“Good morning, Fictioneer.  Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to write a story of  100 words, post it, then read and comment on the stories posted by other agents Fictioneers.          

This mission is not impossible. 

   As always, should you or any of your Fictioneers Force be caught or killed, Secretary Rochelle will disavow any knowledge of your actions and stories.

These instructions will self-destruct in five seconds.    

   Good luck!”


For the first time, I’ve had a character from a previous story return.  She initially introduced herself last October in the first week Rochelle ascended to  fearless leader. This week she informed me she had more to tell.   If you’d like to read that story, you may do so through the following link, but her current story is meant to stand on its own if you choose not to:



copyright lora mitchell

Picture copyright Lora Mitchell


I’m emotionally mummified by the no-feeling that lies on the far side of unbearable loss, the weariness holding me at the window above the glittering city lights, crude imitations of the innumerable stars in the vastness above my cabin.  I yearn for peace filled only with nature’s sounds, the whispering creek, never-ending vistas, the night’s enveloping darkness, that space where healing begins.

Civilization’s after-death requirements are filed, discarded or buried.  I crave my friends, the cafe, tea and comfort in the corner booth where I’ve so often dispensed it.

I need my homecoming as much as my mother needed hers.

  1. Lovely continuation. You really filled your waitress with more flesh… Of course I didn’t recall the story from October. (my second week on FF) continuation stories seem to be a common trend here now,,,, but I think I like it.

    • Bjorn, I don’t expect anyone to remember the first story, so don’t feel bad. 🙂 I hadn’t planned to do a sequel, but the lady insisted and you can’t say no to a lady.

      Looking forward to reading stories later.


  2. BTW I forgot to congratulate in advance 🙂

  3. What a sad story, but very powerful. I feel the weariness and yearning of the character in every sentence.

    • I was hoping those feelings would come through strongly, so I’m happy to hear that they did. Fortunately, I haven’t experienced these feelings from the death of someone close to me, but years ago through other types of loss. Thanks for faithfully reading and commenting!


  4. rich says:

    although i don’t know the previous story, i can still feel as if someone is coming to an understanding, a recognition, now that they might be experiencing some empathy, and perhaps something they had previously denied. well done.

  5. Joe Owens says:

    What heartfelt emotions you shared. Your character has added depth to her persona in this week’s offering.

  6. So poetic. Loved it!

  7. Beautiful writing, Janet, that touches on the yearning of the grieving.

  8. kz says:

    very emotional story.. beautifully written piece..

  9. yepiratehere says:

    Beautiful style, a writer’s writer y’are! Yes, the yearning.

  10. pennycoho says:

    This is wonderful! I enjoyed your take on the prompt very much. So well done! 🙂

  11. John Hardy Bell says:

    Beautifully done!!!!!!

  12. John Hardy Bell says:

    I do as well! FB seems to be my only social media outlet these days, but I am trying to re-broaden my horizons! 🙂

    • I don’t do any other things than FB and blogging (or Skyping). Just takes too much time. I’ve been invited to be on Twitter, but I’m afraid to take that up. Time is so precious as it is.

  13. julespaige says:

    In real life…one ‘Mom’ is only reachable by phone and snail mail (the younger) – The other in her 90’s is only about 10 minutes away and is scene regularly, weekly. To both I often repeat; “Yes Mom.”

    I can relate, being waitstaff more than once in my life. And being familiar now too with many who have left (permanently). I think I’d like to sit in that corner booth myself… 🙂

  14. deanabo says:

    I love your use of emotions is this. Very nice.

  15. petronmb says:

    I’m taken right there beside her at the window. It’s interesting how the fictions vary from dramatic scene to astonishingly deep entry to a character’s consciousness.

  16. wmqcolby says:

    Homerun, Janet! The ending really sells it.

  17. tedstrutz says:

    That is some sweet writing, Janet.

  18. Sandra says:

    Well done! I remember the first part of this story. A fitting continuation.

    • Sandra, thanks for popping in and reading. I’m flattered you remember the first story and think this goes well with it. Have a lovely day on teh barge.


  19. Dear Janet,
    I went back and read the first story. Your MC could be written into a novel I think. I felt her longing and pain. Beautifully written, but this is no surprise.

