Happy New Year!  It’s a brand-new year of fun and frolic with the Friday Fictioneers, writers from all around the world coming together each week to share handcrafted 100-word stories inspired by one picture.  We’re prompted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields and inspired this week by Lora Mitchell’s gorgeous photo.   I know I’m double-posting this morning.  I hope the story is worth it.


Independence Day

There were fireworks…

…when I was born.  (Quite sure my mother shouted, “Ooooh!  Aaaaah!”)

…when I fell and broke my arm.

…on many glorious Fourth-of-July’s, colors blossoming against the night sky.  ( “Ooooh!  Aaaaah!”)

…the day our eyes met across the room and he smiled.

…when we first kissed.  On our wedding night.  The whole of our honeymoon.

…the day our daughter was born.  (“Ooooh!  Aaaaah!”)

…the first day he hit me.  The day I “fell” down the stairs.  When “I’ broke my other arm.

…the night we lost our house, a husband, and a father.

Fire works.

(“Ooooh!  Aaaaah!”)

To read the rest of the stories:

  1. tonyoleson says:

    Hmm, I like the way you referenced all the ways some people see fireworks in their lives, be it through concussive pain, love, stressful moments. Those times that bring the “dizzy sparkles” as I use to call them are always memorable for either good or bad reasons..

    Kudos! I like it 🙂

  2. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Janet,

    This story was pitch perfect and delivered with a bang. I loved her life and zest and was afraid for her, but you showed us that she never lost her spirit. The house, husband don’t matter. needed to be done. As for a father? Better a daughter never knows her father than to grow up with an abuser. Great story.



    • Delivered with a bang? An apposite comment, but I expect that sort of thing from you. I wouldn’t recommend this method of ridding oneself of an abusive husband, but it makes a whiz-bang story. 🙂 Just happened to tie in with my other post of this morning as well, even though it wasn’t planned.

      Thanks and I’ll look forward to returning the reading and commenting on (probably) Friday


  3. yerpirate says:

    Oohh…it hit me there, with force..was just thinking..nice but ominous…with the broken arm..then the broken ‘other’ arm…truly awful, and yes, be gone with him. That is no father, or husband,..but the house lost too…poor, poor girl.

  4. 40again says:

    I wasn’t expecting this from you Janet. You crafted this dark story very well and then gave her her life back. Very enjoyable

  5. Didn’t Reba write a song about this lady? 😉 (On a literary note, nice symmetry!)

  6. Joyce says:

    Great story. Real all the way. I can see the images and they alone bring across the power in it.

  7. Bumba says:

    Ooooh! Aaaaah! quite a story!

  8. Wonderful! One correction: there was no husband or father lost that night – it had already happened a long time before that.

    • Scott, you’re entirely correct in the one, most important sense. However, in the physical sense, he was lost that night.

      Thanks, as always, for your comments.


  9. Sandra says:

    This is a very clever story in more ways than one. I loved the lay-out, the ‘ooh aah’ punctuating the construction, and the final ‘ fire works’. Excellent.

  10. Absolutely brilliant!! Bringing forth the issue of domestic violence and one of the ways it sometimes ends. Thank you, as an advocate for exposing DV and the need to make others aware I really appreciate this!

  11. Tom Poet says:

    Fire Works…It sure does. Just love that last line. Great word play.


  12. JazzBumpa says:

    I suppose the husband and the house were both insured.
    About two blocks from where I used to live in Toledo, a house blew up, apparently from a gas leak.
    Leveled it, and scorched the nearby houses.
    Fortunately, nobody was home at the time.

    Powerful story with a very surprising turn.


    • My guess the house was insured, if arson couldn’t be proved, and the payoff for the husband was that he was gone. 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting.

  13. Oops… That song is actually by Martina McBride. I’m relieved not to know country music as well as I thought I did. 🙂

  14. Dear Janet,
    Having read your dark side before it doesn’t surprise me that you do it with brilliance and skill. Very clever. Put me in mind of “The Burning Bed.”

  15. I’m stunned with this one… ooh (no, ahh),, just ooh.
    Sad. Upsetting. Maybe ouch, too… a few times.

  16. Parul says:

    You brought fire works here just as they come in life. when you least expect them. A metaphorical take on the prompt. It’s a very good work.

  17. tedstrutz says:

    (“Ooooh! Aaaaah!”)… so clever. (“Ooooh! Aaaaah!”)… so sad.

  18. Joe Owens says:

    I agree with Ted, this is a clever post.

