Friday Fictioneers–Dead End

Posted: September 18, 2013 in Friday Fictioneers
Tags: , , , ,

Think one hundred words can’t say much?  Think again.  Every week close to one hundred authors give lie to that idea in a variety of flash fiction stories based on the week’s photo prompt.  Beginning, middle, end…they’re all there.  Similar the stories aren’t; intriguing  they certainly are.  Stop by if you don’t believe me.  The blue link creature at the end will take you to the portal where you can enter other worlds, other lives.  Take a chance.  Go on a journey without knowing where it will end.  It will be an adventure.

The_second_hand_shopphoto by and copyright to  John Nixon

Dead End

If I hadn’t collided with the open door, I would have missed it; right there in the window, the same dress she was wearing on our wedding day.  I should know; I’d looked at the photo innumerable times since.  Somewhere between the time the photo was taken in the garden and walking to the church door, she disappeared.  The police remained “baffled.”

After hearing my story, the store owner relented, giving me the phone number for the account.  I pushed the buttons with trembling fingers.

“We’re sorry.  This number has not been assigned.  Please check the number and try again.”

  1. Ye Pirate says:

    She done a runner! Like I should have done! So close…but so far…she won’t be found…

  2. nightlake says:

    She was probably kidnapped or maybe she escaped..Or could be something more dangerous. imaginative

  3. Adam Ickes says:

    A mystery is afoot. I’m not sure the quotes are necessary around baffled. I assume that’s meant to be their words rather than the narrator’s, but to me it makes me feel like the narrator thinks the police are hiding something about the disappearance. That could just be me though.

  4. yarnspinnerr says:

    I like open ended stories where one can imagine. Loved this one.


  5. Linda Vernon says:

    Oh very good Janet. The beginning to a great story. You should keep going with it.

  6. Tom Poet says:

    And so the mystery begins….Nice work. He is far luckier than he realizes.

  7. Honie Briggs says:

    Awww! Cold feet or cold hearted?

  8. Joe Owens says:

    I wonder fi she ran or was taken. Either way it seems he is getting no closer with the phone number.

  9. elmowrites says:

    All very mysterious! I feel like this is the kind of extract we’d see on a back cover, rather than a whole story in itself, but you definitely got me thinking!

    • It could be the whole story–she ran off all those years ago and now she’s either gone or dead–or it could be something else entirely. This is definitely an open-ended story. But beginning-she disappeared; middle–he spent years looking or missing her; end (maybe)–he thinks he gets her number, finally, but the number isn’t even real. So what really happened?

      Thanks for the input, Jen.


  10. Alien abduction or maybe just cold feet? Strange. I like a good mystery. You’ve intrigued me and others, it looks like. 🙂

  11. vb holmes says:

    Why do I see an altered Ben and Elaine (The Graduate) ending here. She ran away with her true love, hocked the wedding dress which, after forty years, ended up being consigned by the heirs of a homeless person. Good story, Janet. Your ending is the right one–sometimes, I just can’t help myself.

  12. Dear Janet,

    Put me down for the alien abduction vote. Just ask David Vincent. He knows. We all know something but nobody’s talking.
    In any case, a well-constructed story. Love the mystery.



  13. Sandra says:

    I love a mystery! Well done.

    • Thanks, Sandra. Hope you’re drive went well. Sounds like your back in England for a bit, yes? Thought of you Sunday night when we were watching “Foyle’s War” and there were ads for cruising on the Rhine or other rivers. 🙂 I realize those boats are a bit larger, but still sounded like fun.


      • Sandra says:

        Yes, back for a couple of months, then Spain I think. Love Foyle’s War, we must have watched almost all of them I think. We come across a lot of those hotel boats on the rivers, sometimes a lot closer than we’d like, where the river is shallow and they want to get the dead centre of the channel. Hope all is well with you and the move went OK.

      • The move went as well as could be expected. That I/we got the house ready to be moved in a week was a miracle and not a minor one! A few things were broken or last but in the main, all’s good. I’m making great progress on unpacking, especially considering we moved into a much smaller house!

