Friday Fiction – Islandspeak

I hope you will forgive me a longer introduction today. If you want to skip straight to the story, it’s below the picture (this week’s FF prompt, from longtime Fictioneer Ted Strutz). Enjoy, and please do leave your thoughts if you have time.

Now, an interlude. This is my 101st story for the Friday Fictioneers. Over the last couple of years I hope I’ve made you think, and feel, and occasionally laugh. In spite of my reputation for darkness, very few people have died (well, unless you count the nuclear bomb) and there’s even been a birth. There have been familiesarguments, love stories and divorces and – OK – a good helping of grief.

As there are now 100 stories in my portfolio, I thought it would be fun to make a 100-word story out of their last words. So I’ve punctuated it, but not changed any of the words or word order. It doesn’t have much structure, but perhaps it’s like modern art, and there are things to see within the apparent mess!

Bet grave happy roaches progress up, dear. Litter buy shop, present her me. Soar, winter, know all flashlight dreams, all albatross music. Ridiculous it. It? Course father railing beautiful rosebush, Ryder had angry drunk. All shell engine dreams themselves, returns dust, waits. Victim boys, cold sunshine off world. Ted fall door start. Think Texans it microwave step me now, watermill entry silhouettes judgemental. Ago off back ever swoops horizon bush stream. More France again, that else daughter walls despair. Enough forgotten darkness, it away dreams. Will bone gone mushroom winter. Boulder promised second trees. Tail last success. Rebellion, sleep named.



Back home, we’d call this weather mild, but I’ve been away long enough to class it as pissing cold, and the empty ferry suggests any would-be tourists agree. The Exit sign blinks, but no emergency on board could make me jump. The locals would call the water cool and choppy. Icy waves splash at the window and wash the decks outside.

It’s my upbringing that helped me survive the crash. As soon as the pilot said “slight technical hitch”, I looked for a parachute and a way out. But Gracie always bought into Islandspeak.

She’d have called this feeling “sadness”.


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

27 responses to “Friday Fiction – Islandspeak

  1. kz

    a very moving story about loss… congratulations on your 101st FF post and i love your idea of making a story out of the last words! 🙂

  2. I liked this story of loss and love. But now Sadness has to be the last word of your modern art word mashup. Which was fascinating but I was compelled to rearrange the words like a cryptex. I bet a million stories could be born within its walls.

    • First word, actually, as the words are in reverse order, but I think the next 100 stories would be a brand new story, so we’re OK. And yes, I thought about rearranging the words too, just ran out of time.

  3. What a clever idea… 100 100Word Stories… I’ve read almost every one and liked them all. Congratulations, Jen.

    I liked this story, too.

  4. Loved the stories…both of them!

  5. Enjoyed the Picture prompt story. Even more so, I enjoyed the random word story! It may be the poet in me, but it made sense to me. A sad tale, mostly.

  6. Dear Jennifer,

    this computer will not process my pressing of the ‘like’ button, but i did. All of it. Favorite sentence was ‘All shell engine dreams themselves, returns dust, waits.’ There is a magic to words, especially yours, so that they speak to us even without rational thought devoted to the process. This was a fgreat idea, well executed. Your standard story was somber and sad, but true to life. I love you…and your writing.



  7. Enjoyed both stories, something poetic about the first one. And I admire your persistence in putting that one together. I struggled slightly with the second one at first, not realising who Gracie was. After a couple of re-reads I guess she was on the plane with the narrator. Once I got that, I realised what a clever story it was. Well done.

  8. That is just so, so innovative. Amazing, well done.

  9. Dear Jennifer,

    I’m not too far behind you. I think I’m still in the 80’s unless you count the one in Madison’s 1 x 50×100 anthology.

    A sad story from which I felt the waves crashing and the chill. Nice one as always.



  10. Another quality offering Elmo, congratulations on passing 100 stories, that deserves respect. 🙂

  11. AnElephant takes 3 readings to understand that it is all about understatement.
    He is slow, this is brilliant!

  12. So moving! Very well written 🙂

  13. It took me a couple readings to get the meaning, but it was beautifully crafted as usually. You use subtle touches with such precision.

    By the way, congratulations on 101 stories. I had no idea that Friday Fictioneers had been going over a full year when I started (or has it been even longer?). You must have been one of the original members.

  14. It was incredibly fun to see what your 100 posts provided for an interlude… reading it, I kept wanting to find more rhyme and reason, but also loved the strange flow it naturally had. The other story is beautiful. A poignant story of loss and survival… very moving.

  15. I loved the long intro (as I am guilty of that almost every week) and the stories. I’ve not kept track of my FF posts, but I’m probably near the same number. This exercise really does help tighten one’s writing.

    • Your long intros are usually just as entertaining as your stories, Russell. Long may they continue! I think we started about the same time, yeah. I think I’ve definitely learned a lot from it in 100 goes!

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