Friday Fictioneers – No Silver Lining

First, I’m sorry about last week, darlings — it was a difficult week for me, and I really shouldn’t have come out to play, but I’d already been incommunicado for a couple of weeks, and I didn’t want you to forget about me (cue Simple Minds song).

And then today I show up and it’s a picture of dark clouds. With a picture like that, I’m only one Leonard Cohen song, a John Steinbeck film, and a dead puppy away from having to be put on suicide watch!

(But then, maybe that’s just me)

If you want to participate in Friday Fictioneers, click on the little blue frog to find the other stories.


Kelly Sands provided the gloom, and I responded with doom.



Her phone kept ringing, but Elsie ignored it. She didn’t want to know who was calling.
It could be her doctor, telling her he was wrong about the tests.
It could be her husband, telling her he was sorry about the affair.
It could be her boss, telling her that he understood about her outburst, and to take as much time as she needed; that her job would be waiting for her when she was ready.
If she was going to dream big, she supposed it could be the Lottery Commission calling to tell her she’d won ten million dollars.
But she didn’t want to know. She just closed her eyes, lowered the garage door, revved the engine, turned the car stereo up, and went to sleep.


69 responses to “Friday Fictioneers – No Silver Lining

    • The unfortunate (or fortunate) side effect of having a dark past is the ability to recall that mindset and reproduce it. (That’s me giving my grief a silver lining — HA!)
      Thank you, Sandra. Good to hear from you.

  1. Powerful story.
    I was worried about you. Haven’t seen much of you around.
    Are you okay?
    I miss our conversations on WP. (I’ve been somewhat down, and haven’t written as much. Still recovering from school.)

    • It has been a rough few weeks is all. I made some changes, some decisions, and needed some time to focus on myself — which meant that I backed away from socializing, and I missed out on a lot, I’m sure. I can’t promise that I’m going to try to spend a week catching up, because that just causes me all sorts of anxiety and pressure, but I will make sure to drop by soon. It is good to see you.

  2. First, Helena, m’dear, no apologies! No one hits it every time, and we would be worried about you if you stayed away from Friday Fictioneers for too long.

    As for this week’s story, you’ve hit a home run. Nicely handled. I love the metaphor of the cloudy life.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

    • I hope people understand my needs for absence. Unfortunately, it means I sometimes neglect little things like replying to comments and such… which is very rude, and I’m so sorry!

      • I understand. It’s not rude – it’s probably necessary. *shrugs* You can only do what you can do, and you shouldn’t feel obliged to do more. (hark at me laying down the rules…do what works for you 🙂 )

    • Thank you, darling. It’s funny, in my head, this wasn’t much of a twist, because I envisioned her sitting in the car the whole time. But I didn’t give that info until the last line, which ended up being very effective. Thank you again. (Oh, and as I said to Lizzi, please pardon my absence, or lack of reply to comments — this last week or so was very difficult for me, as it was a death anniversary that pretty much floored Penny & I for a few days)

  3. Dear Helena,

    Sending you some virtual hugs. Some weeks are worse than others. Your story struck more nerves than I care to say. Powerfully and skillfully depressing.



  4. Interesting to have all those thoughts of good things and hope and to ignore them. THAT is a dark place. I’ve thought about suicide in dark times but only briefly. One of those thoughts would have brought me back to the land of hope. People i have known who didn’t come back I always didn’t “quite get”. This is as understanding an explanation as any.

  5. Oh so sad! Too much happening in that woman’s life. I understand her, but she’s wrong to do it. Brilliant writing. You had me feeling for her at the end.

    Oh, and don’t read any Steinbeck! That guy could make a perfectly good orgasm depressing.

  6. Witty, clever and despite the doom AND gloom, itøs brilliant… and <i, am typing on a Danish keyboard, so damn the punctuation! Good to have you back, Iøll have to go look for your story from last week. I had little time for reading, but <i hate to miss a Helena Hann-Basquiat story! xo

  7. Well damn…that’s a peaceful way to go- sleeping I mean not the other thing lol. Well done Helena, I certainly have missed your work.

  8. I get the feeling that this week everyone has moved over to the dark side. Every so often I get overwhelmed by my past and it comes leaking out in a story. I hope I was not the anchor that weighted you down.

    • Not at all! In fact, I was completely emotionally detached from my story. That’s just what the picture told me to write. And then it told me to kill my mother, and I shook my finger at it and said “Hey! Enough killing already!” and I took my meds and the voices went away.

  9. Well, that cheered me up no end! She certainly hadn’t drawn the lucky cards! Obviously no real friends or family she could go to. I wonder what her doctor, husband, boss will be saying about her?
    Some nice repetition in there.
    (And stay away from dead puppies.)

  10. Wow, all those positive possibilities (except for the affair thing, of course) and all she could think about was eternal sleep. You don’t happen to know where she stashed that lottery ticket do you?

  11. Dear Helena, Wonderful story as usual – and yes, last week was NOT a stinker. You are a marvelous writer! When I was 16, I had a dear Aunt commit suicide and I have never forgotten about it. “It’s a permanent solution for a temporary problem!” I hope her gas tank was almost dry too. You are one of my favorite writers Helena! Nan 🙂

  12. Dear Helena,

    What an uplifting story….not really.

    Let me just say this to add to all that has gone before….You write well no matter where your head is.

    A pleasure reading your work.



    P.S. No one pissed me off, I just love poking at Vampire lovers with a sharp stick.

  13. What a cheerful entry this week! Loved the way there was a real threat of positivity all the way through until the final line. I’m off to buy a length of rope…

  14. Have a hug Helena…glad you are back out to play!
    Great writing as usual, loved this one for some strange reason!

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