Friday Fiction – Louisa

This week’s FF prompt has the slightly unusual description, of being from “Indira by way of Scott Vanatter“. I’ve no idea what that means, but thanks to both of them – and to the driver of our bus, Rochelle – for setting me going on this particular story. I hope you’ll see where the first line came from … I thought it was kind of cute when I spotted it.



My grandmother, never prone to tact, once described Louisa as having “a face like the back of a bus.” But I loved her.

I was seven when I first saw her, intoxicated by the promise of long weeks idle. Louisa became the herald of summer; her annual visits anticipated just as eagerly. September, at thirteen, I found some words to say and she, fifteen and all grown up, responded with a smile, then went away.

The back of a bus, only seen as it leaves you standing, unsure, at the side of the road. Perhaps Granny was right after all.


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

40 responses to “Friday Fiction – Louisa

  1. Helena Hann-Basquiat

    Summer friendships, or cousins you only see once a year or less, were very much a part of my growing up — I feel like you’ve captured a part of my childhood here. Thank you for this lovely story.

  2. I was thinking about joining the Friday Fictioneers, but I don’t know exactly how it works. Could you explain it to me. It would mean a lot

    • Go to and read the “rules” (basically 100 words prompted by the picture). Scroll down Rochelle’s page until you see “Get Inlinkz code.” Click on that. Copy the link code into the bottom of your post while on “text” rather than visual.

      Publish your post, then go back to Rochelle’s page and click on the little blue link guy above where you got the Inlinkz code. Follow the directions to put your link in. Then read as many of the other stories as you like/can by clicking on the links on the link page

      Hope that makes sense. If not, leave a comment for Rochelle and she’ll help you more.


  3. HIya, Jenn! Super story once again. The metaphor of her as “the herald of summer” really hits home. … TOPS! And the back of a bus was great, too, because you went further with it.
    Always a pleasure to read your stuff, keep going!

  4. I love the philosophical feel this has. An older person looking back, seeing more than she first did.

  5. Beautiful, told with sweetness and accuracy, it could be an excerpt from a summer book!

  6. A piece that brings back a lot of childhood memories – simple and succinct. Well done.

  7. I like the remembrance here, of looking back on Louisa… she had quite an impact on the narrator for him or her to have the memories of her.

  8. they think they are grown up (so early)
    a realistic piece about family dynamics

  9. Lol, Indira allowed me to use her picture I saw on her blog.
    Good take on the story. I have had friends along the way that others didn’t care for or appreciate.

  10. loved the way you used the prompt 🙂

  11. Those first words are always way too difficult to say and I can appreciate how how feels at such a gentle let-down. I enjoyed this story a great deal.

  12. I don’t much like granny. Without friends or family to tell them what is good and bad, pretty or ugly kids form their own judgements that can be based on wholly other criteria. Louisa is “the herald of summer” and it doesn’t matter a damn what she looks like. Good story!

  13. Beautiful – both in the writing and in the response to the prompt.

  14. That first crush is one that will haunt your thoughts and dreams until eternity. Thinking something will happen to rival the movies promises eternal hope. So good Jennifer.

  15. Sweet story but full of feeling and feelings.

  16. My husband’s grandmother, also never prone to tact, would say something just like this. I can picture the scene. Louisa, smacking her gum with attitude, looking over her shoulder, leaving little thirteen in the dust. Just like Rizzo (Stockard Channing) in Grease. Awesome!

  17. Very bittersweet. Nicely done. Hey, I couldn’t find the link. Here’s my entry–

  18. “Never prone to tact” describes my mother to a T. Out here we say, “She had the face like the south end of a donkey headed north.

  19. Dear Jenn,

    Nice that the protagonist could look beyond Louisa’s face. Touching.



  20. Sarah Ann

    Very touching and you’re really captured nervous youth – ‘ … at thirteen, I found some words to say..’

  21. Pingback: First Cousin Twice Removed | The Call of the Pen

  22. That’s a great comparison, to the back of a bus. I think all teenagers know that feeling, of a friend going off and leaving them, just a bus driving off.

  23. I love how you wove in that Louisa, with her promising role as the herald of summer, never actually noticed the protagonist enough. Says so much about those unequal childish cousin interactions. Great story.

  24. Dear Jennifer,

    A touching and well written story. Summer lends itself to fleeting relationships and growing pains, both of which you captured perfectly.



  25. Nice mood to this story. Well done!

Feedback feeds the muse. Join in the conversation here:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s