May’s #JustWrite prompt: bluff


Bluff blʌf |

noun: an attempt to deceive someone into believing that one can or is going to do something: the offer was denounced as a bluff | [ mass noun ] :  his game of bluff.

verb [ no obj. ]: try to deceive someone as to one’s abilities or intentions: he’s been bluffing all along | they bluffed their way past the sentries | [ with obj. ] :  the object is to bluff your opponent into submission.• (bluff it outsurvive a difficult situation by maintaining a pretence. there’s no point in trying to bluff it out.


As always, use the word prompt any way you see fit and free-write up to 800 words (I got slightly carried away this time, mine is 870) and post it in the comments. Don’t stress about editing, this is more about getting something down on paper – or onto the keyboard – to get your creative juices flowing. Feel free to comment on my piece, and I’ll do the same for yours. Happy writing!

‘Strawberry Blush’ was written in the same shade described as the stick inside, in italics against a silver background. She fingered the cylindrical tube, twisted the top open to crack the seal and ran the lipstick over her lips.

She slipped it into the inside pocket of her handbag before grabbing her basket and continuing to the checkout. “Hi,” said the bored girl abruptly. Jill placed her shampoo and soap on the counter and decided it wasn’t worth answering the surly teenager.

Her items were scanned and dumped unceremoniously into a plastic bag before she was told, “Thirteen dollars and ten, thanks,” in a tone that clearly stated she had no desire to be there.

Jill paid via PayWave and walked purposely out of the discount chemist, quickly turning to wave her plastic bag at the girl behind the counter when the alarm beeped going through the security gate. She shook her hand at Jill in the universal ‘go on, go on’ gesture and Jill kept her small grin in check as she turned around again, clutching her bag closer to her side. It will be a nice lippy for my selection at home, she decided. Her heels click-clacked on the tiles as she made her way to her BMW in the car park.


Jill slipped off her Jimmy Choo’s and arched her back into an enjoyable stretch. She made her way into the bedroom, and opened a drawer on her dressing table. She placed her new lipstick amongst the thirty-odd others that were in there, before sliding it shut. I’ll go to the place on Demille Street tomorrow, I haven’t been there yet, she thought.


The alarm sounded and she made a slight turn around, holding up the plastic bag with the purchased items inside, as if to say, I’ve paid, see? She made to keep walking, but was flagged down by a woman standing to the side that she hadn’t noticed.

“Hi ma’am, I just need to check your bag please.”

Jill was floored. Normally her self-assured nature kept them at bay.

“Sure,” and she handed her the shopping bag.

“No ma’am, your handbag thanks.”

Jill’s chest constricted. She opened her oversized Guess bag, but tried to block what the other woman could see by keeping her arm over the opening.

“I’ll need you to open it a bit more, ma’am.”

She sighed, hoping the woman would take it as a sign of impatience. Get yourself out of this mess, Jillian Woods. “Look, I really am pressed for time. Do I look like I need to steal anything?” She waved a hand down her outfit that clearly screamed ‘Money.’

“It takes all sorts, you’d never believe it.” The woman glanced into the handbag, eyes sweeping over the lipstick with its top cracked open. Obviously an old one, she thought to herself. “That’s fine, thank you.”

Jill zipped her bag shut, a wave of euphoria sweeping over her and said, “No worries. I’m sure there are teenagers that don’t mind nicking a lipstick or two, I’m guessing?” She click-clacked her way out of the store.


She pulled into the drive, studying the car parked on the edge of her manicured lawn. The BMW beeped as it locked and she marched over, “Excuse me, but would you mind removing your car from my grass. It will leave marks!”

“Jillian Woods? I’m Senior-Constable Gowrie, this is Constable Smith; we need to have a word with you. We’ll move the car after.”

Jill feels the heat rise in her neck as she leads them inside, away from the prying eyes of nosy neighbours. “What is this about? Is everything okay with Dennis? His flight isn’t due back until tonight.”

“Jillian, this isn’t about your husband. Do you recognise these?” Constable Smith asks as he slides some photographs across the table to her.

She studies the numerous screen-shots that are obviously from security footage. They all show her in the cosmetics aisle of different stores. Looking, pocketing, pilfering. “Jillian, is this you?”

Fuck it, she thinks, Dennis’s lawyer will get me off. “Yes it is.”

“Mrs Woods… why? Your husband is CEO of TruBank, surely there’s no need for you to steal lipsticks?”

Jill sneers at him. “Constable Smith. I am a middle-aged woman with no children and a husband who is more interested in eighteen-year-old blondes than his own wife. He won’t care, and I don’t care. I’ll get a slap on the wrist and a fine, that both you and I know I can afford.”

He stares incredulously at her, unsure what to say next.

Senior-Constable Gowrie moves forward. “Fair enough. How about these photos? Do you recognise them?” He slides some new pictures across the table.

This time she finds it hard to breathe.

“Is that you purchasing ice and cocaine from Jimmy Snell?”

She looks up at the young police officer who is now smirking at her. The older one however, has a look of contempt, which is not at all hidden on his face. She wonders how fast his reactions would be if she managed to grab the handgun hidden at the bottom of her handbag. It’s worth a try. It’d certainly change their uptight attitudes.


Don’t forget to have a go yourself with this #JustWrite prompt and then place your piece in the comments.

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