Friday Fiction – Broken Telegraph

A quick (but heartfelt) Welcome Back to Rochelle, and Thank You to Claire Fuller for hosting and photographing respectively.

This week’s gorgeous photo made me think of many things, including the wonderful poem Ozymandias, which I urge you to read if you haven’t before. In eschewing skin-disease and Neptune, I eventually settled on the wonders of myth and legend, but a few iterations later, this story is another step removed. If the last line doesn’t make sense for you, click on the link to read about the reference Mummy is making. As always, I welcome your comments.


Broken Telegraph

“Mike says Simon told Adam that Danny’s brother saw Luke climb the old oak tree and fight off an eagle to steal her egg, and then climb back down with it in his mouth, and now it’s going to hatch and he’s going to have a pet eagle. Like Harry Potter.”

The breathless report was delivered along with Matty’s backpack, all before he was through the school gate.

“Harry Potter had an owl,” I mused.

“Mummy! Luke’s a hero! And a thief! Aren’t you going to punish him?”

“Well, let’s find out what happened first. Three-and-fourpence won’t help the advance.”


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

26 responses to “Friday Fiction – Broken Telegraph

  1. You’ve got all this to come, Jen. Very convincing dialogue on both sides.

  2. I love the breathless story telling… so like a younger sibling! Nice job Jennifer.

  3. Like the dialogue. Got to be honest and say the last sentence totally threw me….but I think you suspected that might happen to some 🙂

    • Yeah, I did wonder about leaving it out, but I love sharing these little bits of history (apocryphal or not), so I’m glad to include the link instead.

  4. A lovely breathless child’s voice here. I didn’t know Mummy’s reference, so thanks for the link.

  5. Great dialogue and lovely outcome of Chinese whispers.

  6. Lovely reference to history and a great view through a child’s eyes.

  7. I love Ozymandias – and also your take on the prompt. You captured the breathless storytelling of childhood perfectly. Also had never heard that saying at the end, so I appreciated the link for a little self edification 🙂

  8. Jen, Good and humorous story. It’s so much like what kids might do and say. I looked up the reference and so understood it. Well written. 🙂 —Susan

  9. Dear Jen,

    Love the child’s tattling voice at the beginning. Having three boys of my own, I know the drill.
    Thank you for including the links. I’ve learned something and been entertained at the same time.



  10. Lyn

    I can just see Matty coming through the door and launching into his tale. LOL you have him written perfectly Jen 🙂 For some reason he reminds me of Charles Wallace, the little boy from Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time

  11. duskyisbeautiful

    You have written it so nicely I could actually feel that I was in the same room.

  12. Jen,
    Your contextual cues gave me a clear notion concerning what the end quote meant, but I also enjoyed the information in the link provided. Aren’t the etymologies of idioms fun?

    Great story too, by the way. I enjoyed the rambling report and the dual nature of the accusation.


    • Cheers Mg, yes, I love learning etymologies and brushing up my idioms. This one is definitely something I learnt as a kid, although not the full historyuntil I looked it up last week

  13. A hero and/or a their. Now what cha gonna do about it? Ha! With my poor hearing messages often get garbled on the way to my brain.

  14. It made me think of Ozymandias too, but I went with Neptune. I would never have come up with this.

  15. Dear Jen, I love your story! You are so right about messages getting distorted each time it is retold. Our family confirmed this once on vacation in Yellowstone National Park. With 2 families and 6 kids, we passed along: “George Washington wiggled his nose!” became “George Washington got a booger out of his nose.” Of course, the kids were being silly, but we have referred to this incident several times since then. Great job! Nan 🙂

  16. Chinese whispers, wonderfully done. You’ve really captured the voice of the little boys.

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