24 May 2013

Published May 22, 2013 by rochellewisoff


As always, writers are encouraged to be as innovative as possible with the prompt and 100 word constraints. 

Henry David Thoreau said it best.

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”



Write a one hundred word story that has a beginning, middle and end. (No one will be ostracized for going over or under the word count.)


Make every word count.


  • Copy your URL to the Linkz collection. You’ll find the tab following the photo prompt. It’s the little white box to the left with the blue froggy guy. Click on it and follow directions. This is the best way to get the most reads and comments.
  • MAKE SURE YOUR LINK IS SPECIFIC TO YOUR FLASH FICTION. (Should you find that you’ve made an error you can delete by clicking the little red ‘x’ that should appear under your icon. Then re-enter your URL. (If there’s no red x email me at Runtshell@aol.com. I can delete the wrong link for you).
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    Should someone have severe or hostile differences of opinion with another person it’s my hope that the involved parties would settle their disputes in private.


    :) My story will follow the prompt for those who might be distracted by reading a story before writing their own . I enjoy your comments. :)

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    Copyright – Danny Bowman

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Genre: Literary Fiction

Word Count: 99


            “Sarah, we need to talk.” Brent leaned against the doorjamb, arms folded, watching her peel vegetables over the sink.

            “Can’t it wait?” She didn’t look up. “I’ve got the headache from hell.”

            His breath caught in his throat. “I might have a contract on my novel.  And lately you and I—”

            “You get my bulbs planted?”

            “I quit my job.”

            “The tub drain’s clogged again.”

            Silently he turned and walked outside to his pickup which was loaded with everything he owned. Through the open window he could still hear her.       

            “And the yard…really, Brent, you just don’t listen.” 

125 comments on “24 May 2013

  • Brilliant. I loved this story. And I did get next week’s prompt as well and absolutely brilliant to that too. Hope I have internet here by the time I’m ready to post.


  • Darn it, I missed the second post. And since I’d submitted four photos, one of which has been used already, this means I have to write three stories if I’m to get ahead of the game next week. 😉


  • Great story Rochelle – true dialogue is often about people saying what they want to say, rather than listening to the other person.

    Now we know your strategy – I wonder if you’re actually writing and preparing posts weeks ahead.. or months… or even years…



    • Actually a week ahead. I did that when i went on vacation a few weeks back and found it to be a great stress reducer for me. I assure you that I don’t spend any more time on my stories than I did before I took on the bus driver role.
      Thank you for your comments. Communication is such a tricky business. Often we’re so involved in our reply we fail to hear what the other person is really saying. (Guilty as charged).


  • there is a Maroon 5 song that is popular right now called PAYPHONE and I was reminded of it as soon as I saw this picture.

    I liked this story even though my heart hurt for both of them, those that care and those that don’t care enough (or at all). Communication is such a lost art isn’t it?

    have a great holiday Rochelle.


  • This is one of the saddest stories I’ve read in a very long time. Written so well, but sad for the state of the relationship, and the lack of ‘dripsy sentimentalism’ in it..it’s just sincere heartbreaking stuff…I have a feeling some of us have been there, and it certainly feels like something I have….I remember very similar words…
    You certainly have the knack of hitting the reader’s spot, in many ways!


  • Like it. Always good when a writer doesn’t just focus on the obvious i.e. a phone. Instead you used the image of a broken phone to describe one way communication between a couple. Excellent work!


  • Yes, but why is Sarah so indifferent? What’s gone on in their relationship to have killed her interest in Brent? What’s his responsibility? He’s quit his job on the off-chance he’s got a contract? I’m on Sarah’s side till I learn more.

    I hope you take it as praise of your writing that I react like this, Rochelle!

    I read something about the photos up above here. I would love to share some of mine. Or are you well enough supplied for the present? If you’d like to see some, how would you prefer to get them? As jpegs? Compressed for the web? Should they be pre-published or do you prefer unpublished?


    • Dear John,
      Anytime my stories evoke emotions in a reader it’s all good and taken as high praise. So I thank you. I’m sure there are two sides to this story.😉
      As for pictures. I’m always open for more. I have several but I like to use photos from different people every week. Jpegs are best and you can send them to me via email at runtshell@aol.com. The more the merrier.
      Again, I love the illustrations. I, too am an illustrator. My book, THIS, THAT AND SOMETIMES THE OTHER, is a collection of short stories and original illustrations. (Not sorry for the shameless advertisement.) I have copies or it’s available through Amazon on Kindle.😉


  • This story is so perfectly written. The two parallel conversations really put the reader right in the center of all their turmoil.


  • Rochelle, I’m afraid this rings true in too many relationships–not really listening to what the other person has to say before responding. Really listening is so much more difficult than talking. How often have we thought about what we wanted to say just as soon as the other person finished and didn’t even hear, I mean really hear, what they were saying. That way lies unhappiness. Your story was sad in its realness and hopefully a lesson for each of us.



