Friday Fiction – Looking up, looking down (again)

Well, Rochelle, you certainly know how to challenge us. This week’s photo from prodigal fictioneer Doug is stunning, but it really didn’t inspire the muse. Lots of thoughts went through my head about it – the boiling clouds, the black / white distinction (and various bad jokes about shades of grey), a great chasm between where one is and where one wants to be – but none of them led to a story.

Then, as so often happens when I’m stuck, an idea came to me while I was rocking Sebastian to sleep. And here it is. The only problem is, I’ve used this title before. Your critique and comments are always welcome, any suggestions for another title are also invited this week.


Looking up, looking down (again!)

“Reckon my Milly’s up there now with him, playin’ her harp to your Frank.” Walter smiled.

“Then she’s wasting her time. Frank’s deaf as a door!” Joan dabbed away the tears with a clean corner of his handkerchief. “But thank you.”

“Feel any better?”

“A little. It’s nice to think of him looking down on me.”

Walter paused, then went ahead and said it anyway. “Didn’t say nothing ‘bout lookin’. Heaven’s above the clouds, right?”

“I suppose…”

He put a hand on Joan’s knee. “Well, have you seen the weather? We could do anything we like and they’d never know.”


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

34 responses to “Friday Fiction – Looking up, looking down (again)

  1. Cute story. The line “Didn’t say nothing about looking down,” however, could be interpreted to mean Walter is suggesting that Frank did not ascend to heaven, but um… went in the other direction. The story would work without that line or with a little tweaking… “Who said they were looking on us?” I don’t know… just a thought. But to go back to the point – this is really sweet and funny! 🙂

    • Hmm… I thought the harp bit showed he thought they were talking about heaven, but I’ve made a couple of tweaks so hopefully there’s no doubt about it now. Thanks for your comment!

      • Mystikel

        I did get the same impression and was smiling about that when I read the last line which was even funnier. So then I thought he was saying Frank had gone n the other direction *and* was hitting on his wife, lol.

  2. Deliciously fresh he is. What an ingenious way to use cloud cover!

  3. I agree with waitingforaname about the looking down bit. Perhaps Frank could say something like…’Looking down? Um, heaven’s above the clouds right?’

    Good work.

  4. Christopher Shawbell

    Wonderful piece! I had a good laugh at the end. Very sweet…
    I think your use of the photo is absolutely brilliant. I’m getting more inspired with every one of these FF pieces I read. You are a talented group of writers.
    Thanks for commenting on my submission as well!


    • Welcome to the party, Christopher. I’m glad you enjoyed mine – and the host of other stories from FF too. And it’s only Wednesday, there’s so much more to come!

  5. You met the challenge, Jen. Complicated story, packed with good things and yet easy to follow. Good stuff!

  6. Dear Jen,

    Still love the title even if it is recycled. 😉 I got the harp reference and the comment that Frank was deaf as a door. the end had me laughing out loud.
    Fro someone who was uninspired you certainly wrote a gem and on Wednesday at that.



    • Thanks, Rochelle. I was quite pleased with it in the end, but you and Doug had me going there. If it’s not done by the end of Wednesday, I rarely have time to catch up.

  7. HA! I think Walter is doubly right if Millie is playing the harp for Frank… they’re probably a little busy up there in heaven, too. 😉

  8. Ha… that is wonderful. Ingenious take on the prompt.. 🙂

  9. Lyn

    You’ve done a good job with the prompt Ms Elmo.

  10. I agreed with your comment about the photo; lovely as it was, it didn’t channel me anywhere for a couple of hours. I read this yesterday, and was puzzled, so having read it again today I think you’ve nailed it with the removal of that second ‘down’. They sound like a couple about to get up to some mischief…and rightly so! Well done, and well modified.

  11. cunning.. cleverly done 🙂

  12. Starts out sweet and ends up spicy. Very funny!

  13. ha makes you wonder when the spice began

  14. Hiya, just wanted to say I loved your piece, maybe it’s me but I could hear an irish accent. My parents are Irish so I may just be remebering, lol

  15. pattisj

    Now there’s a pick-up line I’ve never heard!

  16. Heart-warming flash with a great ending.

  17. That Walter has a way with words 🙂 At their age time is of the essence.

  18. Last line perfection!

  19. Man logic never changes no matter how old they get. Funny flash, lady.

  20. Walter’s not hanging about, is he! I’m pretty sure Joan knows her own mind by now, though, and can take whichever path she chooses. And since Walter is also my husband’s name, I can’t think too badly of your character! 😉 I enjoyed your story. 🙂

  21. Ahaha! Took me totally by surprise! 😀

  22. Once a player, always a player. Walter still has the moves. I enjoyed this a lot.

  23. The proverbial ‘life goes on’ despite it all. Wonderful, sentimental, and a little spicy all at once.

  24. Dear Jennifer,

    Walter is a dog (and you thought him up beautifully.) What a wonderful, happily insane piece of writing. This was inspired work. I do have to wonder what Joan’s response will be.



    • Doug,
      Walter wants me to tell you he is “all man” 😉 I’m glad you liked him; I was tempted to go back to an old habit of mine and name the main character after the person who provided the photo…
      Great photo, by the way!

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