Well, it’s Wednesday again, and that means it’s time for people to die. Er, what I mean to say is that it’s time for husbands to choke wives and wives to poison husbands, and…
Oops. What I really meant to say is that it’s time for Friday Fictioneers — an exercise moderated by the lovely and brilliant Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Each week, 100 or more writers take a look at a photo and write a story of about a 100 words inspired by the photo. It’s become kind of a joke that it’s not Friday Fictioneers until there’s a body count.

Can I challenge you this week to not kill anyone — or if you have to, at least do it creatively? I do try to read most if not all of the stories, and to be honest, I’m emotionally distressed and misanthropic enough as it is without having to read week in and week out about husbands choking their wives or wives pushing their husbands off cliffs. It’s misogynistic and misandrist at best, and shows a lack of imagination at worst. Surely there’s something better for us to write about. Don’t get me wrong — I appreciate when someone writes something truly horrible and shocking — I’ve been known to write some pretty horrible and shocking things. But after nearly a year of participating in Friday Fictioneers, reading week in and week out about husbands and wives killing each other is wearing a little thin.
Sorry for being a bitch about it, but I want to give everyone a fair shake — I know how much time and energy it takes to try to read through and comment on people’s posts — but I’ve got better things to do than to read the same story over and over again.
(Wow, Helena, you really are a fucking bitch)
Sometimes, darlings… sometimes…

Thank you Kent for your amazing photo this week — I do hope it inspires some wonderful stories — there’s definitely a great horror story or two there.

Check out all the stories here, and be sure to read and comment. Feel free to spray all your vitriol all over my post if you feel the need — I don’t mind.

studio-lights-from-kent (1)

“You know everyone’s going to turn that light in the middle into a monster,” the Countess Penelope of Arcadia sighed, staring at a picture of stage lights, one of which did indeed look like some sort of gremlin.

“And somehow, a bunch of people will die again this week, violently and without pity.” I added sadly.

“Maybe they’ll be choked to death backstage, under the ominous grin of the demonic spotlight,” Penny mused, channeling her best Vincent Price.

“It’s not the death I mind,” I said, “It’s the predictability; the repetition – just write a jilted lover tale and work out your murderous fantasies.”

“Oh, you’re going to get crucified this week, Helena,” Penny warned.

“Well, at least I will have deserved it, darling.”


*special thanks to John Lennon for the title, taken from The Ballad of John and Yoko


Deidre by Julia Stevenson is definitely worth checking out. Well written horror piece.



  1. Wow, H H-B… you carry a big can opener!!! I rarely read comments, but when I saw how long they were getting, I had to stop and look. I’ll have to swing by the Old Aloha Man and say Hi and calm him down.
    I’ve had those thoughts too… ‘read who you like and try a few new ones’ is my motto.

    A few of us didn’t turn the light into a monster I’m thinking… love the title and the song.

  2. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha


    This is genius. I absolutely loved your opening gambit, followed by the gut punching story. Well played.

    I’ve been thinking the same lately, and if I’m honest it’s made me slightly less excited about reading all of the stories throughout the week, which is a crying shame, instead I tend to stick to a few I know I like the style of. A guaranteed smirk.

    But yes. So much doom, gloom, death and bla bla bla… it’s too much. The shock value is gone. Desensitised, we have become.

    Bravo to you for voicing your (and my) thoughts.

    • Thank you, Senior Binks. This was my alternative to being a completely horrible person and commenting on EVERY SINGLE story with absolute honesty (which would have been a horrible thing to do, to be sure.)
      Sometimes, one’s opinions are best kept to themselves.

  3. Pingback: Friday Fiction: Spring Cleaning in Santa Zita | EL Appleby: Short Stories·

  4. I’m late to the party but I had to comment. I’m so glad I didn’t actually kill anyone in my piece. Yes, there is a curse but no one specifically DIES…maybe 😉

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