#fridayfictioneers via rochelle – 12/28

Every Wednesday Renegade Wisoff-Fields posts a picture prompt to challenge writers to create a 100-word story or poem or anything that works for you.  After you post your work on your blog,  go back to her site and post a link to your blog entry on her Friday Fictioneers post.  Place.  Page.

I’m going to try to keep up with this, as should you.  Give it a shot.  I prefer to stick to 100 words, but she doesn’t mind either way.  Not everyone has the time to sit and write, revise, edit, revise, edit, etc. until getting it down to 100 and telling everything you want to tell.

coffee_in_mirror_02-1

A Day’s Work

Gray jacket opens French doors, strolls balcony overlooking parade.  Cash-filled envelope in breast pocket.  Sunglasses hide darting eyes, scans crowd for Signal One – black fedora aside mailbox.  Signal Two – fedora scratches nose, crosses street.  Signal Three – gray jacket adjusts tie.  Fedora checks roof, pauses curbside, Signal Four – red bandana.  Behind sunglasses, gray jacket misses Signal Five – blue sneakers untied.  Parade noise covers single pop, envelope of cash fiercely penetrated, turns crimson, gray jacket crumples.

Hour later, black fedora, blue sneakers, red bandana having lunch.  Signal Six – tipped glass.  New waiter brings tainted lemonade.  Signal Seven – fedora checks watch…

________________________

100 words

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80 thoughts on “#fridayfictioneers via rochelle – 12/28

  1. Wow.. I am always impressed by folks like you… to get what you wrote from that picture prompt is extremely creative! Loved it!

  2. The form was perfect to convey that gangster-like quality and loved the twist. When it started, I thought it was us trying to meet in Philly! :-) Definitely different ending, thankfully.

    janet

  3. I’m going to stay away from anyone in a fedora… Very nice work, Rich. The lack of articles was a great move. You kept the piece moving quickly, mechanically almost – which seems to be how this operation works. I loved the Signal count, too.

  4. Rich,
    I found this to be creative but the pace made me a little jittery. Perhaps that was the feel you were going for but if the truth can be told I am not sure I could read something like this at a long clip. It works with a hundred words but for me it has more of an outline feel to what could be a bigger story. Always love your creative abilities and willingness to try something new. I look forward to your work every week so do not take my thoughts on this the wrong way.
    Tom

    • not at all taken the wrong way. it is kind of short and jittery, yes, and as you said, it wouldn’t work in a longer piece. it’s just a moment in the life of men who do deadly but unnoticed work. could be russians and u.s. spies. could be mob families at work. i’m not sure which. the outline feel comes from the bare description, which was done because those are the signals they look for. red bandana, black fedora, blue sneakers, things like that. to each other, they’re not really people. just disposable pawns.

      • You couldn’t sustain an entire novel in this style, but I think it has potential as an opening paragraph. I also think, if you were writing something larger, that you could revert to this style for certain scenes. Say Fedora the Spy is your main character… When he’s on the job, in the middle of the action, you use this style, but when the mission ends – or just the high action part of the mission – then you revert to something more relaxed, less jittery so that your writing corresponds to the level of his awareness. He’d always be watchful and aware, of course, but when all of his senses are on HIGH alert, THIS is what you’d use. It could make for a very interesting book, stylistically.

      • Waiting,
        You seem to make a lot of good points… This could work in short spurts as it does here….cause it really made me feel edgy and leading up to say an assassination you may want the reader to feel on edge.

        Tom

    • It’s the caffine from the giant cup above the door that makes the piece jittery. Personally, I loved the pace of the action and not knowing who was on which side. Well done (once again), Rich.

  5. When I read I get pictures in my head and I kept seeing that game on addictivegames.com where you are the spy and you have to shot the right stick figure. Had more of a spy feel for me….

    Tom

  6. Hi Rich,
    Welcome to Thursday Fictioneers! This story is an exercise in word economy. No fat at all, anorexically slim, bulemically reduced. Did you watch Sky Fall just before writing this? More twists than a NY pretzel. Cloak and daggery with a fedora thrown into the mix. Minimalism has a new master of brevity. Ron

    • Did not see Skyfall yet but I sure want to. Saw The Hobbit last night and that was fabulous. Been listening to the soundtrack of all day. Tonight’s movie is “safety not guaranteed.”

      Economical and brevity is what I was going for, so I am glad it works for you. And extra thanks for the ongoing feedback on the chapters you are reading for me. A short story came into my head yesterday about a man who loses his hearing. As soon as I type that out, I will start revising the chapters you have been giving back to me. I am greatly indebted.

    • And yes, it seems like Thursdays instead of Fridays. I usually wait until late Thursday the earliest, But last night after coming home from the movies, and after finishing up my version, I lost track of what day it was.

  7. Very tight story, reminded me a bit of an old fashioned telegram at times. You certainly managed to fit a lot in – it felt fast paced and urgent and grabbed me from start to finish. An interesting exercise from a writer’s perspective.

  8. Dear Rich,

    I got the feeling that about three hundred words later there’s be only one of them left holding a really sodden mess of cash. That and a lot of bodies strewn around. Nice experiment with style. You pulled it off well.

    Aloha,

    Doug

  9. This somehow made me think of Boondock Saints. Must have been the code names. Nicely done and your disciplined approach to word count is now my mantra on Friday as well. Sometimes I even have to add words – which is often harder to do than cut. Damn your exacting style!

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