#fridayfictioneers via rochelle – 8/16

I haven’t done this is a very long time, but something about this picture struck me enough. No pun intended.

Every Wednesday Renegade 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.

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.

A few comments at the end…




“Mom!” called Jen, walking and texting into her mother’s room, “Dad texted.  Close windows.  Big storm coming.  Gonna be home late.”

Mom, absorbed in her own text, heard nothing.

Linn   u cant imagine how much I lov u.  so sory not makn it hom tnite.  Or evr.  Lyng in car.  Firemen tryn ther best but I hav only seconds left. Kiss kids gbye.  Will b waitn fr u all on othr side.  Watchn an smilin.

Linda forced a smile at Jen, seeing nothing but her husband’s eyes smiling back.

“G’Bye, Linn,” said Jen’s mouth, but it wasn’t quite Jen’s voice.


100 words


In my original idea, the father was going to scratch that note on the dashboard of the car as he was dying.  Then I thought it might be too difficult to surround that with how that would be discovered by EMT’s or whoever.  Then I thought the maximum impact is not the EMT’s finding the note but the wife getting the note, so I switched it to a text message from the dying father to the wife.  But after writing that, I was only at about 80 words.  I then had the daughter see the mother, and the mother simply noticed how the daughter’s eyes were so much like her father’s eyes.  Then I thought, “Why can’t they actually BE the father’s eyes?”  Then, “Why not the father’s actual voice?”  And that got me to 100 words.  Thanks for reading.

69 thoughts on “#fridayfictioneers via rochelle – 8/16

  1. Dear Rich,

    Welcome back to the party, pal. This photo prompt struck close to home. Interesting that New Jersey plates haven’t changed in 45 years. Crisp writing, as ever.



    • i think it was the NJ plate that drew me in. they changed plates about 25 years ago, went to a pale blue background and pale yellow characters. luckily, they went back to the older plate about 10 years ago. thanks for stopping by.

    • thanks. i didn’t originally have that ending, with the father’s voice through the daughter. problem was that i was done after about 80 words. in trying to get to 100, i added the wife seeing how the girl’s eyes looked so much like her father’s eyes. then i thought, what if they really were his eyes? and then his voice?

  2. Powerful sad Rich. It was done well though, and that is the bottom line. The juxtaposition of the daughter bringing news from her father via text, and the mother reading the text her daughter will never see had great power. Bravo!

    • thanks very much. i saw the picture on rochelle’s facebook feed, recognized the license plate as my state, and i couldn’t resist. thanks for the kind thoughts. happy almost friday.

  3. Crisp writing as always. I was thinking about you the other day and how you always offer such insightful comments to help make people’s stories better. We need more of that.

    • i appreciate the thoughts in my direction. i was on facebook and saw the picture from rochelle’s feed, and i recognized the license plate as my state, so i had to look more closely. that made me think more of the actual picture and what might have happened, so then…well…you know how it goes. and thanks for the kind words. right back atcha.

    I mean, I know your picture is Bruce Springsteen, writer of the saddest songs ever (How that man can make you cry with a song about a CAR (Racing in the Street) is beyond me.) but you didn’t need to make my cry today, darling.
    I liked the almost supernatural aspect at the end, with the father’s voice coming from the daughter’s mouth.

  5. Rich-I don’t think the daughter should be getting a text from the father at the beginning because I imagine he would write her a lovely goodbye also. Right?

    What if the mother is coming home reading her text and the daughter calls out from the living room that dad called early to make sure we ….something to clearly delineate that her message was much earlier before the tree. Or simply say “Dad texted earlier…..” (It might just seem to close to me only).

    The other evolutions you chose I like a lot..

  6. Dear Ribald,

    The final image of the husband’s voice coming through the daughter’s mouth was somewhat disturbing and distracting from an otherwise poignant tale.



  7. Welcome back Rich, Powerful work.
    Sad tale- I liked the juxtaposition between the two texts he sent – I can imagine a parent doing that.

    I see your ending is like marmite – those that love it and those that dislike it. Until I read your explanation I didn’t get the last bit at all. Now I understand it but find it weirdly unsettling and somewhat out of place… I liked the idea of the eyes – because chn often have their parents eyes and with certain expressions etc. plus it makes her realise a part of him will always be there with her. (I know you meant it as literally) I appreciate you have chosen a supernatural genre.

    I found the rest of the flash compelling, for me a line where mum tells Jen dad’s not coming home would have been the icing on a glorious cake.

    As far as the path you chose = it certainly is supernatural – 100% freaky – you clearly wanted it to end this way – so it is spot on for that reader 😉

  8. Hello Rich. Nice to see ‘your’ face again. Quality writing. I like the way you deal out the differing emotions and viewpoints and time dimensions in this piece; the contrasts between the different ways of presenting speech.Nice textures. It has the ring of truth too. These awful things happen. I know from personal experience. Ann

  9. Hi Rich
    It is good to see you back here, I’ve missed your stories. I enjoyed reading this and liked the slightly spooky ending. To me, they were a close family, who loved each other very much.

  10. Very powerful. This brought Rochelle and Doug’s double act to mind, based on one of your photos if memory serves. I liked the shorthand in the text adding to the sense of urgency/ pain/ inability. The goodbye line was a bit weird, as if Dad had possessed his daughter temporarily, but the sharing the eyes line was beautiful.

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