Dyke on a Bike – Friday Fictioneers

This week’s tale is an example of why sometimes 100 words is not enough, but I am a stickler for the rules of the game, darlings, and so I present to you a story that is inspired by someone I didn’t know very well a long time ago in a small town far, far away…

In telling this story, I realized that the bigger tale does bear telling, and so I’ve also written the longer version as well. Not that this doesn’t stand on its own — feel free to enjoy the 100 word (exactly) version, and then walk away, but if you’d kindly indulge your favourite dilettante just this once, darlings, you’d make me very happy if you went and read the whole story HERE. If nothing else, you may get a glimpse of my creative process, and how I work to shave something down to just 100 words. Also (and I’ve been wanting to say this for some time darlings, but it always struck me as slightly ungrateful, but…) if you like what I can do with 100 words, just imagine what I can do with more!


photo by "anelephantcant"

photo by “anelephantcant”

Amy wore shorts as she biked around town. She’d recently shaved her head, and the oh-so-clever boys from school started calling her the Dyke on a Bike.  Amy wasn’t a lesbian, not that it mattered – small town; small minds. Her shorts displayed frequently appearing bruises Amy wore as a cry for help that went unanswered.  She shaved her head so her dad couldn’t grab her hair when she tried to escape from him at night.

The day they found Amy’s dad at the bottom of the basement stairs, they found Amy’s bike at the Amtrak station.

They never found Amy.


Friday Fictioneers is a challenge that is open to all, and is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields at her blog Addicted to Purple, and you can read all about it here. The gist: write a self-contained tale of 100 words (there is no word police if you go over, but it’s a challenge, so do what you can!) inspired by a photo that is submitted every Wednesday by different people. This weeks comes from the enigmatic “anelephantcant”.

When I get a chance to read this week (it’s always my goal to get through all, but I figure I succeed at that maybe 80% of the time, so…) I will post my favourites below.

David Stewart is always a good read, and Moon Cycle is spot on.

And then there’s Perry Block, whose sense of the surreal never fails to delight. Bob, the Nearsighted Tree will make you laugh (unless you have no sense of humour, and then I’m afraid there’s nothing I can do for you, darling)

Then head over to read Claire Fuller’s Cafe Disparaît — it’s not what it seems. So good.

Why the Bicycle Loves the Tree is a wonderful metaphor by Sarah Ann Hall

Troy’s “Have You Ever Had It Blue?” was a moving tale with a shocking twist that really knocked the air out of me. Incredibly well done.


66 responses to “Dyke on a Bike – Friday Fictioneers

  1. The title is a red herring… and the beginning of the story, the explanation of the title, continues to pull my attention away from the underlying issue of abuse… just as it did for those silly boys. What a great example of art imitating life! After reading the end, I too am filled with hope for Amy, though that may be a ruse as well. Thanks for a nice story!

      • I like the longer version too – I love the backstory on the father (and the docs!). It really is a chilling story – makes you think about what happens right under the surface in just about every community.

  2. I agree with Jan Brown and Sandra. The 100-word story had impact. The longer version didn’t have any new information. Well done. If one could wish for a fictional character, I wish she left before bumping him off.

  3. I like both versions of the story but the shorter one is even more chilling with the impact of an express train! And you HAVE to love that title!
    Thanks for the kind words, Helena … I mean, darling. And I am a new follower of your blog.

    • Perry, I thank you for reading, and for following — I do hope you’ll click on my page called “The Sordid Tale So Far” which is a table of contents of all my stories — I think if you browse the titles, you’ll find some laughs that will be right up your alley.

  4. Hi Helena,
    I read both versions of the story and have mixed feelings about which is better. The longer version adds more details, layers of texture that give us more information and strengthen the character development. But the shorter one is more intense and packs more of a punch. Hard to choose between them. Good job of tackling a serious subject with sensitivity and insight. Agree with Perry that the title draws you in. Ron

    • Thank you so much for reading and commenting, darling. I guess it all depends on context. The shorter version may be preferable for someone who is only going to read that one tale. The longer version fits into a larger world called Arcadia where I am basing much of the second part of my memoirs, and so, while the extra character development and portrait of small town America may not matter to someone who’s only interested in reading the 100 words, it’s integral to the greater picture to the other. In that sense, they are two different animals altogether.

  5. Great story. It stands alone very well. I read the longer version and it’s equally as good. Those cries for help so often go unanswered. I love the idea of her short shorts showing the bruises as that cry. My first time here this week. How cool – your generosity in promoting your favorites. I read them all and completely agree. I’ll see you next time!

    • I had thought that there might me some discussion about the possible ambiguity of the ending, but it seems everyone has made up their minds about it — the shorter version must be clearer than the longer version.
      I thank you for reading, Dee — it’s always appreciated.

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