Posts Tagged ‘short story’


Posted: June 15, 2013 in Writing
Tags: , , ,


The five years felt both brief and forever.  Our anniversary treat–a week away together.  Tonight Terry encouraged me to drive over to the lake for some sunset shots as I’d planned.  “We’ll make up for it later”, he  said with a  salacious wink and dramatic leer.  “Take your time.  I’ll see you about 9.” (more…)

 Fictioneer:  n.  1. A person who participates in a weekly challenge to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt.
2. A person who  tells stories that may or may not be based in reality.
3.  A person addicted to writing once-a-week, 100-word stories.  No cure is known.

If you are not a Fictioneer, you’re welcome to read offerings other than mine by clicking on the blue link monster that follows my story.
If you read, feel free to “like” and comment.
Fictioneers love responses!

copyright john nixon

copyright john nixon

How many musical references can you find?  Don’t be afraid to be Frank.  Or…maybe not.

Word count:  100
Genre:  If you can’t tell, I’ve failed.

A Noteworthy End
(Overheard at the wake)

 “The key to it all (according to Frank) was to be natural and a sharp dresser.”
“Yeah, he always pulled out all the stops!”

“He liked to say ‘Oppor-knockity tunes but once.’”
“He also liked ‘Just duet.’  Drove me nuts.”

“Have you seen Dal Segno here?”
“Sorry, could you repeat that?”
“Never mind.  It’s fine.”

“Frank liked to fly by the seat of his pants. And he was really getting into the piano.
“True, although he didn’t always conduct himself very well.”

“But what a finale!
“He’d love it!  He always went for Baroque and besides, it’s all over YouTuba!”

As someone once said…oh, wait!  I said this.

Take heart, all ye brave Fictioneers
For Wednesday is finally here.
Look at the prompt.
Create what you want.
Work through the blood, sweat and tears.

One week I’m sure that I heard,
“One hundred words? That’s absurd!
I can’t tell my story
In all of its glory
With that few,” some authors averred.

Now that the deadline is near
Even tho’ that story’s so dear
If you wield the scalpel
Relief will be palpable
And your writing all that much more clear.

EL, this picture is so you!  😉

copyright el appleby

copyright el appleby


What do you give someone who might shortly need nothing?

Poking around a dusty antique store, we serendipitously unearthed the perfect cancer-fighting gift, a gift that was us.

First came Jessica, always nosy, Christmas-present-ferreter-outer extraordinaire,
Nigel, giraffe-tall and gangly,
Mom, “a real tigress” as Dad fondly called her, and
me, an adopted polyglot of colors.

We smuggled the Elezegeraffe into Dad’s hospital room, aided and abetted by willing nurses.  Today “E” resides in our side yard, reminder of a time of joy and laughter.

To this day, we remain convinced that the ensuing hilarity was the beginning of Dad’s healing.


Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.
Mark Twain

A day without laughter is a day wasted.
Charlie Chaplin

Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers.  And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.
Bill Cosby

According to some studies, laughter therapy may provide physical benefits, such as helping to:

  • Boost the immune system and circulatory system
  • Enhance oxygen intake
  • Stimulate the heart and lungs
  • Relax muscles throughout the body
  • Trigger the release of endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers)
  • Ease digestion/soothes stomach aches
  • Relieve pain
  • Balance blood pressure
  • Improve mental functions (i.e., alertness, memory, creativity)

Laughter therapy may also help to:

  • Improve overall attitude
  • Reduce stress/tension
  • Promote relaxation
  • Improve sleep
  • Enhance quality of life
  • Strengthen social bonds and relationships
  • Produce a general sense of well-being
Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Flash fiction is a style of fictional literature or fiction of extreme brevity. There is no widely accepted definition of the length of the category. Some self-described markets for flash fiction impose caps as low as three hundred words, while others consider stories as long as a thousand words to be flash fiction. –Wikipedia

Friday Fictioneers asks for stories of extreme brevity, a mere 100-words, chosen with care for maximum impact. Feel free to write and and/or read. Read by clicking on the blue link critter at the end of my story or participate by going to the website of our hostess, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields:

The photo for this week’s story is mine, from a trip to New York City earlier this year. Please honor my copyright.


Genre: Sci-fi.
As always, my word count is 100.

Flying Her Colors

She’d always hidden in plain, or not at all plain, sight, gathering her information brazenly at parties and soirees.

The day they took her, someone hung her dress defiantly from the balcony. The photo, prudently anonymous in origin, became iconic.

They shipped her off-planet after hooking her on alderone, more addictive than meth from the old days.

The day she died (word somehow smuggled back), dresses blossomed like exotic flowers from balconies and fire escapes. The traitor hung as well, quite publicly. Police searched fruitlessly for the culprits.

The resistance strengthened and flourished, its flag the color of her dress.

Time once again to seek inspiration from a photo and choose 100 words to tell your story.
The place to participate is
If you prefer to read, like, and comment, after reading my story, click on the blue link critter.
That will bring you to all the current stories.  Check back often to find more.

copyright danny bowman

copyright danny bowman

Between or Among?

In the end, no one knew how it began because nobody passed it on.

It stayed “just between the two of us.”
“I only told one person.”
“Between you and me…”
“I know you won’t tell anyone, so…”

The death of a marriage,
the rift in a friendship,
the unspeakable hurt to a child,
the accidental ruin of a life,
all inexplicable.

Everyone wondered who had told.
He knew he hadn’t.
She’d only mentioned it to ____.

Mathematically,  1x1x1 = 1.
Gossip doesn’t work that way.
No one understood how “between” became “among.”

They’d all forgotten the game of “Telephone.”