    • Dear Janet,
      My story is, indeed, a very sad one. How many really listen to what the other person is saying? I know I’ve been guilty of pretending and never really hearing what the other person said. So in this story my own finger points back at me.
      Thank you for commenting on and liking my story.


  • Well he did try, at least one more time. This is so true with more than just couples – Parents and children often lack good communication skills. And then wonder why in later years contact is strained or non-existant.

    Thanks for you visit…I did reply…in my comments.
    Cheers, Jules


      • While there are a few things that I can do…keeping up with new electronics is not my forte. I don’t tweet, or facebook yet. I can barely figure out how to use my television…which thanks to yours and other writing prompts I’ve been tuning into the ‘idiot box’ less and less. Though I have been thinking of getting both an I-pad or an e-book. I do have a lap top…that might just do for a while longer🙂


  • Oops. I guess she’ll be telling him what to do long after he’s gone, and until she realizes he ain’t there anymore. I can almost hear her walking around the empty house complaining for days about what he still hasn’t done and where the hell is that lazy no-good-so-and-so.

    i assumed you posted two Fridays Fictioneers because you were going away for memorial day weekend.

    Enjoy. Randy


    • Dear Randy,
      Actually I’m taking my memorial day holiday today. I’ll be working both Sunday and Monday…that’s the bakery biz. Hopefully you’ve noted that I deleted the next week’s page and relegated it back to the ranks of the unpublished. If you happened to snatch the picture before I did, consider it a gift and wait until next week to post it. Todah rabbah.

      Yes, I think Sarah’s pretty self-absorbed and it may take her a while to figure out that Brent’s had enough. But might be the kind who will never realize her own responsibility.



  • Well I’m kind of glad Brent’s leaving. I get the feeling she hasn’t heard a word he’s said for years and just wants him around to be her handyman. I can really picture these two people. I only hope his book deal is a really good one! And now I’ve worried about their futures! Which means it was a great little story indeed!😀


  • a really sad story… but good for him though, that he’s finally leaving. wonderful job capturing reality. the dialogue was truly brilliant🙂


  • Dear Rochelle,

    In the navy one of the worst string of perjoratives you could call someone (at least in the nuclear navy) was “You one-way, check valve, diode, mother—-. You really nailed the title.

    As for the story, suffice to say that it rings true. Good job with the prompt.

    Diode is also the Greek goddess of the telephonic underworld….

    Great to read your stories, my friend.




    • Dear Doug,

      My muse was on the ball this week, wasn’t he? When presented with the meaning, it made perfect sense and there could be no other title.

      As always I thank you for your supportive and insightful comments.

      Glad to have you as a reader and friend.




  • I am totally on Brent’s side here, although it feels somehow traitorous to say so. Although it never got to the final showdown, your story reminds me so much of a relationship I was privy to in the past. I never could understand why he never stood up for himself, declaring his needs and wants and dreams just as important as hers. I wanted to shake her for being so cold and petty and disconnected. Through your story, I feel like my real-life Brent finally found his freedom, and my heart sings.


  • Well, I can relate to this story. Been there with another person who just never listened. Or I should say never ‘heard’. Sad, but so well written.


    • Dear Hanna,
      I can’t claim originality for Friday Fictioneers. I inherited the “baby” from Madison Woods in October when she felt the need to lay it down. I was hooked from the beginning and just couldn’t let it die. Amazing how one learns to conserve words and come to the point. The 100 word challenge has made a huge difference in my writing overall.

      Glad you liked my story. Happy to have you on board.



  • Great illustration of a poor relationship. Sometimes those claiming people don’t listen are the one’s failing to listen. Good for Brent in making his escape from a heartless woman. Great writing, Rochelle! Love it.


  • Oh dear, I think Sarah needs to take some of her own advice and maybe start listening to herself. Poor Brent – I feel really sorry for him after the futility of his conversation.


    • Dear Trudy,
      I think someone suited to Sarah would be someone to gag her and make her listen. Hard to say, but most likely they’ve drifted apart and no longer have anything more in common than living quarters. Thanks for dropping by and commenting.


  • This is a really good interpretation of the prompt. I think we have all been in his/her shoes at one point. The gentle humor in this is spot on.


  • Hey Rochelle! Like most who have read this, I was impressed with the writing. I was also saddened by the content. It especially hits home being a writer, because to me the story is not only a tragic tale about two people who have lost their connection to each other, it’s also a metaphor for how the world can often treat us when it comes to our writing pursuits. I’m fortunate to have a lot of support from the people closest to me, but there are many more who have felt and probably still feel that I’m wasting time on a hobby and couldn’t be bothered to invest two seconds of their time caring about it. I guess we scribes are extra-sensitive to rejection, and whether is comes from a prospective agent or a disengaged spouse, it always hurts.

    So happy to be reading your brilliance again!!🙂

    My contribution: http://wp.me/pReXn-m9


    • Dear John,
      Glad you caught that. I’ve also received that pat on the head from some who perceive my passion as a nice hobby. Fortunately the ones who count in my eyes understand.
      Thank you for your overwhelming compliments and perception. Glad you have you back on the bus.


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