Friday Fiction – Looking up, looking down

After reading Rochelle’s great looking back post on Monday, I had a new burst of excitement about thinking outside the box for this week’s FF prompt. It comes courtesy of David Stewart. You can decide whether I succeeded or whether I’ve just been watching too much of the BBC’s adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s The White Queen. I’d love to hear your feedback.

And if you like this view of the world, you might also enjoy an old IM piece it put me in mind of:


Looking up, Looking down (Genre: Historical Fiction)

“When I am a man, I shall be a blacksmith,” the boy announced, gazing out of the carriage window.

“When you are a man, Edward, you will be King.”

“And cannot a King do whatever he wishes, Mother?”

The Queen sighed and pulled the drapes across. “A King must do as his duty obliges.”

* * *

“Look at the pretty carriage, Father. May I ride in a carriage one day?”

His father paused, hammer aloft. “That’s no place for us, Ned. You’ll be a blacksmith like me and Grandpa.”

Ned picked up the tongs and smiled at his dreams.


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

35 responses to “Friday Fiction – Looking up, looking down

  1. I think Edward and Ned should meet one day and trade places. That’s if it’s ever possible.

  2. A “grass is always greener” tale showing the privileged are, many times, more restricted the less fortunate. Good story.

  3. The prince and the pauper—who each want to be each other. Nicely done!

  4. paulmclem

    Creative take on the prompt..which is good!

  5. Now I wish to know more about the White Queen you speak of. That is the thing about being from two differnt continents. Much of what I love on television is not offered in your country. I like this as it was a great study in the difference in class in a royal society.

  6. Wonderful. And the dialogue sounded authentic. A great 100-word story! 😀

  7. Wheels within wheels, Jen. You did a deft characterization of a few of the differences, good or bad, depending on your point of view, between kings and commoners.


    • Thanks, Janet. I certainly think our birth deals us a hand – like it or not. Life’s not likely to be easy for either of the boys, though their challenges will be very different.

  8. Makes me think of that story…if two enemies of the battlefield met one day in a bar, without their uniforms: what would that conversation be like?
    How similar we all are until the barriers of society separate us.

  9. We all want what we can’t have….

    If we got what we wanted, would we finally be happy? Or in the end, still disappointed?

  10. Enjoyed the ‘language’ of this contrasting piece. Very fitting.

  11. Dear Jen,

    My mouth almost hurts from smiling. Besides being a well told story, you did a marvelous job of using the prompt as more of an inspiration than an illustration. “Looking up, Looking down” perfect! My bus driver’s cap is off to you and I bow low in homage. Thank you.



  12. Neat parallel between the two boys… well, maybe not parallel, but flip. I liked the balance and story.

  13. Helena Hann-Basquiat

    Wow, what a powerful contrast! And a wonderful illustration of how even the highest is bound by the same duty as the lowest. Reminded me of the line from Hamlet about how a king may go a progress through the guts of a beggar. Duty, it seems, is as great an equalizer as death.

  14. Pingback: Jacob’s Ladder – Friday Fictioneers | Being the Memoirs of Helena Hann-Basquiat, Dilettante.

  15. Great theme — all that glitters isn’t gold, is it? Reminds me of the Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Christmas special when one of Santa’s elves, Hermy, says, “I don’t like to make toys. I want to be … a DENTIST!”

    Great food for thought here. Nailed it!

  16. A wonderful tale, very well told, and it brought to mind “The Man In The Corner Shop” by The Jam as well. You might enjoy it.

  17. Oh my, that was a most amazing leap from the prompt. Very bittersweet and well told.

  18. out of the box it certainly was ! looking up .. down.. fits perfectly with the prompt and the story… nice story…

  19. Sarah Ann

    Lovely summation of the juxtaposition of the Edwards’ lives.

  20. Dear Jennifer,

    Looking up, Looking down is hands down one of the top ten best stories I’ve read on FF since its inception. Not sure what else to say that hasn’t already been said but I want you to know you should mark this one down as a top notch piece of writing.



  21. Great piece. Life was a lot more fixed back then, although even today, most people grow where they’re planted. Incidentally, my wife is really into the White Queen too, being a huge Philippa Gregory fan.

  22. Pingback: Friday Fiction – Looking up, looking down (again) | elmowrites

  23. Pingback: Friday Fiction – Delays | elmowrites

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