  20. Iris says:

    I really love your writer’s voice. Your choice of words, how you fill up your writer’s space. It’s a pleasure every week!

    • Iris, what a lovely things to day! You gave my day an even lovelier start than it already had.

      I look forward to reading yours later as I have these pesky things called chores that get in the way of what’s really important! 🙂 Hope you day’s off to a lovely start.


  21. Beautifully blue.
    Loved it.

  22. Tom Poet says:

    Very nice Janet. Her yearning is felt. You are always spot on…week after week.


    • Good morning, Tom, and thanks for letting me know the story worked. As for the rest of your comment, it’s deeply appreciated as well. Thank you.

      Hope your Thursday’s off to a wonderful start.


  23. writeondude says:

    Very evocative piece. Lots of good raw emotion. Well done.

  24. Hi Janet,
    First of all, Happy Birthday!!! tomorrow and I hope it’s a great one. Now to the story, a palpable feeling of sadness here and some great writing chops. I can really relate to the contrast between the city and rural life. Another excelent story. Ron

    • Thanks for the early birthday wishes, Ron. It will be a good day because I’m here with Bill and still alive and more than kicking. So pleased you liked the story as well.


  25. Carrie says:

    I love the emotions, the sense of utter loss and need for isolation. I did think that first sentence was over long. I lost track of what I was reading about half way and had to re-read it to follow what you were saying.

  26. I remember the diner story a great continuation.

  27. JKBradley says:

    Janet, I felt the emotional flow. Nicely done.

    • Thanks, JK. Glad you felt the emotions (or lack of them.) I think sometimes with great loss there’s a time when we just can’t feel anything and then we move into feeling bad.


  28. I couldn’t read your post as, for some reason, 5 seconds after reading the intro – my computer crashed… 🙂
    Mine: http://kindredspirit23.wordpress.com/2013/03/13/friday-fictioneers-who-woulda-thought-genre-fiction-rated-pg13/

  29. Okay, you made me cry and miss my Mom ooohhhh so very much.

  30. beautifully moving, Janet and so well written

  31. rgayer55 says:

    2nd of all, Happy Birthday, Janet. (I would have said 1st of all, but Ron beat me to it.) Wasn’t your story last fall about flying out to see your mother? My father died in early October. Hunting season was open. After the funeral, I went out in the woods pretending to be hunting. I took a gun, but wasn’t hunting animals–only peace. My dad loved the woods, and I still find him there. This was a beautifully crafted story. I’m glad she talked you into telling it.

    • Thanks for the birthday wishes, Russ. Whether first, second or forty-third, they’re greatly appreciated. I haven’t done any FF stories about anything in my life, so either you read something else on my blog or you have me confused with someone’s secretary. 🙂

      I’m sorry to hear about your father’s death. I’m happy you can find him in the woods. When my parents die, there are several places that I’ll always see them. I’m thankful and happy my story reached you.


  32. nightlake says:

    it was really good and moving..a lovely write-up

  33. Beautiful prose. And an intense recreation of the emotion of sorrow.

  34. […] (Get well, my friend. We miss you.) All the stories are here. Check them out. Usually some diamonds in the […]

  35. unspywriter says:

    So many emotions well-developed in such a short space. Well done and so evocative.

    Here’s mine: http://unexpectedpaths.com/friday-fictioneers/september-morning-forever/

  36. elappleby says:

    Beautiful sad story. I love the idea of the corner booth – that’s a novel’s worth of stories in itself!

  37. denmother says:

    I thought this was an excellent story. I could strongly identify with his longing, what I experienced tinged with some desperation.

    • I’m happy I haven’t had a parent die yet, but “back in the day”, I had a few emotionally devastating losses (not by death), so I know that empty feeling. I’m happy it resonated with you, although not happy you’ve had to go through something similar.

      Blessings on your Friday,


  38. elmowrites says:

    I haven’t gone back to the other story, but this one stands on its own. You capture the emotion really strongly, with powerful words, especially in the first paragraph. The rest reminds us that this is the way a human character feels and not “just” a plant

    • Thanks very much, Jen. The plant really didn’t figure into the story this week except that it’s a plant someone might give after at a funeral. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate it.
      Have a wonderful Friday.


