FF – Always Use Protection

No time, no time, muttered the rabbit. Tomorrow, I am giving a public reading of a 1000 word story and I either haven’t chosen it yet from my existing repetoire, or haven’t written it yet if I need something new. But FF is an addiction, and this story wanted to be told, even though I had to beat and crowbar it to make it 100 words. I’d be interested to know if you think it feels overworked, and if the character I was trying to draw still came across after the edits. It’s inspired by Marie Gail Stratford’s picture below, in in particular by the juxtaposition of two words on the picture. I wonder if they both stood out to anyone else.


Always use protection

Angie reapplied her gloss. It was an unlikely place to meet the man of her dreams – especially when he’d be busy wowing the conference bar across the street – but a girl should be ready.

Trying not to think about her boss, she reordered and found guilty pleasure in the barman’s flirting. It was a long time since anyone laughed at her jokes.

Of course, he’s just playing for tips.

Any longer and she risked liking him, then disappointment when nothing happened. Angie dropped a couple of extra bills on the bar and walked away from a half full glass.



Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

27 responses to “FF – Always Use Protection

  1. As far as I’m concerned, it works. You captured the character in the line “he risked liking him, then disappointment when nothing happened”. This is dense and atmospheric, and we recognise her instantly. Well done! I’m afraid I only spotted Marriott – the second word eluded me. Now you have me hunting

  2. I liked the half-full, half-empty allusion, and the impression that she sees herself as beaten before she even gets going. I had to read it twice to fully understand it, (or maybe I haven’t done that even now!). My initial response is that maybe this is one of those concepts that can’t easily and/or effectively be exploited in 100 words. I need to think about that some more.

    • I am not surprised by your initial response – I was worried it might be a bit ambitious for this length. But I think you got it with beaten before she gets going – she’s protecting herself so much that maybe she’s hurting herself in a different way.

  3. IfeomaO

    Impatient, quitter or did she realize something I didn’t? lol it was an interesting read..kind of left with a defeated feeling though.

  4. Dear Jenn,

    This story seems complete to me. I particularly liked the line ‘she ran the risk of liking him.’ A lot said in few words.



    • Thanks, Rochelle. I wonder if practice reading them makes an expert interpreter of these stories, as well as practice writing them hones our skill in that direction.

  5. Dale

    I really enjoyed this and yes, feel it is complete. Like the others have mentioned, that line “ran the risk…” said much!

  6. ‘she ran the risk’, that says a lot. She’s taking many risks here and perhaps does leave a glass half full. Concise and complete!

  7. No action for her tonight. Oh well, there will be others.
    Nice, concise story, Jen. Good and TIGHT … which is what you want. Five out of five Spanish olives. πŸ˜‰

  8. She might have walked away from a good man!
    Yes your story still had depth, which is of course, what you worry about when you have to clip off those great sentences with hedge trimmers! I feel ya! I have written my story and will post it tonight.

  9. She might be better off with the barman!

  10. gahlearner

    I’m a bit confused with the boss wowing the bar–and she flirts with the barman, but her decided undecidedness comes through clearly. No risk no gain, and it’s sad that she doesn’t even try.

    • Sorry for the confusion – she’s in a different bar, avoiding the conference because her boss (on whom she has a totally inappropriate crush) will be there, and flirting instead with the barman. But yes, no risk no gain.

  11. Not overworked at all. I like that she is aware of the possibility of rejection and sidesteps the issue by demonstrating the choice to walk away first. Sounds like a trick I played in my twenties, lol.

    • I used to play it too, and now I’m married and would walk away for other reasons, but I find her attitude sad now. She could at least enjoy the evening, and possibly even see where it’s going.

  12. “Walked away from a half full glass” is a great line. How many of us do that throughout life while waiting for the phantom “full glass” to come along? Yep, I see her as sitting on the sidelines of life which is so easy to do we don’t even notice it when we’re doing it.

    • Thanks for your wise comment, Perry. It’s funny, I just posted this week’s story and it almost seems to fit with your thoughts here. Perhaps you could take a job as my muse? It doesn’t pay well, I’m afraid, and comes with babysitting duties on the side.

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