Starter for Ten – 16/07/19

Starter for Ten is a daily writing exercise where the aim is simply to write for a full 10 minutes. No editing or revision is allowed after the 10 minutes is up. The aim is to try new things, experiment with voices and styles and be bold. Suckage often occurs.


The hot water bottle wasn’t quite full so it undulated queasily. The ridges across the maroon surface could be strummed with the thumb to create a uniform chord of no real purpose. Colin shook the thought loose from his head and held the precious warmth to his stomach. He hunched his knees closer to the other side of the bottle. May as well get maximum value from it, he thought.

He looked at the clock and wondered if taking more ibuprofen 30 minutes earlier would count as an overdose. Surely not he reasoned – these things had to have a heavy margin of error built in. He thumbed out two of the shiny tablets from the foil strip and swallowed them dry, reaching for the water on the other side of the bedside table was too daunting. With one eye he appraised the pint glass and noted it had been comprehensively cheesed with greasy fingers. A minute sediment floated in the water and he felt his stomach move treacherously, producing a gurgling sound effect that would have been considered OTT for a gross out teen comedy.

He reached his arms around his knees and physically pulled them in closer to the hot water bottle. How were hot water bottles not available on the NHS? He decided that before his next period he was going to construct an entire suit out of them, he wondered if the suit could be plumbed in to avoid the constant trips to the kettle. A roll of pain made him grimace and obliterated the idea.