Friday Fictioneers – 20 June

Copyright - Mary Shipman

Copyright – Mary Shipman

Every Friday writers from around the world contribute 100 word stories prompted by a photograph supplied by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields to Friday Fictioneers. I love constructive comments on my stories.

Hey Diddle Diddle

This morning Tom tentatively suggested we demolish the wall between the old nursery and the kitchen. ‘A family room,’ and then he corrected it, ‘Living Room.’

Afterwards I went into the nursery. The white cot had greyed. The Hey Diddle Diddle wallpaper was curling and jaundiced.

Twenty years ago we’d pasted it up excitedly, singing along to Whitney Houston’s I Have Nothing while the cat fiddled and the dog laughed at the weird names we gave my bump. Beezhah. Kaebidje.

Three months later the dish ran away with the spoon leaving bare patches on the wallpaper. And an empty cot.

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37 Responses to Friday Fictioneers – 20 June

  1. Sandra says:

    Very moving, loved the language you used to tell the story. “The dish ran away with the spoon” was excellent. Well done Karen.

  2. Horus says:

    a real choker – lovely read Karen !

  3. What an emotional story in so few words! That wallpaper imagery was magic. Well done!

  4. elappleby says:

    so sad – especially when you realise why he changed the name of the room from a ‘family room’ to a ‘living room’ – cleverly written.

  5. This was very moving. By the title, I predicted it would be a lighter story, but the tone was artfully set from the beginning. Very clever tying this all in with the nursery rhyme, heartbreaking though.

  6. Karen, this is one of my favorites of yours! Very touching, and brilliant use of the children’s rhyme as a metaphor. There is loss infused in every line– hindsight being a cruel 20/20. Every detail here serves your story; I love it!

    Writing wise, I think you could change the “passive form” used in several places, for a stronger delivery. Take out some of the “had’s” and the sentences are stronger. In a few places you’d need to adjust the word, but not in all. In the last paragraph, I’d use a dash or comma before “and an empty cot.” Hope you don’t mind the suggestions? I think this is one of the best stories this week.

    • I’m thrilled by your comments about my story, Dawn. Firstly, that you enjoyed it so much, and secondly for the suggestions you made.
      I agree about the intrusive ‘had’s and got rid of two. It was a bit tricky because they indicated the change in time.
      To my mind the sentences were all active. Am I missing something?
      I understand your question about the last sentence. I wasn’t happy with it either. I tried all sorts of things there, including rewriting, commas and dashes. But I finally decided on a simple fragment because I wanted the hard separation, for it to stand by itself. But I could have gone either way.
      Thank you so very much for your suggestions. I’m very grateful and honoured that you gave so much of your time to give my story such good constructive criticism.

  7. Jan Brown says:

    The nursery rhyme as metaphor is brilliant. This is a very powerful story and my favorite this week!

  8. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Karen, I love your story! How sad for the couple and how tender the husband to correct himself. Very good writing and I think your temperature is just right on the mark! Good job. Nan 🙂

  9. Karen, this is a great story! The title lightly draws you in then, the true story sadly unfolds.

  10. Subroto says:

    A touching story. Wonderfully written especially with little subtle touch of naming ‘family room’ to ‘living room’.

  11. draliman says:

    That was so sad. I loved the use of the nursery rhyme to aid in telling the story, very clever.

  12. Amy Reese says:

    Such a clever story, Karen. Lots of great details and I love the use of the nursery rhyme interwoven throughout. Well done.

  13. Maree Gallop says:

    Very cleverly told story with the use of a nursery rhyme. I really enjoyed reading it. Very engaging!

  14. Karen, That was a very creative use of the prompt. I felt something was going to be revealed when the husband changed the name to “livingroom.” The description brought me to the sad scene. It was heartbreaking that the room was left the same for so many years. Well written as always. —Susan

  15. MrBinks says:

    Very moving tale.

  16. helenmidgley says:

    Beautifully sad, lovely job 🙂

  17. So sad.. you really caught it all… in the perfect short story form… the past… and the present, and just enough details to paint a life of loss…

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