Monthly Archives: October 2021

FF – A Distant Friend

This week’s picture is from a long-time former Fictioneer. The story wrote itself and when it came out at 99 words, there could only be one word needed to complete it. Miss you, Doug.

Image copyright, Douglas M. MacIlroy

I was new. He’d been there forever, or so it seemed. The man in the distance: always there with a friendly wave and a shout across the abyss. The word itself was foreign, alien to me, but the tone and the wave were welcoming. He made me feel at home, like someone had saved a space for me in this strange new world.

After a while, his appearances became less reliable, and then one day, he was gone. I was settled by then: comfortable and safe. I no longer needed his waves, but I missed them all the same.



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FF – Waiting

Thanks to Rochelle for not just hosting us, but providing this week’s image from her own brushes!


Andy moved the ketchup bottle in line with the salt shaker. The table looked tidier now. Like that would make a difference. Maisy would be here any minute.

She’s not going to notice the condiments. The voice in his head was cruel.

‘In a world where you can be anything, be kind,’ he thought, but the snide voice didn’t read inspirational quotes from faded teatowels.

He restored the sense of random, not wanting to show he’d been waiting long: planning explanations, preparing for her tears.

The quote didn’t advise what kind meant. Was he being kind telling her the truth?


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FF – Merry Go Round #2

This week’s photo could have been taken for my story a couple of weeks ago. So much so, that I decided to add a part 2 from a different perspective. If you know Melanie’s story at all, you might wonder who this is. I had Mrs Mwanna in mind to begin with, but now I’m wondering if it could be her Dad. Up to you.

Feel free to read its precursor here first, afterwards, or not at all.

Thank you to Brenda Cox for this week’s photo. Not sure why WordPress isn’t letting me caption it direct.

Merry Go Round #2

The merry go round’s gone to rack and ruin.

That’s what I think when Melanie tells me her theory about God. The man in the middle is too busy spoiling everyone’s fun to notice the paint is faded and the horses have lost their smiles.

I know the emperor’s naked, but pointing it out would be counterproductive. For me, the beauty could never be the horses anyway. For me, it’s the little girl in the bright flowery dress who still sees gleaming gold and prancing ponies. The girl clutching my hand, squealing her delight and enjoying everything about the ride.


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FF – The Christmas After

I’m not sure about this week’s story. I wrote a 200 word version and have edited and reworked it so many times, I can’t tell if it loses the point. I’d love to hear your feedback, good and bad. And apologies in advance for using the C word when it’s barely even October!

Image copyright: Roger Bultot. So much to see here, but this is the story that stuck.

The Christmas After

That first Christmas after Mom left, Shannon knew things wouldn’t be the same. Last year, she’d got a big doll’s house with only a small tear in the wallpaper. Her one-legged Ken carried Barbie across the threshold and Dad had made little furniture out of cardboard boxes.

There was no big gift this year, but Dad appeared at the door holding a folded square of paper. “Christmas a little lean this year, Bubblegum” he said.

In Dad’s shaky handwriting, the note said “IOU: One afternoon window shopping”.

“Thanks!” she said, trying to mean it. “I only got you a hug.”


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