Friday Fictioneers–Out of the Frying Pan

Posted: March 5, 2014 in Friday Fictioneers
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Friday Fictioneers

Eyes observe photo
Tumbling thoughts settle into
One hundred word story

Copyright Danny Bowman

Copyright Danny Bowman

Out of the Frying Pan

He lies
A useless hulk
A ranging mind or a vast emptiness
No one knows
Once-powerful muscles wasted from lack of exercise
He never speaks
Eyes dead and flat
Bodily functions machine- or human-aided
He lies alone
In silence

She never visits
His wife of many years, absent
No children to hold his hand
Or talk of the day’s activities

Some feel sorrow for him

Her bruises, burns, sometime broken bones
(all hidden)
Ended by the frying pan
That finally destroyed his abuse-ordering synapses

Today she signs the papers
Sending him, she hopes,
To the hell he put her through

  1. Locomente says:

    A brave act there… I could sense the relief she would have felt…
    Nice one Janet πŸ™‚

  2. Dear Janet,

    Poetically justified, cold hearted and brilliant. Bravo!



    • I guess the polar vortex froze my heart for this week’s story, Rochelle. Or maybe it was a reaction to two weeks of niceness. πŸ™‚ The emptiness of the photo just brought this up. I think the greenness in the back might foreshadow her new life.


  3. Adam Ickes says:

    This piece is a bit darker than I’m used to from you, but I like it.

    • I fight my normal upbeat side every so often for the sake of FF variety, Adam. πŸ™‚ Truth be told, this was one of the very first ideas that I got from the photo, but I have no idea why. Muse going dark, I guess. Glad you liked it, though.


  4. billgncs says:

    Scrambled eggs!

  5. Well, I think he deserved what he got. Beautifully told story of a desperate subject. And a very fitting title.

    • Thanks, Lisa. He definitely deserved it. Preying on people, no matter their sex or age or circumstance, is abominable. It’s so difficult to do anything about it in the legal system and victims are often cowed or don’t have the means to escape or get retribution.


  6. Powerful. I really felt this.

  7. Honie Briggs says:

    I could hear the dull thud. Terrific!

  8. Hala J. says:

    Rapunzel from Tangled would approve of her method of self defense. On a more serious note, you have portrayed a character who was at first pitiable, and then transformed into a loathsome monster. This piece hit a subject I have a strong attachment to, and did so amazingly well!

  9. Helena Hann-Basquiat says:

    So, a frying pan, then. I pick a dozen eggs, and if I can get one through your defenses, the yolks on you, darling.

    Powerful tale – I love the short little lines (some could consider this a poem) you told it with.

  10. Dee says:

    Dark and deadly, a change for you, but I like the sense of retribution and also the feeling of being free at last.

  11. Sandra says:

    Uncharacteristically vengeful of you Janet, but I enjoyed it. Well done.

  12. sandraconner says:

    Whoa! It reminds me of the chocolate story I did way back in my earliest days with FF. My main character killed his sister by hitting her on the head with a frying pan. I guess there’s just no substitute for a really perfect weapon like that. This was very well-done, Janet. Unusually dark from your muse, but crafted just right.

  13. Jan Brown says:

    Wow. Very powerful, and a very apt reaction to the desolation we all feel in the photo. Great job.

  14. DCTdesigns says:

    This was wonderfully told. I have a friend who actually implemented the frying pan defense. You drove this point home.

    • I’m sorry to hear that your friend had to actually use this but there are too many women who are never able, for whatever reason, to defend themselves or leave. It breaks my heart.


      • DCTdesigns says:

        I agree. This particular friend is strong. She knocked him out and when he went to get up she said “Oh no you’re not going get up. I’d suggest you stay down till I get out of here.” Needless to say they divorced immediately.

  15. M. R. says:

    Very satisfying!

  16. Nice change-up idea on the photo. Thanks

  17. Bryan Ens says:

    Quite the revenge story. Well done!

  18. vbholmes says:

    Sounds like he is already in hell–what could be worse than the life you describe? I like the form you’ve used. Well developed and well told story.

  19. Janet, I like the twist in this, going from feeling bad for an (apparently) senile old man to finding out the real story. Masterfully done.
    (By the way, loved the pun war between you and Helena. You guys are hilarious).

    • Praise from the praise worthy is praise indeed, David. Thanks. As for the pun war, it was a lot of fun for us, so I’m glad others were enjoying it, too.


  20. Well done and powerful. Descriptive words that painted a definite picture. Sounds like she had to defend herself or die.

    • I think she did. I’ve never understood staying with someone who abused you, but I know it can be very difficult, in so many ways, to leave. To abuse what should be the most loving, intimate relationship of both your lives is a terrible thing.


