Far, far too much time has passed. Let us have another go at telling A Tale In Three Parts.
Click the link for a full refresher, but the basic idea is we get today, tomorrow, and Friday to tell our stories, all emanating from the same prompt. And what prompt might that be, you ask?
Past Present Future.
Today we begin in the past. Tomorrow we bring our tales to the present. Friday's finale will send our tales into the future.
The amount of time separating each installment is entirely up to you. Just go with whatever makes sense for the story you're telling. I had a lot of fun last time we tried this, and I'm looking forward to seeing what you guys can do this time around.
So let us begin with: Past.
Howard was not having the best start to his day. It had been a late one with the boys the previous night and there had not been nearly enough time to sleep it off before his alarm had gone off that morning. He needed to be in class, ready to take his mid-term exam, and focused on his academic career in less than twenty minutes.
He also desperately needed a good cup of coffee. Whatever was sloshing around in the mug clutched in his hands was anything but that. Howard closed his eyes and tried to picture himself at a cafe in Paris, rather than in the campus cafeteria which actually surrounded him.
"You look like you've seen some things you'd like to forget," a woman said as she took the seat across the table from him. Howard looked up to tell her off but no words escaped his mouth. "Don't worry, I won't ask if you don't want to tell."
"Thanks?" Howard took a sip to buy himself time to gather his thoughts and immediately regretted it. What utter, liquefied horse manure. "You, on the other hand, look like you just left a modelling session."
That was not something he'd normally say, so he decided to blame it on the hangover. It was true though. Perfectly styled short blonde hair, just the right amount of makeup, a flattering top from the hippest store in town. She was out of his league but appeared not to realize it.
She had, after all, chosen to sit at his table and start talking to him.
"Thanks," she said with a smile that caused his heart to skip three or four beats. "No question mark."
"Nice to meet you."
"Likewise." Grace tilted her head to the side as she seemed to consider an idea that had just occurred to her. "You need a proper cup of coffee. I know a place just around the corner. Makes the best brew in the city. You interested?"
He most certainly was.