Thursday, February 9, 2012

Flash Fiction Friday #10


Kept in the dark and fed bullshit.  Cecily’s eyes blurred with tears as she repeated the old joke.  She had been the last to know about Steven’s affair. 
“I have to work weekends if I want that promotion, honey.”
“It was late, so I slept at the office.”
“Her?  Lisa’s just a friend.”
When Cecily finally had the nerve to look at the photos, she was crushed but knew what she had to do.
She chopped the last of the Death Cap mushrooms picked during her morning walk and added them to the sauce. 
Steven would be eating alone tonight.
This was a hard photo prompt for me - at first.  Suddenly the story just seemed to spew forth, and I finished writing in record time - maybe ten minutes tops.  Funny, when I read this one to my husband of almost 24 years (as I always do), he paled a little and asked where I kept the Syrup of ipecac.  I think I scare him a little…

(Remember, you too can play!  See http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/ and look for the #FridayFictioneers on Twitter!)

**NOTE**  I cheated and changed a word after I submitted this piece.  I hadn't noticed that I used "late" in his first two excuses, so I changed the first one to "weekends"...I think it works better and removes the repetition!  Ooops...

51 comments:

  1. Susan, I love this one. It never feels like you're withholding too much, but you don't give it to us all at once and the end just feels calibrated to the exactly the right level of information. As always, I'm impressed.

    Here's mine this week: http://thecolorlime.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/trip-99/

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    1. Wow! Thank you for such a wonderful comment. It is hard to write something meaningful and complete in only 100 words (but I guess that's the point, isn't it?). It means a lot to me that you thought it to be well "calibrated."

      ~Susan

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  2. A great story Susan.
    I loved the analogy at the beginning between her not knowing and growing mushrooms.
    Then there was the added mushroom twist at the end with the Death Caps.

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    1. Thank you for reading and commenting, Mike. I'm glad you agree that the first sentence and last part roll together. I was happy how it worked out too. Thanks again!

      ~Susan

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  3. Imaginative and original. Didn't see that coming (a sign of a truly successful story!).

    Mine's at http://furiousfictions.com.

    Also take a look at (by the very talented Cheryl Anne Gardner) http://furiousfictions.blogspot.com/2012/02/corpus-safari-cheryl-anne-gardner.html

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I try to insert an element of surprise and am pleased you were, well, surprised!

      ~Susan

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  4. Ha! I love the story, and the real life story, too. I read a slasher story to my husband once -- I don't usually write stories like that. His eyes widened and he said, "Where did THAT come from?" Creative use of a mushroom, Susan!

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    1. Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it. That is so funny about your husband! I'm writing a "slasher/thriller," and I'm sure my husband sleeps a little less easy after I read a chapter or two to him!

      ~Susan

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  5. Dear Susan,

    Your tale of revenge is a gustatory delight. The Borgia's would be proud of you.

    Well done.

    Aloha,

    Doug

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    1. Not only did you leave a great comment, but you also gave me something fun to read. Poison rings and apples...you're right! They do go well with my mushrooms.

      ~Susan

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  6. When you started with kept in the dark and fed bullshit - naturally, I though you were talking about the mushroom - is that a joke for real? Anyway, your story read perfectly, just paced well and the death cap mushrooms completed the recipe.
    Good one,

    Lindaura

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    1. Yes, that really is a joke. Employees are often heard to say that the bosses "treat them like mushrooms..." (Kept in the dark and fed BS!) Thank you for reading and commenting!

      ~Susan

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  7. Well done story, Susan! I really liked that her lying, cheating husband would be the only one to enjoy the last meal. :)

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    1. Thank you. I briefly considered a murder/suicide but in the end decided only he should die. She can deal with the police later...haha.

      ~Susan

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  8. Very good! I loved the opening sentence as a prelude to the story. I've never heard "the old joke"— maybe I should pay more attention...

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    1. Oh....hmmmmm....maybe it is only a Navy joke! Well...as I told Linda: "Employees are often heard to say that the bosses "treat them like mushrooms..." (Kept in the dark and fed BS!)"

      Thank you for reading!

      ~Susan

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  9. That was great! I loved it. Poison. No wonder he is eating alone tonight.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Susie! I'm glad you liked it.

      ~Susan

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  10. Good one! That'll teach him. ;-)

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  11. I, too, have seen that odd look on a loved one's face after handing them a particularly macabre effort. I used to worry that maybe they don't think the same way as me. Now I just assume they're acting. It helps me sleep.

    Excellent work with this, I'm very impressed that your immediate reaction to seeing a mushroom was to think of a murder plot, rather than a stool for a Smurf. You can really feel the anger and bitterness coming through here, it's quite chilling. She should've seen it coming though. I mean, who the hell sleeps in an office? Wouldn't you get in the cleaner's way?

    Here's my entry. It got me an odd look, too.
    http://jaykayel.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/loose-lips-100-word-flash-fiction/

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    1. There are a LOT of naive people in this world - if not, would crackpots like Jerry Springer have a show?!

