Friday Fictioneers – Conversations With Strangers

icon-grill-ted-strutzI don’t know why I chose this place, but I suppose the décor itself could be a conversation starter.

What are we supposed to talk about, besides the obvious?

I’d order her a drink, but I don’t know what she likes.

Maybe she doesn’t drink at all.

Should I ask if she’s read any good novels, or discuss the latest films?

I just can’t imagine an appropriate segue into telling her how sorry I am that I gave her up for adoption, or how nervous, yet delighted I am that she agreed to meet me after all these years.

– 100 words exactly!

Find other fancy Friday flash fiction here – Thanks Rochelle

My favourites I couldn’t find recommended links for (if anyone can explain how to “pingback” to me I would me most appreciative.)

This piece by elmowrites is also fantastic.

As is this take by paulmclem

I’ve also linked to my favourite (so far) below

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77 responses to “Friday Fictioneers – Conversations With Strangers

  1. Great job. I can feel the nervous, hoping-to-please, but fearing-to-offend tone coming through this clearly. The last line really brings it together beautifully.

  2. Intriguing story – a mirror to Rochelle’s almost – and thank you for the link to mine. You capture the fear and discomfort of this character nicely.

  3. You’ve given such flattering comments on my story I thought I should give some feedback on yours. I like it because it is complete. Tells a story. Which is good. Not a great fan of pieces which don’t actually tell a story. Just a personal thing. Keep up the good work!

    • Oh, never feel obligated to reciprocate, darling — my ego’s not that fragile!
      Nonetheless, I appreciate it — I, too, am always more impressed with something that feels complete rather than open-ended, if only because I know just how hard it is to achieve.

  4. What a wonderful story, Admirable, keeping in mind the limit.
    I salute you.

  5. I’m amazed of what a complex story you are able to make out of just 100 words! The story may only take up 100 words on the screen, but in my brain it’s a 250 pages novel. Very cleverly put together Helena.

    • Thank you kindly, Anette. It’s often what’s not said and what the mind fills in that makes the story larger than what it is. That’s my sincerely appreciative yet self-deprecatory way of saying that it takes a good reader to make a good story work! So thank you for reading. Without readers it’s not a story, it’s just words on a page

      • It was my pleasure, Helena. Your mind is generous.
        The last thing you said, about the story not being there, if nobody reads it…
        It made me think of this letter that was painstakingly written, the stamp licked, the envelope held tight to the heart, carried to the mailbox with beating heart. Letter dumped in mailbox with dreams and wishes. Mailbox emptied my Postman. Postmobile hits moose and sets afire. The letter was never received, never read. Never written.

      • not to sound all maudlin, but that’s how I feel every time I write something and get maybe 2 likes — I feel like shouting “Where is everyone? Did you get run over by a moose?” (Okay, admittedly, prior to reading your lovely and accurate portrayal of the passion involved in creating something and the frustration of it going unread, I never considered a moose-related mishap, but from this day forward, I forever shall)

      • You never know with moose. I’ve never been run over by one – I believe “run into one” is more accurate, since they have a tendency of suddenly standing in the middle of the road you’re driving on. I’ve heard it’s a deadly encounter – like being hit by an elephant falling from the sky.
        How many followers do you have Helena?

      • A lady never tells, but suffice to say that it’s not as much as I would like,but then, I’ve only been at this about a month and a half. If you really want to know, I have just over twice as many followers as I have posts, and I think that’s a damn shame, considering how clever I’ve been with my stories. I’ve more than once considered giving up being clever altogether and just write a blog about how to make money blogging, like, it would seem, about 75% of the blogging community. Sigh. Believe me when I say that it is a pure joy when I meet someone like you who enjoys what I do and shares and encourages. Thank you from the bottom of my vain little heart, Anette.

      • That’s not bad Helena. Not bad at all! As far as I recall, I had 5 followers on my third month of blogging. But of course, I made all the obvious mistakes… No focus. Posting in East and West. Head and tail disconnected. Experimenting and roaming around, too much for the palate of any steady group of followers. They got confused. I was.
        Dedicate your blog. Do what you do best. Leave out and don’t waste time on non-essentials. Be steady. Seek company of the minds that inspires you.
        And I thank you, Helena.

  6. I’m getting that this is her “dad”. I can’t imagine being mother and suggesting a bar as the first place to meet. I can imagine a dad who comes here regularly. He is comfortable here. It’s his home away from home and a natural place for him to suggest they meet.
    Is that sexist or what? IDK I can’t help it, that’s what I get from this.

  7. I’m amazed at the depth that can be reached in 100 words! You’ve done it beautifully! And yes, your take on the prompt is stunning! 🙂

  8. Pingback: The Knapsack | Lily Mugford·

  9. Dear Helena,
    Our stories are indeed joined at the hip this week but not exactly the same. I enjoyed your well-constructed story. You used your hundred words with depth and style. Nice.
    Shalom,
    Rochelle

    • Well, you know what they say about great minds, darling! I wrote my piece and then read yours, and nearly went back and deleted mine. I’m glad I didn’t, but isn’t it weird and wonderful that strangers (like you and I) can share perspectives sometimes? Thank you for reading, and for your kind comments.

  10. There’s so much emotion in this and I really feel for the character. That’s hard to do in 100 words. I love these lines: “I’d order her a drink, but I don’t know what she likes. Maybe she doesn’t drink at all.” There’s a great nervous humor there and also a depth of feeling that goes beyond the words.

    • Thank you so much. I was challenged to write another piece of short fiction today based on a friend’s picture of roses — do check that piece out, I’m quite proud of it!

  11. This would have to be the most difficult of first meetings. just imagining all the reasons for doing that would keep a child busy for quite a while.

  12. Nice twist and I like how you conveyed that the meeting was as fraught with uncertainty as a blind date for the parent.

  13. I saw this story going in a totally different direction! Thanks for the surprise. The present tense is a nice touch, like we’re there with him.

  14. I enjoyed reading your story. Your narrative captures the nervousness, uncertainty and anticipation that must surely affect a person in a situation such as this.
    I find myself really hoping that all goes well.
    Dee

  15. Oh boy! Awkward!! I love the flavor of this. It does look like a bar that someone would pick for a very special reason. It’s not an ordinary bar! NIcely imagined!Q

  16. This Flash is well composed and set up to have several conclusions. It’s the second one I’ve read & strangely (or maybe not) they both followed the same theme.
    A good read.

    • Thanks for reading, Ted. I enjoyed your article about the Cafe — I adore Seattle. It’s the only city I know that has everything you’d want in a metropolitan area — art, culture, music, museums, great shopping, amazing restaurants and people, and yet, because of the Sound, and the mountains, and all the surrounding area, feels like you’re in the wilderness. I have friends in Bellevue that are long overdue for a visit, and your article made me want to make a trip! Thanks for the photo, and for reading my little story.

  17. I liked this story, and I thought twist in the last paragraph was both unexpected and yet completely in keeping. Sorry it’s taken me so long to get round to commenting.

  18. It takes great discipline to be able to write to a word limit, and with such flair. As always, you are able to deliver an interesting story with very few words.

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