Friday Fiction – An Eulogy

Another piece for the Friday Fictioneers – thanks to Rochelle’s leadership and Ted‘s prompt.

When I saw this week’s prompt, I came up with a character, and this week’s piece is arguably more character sketch than story, but either way I like it. It raises the useful reminder that we should endeavour to create unique characters with rich and unusual histories. Which is why, when I made a typo half way through, I used it as a jumping off point instead of correcting it, and ultimately it became the title. I’d love to hear what you think – of the story as a whole, and that part in particular.

No edits this week, they weren’t very interesting.

icon-grill-ted-strutzAn Eulogy

Back when her paintings sold for thousands, someone had offered a million dollars for her “installation piece” and she’d said no. Sure, she could’ve replaced every bottle for that and kept the change, but it had taken her a long time and a lot of heartache to build her collection – a rough approximation of her Dad’s consumption. An eulogy, she called it. With the ‘n’: the punchline of a joke she never shared.

These days, no one wanted Mary or her paintings, and the bottles were gradually turning from full to empty. Her final tribute to her late, beloved father.


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

55 responses to “Friday Fiction – An Eulogy

  1. Helena Hann-Basquiat

    What an unique vision for this picture — installation piece. (and yes, I left the ‘n’ above in just for you, darling). Portrait of a lonely, forgotten artist. Sad and poignant. Just lovely.

  2. Pingback: Friday Fictioneers – Conversations With Strangers | Being the Memoirs of Helena Hann-Basquiat, Dilettante.

  3. This is stupendous. 🙂

  4. I hope one day I’ll be able to put as much story into 100 words. I really enjoyed it.

  5. great job – great irony, bitterness, and hurt.

  6. This has a lot of depth and soul. A sad ending.

  7. Dear Jen,
    There’s a lot of depth and layering in this short piece. The bottles went from full to empty…very telling.

    • I’m delighted you think so. I wanted to avoid getting too explicit at the end there, but without leaving people behind. Sometimes that’s a tough balancing act, I find.

  8. I like it! Subtle juxtaposition of the brightly colored room with the darker melodrama going on. I especially like the final tribute part. Tragic and telling.

  9. Very very good.
    It has everything.

  10. As the bottles empty, the installation will come to the same end as her father–Good story.

  11. Interesting Jennifer. Her life in pictures changed to a life of fluid.

  12. Quite a good character sketch, methinks — a dose of the father and his effect on his daughter.

  13. petrujviljoen

    Well-written and a great take on the prompt. Enjoyed it a lot! Wrote down for my own use: implication not explanation.

  14. Poignant, heartfelt and a little sad – very nicely constructed, as always.

  15. A lot of story (a full life) for only being a character description. I really liked it.. especially the bottles turning from full to empty.

  16. I like the way you went with your subconscious prompting (regarding the title) and it added an edge to the piece. You’ve skillfully covered a lot of background. A very interesting story.

  17. That is SO true, of people, isn’t it? Jenn, you made another one ring here. Tip of the hat to you!

  18. Great story, very clever. The title made me question my English for a minute (even as a native speaker!), so I was glad you explained it was an error! The installation piece is a powerful image – that each bottle represented one drunk by her father in his lifetime. I wouldn’t like to see what my alcohol consumption looked like lined up behind a bar!

  19. But no feeling of regret that she had turned down the big bucks. She was/is strong.

    • There is a saying – mental illness isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of having to be strong for too long. I fear the same may be true of Mary’s addiction.

  20. I think that may qualify as the saddest I have read here.
    Good emotions and imaging.

  21. Bootifull! What a genuis you are for intentioally mis-spelling words. Why didn’t I thank of that?

    Seriously though, this is one of the best 100 Flash Fictions I’ve ever read. I’m in envy.

  22. WOW! Another flash that has me catching my breath!
    I loved the idea of the bar being a work of art – and the sadness in the desperate end – like father, drinking herself to death.
    A powerful flash full of story and character!

  23. I liked your story, Jennifer.

  24. Sarah Ann

    Mary’s pain is palpable. Her refusal to sell reminded me of the adage ‘always take the first offer’ (because you’ll never be offered as much again). And ‘an eulogy’ really jars, which is the point, so I want to be in on the joke.

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  27. I guess the Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Like father, like daughter. So sad that it happened to both of them. Great story.

  28. Graham Lawrence

    Just goes to show that often the shorter ones have a tighter grip on the reader. This one certainly has. I’m glad of the rerun and the opportunity of catching up with great stories that I’ve missed 🙂

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