  21. plaridel says:

    the poet came through again. a painful story told in verses.

  22. draliman says:

    I loved the way I started off by feeling sorry for him, then came the revelation of his abuse and the wife’s revenge – very good!
    Excellent Haiku at the start by the way. That should be emblazoned on an FF logo to be regularly displayed by us all πŸ™‚

    • I’m happy to donate the haiku to FF if Rochelle wants to use it (or anyone else, so long as my name’s appended.) As for the story, I’m glad it worked so well. Thanks.


  23. The realisation of what happened in this horrific story is slowly and brilliantly built. It’s very powerful, Janet.

  24. A life or two destroyed. All very sad. Beautifully done.

  25. atrm61 says:

    Sometimes there is justice in the end!Am so glad that she sent him to the same hell where he had kept her-hope he gets to “savour” it-hate abusers! Loved the sad undertones which makes the reader feel sad for the man and then the equally evocative lines of her pain and finally sweet(well,as much as possible )revenge!Excellent writing Janet πŸ™‚

    • That was fast! Thanks very much. Revenge is never good but it’s sometimes understandable.


      • atrm61 says:

        I agree-in real life it is mostly only a thought-thankfully but in fiction,we always hope that justice will prevail-even if it means resorting to underhand means πŸ˜‰ Nah,had already read some -now will pick some more and comment,then take a break-head is pounding πŸ˜›

  26. K.Z. says:

    descriptive and dark and delicious. i love the phrase ‘abuse-ordering synapses’ and of course the final line! πŸ™‚

  27. Hi Janet,
    Your really cooked up a good one. With its theme of a woman’s getting her revenge on an abusive man, who could pan it? Some beautifully arranged words, brazed to perfection. Ron

  28. Liz Young says:

    That was excellent, with an unexpected twist. It passed my personal test of a second reading!

  29. First the wordplay with fryingpan is excellent… and yes I would think that it was just.. I love how you lulled us into feeling pity for him until you painted the background more clear…

  30. hugmamma says:

    Great abstract take on the photo. Had to stretch my brain cells to see the connection.

  31. JackieP says:

    I loved this! Different for you Janet, but so good. It’s what I would have done.

  32. Jim Kane says:

    Potent and all too common. Well done.

  33. storydivamg says:

    Janet, I like the use of poetry for this piece. An interesting take on this week’s prompt. Good poem. I wonder if you might choose to eliminate the old-form capitalization of each line in favor of a more modern style of capitalization (or perhaps no capitalization at all), especially since you have left out punctuation for the most part. The way you punctuate really works, IMO. Nicely handled.

    All my best,

  34. pattisj says:

    This is the second skillet-wielding post this week! Well written, and our hearts go out to those who’ve suffered like this.

  35. rgayer55 says:

    I enjoyed your story, Janet. But I really got a kick out of your exchange with Helena. I think you two could go on for hours, possibly days.
    Well, I’m off to hide the cast iron skillets from Connie.

    • Good idea to hide the skillets, Russ…but you’d better check if they’re all there!! I think Helena and I could have punned on, but real life is such an interruption!!


  36. I love the way this story unfolds, pulling the readers sympathies with it

  37. Amy Reese says:

    A sad, tragic story, but I can certainly sympathize with the wife. Really well done, Janet.

    • Thanks, Amy. I think it’s a tough subject to know how to handle from many different perspectives. I think for some, there’s a point at which they simply snap and this woman certainly hit that point (and her husband as well.)
      Working my way towards your story. Hope you have a great weekend!


      • Amy Reese says:

        There’s snapping and then there’s self-preservation. I can see how it happens.
        Well, I got mine in at the end as usual! I hope you have a great weekend, too!

      • There might be something between meekly being abused and attempting to kill the person, at least I hope so. But I know what you mean.

  38. Bastet says:

    Very good write…dark as it is, these dark stories do exist in our bright shiney world…only usually there are no frying pans to make a difference! Have a great week-end!

  39. What courage and steel it must’ve taken her to make that final decision. Sometimes life does put people in terrible situations, but only few have the strength to pull through. Beautifully written!

  40. says:

    Didn’t expect this from you! Well done . Always keep a frying pan is my motto!

  41. You get him girl! Great revenge story!

  42. Sarah Ann says:

    So powerful.

  43. Sun says:

    now that i look at the photo again, yes, i can see exactly the beast you write about. love the way you took us through this woman’s awful hell.

  44. That guy is not me. I’m not that bad (well, not frying pan bad)! Very effective story.

  45. Now that’s dark. I feel slightly guilty for thinking he deserved it. Well done.

  46. So much said in so few words…the story described pages and pages of material.