It’s been over a year since the beginning of my captivity by Friday Fictioneers. From the first I was hooked on the challenge of writing a complete story in one hundred words or less. Sometimes they came effortlessly. Other times I’d agonize for a day or so. And some photos presented bigger challenges than others.
As I recall the following photo posted by Friday Fictioneers originator, Madison Woods, put some people off. At first glance at this photo of grapevine ooze I also thought of sitting out that week. The thought passed after a minute or two.
Half naked Himba people in Nambia, a sweaty camera crew and millions of TV viewers witnessed our marriage vows.
I willingly followed Trevor up the Himalayas, drank sun-scorched canteen water instead of Cabernet and swatted mosquitos in the Amazon.
In Nepal he slipped on something and narrowly escaped being trampled by a choleric elephant.
“I’m done,” he whispered later. “Let’s go home.”
“You are my home.”
Back in the states, safe from cheetah attacks and hippo stampedes, Trevor’s mangled body lies on a cold steel table. The driver, texting on her cell phone, never saw him cross the street.
Do you see the glancing reference to the prompt? Hint: “In Nepal…”
Looks like something a person could slip in, doesn’t it? Perhaps one of the elephants left his load in the middle of the road. 😉
Another story that garnered a few questions (and a bit of controversy) was one of my favorites from the following photo.
Like the anguished images that flashed across our television, Friday, November 22, 1963 will ever be etched into my memory in black and white.
Walter Cronkite wept on camera.
The nation mourned.
Dazed, Mom sorted Christmas ornaments at the kitchen table and mumbled empty phrases. Dad dropped to his knees, laid his head in her lap and sobbed.
“He was my hero!” I screamed.
My eleven-year-old world spun out and I kicked at the two faceless uniforms.
Their vacuous condolences pelted me like the bullets that killed my big brother in Vietnam.
I’ll never forgive Mr. Kennedy.
“How on earth did you arrive at that story?” asked one of my fellow FF’rs.
My process went something like this:
The kitchen in the picture is quite dated. Looked like 1960’s to me.
What happened during that era? Kennedy assassination. How did this affect my protagonist? That part took a fair amount of research which is something I love, almost as much as the writing itself.
If you look closely, there is a passing reference to the Christmas ornaments on the table. (Sorry, Kitty, didn’t find you particularly interesting. 😉 )
A prime example of stepping outside the box, inspired by the same photo, is from Doug MacIlroy. http://ironwoodwind.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/cathouse-kitchen/
Or this one, also from Doug. http://ironwoodwind.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/echoes-of-love/
Included in my intro to Friday Fictioneers is a quote from Henry David Thoreau. It’s my motto. I hope it will inspire others.
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”