  14. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Janet,

    You’d think (or, at least, I think) he would have walked on by and not batted an eyelid. The runaway bride scene happened to me once and, as Phil Collins sang, if she told me she were drowning, I would not lend a hand. But hey, your story leads in a different direction and to an inconclusive conclusion.



  15. zookyworld says:

    Your story is a spot-on example of your point at the beginning of the post, that 100 words can say a great deal. The jilted guy startled by finding the wedding dress and trying to learn more. Great way that you show just the right amount to suggest a much deeper story.

  16. JKBradley says:

    What the devil?

    Up in smoke? A black hole? Dimensional shift?

    Just a figment of his imagination??

    Thanks for sharing!

  17. denmother says:

    Ooh. So close, yet so far. This new twist will have him obsessing for a long time to come.

  18. I dont think she ran I think foul play had its hand that day
    great sense of mystery Janet

  19. draliman says:

    Great mystery! My mind is already planning his next move…

  20. claireful says:

    Fantastic premise for a story. And I really want to know why his fingers are trembling. Anger? Excitement? Or anticipation?

  21. So many different possibilities on which to ponder – clever!

  22. Jan Brown says:

    Great story! A runaway bride? Witness protection? Or turned into a mannequin by a witchy ex-lover?

  23. kz says:

    sounds like a total nightmare. a glimmer of hope then, nothing, dead end. great story. i like the vague ending too 🙂

    • I think so, too, kz. To wonder all those years, then think you’re close, only to hit a dead end, would be terrible. I originally had the story ending with the dress being from an estate sale, indicating she was dead, but though this a bit more unusual.


  24. JackieP says:

    I love a mystery where it lets your mind wander where it will. 🙂

  25. rgayer55 says:

    It was probably one of those arranged weddings and she decided to skip town with the busboy.

  26. unspywriter says:

    Well told. Sweet and sad–and a mystery–all at once.

    Here’s mine:

  27. summerstommy2 says:

    Hi Janet, a sinister feel about this story. You raise questions to get thinking. Well done.

  28. Oooh, Janet. I love this one! We have a mystery on our hands. I love where you took this one. That’s an interesting message, “The number has not been assigned.” Is it different from “This number has been disconnected”? Or, is the same?

  29. Wow – you gave me the shivers, Janet! Did she run away? Was she kidnapped? Has he forgotten everything about their marriage? Or did she never really exist? Excellent.

  30. Excellent, Janet! So very suspenseful!

  31. wmqcolby says:

    Oooh do I smell a good mystery right here, Janet! Felt like Rod Serling was going to jump out and explain everything. 😀

  32. This is like the beginning of a story.. I’m immensely curious on what happened … Great story

  33. Sarah Ann says:

    Oh wow. You give so much then snatch it away. I was thinking the worst and that he should have given the number to the police before I read Pirate’s comment. Such a great and intriguing story. Would love a follow up.

  34. Interesting take! Left me scratching my head but in a good way. And I will figure it out!

  35. Hi Janet,
    I think she took off because he was such a klutz, running into doors, and she was obviously afraid to get into a car with him to be driven to the church. I like the way you left so much to the reader’s imagination. Ron

  36. I think her sister has something to do with it. 😉

  37. … after he hung up the phone, he was embarrassed to realize he’d misread the number. So he dialed again, and someone picked up after the third ring…

  38. annisik51 says:

    Ah, cruel you, leading me up the garden path and leaving me there – at the dead end! No, seriously, this is a lovely mystery and needs pursuing. Let me know if you do? It’s remarkable that you achieved so much in so few words. I sympathise with your hero, which is to do with the plot – love won and lost and maybe found again?

  39. Oh, a perfect title for a sad little tale of mystery and woe.

  40. This could be the start of something bigger. Sure hope he finds her. Lots of possibilities here.

  41. pattisj says:

    And still baffled!

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