Even those who buy into the “inspiration not illustration” theory might struggle a bit to work out how this story fits this week’s prompt. I had a few ideas which came to naught, then settled on this title before writing a piece which I don’t think fits the title all that well! Nevertheless, thanks to Rochelle for all her hard work guiding this merry band and to Roger Bultot [sorry, not sure of his website. If someone lets me know or if I find it, I’ll add the link] for providing the photo.
For those who missed it, I posted a pledge regarding constructive criticism on Monday. You can read that pledge by clicking on the scalpel picture in the right sidebar, and add the picture to your site if you enjoy receiving concrit on your own stories.
Crushed (Genre: Romance – this is getting to be a habit!)
I waited for him to take it back. He couldn’t mean it; we’d been through so much together. His blue eyes stared into mine, pleading for an answer. He wanted me to tell him I understood, maybe even that I’d been thinking the same thing.
“Amy. Say something.”
I knew it was wrong to be angry. When a boy says he loves you, you should be flattered, happy … anything but angry.
But I trusted him. We were friends. We’d already been through so much as friends, how could we change that now?
I couldn’t speak. Then he kissed me.
40 responses to “Friday Fiction – Crushed”
I loved the story!
You wrote in the preamble that you were having trouble getting the story to fit the title. I’m thinking that the girl is crushed (for whatever reason) that the friendship, which she treasures, could be changed or even ruined by starting a less platonic relationship. How dare he suggest that!
As for the photo, I guess she also doesn’t want to ruin the friendship by knocking him back, but in that case I’m thinking that the relationship is going to end in a (figurative) car crash.
My over-analysis aside, I really did love the story 🙂
Oh yes, that’s right. Exactly what you said. 😉
Well written words but I’m concerned with the preamble. Firstly, I probably wouldn’t share doubts with the readers – let them make up their mind if the title doesn’t work. Secondly, if you really don’t think the title works then you should have thought of another one. For me the title is key, especially in such a short form.
You did say you were open to a critique so there you have one. No offence intended 🙂
And none taken, Paul. I take your point about sharing doubts. It was intended as more of an explanation, but rereading, probably is more of a doubt-sharing. Too right about the importance of the title. When I have a few minutes this afternoon, I shall endeavor to fix it all!
Interestingly there is a fair bit of critiquing going on today. Much more fun as surely none of us are afraid of a bit of help or advice. Plus we all enjoy talking about writing so what’s not to like 🙂
I love your take. It fits in with the picture perfectly. I see these prompts as a way to stimulate one’s creativity. And that has certainly happened judging from your story! 😀
I appreciate the breadth of your writing – the way you can embrace all genres including romance. I simply can’t touch it, but you’ve done this to perfection. I got a real sense of that changing point in a relationship, where the tomboy suddenly begins to morph into a young woman. Sensitively done. I think ‘crushed’ is a great word, such a gentle sentiment and see nothing wrong with the title at all.
Thanks Sandra. I did consider embracing a scifi type genre but that seemed like a step too far! And thank you for your support of the title. I wasn’t sure it was clear enough that she is crushed – I wondered if the ending could possibly be read the other way.
I think there’s a lot going on behind the scenes in this story that my mind fills in — and the ‘crushed’ metaphor does work. She’s crushed by his crossing the line of their friendship — in effect, by his ‘crush’ on her. His kiss is like the tree falling on the car. If we are critiquing, I question the inclusion of the colour of his eyes — this seems like a detail that she never would have even noticed before if they were just friends — perhaps it should be said he was staring into HER eyes (and never mind the colour). But this is just me re-writing the story, which is a horrible habit I have and now I’m rambling.
I enjoyed it, and was challenged by how far removed from the literal inspiration it was.
You have a point re the eye colour. It was one of those things that just kind of fell in there, but I think you’re right that she wouldn’t notice. Unless, of course, it’s all a big cover up and she DOES feel that way about him but just hasn’t admitted it to herself yet, in which case it’s a genius little clue (I’ve only just thought of this excuse right this second, but i’m going to stick to it now!!!)
I was going to actually go with that genius excuse as well, so it’s not that far fetched.
I agree with the excellent use of metaphor to create the story. For me this gives us so much more to ponder when we read your work. We want to know more, you have piqued my attention. Well done Jen.
I agree with the above, the little bit of expo at the start helps to build the interest in reading more. It did for me anyway 🙂
I like the idea that a picture can purely be inspiration, but it doesn’t need to specifically BE in the story or that the story IS what shows in the image. So with that said, the idea of the car representing her and the tree his feelings? She doesn’t want to be crushed by his love…or maybe it’s switched and he is going to be crushed by her rejection.
