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.
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”
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.
Glad you came back to the party. Hasn’t been quite the same without you. That text is heartbreakingly sad. And that ending, spooky and poignant. Ron
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?
Welcome back, Rich. Such a sad story on your return, although I’m not sure how there could be a happy ending with this prompt. I like the eerie ending.
thanks miss. i saw the picture on rochelle’s FB feed and it caught me enough to do something about it.
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, and thanks for reading. time for me to do some reading as well. thanks again.
Wonderful story building up to a powerful ending. Very effective!
Missed you, Rich! Thanks for posting this week. Always enjoy your work and your input on mine.
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.
Heart-wrenching. I think I would probably never be able to text again after receiving a text like that. It would bring back too many painful memories.
i agree. it would. thanks for reading and enjoying.
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.
i wouldn’t say “almost.” i would say it definitely was supernatural. regardless, thanks very much for reading and enjoying.
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..
Well you inspired me to write one also. Though for the life of me I can’t tell if it posted to the link site.
if it didn’t, let me know and i’ll show you how to get it there.
I can’t tell since now my browser won’t let me return to the page. Ugh!
My first story idea was to write a morning after walk of shame moment of regret as she tried to make a clean get away to her car. Think that one would have been better?
walk of shame. i remember a few of those. 😉
I thought for men it was a viking walk? Argh!
the thing is that he texted the daughter first that he was going to be late. why? we don’t know. maybe the daughter texted something to him, like “can we go school shopping?” and he answered that he was going to be late. he didn’t want to give that “goodbye forever” message to the daughter, but he did want to give it to the wife.
i’m nothing if not fair.
Have missed you on here, Rich. I may just have gotten on too early in weeks past, but, whatever – it was good to read your works again!
i wasn’t planning to write one, but i saw the picture on rochelle’s facebook feed, saw the license plate was from my state, and something came to me about it. but thanks for the kind words.
Glad you did for whatever reason!
very kind of you. thanks.
Nice to see you back here, Rich. This small story packed a big punch – both on the physical and metaphysical level. Thanks for sharing.
thanks for reading.
That was a bittersweet story of our real lives now. Like the texts from the airplanes going down in 9/11. It’s the way of the world now…
it’s how we communicate.
yeah, kinda. thanks.
The final image of the husband’s voice coming through the daughter’s mouth was somewhat disturbing and distracting from an otherwise poignant tale.
yeah, it was a little disturbing. it was the father speaking from beyond, but now that i picture it myself, it is a little awkward.
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 😉
the more i think about it, the more i do realize that the voice at the end is a little more creepy than i was going for. i should consider revising it. thanks for expressing both the positive and negative. for me, that’s what i am looking for. not everyone is, but i am. thanks.
Thanks, glad you weren’t offended – I had read the other messages and your replies and thought it would be okay.
You can always copy and paste the picture of the scalpel from Rochelle’s site – that way people who don’t already know you, will know that you are open to constructive criticism.
Excuse the link to my Friday Fictioneer post – I explain the scalpel there with links to all the original pages from Doug and Jen – it’s easier than trying to explain in a reply box.
Excuse you for the link? I should thank you for it instead.
🙂 Fabulous – some people are funny about links to other blogs and pages appearing – but as you have returned to FF and like to be given honest feedback – it was a gift to you… glad it was appreciated!
yes, people are funny about links, but we always have the choice to NOT click on them. so it’s cool with me. thanks.
Nice to have you back, Rich, and a good story for your return. Poignant and heartbreaking at the same time.
thanks for reading. lots for me to check out today.
A great story for your returning to the fold.
Here’s mine: http://unexpectedpaths.com/friday-fictioneers/socratic-method/
this was heartbreaking. reading the txt made me really sad, powerful story.
thanks very much for reading.
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
I’m very sorry that you know more than you should. Thanks for reading.
At my age, I should know more than I do.
Yes, as in ‘ought to’. A joke. 🙂
Very poignant, love the ending but more loved that both the daughter and the mother received text from the father. You are always an inspiration with you crisp writing.
inspiration? i’ll going to allow myself to believe that one. thanks!
You should do so. I do not ever say what I do not mean, it is a waste of time and keystrokes.
my apologies. 😉
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.
Thank you very much. I was not planning on writing anything this week, but the picture prompt was hard to ignore because the license plate is my home state.
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.
the “eyes” was my original plan, and you’re right, it was better than the voice added. i should have stuck with that. thanks for reading.
Glad you returned to this, and hope you stay with it because I enjoy them. Well done …. Breaking News …. RM alert.
thanks. wasn’t planning on writing that, but i saw the picture with my state on the license plate, and that drew me in. yeah, that RM thing, it’s a good day.
Ah that was sad… Love to see you back.. The text was a very good twist… I can see him lying there trying to txt a last message… I got a little confused with the voice of the father… but it is a haunting end..
I enjoyed this, even though I felt the mother’s heart break.
thanks for reading and enjoying.