The Friday Fictioneers is a group of writers who weekly chose 100 of their best words to tell stories
based on a photo prompt.  The coordinator of our cadre is Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.
Thousands of people compete weekly, maybe even pay bribes,

to supply the picture prompt. This week’s photographer is Sarah Ann Hall.

Anyone is free to either read and write or just read. If interested, go to Rochelle’s site: and join in the fun.  If you just want to read (“likes” and comments are always appreciated by all authors), go to the end of the page and click on the little blue critter to access the rest of the stories.  

Warning:  stories will continue to be posted for some days, so check back often.
And now, without further ado, here’s the photo and my story for this week.



Quite an interrupt-us

Shade dapples us
as we lie in summer flowers.

I offer you prosciutto-wrapped melon,
place it gently in your receptive mouth,
lick the juice drops from your chin.

“The Romans were here,”
you elucidate.
My hand traces patterns across your body.

“They built this aqueduct.”
“An aqua duck?” I josh,
kissing your nearby ear.

The heat increases
as the afternoon lengthens.
I roll over, leaning into you.

You laugh as I tickle your nose
with a stem of grass and slowly
lower my face towards yours.

You sneeze.

A startled moment of frozen time…

then we collapse in helpless laughter.

Right after family and friends, the short list of things I love most in day-to-day life includes books. The love of books grabbed me as a little girl and I’ve been enmeshed in its web ever since. I unashamedly admit I’m a bibliophile and although I love the ease of my Kindle, I’ll never get rid of my books. Library levies are the only tax increases for which I’ll vote. I love the smell of a new book and browsing in a used bookstore is a joy that never diminishes.

So to honor the love I have for books, my inner muse rolled out a poem in the tradition of the poems of Rudyard Kipling, Dr. Seuss, Ogden Nash, and others (although I’m not comparing my humble offering to any of theirs), poems you might find in the old Childcraft books: the rhyming poem that rolls along, pulls you in, and flows trippingly from the tongue if read aloud (please try it). I hope I’ve achieved a little of that magic this week and perhaps you and your inner child, will enjoy this paean to books.

I’ve even manged to make it come in at exactly 100 words.

Copyright Claire Fuller

Copyright Claire Fuller


Under Cover

“Don’t judge a book by its cover”
May or may not be true
But you’ll never discover the story
‘Til you read it through and through.

A book will deliver you places
You can’t ordinarily go
More reliably than the Post Office can
Through the rain and sleet and snow.

It can make you think or make you cry
Turn your world upside down
It holds the power to mesmerize
Without making the slightest sound.

You’ll discover best friends and enemies
The truth and make-believe
And the most wonderful book of all of them
Is one you hate to leave.


Click here to read all the current stories:

It’s finally April.  The sun is beginning to warm the earth.  I can’t wait for the new life of plants to begin adorning the earth and for the excitement of renewal and beginnings.

But life is only one end of the spectrum.  At the other end lies death.

copyright indira

Grave Choices

Beneath the lone, gnarled tree standing sentinel atop the wind-swept hill was the perfect spot for her grave. He didn’t use a backhoe.  Its noise seemed out-of-place at a funeral.  He dug the grave by hand, careful to make it deep enough to frustrate hungry predators. The hard physical work helped assuage his pain, allowing space for memories of the good times they’d shared.

He preserved the wild plants to replace afterward.  The tree would be her headstone; her body would go back to the land.  After all these years, she deserved the best.  His partner…his best friend….his beautiful mare.


Want to read more?  Click on this little guy to link to any or all of the stories written in response to this prompt.

One of the great difficulties of writing is to make every word count.  Writing a story, or the introduction to a story, in 100 precisely-chosen words,  is a great way to practice that skill.  If you like to write, join us.  We are kind and helpful.
If you like to read, join us.  Our stories are diverse!  Click on the blue link critter at the very end, sit back and enjoy your travels.

(I’ll be traveling Friday-Monday, so it may take me some time to get to your story.  But I will.  Happy Easter or Passover to all of you.)

copyright rochelle-wisoff-fields

All three sayings in my story are from our family lexicon, the name has been changed to protect the innocent and, thankfully, the advice was heeded and the story is complete fiction.  Thanks, Rochelle, for the picture.


After Midnight

“Nothing good happens after midnight” and “Never take a drink you haven’t seen someone open.” Dad’s oft-repeated sayings, sometimes accompanied by Francesca’s surreptitious eye-rolls.   Hot from dancing, she’d gulped from an extended glass, then felt woozy.  Gathering her wits to decline an offered ride, she called Dad, knowing he’d be up until she got home.

She half-sobbed,” I’m sorry.  Are you mad?”

“Stay right there, I’m on my way. You’re fortunate nothing happened and too smart to do it again.”  Then, as he did nightly, he added, “Dad loves Francesca.”

The passing headlights glowed in the warm darkness like nightlights.


After Midnight

Why write a 100-word story? 

Consider the impact of three small words–“I hate you.”  Or “I love you.”  Then imagine 33 1/3 times more words and you can create a plethora of experiences and emotions.  Select those words carefully and you have more than enough to draw the unsuspecting reader into your story web.

Wield the scalpel with precision.  Cut to the chase.  Dazzle us.

copyrigt Douglas M. MacIlroy

Going For the Gold

Life had always been horses and jumping.  Those arduous, endless hours not doing “what the cool kids do” were her soul food.  The recognition earned as a major contender for an Olympic medal parlayed into an investment in her future.  Being the human half of a jumping team?  That was pure love.

The gold vanished, snatched by a massive oxer not quite cleared.  In the months following the Games, she dealt with the aftermath, gradually re-dreaming her dreams.

Class time.  Smiling at the sign, Olympic School of Therapeutic Riding, she propelled her wheelchair toward the ring, greeting students and instructors.