  39. jwdwrites says:

    Wow, and that’s how you do it. That was sheer poetry. Great writing, I feel like you are the Swan Lake to my Can Can!

  40. Dear lovely Janet ~ Wishing you a joyful, beautiful, serene Birthday. Birthdays are good. The more you have, the longer you live. I love your story inspired by my “Lilies in the Window” photo. It made me miss my mom as well. Love, Lora

    • Lora, what a lovely compliment! I’m sorry that you have to miss her but I hope you have wonderful memories of her as well. Thanks so much for the birthday wishes. They’re so appreciated. I hope you’re feeling better, too.


  41. kdillmanjones says:

    I love the language. The “no-feeling” you describe is so true to life. Nice work! (Hope we can get together sometime in the burbs too!)

  42. JackieP says:

    the emotions certainly show. nice story Janet

  43. And so you describe your character as wanting to return. Is she someone one real in your life?

  44. Sunshine says:

    i love your story as it tells of this “yearning” for some of life’s peace in difficult moments. excellent. ♥

  45. rheath40 says:

    Your lovely words flow in this story. It’s so beautiful.

  46. claireful says:

    I love that line ‘the space where healing begins’. Very emotional story Janet.

  47. (Comment 1, before re-reading the earlier story) Such sadness! She clearly feels trapped – it sounds as if she had to come to the city because of her mother’s death, maybe to deal with her mother’s city apartment? At least the last two paragraphs suggest she’s ready to head home. I hope she’ll find her way to peace again.

    (Comment 2, after re-reading) Aha! No wonder she feels adrift – she’s used to observing (and solving) other peoples’ problems, without experiencing any of her own. And now, it seems, there’s nothing she can do that doesn’t force her to notice her own loss and her discomfort in this strange place. She does seem to have handled what needed to be done efficiently, though.

    This one’s a good story on its own, and they’re great as a pair.

    • Thanks, Sharon, for not only reading but taking the time for such complete comments. In the first story, she did have needs, but they were met by helping other people and finding her own place. Here she’s experiencing a huge loss of her own and longs for the grounding of friends and home.


  48. Sarah Ann says:

    The weight of grief is so clear in your story. I hope she is able to get home and swim to the surface soon. I particularly loved your descriptions – ‘no-feeling’ and ‘after-death requirements’ – so concise and full of meaning.

  49. vbholmes says:

    Now that Bill’s Zeds series is closing in on completion, will we have another Webb series in our futures? Good main character and setting for a variety of stories–nice.

  50. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Janet,

    Your story was as good as they come and they don’t often so I was glad to read and reread it. Perfect for the prompt and an apt and accurate description of human practices surrounding death and dying. Your protagonist describes the healing powers of nature and solitude as well as the love of a daughter for her mother. A great piece that I’m glad I got to early (for me) as opposed to late in the line.



    • Doug, that you read and reread it warms my heart on this chilly Cleveland morning. I’m always glad to have your input and support. I think too often people expect to heal too quickly and don’t always realize they need a mix of people support and time alone to come to grips with what’s happened and then to begin to heal.

      Many thanks,


  51. I had to go back and read it twice. Then I had to read the first story only to come back a read this again. I kept missing something and then I got it. That happens sometimes with me. Excellent story, a return to the booth and how it does it’s job for everyone including her.

    • Glad you slipped in this week, Atiya, and that you liked the story. I’ve often had to read a story more than once and that’s not a bad thing. 🙂


  52. 40again says:

    Great job Janet, just loved the story. Such different emotions come to play when suffering your own loss, as opposed to helping others come to terms with theirs.
    Loved the flow of this, particularly…the far side of unbearable loss…
    This speaks volumes to me, after losing my mother I couldn’t ever imagine a time when the pain and the feeling of overwhelming sorrow would end. But in time it became something else, something I could come to terms with.

    • To hear that the story seemed real to someone who’s gone through this is the ultimate compliment. Thanks so very much. The phrase you liked is one I felt deeply about, especially when paired with the numbness that I mentioned right before that. Sometimes the pain is so deep that you can’t even feel sadness or grief; you simply don’t feel at all. Then you have to work your way back to feeling sadness, grief, anger and then heal from that point.

      Blessings on your day!