaked. He may as well have dropped it into a tub and stomped on it. The glass had shattered the face of the watch. The familiar tic-tic was no more.

"No, no, no, no, no," Sam said, cradling the watch in his hands as though it was a baby bird, broken-winged, drinking in its last breath.

By his estimate, he had a few hours before the wedding; he could pop by the jeweller's and get the watch fixed up, dried out. If the jeweller got to it quickly enough, he could eliminate any chance of rusting.

Sam gulped.


The jeweller took one look at the watch and handed it back to him.

"Can't help you," she said.

"What? Of course you can." Water leaked out, dribbling onto the display case as Sam pushed it back.


Sam noticed she had a phone in her hand. "But you must! I need it."

"Sorry." But she didn't sound sorry. She sounded sad, like she'd been crying. He supposed that explained the red rims around her swollen eyes.

"But—But you have to. I'm getting married this afternoon. I need it."

"Look, I've just had bad news. Now if you don't mind, I have to close up the shop." Now the jeweller seemed angry, but Sam couldn't understand why. He was a customer, she provided a service.

"Actually, I do mind! You don't understand! My future father-in-law gave me this pocket watch!" Sam gasped. "My bride—" He grabbed fistfuls of his short hair, as though the action could make his brain work. His mind seemed to have gone completely numb this morning.

"Sir—" The jeweller burst into tears. Shaking her head, she covered her mouth with her hand, choking on a sob. She stalked to the window and flipped the sign to "closed."

"Just let yourself out," she whispered, as though speaking might set forth a wave of the emotion she was fighting to keep inside. She disappeared into the back room.

Sam froze. Stunned.

In the back room, keys rattled. Footsteps clicked across the floor. The back door opened then shut with a bang. Outside a car engine roared to life.

Sam's mouth fell open. The woman had left him alone in the jewellery store.

What was he supposed to do now?

He didn't have time for this. He snatched up the watch and left the jewellers in a panic, dimly aware of the presence of all kinds of police cars in the street. There had to be somewhere that could repair the watch. He needed to check the phone book. His thoughts turned to what might happen if his future father-in-law found out—Sam shuddered.


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