#fridayfictioneers via rochelle – 03/01

First, my apologies for barely reading anyone’s fine work last week.  I had some serious (on a legal matter) writing to do that ate up a ton of time.   Second, this was one of the toughest yet to come up with something, but I like what I ended up with.  I hope you do too.

Every Wednesday Rumbleseat Wisoff-Fields posts a picture prompt challenging writers to create a 100-word story, poem, or whatever works for you.  After posting your work on your blog,  go back to her site and add your link 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.



The Car

David ditches work early, swirls the last gulp of lemonade, eyes the old car Mom built.  Smiles, remembers “driving” to California until Mom called “Dinnertime!”  Mexico for tacos,  Atlanta for baseball, until Mom called “Bedtime!”  Lunchbox packed, Disney-bound, until Mom said – differently – “Dad’s home.”

Dad’s home.  Smiles dried, hands twitched, eyes unsure.  Dad’s home.  Voices stuttered, bruises ached.  Mom, David, quietly awaited barks and permission.  Run to the fridge when Dad swirled the last gulp of Budweiser.  Dad’s home.

Schoolbus pulls away.  David Jr. runs up the driveway, smiling, singing, “Dad’s home!”

“C’mon, Son.  Let’s go for a drive.”


100 words

I started with a story about missing kids and an FBI investigation, searching the car for clues, but it didn’t pan out.  Then I switched to the car being a time-travel device for two kids, but I couldn’t figure out to end it.  Although I abandoned that one, I kept its essence.  Then it became a “time travel” device for a sad kid with difficult parents, but it became too sad to write it.  So I kept that but twisted it to be more upbeat instead of depressing.  I think that was a good idea.


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106 Responses to #fridayfictioneers via rochelle – 03/01

  1. elmowrites says:

    Having read the history of this piece, I definitely think you picked the best version to go with. This reads like a stream of conciousness and works well in that way. I like the echoes in down the generations, and the positive changes David has made in his version of family

    • rich says:

      thanks. i remember certain things my parents did that i said, “i’m going to do that when i’m a parent,” but something, “NO way i’m doing that when i’m a parent.” i was lucky to have that ability to pick and choose. some people have it chosen for them.

  2. vb holmes says:

    Like Mom’s utilization of the old car as an escape vehicle for her children and her son’s ability to forget the bad times and remember the magic which he happily shares with his son. Good story, Rich.

  3. happyzinny says:

    As good as you are with puns, you’re even better with flash fiction!

  4. denmother says:

    Rich, how I read it is David Jr. arrives as a youngster and at first excited about Dad, gets into a car, which dad drives drunk and totals. Mom has to build a new one, allowing David to escape into his rich fantasy life again. Maybe I’m off on the timing a bit. I guess I want to see the car as salvation through the difficult times too.

    I really appreciated how you assigned the female character as the car builder. Bravo.

    • rich says:

      the car was the salvation during difficult times when david was little and his father was abusive to him and his mother. david still has the car for david jr., but david – now grown up – treats this kid well, and they have fun in the car together instead of it having to be an escape.

  5. That was very good. I enjoyed the layers, especially the ending…

  6. Sarah Ann says:

    Love David’s descriptions of driving to all his adventures. Great contrast between the first and second paragraphs – you really captured the different moods – but thanks for the happy ending.

  7. pennycoho says:

    I like your words for this one, Rich. I looked at the photo and went hmmmm. Actually I’m still going …hmmmm. Perhaps something will come to mind soon. I did enjoy your take however.

  8. Good one, Rich. I like the reference to “Dad’s home,” and “Let’s go for a drive.” Is Dad ditching responsibilities, relationship to wife? Anyway, that car has had its share of traveling.

  9. tedstrutz says:

    I liked this a lot, Rich. Two totally different Dads and how they treat their family. Happy thoughts for David till Dad comes home. The second paragraph is so sad and so real. David Jr. is a lucky boy.

    I really enjoyed you sharing your thought process on writing your story.