      As far as my writing goes, it more than frequently bends toward treachery and deceit.

      I'm off to read yours...

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  12. Enjoyed your story--amazing how complete these submissions are with so few words. I'm glad you decided to let her deal with the police later--it's perfect the way it's written. Mine is at www.vlgregory-circa1800.vpweb.com.

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    1. I fixed it! Thank you for liking it so much you had to post twice.

      I'm on my way to read yours...

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  13. Susan, I loved the intro with the old joke. Standard fare for anyone who ever worked for a large corporation. The story itself reminded me of the Clint Eastwood move "The Beguiled." Very well done!

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    1. Whew...thank you for knowing the joke. I was starting to wonder if I dreamed it. I love Clint Eastwood but am unfamiliar with The Beguiled. I'll have to check it out. I see it received very good ratings.

      Thanks for reading!
      Susan

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  14. At first I thought the mushrooms were just symbolic as referred to in the first line. But you may the story come full circle and tied a nice bow on it with the use of the poisonous mushrooms. Well-written as always.
    My little ditty: http://bridgesareforburning.wordpress.com/

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    1. Thank you kindly. I respect your work, so I look forward to reading what you have to say about mine.

      ~Susan

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  15. I thought this was perfect. You have a real talent and a dark sense of humour that runs through your writing. To accomplish so much with so few words? Wow. And seeing the old joke as your opening line was nice. Very well done :-) Here's my offering:

    http://cyberpunkfiction.blogspot.com/2012/02/sack-of-mycovia.html

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    1. Thank you for reading and leaving such a great comment. Your encouraging words mean a lot to me! I'm off to read yours...

      ~Susan

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  16. After reading this, I can't help but wonder if she is poisoning her husband or just wont be joining him for dinner! Makes me want to hear more!

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    1. Ah ha! I wondered if anyone would see it like that. I'm glad I left it a little open to interpretation... (I'm fairly certain she served dinner to him only. Maybe...)

      ~Susan

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  17. Revenge is a dish best served with mushrooms! Great story. Here's mine: http://postcardfiction.com/2012/02/10/flash-friday/

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    1. Haha! Great line. I wish I'd thought of it!! Thank you fro reading and commenting. I'll come check yours out now...

      ~Susan

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    2. Ahhh... revenge is mushroomy sweet. Loved it. Here's mine: www.triplemoonstar.blogspot.com

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    3. Thank you for reading, Lora. I'd love to see what you wrote...

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  18. This expresses pain in such a short vignette. I liked it a lot. :)

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment!

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  19. Instead of amanita, you have a-man-eat-ya. :) Nice!

    Here's my bit of silliness: http://wp.me/p24aJS-2F

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    1. Haha...I get it. You know, I am just enough of a nerd that I got out my mushroom book for this story. I didn't want to say "poison mushroom" and was hoping to find one that sounded deadly...and, I learned I have Amanita muscaria growing near my mailbox in the fall - the so-called magic mushrooms! Thank you for reading!

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  20. This is the second I've read that proves the scope the Friday Fictioneers idea has. I could never have come up with something like this, it's a story that sticks out wonderfully!

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    1. Thank you...that's so nice to hear. Normally I, as a person, don't like to stick out but am glad when my words do! Thank you so much!

      ~Susan

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  21. This was a very well-executed story, Susan. LOL, I see why your husband is concerned, but tell him he needs to have the milk thistle on hand too.

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    1. Wow, Madison. I learn something new every day. I just reseaeched what you said. I *never* knew that about milk thistle...you are SO smart!! And, thank you for reading and commenting!

      ~Susan

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  22. Excellent job. I was also wondering who would go the poison mushroom route. VEry, very well done!

    The link to my drabble is here: http://quillshiv.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/white-rot/

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    1. I wanted to do something different from last week, specifically out of the woods. I'm not certain what triggered this particular story but am happy with the end result. I'm glad you are too. Thank you for reading and commenting.

      ~Susan

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  23. How fun, it seems we had similar thoughts on this one. I'm glad I didn't read this first or I wouldn't have known where to go with it. I also like your comment about your hubby's reaction to it, lol.

    Mine:
    http://writetuit.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/flash-friday-soupe-du-jour/

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    1. Now I'm looking forward to reading yours. I always try to write on Thursday night (I just saw Madison actually puts up the pic on Wednesday!) and make a quick edit on Friday morning before posting...like you, I don't want to be influenced by anyone else's words. I'm off to read...

      ~Susan

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  24. This was great. From start to finish it flowed nicely and ended with a punch--or should I say gasp. Well done

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    1. Thank you, Vincent. I appreciate all the comments complimenting the flow. Since we are only working with 100 words, I strive to avoid any blunders or bumps. I'm glad you liked it.

      ~Susan

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  25. Even though the ending is ambiguous, I assumed it was a murder not a suicide. Think that would have changed if the joke had read "Keep in the dark..." Subtle, so I thought it was worth analyzing. Good job!

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  26. Yes...murder. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for taking the time to analyze and comment - I appreciate it!

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