Friday Fiction – Legacy

This week Friday Fiction gives us the Want no evil, Think no evil, Feel no evil picture below from Sean Fallon. There are so many things I wanted to do with it, but time and rules permit only one story, and the one below is what I chose. Even then, this is a scene I can see so much more of in my mind and wonder how well I’ve captured in 100 words. I hope you enjoy it. If you have time, please let me know what you think – good and bad – in the comments section.

Other stories based on the prompt can be found on Rochelle’s site. After you’ve read the story, if you’d like a brief musical interlude, click here, or here. Both are relevant.

**UPDATE: Based on the comments posted today, I’ve made a few edits (two, really, and then a few other tweaks to keep the word count). Hopefully this version is a little more clear.

sean-fallon

Legacy

“Deuce is wild,” said Tommy, cutting the deck. “I wanna legacy, like them novels Ron, here, wrote.”

The four men sorted their cards.

“Donate your body to science,” said Ian. “That’s my plan.”

“Don’t think they’ll want mine.” Geoff rubbed arthritic knuckles and glared at the mixed bag of nothing in his hand. “I figure my legacy’s all the scribbling on walls I did during ‘Nam. Peace graffiti never gets cleaned off, right?”

“I’d forgot you’re a Peacenik,” Tommy spat.

“That’s your legacy then: death and destruction. That and your bui doi.” Geoff dropped a fifty on the table. “Bet.”

 

35 Comments

Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

35 responses to “Friday Fiction – Legacy

  1. Before I get into comments, Jen, I think when you put in the link in the story, the highlighting went off most of it as it doesn’t connect or have a whole URL. I’m headed off to look up the phrase, then comment on the story.

    janet

  2. Jen, I thought the dialogue worked very well, very realistically. Thanks for introducing me to a new term and you also managed to get into a topic worth thinking about. Do Ron and his novels have anything to do with this? I tried looking up various topics to see if I could find “Ron” and “Legacy” connected somewhere, but perhaps they’re just part of the realism. I always assume I’m missing something thought, so set my mind at ease, please.

    janet

  3. I liked this – so many layers to it, and the conversation was spot on. I was just a little confused before reading your explanation to Janet – I wasn’t sure that Ron was in the game, because he didn’t actually speak. But still works.

  4. Good piece Jennifer, as Claire says, so many layers to it. You were really inspired by this prompt. Well done.

  5. You have such a great turn of phrase in all your writing! I loved “mixed bag of nothing”.
    I also liked that although these two guys seem to have such different views, here they are playing cards. I see in my mind’s eye two grumpy old men, sitting at their usual table, sniping at each other as they play, all day every day.

  6. The dialogue really hits the mark!

  7. Dear Jen,

    This story made me dig a little bit but it was well worth the excavation. The title is perfect and the last line subtly packs a punch. (Of course I had to look up bui doi….thanks for the link.) I read it twice, once before the songs and once after.
    Well done.

    shalom,

    Rochelle

  8. “glared at the mixed bag of nothing in his hand” Loved that phrase. These two are quite interesting. I like that they are polar opposites. What a wonderful little story.

  9. I felt as though I were in the game, although some of the dialogue floated above my head. Not necessarily your doing. Could be I need to branch out a little more…culturally and guy-wise.

  10. you’re very, very, very clever.

  11. Each week I look forward to your fantastic dialogue, word-craft and story telling. This is just wonderful. Bravo!

  12. Jennifer, this was a really excellent story. Very good dialogue, very realistic. Realistic characters, too, with widely varying experiences and views. Perfect for an interesting poker game–or an interesting story! Poor Tommy thinks “peacenik” is a slam, but Geoff reminds him he is just someone that treated another country’s people (and one person in particular) as “less than dust.” Glad you included the link to the term–it was worthwhile to learn the history of its use.

    • Thank you Jan. The Wikipedia article taught me more than I knew about the phrase too.
      The version of this story in my head is one of my favourites of all the ones I’ve written, so I decided to break my usual habit and go back to polish it up. I’m glad you liked it.

  13. I like the way the real conversation is going on underneath the superficial veneer of playing cards. Everyone wants to leave a legacy behind, although none of us will ever know what it is.

  14. This is an intelligent story that took a bit of pleasant unpacking for me but was worth it for all the layers I found. It’s great, Jennifer.

  15. Very well written piece, Jen. I could just see these guys sitting around the table having this conversation. I do know some vets though who would not sit with a Peacenik. I think saying “death and destruction” was his legacy was a little harsh. If the topic doesn’t change, a fist fight wil break out soon.

    • Thanks for this, Russell. For the record, I think both characters are exaggerating their standpoints to get a rise out of the other; probably all just tactics in the card game!

  16. Jen, I was re-reading this and realized I forgot to mention something the first time. (I enjoyed it even more this time around.) I think the opening would correctly be “Deuces wild” as all the deuces would be wild, not just one.

    janet

    • Wow, Janet, I had never thought of it like that. I’ve been playing cards since I was a wee nip and I always thought we were saying “Ace is high” and “Two’s wild”, but I think you’re right. “Aces high” and “Twos wild” (or in this case, Deuces) makes much much sense.
      Thank you for correcting an old hand!

  17. Wonderful flow with the snappy dialog. It hit home too. Great story.

  18. Your take on this prompt focusing on the graffiti rather than the statue lifted it way out of the expected. And you managed to deal with a truly important topic without missing a beat. That’s a lot to do in 100 words.

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