Friday Fiction – Ted

Another guest, so another quick post for FF. This week’s picture comes from Cabin Fever and you can see more responses to it at Rochelle’s homepage for the group.

Under my 100 word story is the longer version I wrote first. I sort of prefer it, but a word limit is a word limit! As ever, feedback is welcome and feel free to just read the short version if you prefer.

copyright-managua-gunn

Ted

He came to the Palace every day, to marvel at the guards in their resplendent uniforms and to watch the ships coming in. He didn’t know what resplendent meant, but his Grandfather had used it, back in the days when the old man hobbled beside him, and the word was his only legacy.

The ships carried every sort of cargo, but the trawlers were Ted’s favourite. Piles of fish cast, stinking, onto the jetty.

It was beside a pile of fish that Ted waited every morning for his Father’s ship: last seen heading East in search of the golden albatross.

***

Swan Song

He came to the Palace every day, to marvel at the guards in their resplendent uniforms and to watch the ships coming in. He didn’t know what resplendent meant, but his Grandfather had used it, back in the days when the old man hobbled beside him, and the word was his only legacy.

The ships carried every sort of cargo, but the trawlers were Ted’s favourite. Piles of fish cast, stinking, onto the jetty. Sometimes one or two were still alive, flicking bright scales across the concrete in a swan song of beauty.

It was beside a pile of fish that Ted waited every morning for his Father’s ship: last seen heading East in search of the golden albatross.

And it was beside a pile of fish that the guards found the man they recognised as their daily visitor. Some had said he was a ghost even before that – even the oldest couldn’t remember a time before his visits began – but the old man’s body was real enough. None had seen him arrive that day, but many people had heard him singing, the same ancient sea shanty he sang every day, something to do with a golden bird.

 

 

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35 Comments

Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

35 responses to “Friday Fiction – Ted

  1. Yes, lovely story, the first has charm in the sparsity of information also.

  2. I have always marveled at your word prowess, Jennifer, and now see that you also excel at creating titles. Well done today… I would say one of your best. All Friday Fictioneers should follow your example.

    I liked looking again at the photo after reading, to see what elements you took for your story. I enjoyed seeing how by adding another paragraph to the first story changes it into a different story. There is a lot packed into that little paragraph.

    Tell your guest I said hello…

  3. I like how you have created a special atmosphere Well-done!

  4. This is a good story. It’s rich with lovely detail. I like that resplendent was his grandfather’s legacy to him. Very nice idea!

    • Thanks – it grew slightly strangely, this one, but it seems to have worked. Resplendent is a great word, but just didn’t seem right for the character, so I had to back track!

      • Aha! I know what you mean about backtracking. Several times I”ve written an entire story around a word prompt and found that I’ve completely left out the word! I have to backtrack but they usually turn out to work pretty well. Maybe there’s some sort of hidden “backtracking” technique we’ve stumbled upon.

  5. The two stories have a very different feel to them because of the last paragraph, but the first can stand on its own as well. I like the idea of the word being his legacy. I think words are often a legacy, for better or for worse, albeit an often unintended legacy.

    janet

  6. I LOVE that line, ” … and the word was his only legacy.” Well integrated into a taught and meaningful story. This has everything in it and then some. I’m with Janet on this — the first one stands on its own. I DO like Swan Song, but, yeah. The first one. Swell work this week, Jenn!

  7. The first one carries an instant punch–the second one could easily lead into a longer piece.

  8. I really like both pieces and where you cut it it really turns to a completely diiferent story by the end.. very good.

  9. Lyn

    I loved both offerings. The Friday Fiction version told the story fully in its 100 words, but the second one, changed the feel and added a new dimension. So good…as always 🙂

  10. Well done. I have to admit, I like the longer version better.

  11. Both pieces very well written. I’m with Jan, I liked the longer one a little better. Beautifully done, Jen.

  12. You know, I actually felt the additional paragraph was superfluous — I enjoyed the 100 word version best. I love the set up of the boy as simple and perhaps a bit naive with the line about not knowing what resplendent means.
    Well done, darling.

  13. It’s lovely and lyric and sounds as if you need to expand it into a longer short story. I loved it.

  14. I like the word resplendent too – the characters and descriptions in your flash are well rounded and vividly written.

  15. Dear Jennifer,

    Resplendent work, considering your guests and Sebastian and his father and the weeds. You were very kind to me in your comments today and I thank you. I felt bad for the fish. They can’t help being stinky.

    Aloha,

    Doug

  16. Gee, I hate to think what word might be my legacy. Guess I’d better watch my tongue. The fish don’t smell bad to each other, some may even find it attractive.

  17. I really liked the line about resplendent being his grandfather’s legacy. In the longer version, the image of the fish sclaes shing in their swan song was powerful. Great pieces, both of them!

  18. the additional para seemed to change the story 🙂 i enjoyed both

  19. Liked both of these. Like the fish and their ‘…swan song of beauty’ in the second version, but prefer the first one for its vague notion of hope. The last paragraph of version 2 is beautiful, but so sad.

  20. Dee

    Great stories, but I preferred the shorter one. Both well written, as ususal.
    Dee

  21. “Resplendent” fits this guard very well. I liked both versions of the story, although I’m glad you included the second one for more background.

  22. Jennifer I like both. i understand your feeling of trying to conform to the 100 word limit. I think each of us could take another 20% and craft an entirely different tale.

  23. Hi Jen,

    The first is by far the better story. More mysterious and poetic. Thanks for the welcome back. I’ve missed you.

    Aloha,

    Doug

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