  19. Oooh! So much going on behind the scenes. A dark story we get a taste of. Well done.

  20. Wow, what a dizzying progression of positive and negative connotations, summing up a whole life. The short sentences and fast pace make it really powerful.

  21. Nice play on words making a funny twist, if a bit sad too. Good job,and we are not true opposites this week.

  22. claireful says:

    I had to read it a couple of times to understand from the ending that he died as the house burned, but the whole piece despite it’s sad story had a lovely rhythm, poetic.

  23. Jan Brown says:

    Powerful. Builds perfectly, changing from gorgeous, luscious beauty of life to a desperate end. Poetic but real. A sad tale within a wonderfully crafted story.

  24. veronicahaunanifitzhugh says:

    the oooh ahhh addition adds a sort of cadence to the piece that really intrigues. thank you for sharing. 🙂

  25. Beautifully done. Very creative too. I love the way you communicated the light, and the dark. You brought a sense of balance to reality of everyday living. There is always two sides to a story, and then there is GOD. I think the ooooh aaaah ‘s belong to His works.

    Blessings to you and family. Happy New Year!


  26. Hi Janet,
    Nice trick, the way you used fireworks of all kinds to organize the story and tell the arc of a life in 100 words. I’m oooohing and aaaahing at your writing skills. Ron

  27. jenniesisler says:

    What an interesting take on the photo – I never thought about it, but so many firework metaphors are painful, aren’t they? Thanks for sharing this with us.

  28. I was moving along, happily, celebrating, then got walloped at the end. Great job with that surprise. I felt the impact!

    • Thanks for getting sucked into the story and feeling what happened. I appreciate your reading time and comments. Hope your new year is off to a great start.


  29. muZer says:

    I loved the way you interpreted fireworks as how it’d be in real life. And it sure hit close to home. Loved reading your take on the pic.

  30. Abraham says:

    Well done! I like the “Ooooooh! Aaaaaah” sprinkled in.
    Nice style. Well written.

  31. unspywriter says:

    Very nice. Excellent build-up to the dramatic part, and I’m all about the poetic justice.

    Here’s mine: http://unexpectedpaths.com/indulgences/

  32. Anne Orchard says:

    What a fantastic story Janet. A positively poetic tellling of an all too frequent story – mostly without the murder part, obviously.

  33. rgayer55 says:

    Usually, by the time I comment all the good stuff has already been said. I would agree with Ron that I’m oohhing & aahhing over your writing skills. Beautifully crafted story.

    • I always appreciate your comments, whether early or late. I’ve had the same experience and have had to “ditto” remarks before. So glad you liked the story.

  34. YJ says:

    Great story, I was on the roller coaster of life with her.

  35. Wow…I thought this was going to be a feel-good piece. And then it wasn’t. At least it ends with a bit of hope mixed with the loss.

    Well written – I like your selection of her memorable moments, and the way you emphasize them with the refrain.

  36. JackieP says:

    ah Independence Day by Martina Mcbride. Very much like the song, but it’s good. I walked out on an abusive marriage on Independence Day, good memories. Good story, kind of.

    • Someone else mentioned that but I must say I’ve never heard it, so this story was completely my own. 🙂 Glad you got out of yours without resorting to this woman’s solution.

      • JackieP says:

        it’s an old song and a country one so not surprised you haven’t heard of it. Just this story reminded me of the song which reminded me of my leaving (the year the song came out and was a hit) Yeah, I got out, but maybe should have resorted to what she did as he stalked me for 5 years. ha! might have been easier in long run.

  37. Just Me says:

    I love that you include the “ooh” and the “ahh” with good events that take place…especially at the end when the abusive father/husband is gone. Nicely done.

  38. rich says:

    an entire life in 100 words. ups and downs, literally and figuratively and physically. well done.

  39. mari wells says:

    I love how she had the courage to stand up for herself and get out of that life. The best part is it looked like an accident. Hopefully he had a huge life Ins. policy. 😀

  40. Erinleary says:

    The fireworks illuminate her life in a way that allows for the stark contrast. Well done.

  41. H.L. Pauff says:

    This is brilliant. I “oooh’d” at the end

  42. oldentimes says:

    I must say I feel the pain in thei piece. Very good work, So much emeotion in so few words

  43. elappleby says:

    Very clever, beautifully crafted story. The ‘oooh aaahs’ punctuated perfectly. Fabulous.

  44. Robert Gregory says:

    Aw, painful, but awesome! Worth the read. Made me sad for this woman. 😦 That’s true art – emotionally evoking.

  45. Sarah Ann says:

    I don’t know what to say, other than this feels perfect, and looks beautiful too.