Friday Fiction – Extraordinary

When I first glanced at this week’s photo, it looked like a fairly normal photo – it wasn’t until I looked on a bigger screen that I saw the roiling clouds. I’m sure this week we’ll get a few boiling skies and alien / Armageddon scenarios, but my story goes more with my original impression.  As usual, your feedback is welcome.

Photo credit goes to Kelly Sands, the words are mine, all other credit belongs to Rochelle!



That night, Libby watched Footloose with her sisters. While they mocked the Eighties hairstyles and fashions, she absorbed the lessons of the story itself. Freedom, independence, strength.

At school, she tried to carry her hips with a bit of a sway, like Ariel. The feeling lasted until she reached the classroom.

“Sit down, Elizabeth,” shot Mr Caber. “You’re not on the catwalk now.”

“Meow,” Iain’s voice snarled behind her. It crowded over her like a stormcloud, building into something dark and powerful. Libby thought about how one boy can change everything. She wished he was changing it for the better.


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

37 responses to “Friday Fiction – Extraordinary

  1. Jennifer,
    Great take on the prompt. I love the way the teacher steps in–for better or worse.

    Personally, I think you could lose the last sentence and actually strengthen the story. It seems a bit like spoon feeding the reader to me. JMHO, of course.

    The idea of a batch of kids in the suburbs watching old movies and simultaneously mocking them while learning from them is great. Nicely handled.


  2. Elmo, do you think that a colon would also work (perhaps be better) than the full stop before the last sentence of paragraph one? To me the ‘Freedom, independence…’ bit is an explanation of what went before i.e the lessons of the story. The full stop seems too much of a pause.

    I haven’t actually seen Flashdance, so I wasn’t sure who Aerial was, but there was enough there to take a guess.

    Good Work…PaulC.

  3. Helena Hann-Basquiat

    aaaaaaaaand now I have Kenny Loggins stuck in my head. And I want to play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon…. mmmmm. bacon.
    The ending is, for me, a bit wishy-washy, I have to say — is Libby referring to Iain? Is this perhaps her pining after him — that he (one boy) could change everything for her — for the better? Or is she wishing he had stood up for her rather than join in mocking her? Just my initial thoughts, darling, don’t read too much into them. I believe I could read your grocery list and find myself intrigued.

    • I would apologise for the earworm (etc), but I think you secretly like it! As for Iain, in my head he’s been bullying her ever since ever. She watches the movie and thinks she’s going to stand up for herself and change the world, but then the fantasy comes crashing down when school, Mr C and Iain are all exactly the same as before. But clearly I need to try harder. Again.

      • Helena Hann-Basquiat

        I don’t think it has anything to do with your ability as a writer I think that you have a tendency to choose the big themes. I’m sure you find the challenge a lot of fun but when you aim big you can’t win every time

  4. Dear Jen,

    How impressionable and emotionally swayed we are at that age. On this one I tend to agree with MG. Perhaps you couldnuse the words you’d save to to let us know more about her sudden mood shift before the last line. As always…just suggestions.



    • I don’t know, you guys – one week you call me obtuse, the next obvious! I can’t win! More seriously, thanks for the comment. I will try to make time and have a bash at editing this one. Or maybe I should take Helena’s advice to herself last week and consign it to the “not so good” bin!

      • Dear Jen,

        I take issue. I’d never call you obtuse or obvious. You’re one of the best writers I know so take that! And that should’ve been “could use.” I was typing on the iPad which is harder to type on and I often get n’s where I want spaces. Ah technology.



  5. Oh how I can remember feeling this way. Of course it wasn’t until I was older that I realized how much I was influenced by the words of some random male. It’s amazing how i never thought the male was stupid, rude or ignorant but always thought it was me. Such insecurities at that age and you really demonstrated that by your story.

  6. “You’re not on the catwalk now.” This is a wonderful line. Didn’t we all – at some weak or strong moment in our teenage years – try that one glamorous trick that failed miserably?

  7. I really like the way you’ve depicted the characters. How hurtful and dark the world of adolescence can become with a well-aimed jeer from someone of the opposite sex. A unique take on the prompt.

  8. Jen, Good story and well written except I was a little confused by the last paragraph also. When I was that age I would have been too afraid to try anything like that. Many boys at that age don’t need any encouragement. 🙂 —Susan

  9. Pratik Kirve

    I could relate myself to this story. I used to do this kind of things many times in my childhood. Living in fascination was really fun. 😀
    Well described!! I enjoyed reading!! 🙂

  10. Having just crossed my teenage, I think I’ve seen this quite so often with girls around me, I still do, my juniors in the University! You’ve captured it in words perfectly, Emlo.

  11. Nice take on the prompt capturing the intensity of adolescence.

  12. Ah, those school kids! Nice work this week, Jen. Good read all around.

    I’ve been away for a couple of weeks working on a screenplay. I hope to get back in the FF groove soon. But, I’ll be around, story or no story.

  13. Dear Jennifer,

    I loved your last line…

    But seriously, the catwalk crack by the teacher is good, as is the pathos of teenage life. (I can see you in a mullet.)

    But even more seriously, I love the way you encourage comment and then receive it with an open mind. Good job.



    • I fear I am dangerously close to mullet territory now, actually. Desperate need of a haircut!
      Thank you for championing the last line. I’m still not entirely decided, but I did have another go at this one – check out yesterday’s post if you’re interested.

  14. Crazy how we allow one person’s words and actions to get into our head and alter who we are. I say – you sway Elizabeth. Let your Footloose self be free!!! I was tormented by a bully for the first two years of high school and allowed him to get into my head. Ah, those high school days are full of strife. Good story!

  15. Pingback: A Second Look (Friday Fiction) | elmowrites

  16. Dee

    Oh the agonies of young love.. Well written, and if I may say so, a great take on the prompt

  17. Dear Jennifer, I like your story and I think that one stupid, rude boy can ruin a perfectly good day! I love it and perhaps the rude boy will magically see the error of his ways one day soon. Thanks for the read! Nan 😉

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