I think the title works fabulously. FYI
Oh, and I didn’t see a scalpel picture…just a Friday Fictioneers Pledge. Is that what you were referring to?
The Pledge should have a picture of a scalpel below it, Carrie. It works for me, but I never know what others see on the page! Thank you for you kind words – you’ve summarized where I was going with the title, so I’m glad some think it works well.
I disagree with your prologue, at least in part. I think “Crushed” is a great title, given that your male protagonist has a crush on the female, and she is crushed that he would want to change their seemingly lovely friendship.
If a prologue is necessary, I think it would be only to explain that the photo inspired your thinking about the concept of crushing and being crushed.
We all too often take these photo prompts literally rather than conceptually. I applaud you for taking it to the next level.
An honest narration of an awkward moment – and ‘crushed’ sums it up for both characters and connects your flash to your reaction from the photo.
Crushed fits from either character’s perspective. At the end of the first paragraph I was thinking divorce then you went and threw a monkey wrench into that thought. This story just confirms that men will never understand the irrationalities of women.
I’m afraid that’s true, Adam. She might grow to appreciate his love, but then again she might not. Must girls want their husband to be their best friend, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they want their best friend to be their husband!!!
Just a couple of nights ago, we watched When Harry Met Sally for the first time in a long time, so your theme of friendship growing into love fit into the week’s theme. You’re a strong romance writer. Ron
I saw that for the first time recently too, Ron! Glad you liked this piece. I love how many guys enjoy the romance I write: “chicklit” may be a misnomer???
I don’t see the prompt, but I don’t care. The tenuous link with crushed will do. I can’t do 70+ deep and meaningful concrits either and to be honest I don’t really feel qualified to do that with most of the fictioneers anyway, but sometimes even something a little bland but friendly lets me know they took the trouble to read it, and for that I am grateful. 🙂
I certainly don’t mean to be ungrateful for the fact people take the time to read (and say something nice), jwd. Thanks for stopping by, and for not caring about the relevance to the prompt!
This sounds like some of my early relationships. Why is it when you find a hot girl that you’re really crazy about she wants to be “just friends?”
I wish I had a suggestion to improve your story, but it reads pretty solid to me.
🙂 Thanks, Russell
You do the romance thing well…:-)
You just captured what my 16 year old son is experiencing. A girl, who is his friend, isn’t sure if she wants more, but seems angry at him for her confusion. Sigh. It’s a tough age and this is an age-old dilemma. I enjoyed your story and felt it could continue. That’s always a good sign for me as a reader.
Poor kid. I hope things work out for them both. It’s an age-old dilemma indeed; I was tempted to take the name out so that there could be an additional dimension of the narrator possibly being a guy, but decided it didn’t need that.
First, so you don’t feel the need to keep searching, Roger doesn’t have a website for his photos. For him it’s enough to be mentioned. He’s a friend of my friend Jean Hays whose photo I used some months back.
As for your story. Besides being a great example of using the prompt as a jumping off, this story struck a personal chord with me. In high school, my best friend and confidante was a handsome boy. As for eye color…I contest…I love the blue eyes. My friend had dark brown eyes with unfair (for a guy) eyelashes. I’ve often wondered what would’ve happened if that friendship had blossomed into romance. I think at the onset I’d have felt very much like your MC.
Well done. Keep this up, you’ll become known as a romance writer.
Thanks for explaining about the photo, Rochelle. I always like to give the pingback, so it’s good to know I haven’t missed someone.
It’s a tough dilemma on both sides – to admit those feelings or to be on the receiving end – even if ultimately it might be a good change for them both.
This is one I wish I’ thought of and had the skill to pull off. What a great story. Color me green.
Such a compliment, Doug. And as for green, I take it that’s your eyes 😉
awww but it this so real!! (been there.lol) well done on the romance, the emotions and reactions are very realistic. great story
I delved into the story before the preamble and was lost. After reading the preamble, however, i liked it more. Guess we are just creatures of habits… Thanks for jarring us outta the box…:)
out of the box is my latest ambition, Charles. I thought this might have gone a bit far outside it, but it seems people are happy, so yey!
Oh my god! A pun on the prompt! and a romance on top! I was surprised…
I don’t know a girl who doesn’t notice a guy’s eye color. Nice story, Jen.
I think your title perfectly fits your story. Your words depicted her shock and despair really well. I’d love to have a part two to find out if that kiss won her round (as I expect from the tone of the story) or sent her running to the hills.
So did the kiss seal the deal?