Friday Fictioneers — The Taste of Revenge

I fear I may be predictable this week, darlings, and I pray you’ll forgive me.

I had to trim this down to 100 words, so I hope it doesn’t lose its… ahem… punch.

Sorry I haven’t been around the last few — I’ve been writing up a storm with my serialized novel (shameless plug) and promoting the release of Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume One (yet another shameless plug) as well as dropping a couple of e-books in the last couple weeks (and the shameless plugs just keep rolling).

All this to say, I haven’t managed to really participate in the Fictioneers, and I thought it high time to correct that, even if what I’ve written isn’t exactly revolutionary thinking.

Great picture by Janet Webb this week though… I recognize that painting in the background – Janet once told me she imagined that’s what I looked like!


copyright Janet Webb

copyright Janet Webb

When Elsa discovered that Martin was married, she’d gotten an abortion. The baby that had been growing inside her was replaced by a cold bitterness that demanded revenge.

She brought the strawberries to the restaurant, slipping them into a pitcher of sangria intended for Martin and his wife.

“Inject this into the berries,” the old woman had told her, “it’s completely tasteless.”

Later, as Elsa waited tables, she glanced over at Martin, and dropped her tray in horror.

Two fair-haired children sat laughing, lips smeared red with strawberries.

Elsa walked over, poured herself a glass of sangria, and sat down.


Friday Fictioneers is a community of writers — be sure to take part in the community as best you can be reading others’ stories HERE


101 responses to “Friday Fictioneers — The Taste of Revenge

    • It wasn’t a conscious decision NOT to write, of course. Take a browse through my blog and you’ll see what I mean by busy! Add to what’s there a 6000 word story for tomorrow and another 5000 word story I submitted to a SF magazine, and I’ve been BUSY!

  1. Pingback: Yuck! | Victoria.K.Gallagher·

  2. Oh! Two perspectives for me. The berries were poisoned and was mistakenly served to the kids. And the other one being the age reversing potion was injected into the berries and the couple became kids again. And thus, she also served herself with the drink to become their age and change things in her favor. Or may be I am thinking too much within the lines.
    Very well-penned. 🙂

    • The first perspective is closest to what I picture occurred. I don’t go in much for magic potions, though I do see how you could have inferred that!
      She drinks the sangria herself out of despair and guilt.
      Thanks for reading, darling.

    • I honestly think that’s due to the 100 word limit. I had another line in there that made it clear that what happened is that not only did Elsa not know Martin was married, she also didn’t know he had children. She sits down at THEIR table and says “Hello, Martin.” That’s the original ending. I could probably re-write this as 1,000 – 2,000 word story. Maybe I will. Shit, another project!

      • I think I will. Or I’ll have Jessica do it.. it’s not like she’s doing anything important. (Well, there’s this little Bayou story…)
        OH… What if… Oscar is actually an amnesiac Jason Bourne who’s been stuck in Bayou Bonhomme for 15 years, getting fat and drunk and lecherous….
        Bourne on the Bayou. HAHAHAHAHA (have to do a mock up cover for the 1st of April for sure)

      • Don’t make me come after you for ruining Jason Bourne further. I could write a Bourne-novel length letter to Hollywood on everything they did wrong. In just the first movie.

        But yes, definitely for April 1st!

      • Sorry, I just got Born on the Bayou by CCR stuck in my head, and now I’m finding it positively IMPOSSIBLE to come up with a proper title.
        Do you reckon “22 Short Films About Glenn Gould” is taken?
        Banter banter, ha ha, etc, yours sincerely, your favourite dilettante.

  3. Holy Crap! I did not see that coming. This piece is really layered to me. There is so much karma swirling about it nothing short of cosmic goulash. It hit my deep in the gut. Great story.

  4. Dear Helena,

    You had me at “The baby that had been growing inside her was replaced by a cold…” and never let me go. Rarely do I use the word brilliant. That’s what this is. Brilliant!



  5. Dear Helena,

    Good job on the staying busy writing, submitting, blogging, e-book dropping and shameless plugging.

    As for your story, it ably shows that revenge is often a dicey thing to pull off correctly. Too much passion, but not enough planning on Elsa’s part, though it made for a powerful tale.

    Just the right amount of words.



    • What a great way to put it, Doug — too much passion, not enough planning. Can I just say how much I’ve missed you? Mea culpa, I’ve had my head in my own affairs and haven’t been socializing enough. Are you well? I know you were going through some weather-related troubles a while back.

      Best thoughts and hopes to you, darling.


    • Thank you, David, you’re very kind. You know what a stickler I am for the word count — I had another 20 that I thought rounded the story out more, but cut them for the sake of the challenge.

      I do think that when I have a chance I might develop this more. I think the characters could really go someplace.

      • That’s one great side-effect of Friday Fictioneers, as a nursery for larger ideas. I’ve taken several stories I’ve written here and done more with them.

    • It’s what I do, darling. If I had to name my biggest influences when it comes to writing fiction, it would have to be Rod Serling and Alfred Hitchcock — two guys that really knew how to give that twist ending. In fact — here’s a little behind the scenes secret — when I’m writing, I often come up with the “punchline” first, and write the ending, then the beginning, and then fill in the middle. Sometimes it changes and evolves as I write, but generally, that’s my starting framework, whether it be 100 words or 10,000.
      I was going to save that secret for when Letterman interviewed me, but I can’t help but spill it all for you, darling!

  6. As dark as it can get .Despite the unexpected outcome,Elisa had her revenge in a different way but she not being heartless,decided to take her own life as payback-ah life-sometimes it is so cruel and not so fair!A fantastic tale Helena:-) Many congrats on your publications and e books and the rest,Tc & God bless-hope you are doing good

  7. Woah! Definite punch! My stomach flipped when the children entered the story! I didn’t see the age reversing potion concept until I read the comments, but I prefer the more sinister ending. But that’s the dark side of me 😉 Nice reading you!

  8. Now there’s a horror story. My first thought was that the children’s consumption of the strawberries was an unexpected payback for Elsa’s lost child. I didn’t get the suicide provocation for Elsa’s drinking the sangria as the poison was primarily in the berries, not the wine, so I read it as a cold-hearted celebration of the parents’ loss of their children. Actually, I was most unfair as you had Elsa deal with her remorse in a heroic way.

  9. That was chilling, poor little kiddies 😦
    I particularly loved your image of the aborted baby being replaced by cold bitterness (loved in a literary way that is).

  10. I think this is one of your best (so far). I agree with the comment that she got so passionate about revenge she forgot to plan properly. A great piece of writing.

  11. Helena, I’m new so you don’t know me – but why would you think that anything you write is not that good? You are so brilliant and talented – you are born to be a writer! This was pure genius! Nan

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