Friday Fiction – Listening

Bit of a rush today – lots to do before more lovely visitors arrive this afternoon, so I’ll keep it brief. The Friday fiction bus is driven by Rochelle and has stopped this week at a pay phone belonging to Danny Bowman. I welcome all kinds of feedback on my story.



When we were little, we made a string telephone. She, being the eldest, had the talking end and I the listening. That’s how I thought they worked. It was the same when we got older, she called to talk, I to listen.
So now what?
Is she talking in her head? Or does she expect me to take over? The doctor says she may be able to hear; that a favourite song or a beloved voice could bring her back. I want to believe it, but mine’s not a beloved voice, is it? I mean, would she even recognise it?


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

39 responses to “Friday Fiction – Listening

  1. Dear Jen,
    Oh my! There are so many layers to this. Beautifully thought out and crafted.

    • Thanks Rochelle – I have a feeling the other fictioneers read more layers into this than I ever knew were there – a humbling lesson for this author.

  2. Reading this has such a deja_vu feeling.

  3. Is she in a coma? I bet she’ll have a lot to say when she wakes up.

  4. I liked this one Jennifer.

  5. This was fabulously sad and heart wrenching and pure. Loved it

  6. Good one, Jenn! Great take on the prompt. You took it in a different direction and I loved it! Thank-you!

  7. Lovely, sad story. Hope you enjoy your company.


  8. Helena Hann-Basquiat

    The word ‘poignant’ gets thrown around a lot, darling, but without getting my thesaurus out, I’m not sure another word fits here. You are wonderfully adept at capturing snapshots of true humanity, and I love it.

  9. I love this story, it makes me think how life is as precarious as a string! 😀

  10. a touching story.. very well written !

  11. She’ll come back even if she doesn’t recognize the “listener’s” voice because she’ll get tired of listening. I know “the type” well. You want to bring back a talker – just talk to her. Randy

  12. Oh what a beautiful piece, and touchingly sad too. We all worry that our voices won’t be recognized.
    this was so thought provoking.

  13. that’s the tough thing with family isn’t it?
    I do believe people in comas hear us. I would talk to my patients and I could sense them

  14. As a listener myself, I’d find it hard to be thrust into the role of speaker, especially if I weren’t confident my voice would matter. This story broke my heart.

  15. Ouch!
    Excellent, so much in so few words!

  16. I’m neither a talker nor a good listener, but I love the sound of a good voice when I hear one.

  17. Wow – amazing flash.

  18. Wow Jennifer, I am just blown away by the depth of this. I do hope it is not from a personal recollection. You make me feel your MC’s isolation.

  19. Pingback: Mercy | Things I See and Know

  20. Sad, but so well told. Two lives in 100 words.

  21. Yes, I didn’t expect the little nostalgia bit to turn in on itself and bite the self aware sister…Nice touch.

  22. Wow, that’s great writing, although it’s such a tragic scene you’ve painted.

  23. EmmaMc

    So beautiful and sad. Depth, layers, history and sentiment in 100 words. You know how to pack a punch!

  24. That one was great, sadness some lingering resentment… and the punchline. I love how you extended this outsid the prompt… 🙂

  25. petrujviljoen

    All that in a 100 words – well done!

  26. JackieP

    Now this is different! Really well written in so little words.

  27. Oh this is nice! It looks like an haiku in prose! Sad but very good!

  28. Sarah Ann

    I like the ambiguity in this. I’m not sure she wants her sister to wake up even if she could get through to her. As Rochelle said, there are many layers to this and lots for the reader to imagine about the relationship between these siblings.

  29. Lyn

    She sounds so unsure of herself…and her sister. This might be a good time for her to do some talking. It doesn’t matter what she says. Maybe she could make a tin can phone and talk about it. Putting it into her sister’s hand. You never know…
    Different and excellent direction with the prompt. So few words – so much said.

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