100-Word Story: The Ash Heap

Friday Fictioneers Challenge: Write a 100-word story based on the photograph.


Genre: Fiction

Word Count: 100




On the ash heap lay a bottle, an empty cigarette pack, a broken doll.

“Stop,” she’d said. “Stop or I’ll leave.”

“You won’t.” He laughed. “You’re just a baby, still playing with dolls. Out there, you’ll be alone. You leave, you die.”

She’d come to him, her father’s choice, not hers, the doll her only token of the past.

“I’ll leave.” She packed her clothes and walked away, eyes on the future, never looking back.

The doll remained.

He watched. When she was out of sight, he threw her childhood on the ash heap along with his.


I’m posting late for last week’s Friday Fictioneers, so my link doesn’t appear on their page. But you can find links to their short-short stories by clicking on the Frog.

I Said No to Hemingway

My post @ Writing Wranglers and Warriors is NOT about Hemingway.

It is about what Aliens @ Alien Resort look like. You will be surprised and delighted.

Writing Wranglers and Warriors


Posted by Kathy Waller

Last weekend, I wrote a post about cows. It ran to over 1100 words, and I hadn’t covered even half of the cows I’d planned to. Furthermore, it was silly. I scrapped it.

Coy © David David“Coy” © David David

Today I started a post in which I intended to compare a book by artist-author Shel Silverstein to the novels of Katherine Paterson. The first part–the Shel Silverstein part–ran to over 1300 words, and there were more to come.

That posed a problem, as most of the piece was to be about Katherine Paterson.  I liked what I’d written, and so would other English majors, some of them, maybe, but most people aren’t English majors. They find literary criticism tedious. So I scrapped it.

© David Davis“Lmao” © David Davis

© David Davis© David Davis

Then I thought about writing a brief post about symbolism, drawing from the novels and stories of Ernest Hemingway. It was going to be…

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Thank You, Nightstand Book Reviews

William and Ernest examine Louise Penny’s A Trick of the Light and the box it came in.

When I was eight, my grandmother gave me two Nancy Drew mysteries for Christmas: The Secret in the Old Clock and The Clue of the Tapping Heels, and I was hooked. One title led to another.

Since then, I’ve read through Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, Donna Leon’s Inspector Brunetti, Elizabeth George’s Inspector Lynley, Ruth Rendell’s Inspector Wexford, Ngaio Marsh’shttp://ngaio-marsh.org.nz/index-ngaio.html Inspector Alleyn, Dorothy L. Sayers‘ Lord Peter Wimsey, Josephine Tey’s Inspector Grant…

Yesterday, Nightstand Book Reviews sent me a copy of a novel from another popular series: Louise Penny’s A Trick of the Light, one of the titles in her series featuring Inspector Gamache.

A Trick of the Light has received the following honors:

English: Louise Penny
English: Louise Penny (Photo credit: Wikipedia). By Ian Crysler (Transferred from en.wikipedia) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Winner of the Anthony Award for Best Crime Novel 2012
Finalist for the Macavity Award for Best Crime Novel in the US 2012

Finalist for the Agatha Award for Best Mystery of 2011
Finalist for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Novel in Canada in 2011
Finalist for the Dilys Award from the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association for the book they most enjoyed selling in 2011
Finalist GoodReads Choice Awards for 2011
Publishers Weekly top 10 Mysteries of 2011
Amazon.com top 10 Thrillers and Mysteries of 2011
Aunt Agatha’s Bookstore: Favorites of 2011
The Toronto Star: Favorite Read of 2011
New York Times Book Review: Favorite Crime Novel of 2011
BookPage, Readers’ Choice: Best Books of 2011 (#6 all genres)
Women Magazine: Editor’s Pick #1 Book of 2011
The Globe and Mail: Top 10 Mystery of 2011
The Seattle Times: Top 10 Mystery of 2011
Quill and Quire: Top 10 Mystery of 2011
I-Tunes: Top 10 AudioBook of 2011
Richmond Times-Dispatch: top 5 Fiction Books of 2011

My copy of was a windfall from Nightstand Book Reviews.

NBR reviews a variety of genres by both established authors and those newly published. Subscribers receive notice of reviews by email. Only recommended books are reviewed–“books that are great reads.”

NBR also conducts drawings for free books from the list of email subscribers. I’m a subscriber. My name was drawn. A Trick of the Light arrived in today’s mail.

Thank you, Nightstand Book Reviews.

Now I’m off to begin a great read.

100-Word Story: That Which We Call a Rose

Friday Fictioneers Challenge: Write a 100-word story based on the photograph:

Prompt © Roger Bultot
Prompt © Roger Bultot


Genre: Fiction
Word Count: 100



“No. Jonquil.”


“White. Daffodils are yellow.”

“And that one?”




Oenothera speciosa.


“It’s pink. Not buttery.”


“Primrose. Oenothera speciosa..”



“Is not.”

“Is so.”

“Prove it.”

“I will.”

“What’s that?”

Gray’s Dichotomous Key.


“Reference. Taxonomy.”

“Huge book.”

“Authoritative book.”

“Snooty book.”

“Okay. Roadside Flowers of Texas. Short. Illustrated. With pictures.”


“For non-readers.

“Sez you.”

“Look. Pink. Oenothera. Prim-rose.”

“Big deal.”

[Sigh] “Back to daffodil.”


Narcissus. Same. Both daf-fodils.”



“I spit on your science.”


“No. Poetic.”




Can’t be daffodil.”


Because my heart‘s not dancing.


Click on the frog to find more short-shorts by Friday Fictioneers.


The spring of my junior year, I took a college course in plant taxonomy. I learned to identify flowering plants by dissecting them and consulting a dichotomous key. I learned the difference between monocotyledons and dicotyledons. I learned to arrange plants for the herbarium, one flower turned up, one turned down, one open (or as close to that arrangement as one can manage).

I learned that poison ivy is a mimic, that its leaves take on a variety of forms, and that if one collects a specimen of poison ivy on every outing (because its leaves take on a variety of forms), one has a perpetual itchy rash. I learned that if one stores a box of dried plants under one’s bed in one’s dorm room, one has a perpetual itch without a rash.

I learned that one’s car can take to the ditch and almost plow through a row of mailboxes while one scans the roadside for flowering plants instead of watching where one is going. I learned the scientific names of over 300 species (I am was blessed with a good memory and excelled at subjects requiring rote memory instead of thought).

A few days after the plant tax course ended, I was standing outside the biology department office, reading the list of upcoming course offerings, when the Plant Tax professor came down the hall. He stopped behind me, leaned over, and whispered, “Looking for a course that’s as easy as the one you just finished?”

And I said, “Yes.”

But here’s the point: The longer I look at the prompt picture, the less it looks like a daffodil, a jonquil, or a Narcissus anything.

Everything I remember from the plant tax course:

Hydrophyllaceae Nemophila phacelioides  (Baby Blue Eyes)
Verbenaceae Phyla incisa (Turkey Tangle Frogfruit)
Anacardiaceae Toxicodendron radicans (Poison Ivy)
Onagraceae Oenothera speciosa (Evening Primrose)
plus a few other facts I can’t think of at the moment.


English: A newly bloomed primrose. These flowe...

English: A newly bloomed primrose. These flowers are pink and turn white as they age. (Photo credit: Wikipedia). By ZooFari (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons


Prompt photographer: Roger Bultot  https://plus.google.com/u/0/107716760208067370787
Prompt photo source: https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2017/02/01/3-february-2017/


Irwin and Mills. Roadside Flowers of Texas.