Friday Fiction – [Untitled]

It’s Wednesday and recent photos make me suspect that Rochelle is as much over the winter as I am. This week’s greenery comes from Rachel Bjerke.

My story is an attempt to veer back into ‘proper’ fiction and as always I’d love to hear what you think. I am stuck for a title, so suggestions are welcome on that front too. After writing it, I was researching green for something that might work as a title when I came across this bit of slang. I suggest you read the story before clicking on that link, then you can decide whether it changes your reading of the story or not – it kind of did for me!

Happy Spring (on Friday, apparently)!

rachel-bjerke

 

Exhausted, she leant against the stone fountain. The surface, polished lifetimes ago, was made smoother still by a slime of moss that covered everything. She knew it was staining her nightdress and skin with the evidence of her flight.

She’d once loved green – the colour of life and vitality, of new beginnings – a longed-for sight after bracing white winters washed away colour and hope.

But today, it was another wall in her prison. She had fled the house, only to find the forest never-ending, and this abandoned oasis further evidence that she was still within his territory. And his grasp.

 

39 Comments

Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

39 responses to “Friday Fiction – [Untitled]

  1. That is sad that she can’t seem to get away from him. How frightening that would be. Excellent story!

  2. I can see ‘green’ as the other wall in her prison of addiction after reading the slang for ‘green’….Good one

  3. Oh yes.. the bit of slang for sure changed it for me… a little bit like going from a wedding to weeding.. I can almost see the ominous “he” in a totally new dimension… hmm if you wan’t to hint at drugs being part of her imprisonment then you can use that in the title…

    • That’s pretty much where my mind went, or “he” doesn’t exist at all, and the whole scene is just a paranoid fantasy on the back of some bad product. Either way, I’m glad I’m not the only one who saw things in a different light afer reading the link. Reminds me that reading is as much about what you bring to the page as what the author put there.

  4. I like your “proper” fiction, Jennifer. I went the total opposite this week, into improper (?) fiction, or at least unusual.

  5. Good work, Jen. As a title, I think you are onto something with a reference to green. What about “Forever Verdant”?

    All my best,
    MG

    • Thanks MG. It’s hard to find something that doesn’t lead the reader too far for me into hope / despair / drug-related interpretation. Maybe this one’s just destined to remain untitled

  6. I totally agree with Bjorn. After reading the link, I saw “he” as the drug-devil on her back, not a man pursuing her. Well done.

  7. Dear Jennifer,

    Marines in Vietnam often referred to the jungle as The Green Machine. I enjoyed your foray into the jungle this week. Can’t help you with a title. I’m sure one will sprout.

    Aloha,

    Doug

  8. Dear Jennifer,

    You did leave a door open for interpretation. I like your thought for a title, although I’m not sure I’d call that an addictive drug. On the other hand, I see the effects of meth amphetamines every day in my store which is known as one of the Meth capitals of the world.

    As always your writing is vivid and well done. Proper or improper I enjoy your writing. 😉

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    • I’m totally distracted from the rest of your comment by the idea of your store as a Meth capital – should I be picturing you as Walter White or more like the chicken man?!
      And yes, not the most addictive of drugs by a long shot, but I’m given to understand paranoid delusions can come from ‘wearing a green dress’, so after reading the link, I wondered whether the ‘he’ was real at all.

      • Oh dear, I didn’t mean to be distracting I was speaking more of the clientele that I deal with on a daily basis. You see the meth heads, emaciated and toothless, all the time. When I think of drug addiction I see these people. As for the green dress, one high can lead to the next level. I hope this clarifies what I so clumsily said. At any rate I like The Green Dress as a title.

  9. gahlearner

    Fine subtleties usually escape me, so the slang version didn’t really change the story for me. 🙂 As I read it, it’s an excellent snapshot of desperation (and a tiny hope).

  10. Certainly the slang changes the whole story for me: two different scenarios but the same desperation. Most enjoyable.

  11. micklively

    I like the “sleeping with the enemy” feel to this Jen – well done.

  12. The slang definitely changes the interpretation of the story. It makes for two very different readings! I hope she manages to find freedom whatever the true nature of her captor. Great story. 🙂

  13. The urban slang could certainly change the reading, but I find it much more interesting in its original intent, which I interpret to be her difficulty in exiting a dangerous and abusive relationship with her significant other. You’ve done a fine job here! Perhaps it should be called “Open Prison” (or something that evokes the concept that one can be imprisoned even without walls).

    • 🙂 So glad you liked it that way, Jan. The drugs certainly only came to my mind after reading the link – before then it was a much ‘straighter’ form of abuse.

  14. a paranoid fantasy…well that is certainly a twist.

  15. I really liked this, how you described both physical and emotional elements of the story, and how at the end they all came together perfectly. Great job!

  16. I Definitely sense the desperation she is feeling. I hope she finds a way out.

  17. You left me with a lot to think about here, Jen–even though thinking isn’t one of my strong suits. I feel the emotion and her paranoia. I hope she can find her way through to the other side.

  18. Green is also the color of poison.
    I hope she escapes!

  19. Jen, what I enjoyed most about your story is that it works with or without the slang. The despair and feeling of being trapped is that same either way as well.

    janet

  20. A gripping story. I can feel her exhaustion and despair, whoever /whatever she is fleeing.

  21. So atmospheric I could hear her breath rasping. Poor girl. She should take a few deep breaths and keep running.

  22. After reading the slang link, the story did change somewhat. Sounds like she was properly off her head right at the end. Good use of material!!!!

  23. Interesting reflection in the midst of her despair and her flight.

  24. Captures something authentically nightmarish, whether a dream, reality OR paranoia. Flight/freedom that doesn’t work – heartbreaking.
    I think getting lost in a forest goes very deep within many of us – that bit in Blair Witch where they return by nightfall to exactly the same spot I find almost unbearable even though I’m aware it’s not real.

  25. Great story. I could feel her anguish. I hope she can escape from her devils (real or imaginary).

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