  10. rgayer55 says:

    Upbeat is always good. I didn’t recognize you in the new glamour shot gravatar, but I like it. Very tight writing as always.

  11. Nice, Rich!! I liked the way Mom played with David and used the car for so many good times, which would have doubly important to try to stand in the face of Dad being home. I also like the way the ending could either be the imagining of David or the new life of he and his son. Excellent.


  12. deanabo says:

    I really enjoyed this.

  13. As a child I loved a fantasy that took me away from a bad reality. You brought back those good memories. Nice work here.

  14. Green Speck says:

    I loved your narrative style :-)

  15. Beautifully crafted, as usual. I like that you ended it on a positive note; so many times the cycle of alcoholism and violence gets repeated generation after generation.

  16. elappleby says:

    Hi Rich
    You packed a lot in to your little story. Nice to see that David didn’t follow in his father’s footsteps. I really enjoyed the imaginary drives around the world too. Great stuff :)

  17. Dear Shift,
    Entertaining and thought provoking. I love it that David is able to rise above his past and create a happy present for his son. Well played, Sir.

  18. aFrankAngle says:

    Well … definitely not my personal experience. Well done.

  19. Parul says:

    I had thought of time travel too while thinking of my story.
    of course what you ended up writing is a lot better than the ideas that led to it.

  20. Bee says:

    Such a sweet story. I’m so glad David didn’t grow up to be like his father.

  21. I like the touch about Mom building the car. The choppy read has a nice “catchy” feel, pulls the reader in.

  22. I like this story a lot. It’s sad but a positive ending, really good.

  23. Honestly if you hadn’t explained it I wouldn’t have “got it”.

  24. JackieP says:

    I liked it. It was different, mom and kid may not have been able to escape except through the ‘car’, but it made for some positive memories that over shadowed the bad beer guzzling dad. Good for them! I liked how you put the first “dad’s home” as something bad and the second as a joyful thing.

  25. kz says:

    it’s wonderful. so great that he grew up to be different from his dad. touching tale :)

  26. Katie says:

    I like it! I think you chose the best option. :)

  27. k~ says:

    A heartwarming moment etched into cyber. Thank you, it was an enjoyable read.

  28. Sunshine says:

    “Voices stuttered, bruises ached…” so glad the cycle of abuse was broken. i really like how you ended this. ♥

  29. Very nice piece. The Car truly is “the Enterprise,” here, transporting people out of the real world into a better one. And eventually changing the world for some others. Great use of the prompt!

  30. I like what you did with this, making it about the grown-up remembering his childhood and then taking his kid for a ride, being determined to be a better father than his old man was.

    And thank you for sharing your process as well. It’s helpful to know that you had several ideas for a story from the one image.

  31. dreaminofobx says:

    Every David should be so lucky to have a mom who can transport him creatively through the harsh realities of alcoholism and abuse, delivering him safely into an adulthood full of love. Nicely crafted story.

  32. Just Me says:

    My heart is breaking for David. At least he has that escape, if only for a while. Nice story. :)

  33. Really enjoyed this. Glad to see David became a good father. I would have liked to see the really depressing version of the story!

  34. good news is those archived stories will have a use by and by. Thanks for coming over to Moondustwriter’s Blog

  35. Ann Isik says:

    Don’t edit! This is great. I had to read it twice to get it, but that’s because there’s not space for a back story. I really like that the car is always the car, but it represents different things to the two generations. Reminds me just a bit of The Yellow Rolls Royce. Remember that film? Sorry, movie! Both my parents were ‘Davids’. I learnt not to be home as much as possible! I chose not to be that way and when I grow up, I won’t be! :)

  36. glossarch says:

    I think the best flash fiction tells a whole novel in only a few words, and yours definitely does. Well done, and the ending made me glad.

  37. 40again says:

    Love the time-machine car, brought back many memories of our old sofa at home which during childhood was in turn a bus, car, ambulance … great times. Glad that David Jnr made it and became a “good” dad
    (Not sure where this comment has been wandering, I thought I posted it last week)

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