Thursday, March 1, 2012

Flash Fiction #12



Jacque had been three days without food and a month without bathing.  He could not remember when he’d last slept, nor did he care.  These had ceased to be important.

Finding the first blood-hued ruby had been an accident, the second ecstasy, the third and final had merely stoked the already blazing obsession.
 
“Hi ho, hi ho, hi ho hum,” he sang to himself.  “Dig dig dig dig, dig dig dig...”

Clothes long turned to rags, pickax to splinters, mind to madness, Jacque painted with red as he scraped at the ground with torn nubs in search of number four. 


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40 comments:

  1. Brilliant, really liked this. Really nails the madness of sheer greed. Great stuff, really chilling, actually, and I think that Jacque might not be seen again! But, at least he'll be rich.

    My gory take is over here:
    http://joannakneilson.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/flash-fiction-friday-bloody-jewels/

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    1. Oh yes...I like that. Jacque will be rich...and most likely dead. So many examples of this through literature and movies. It makes one question if it is all worth it...

      ~Susan

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  2. You certainly get right into his obsession, Susan, and the madness it is leading to. I stumbled a bit over "Jacque painted with red" the first time, but the secodn time through I think I got it.

    I'm over here;
    http://elmowrites.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/friday-fiction-15

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    1. Yes...I can see that. I had a tough time with that last sentence and wrote and rewrote it over and over. I'm going to resist the temptation to fix it now, though, since I've posted it. I'm off to read yours.

      ~Susan

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  3. Very graphic image of an obsession ... enjoyed that. A month without bathing, huh? Hmmm.

    http://castelsarrasin.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/dark-heart-friday-fictioneers-2nd-march-2012/

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    1. I know when I get into the groove with writing or other I easily forget to stop and eat, etc. I can only imagine this is what Jacque is experiencing - to the extreme. Thank you for reading and commenting!

      ~Susan

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  4. A relentless pursuit of MORE. Why are we never satisfied or content? Great job of capturing that human weakness.

    mine's at http://russellgayer.blogspot.com/

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    1. You're right. We are never happy with what we have...we always want more. But, the grass isn't always greener, is it?

      ~Susan

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  5. Intense. Could totally see how he slipped into madness all for an obsession. Nicely told!

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    1. Thank you for reading and commenting...I think on some level, all obsessions are borderline madness.

      ~Susan

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  6. The power of greed. I want to say from rags to riches but sounds like he'll crack before cashing in. Good story. Here's mine: http://postcardfiction.com/2012/03/02/lost-in-translation/

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    1. He has both the riches and the rags now...too bad he can't stop and enjoy what he has, huh?

      ~Susan

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  7. Frightening and powerful, Susan. I have a friend who's a crystal hunter and he can spend hours on it. Fortunately, he nourishes his body, but it is an obsession.

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    1. When I walk on the beaches here, I wonder what it would be like to find precious metals or gems...and if I would be able to stop at just one random treasure washed up from the ocean, or if I'd return every day to look for more.

      ~Susan

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  8. I absolutely agree with Siobhan. It's haunting and intense. This is a real home run, I think.

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    1. Thank you, Lime! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to seeing what you have to offer this week.

      ~Susan

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  9. WoW! Pretty heavy - gruesome and fascinating at the same time - and well written, with precision and poetry. Yes. Pretty and ugly, but very very good.

    Here is me: http://fictionvictimtoo.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Linda. I'm glad you saw the good and the bad in this little story. I'm off to read yours.

      ~Susan

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  10. Admirably well done, Susan. A tale of obsession even more than greed, I think. Your last paragraph is excellent; it's a superlative piece.

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    1. Well, thank you, Carlos. I had trouble with the last paragraph - I didn't want it to be too obtuse. Thank you for your positive review!

      ~Susan

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  11. Loved your story. You certainly captured the obsession-- whether it was greed inspired or not. These were images that I would imagine with those who threw themselves into the frenzy of the 1849 Gold Rush. VERY well written!!

    Mine: www.vlgregory-circa1800.vpweb.com/blog.html.

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    1. Thank you...speaking of the Gold Rush, I'll bet the rush of finding a precious gem would make one lose all common sense. Hmmm, now I need to reread John Steinbeck, The Pearl. It just so happens I received a copy for Christmas.

      ~Susan

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    1. Thanks, Tony! I'm glad to hear it.

      ~Susan

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  13. Wow. It's incredibly difficult to convey that sense of dawning madness, so to do so in 100 words is nothing short of superlative. Absolutely amazed me.

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    1. Wow...thank you! I'm very glad you like my little story. Your assessment of my efforts is much appreciated.

      ~Susan

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  14. He dug with "torn nubs?" Oh no! I love that the man lost all sense of reality and how you portrayed his mental state in the clothes that he wore and his tool as well. Excellent!
    Here is mine.
    http://susielindau.com/2012/03/02/down-and-dirty-100-word-flash-fiction/

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    1. Thank you, Susie. I'm glad you enjoyed the picture I tried to paint.

      ~Susan

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  15. Hi Susan,
    I'm also on the French bathing plan, once a month whether I need it or not. I heard of gold fever, and I'm sure precious gems produce the same kind of obsessive behavior. I think Jacques should be happy to have found three. Four might be pushing it too far!

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    1. Haha...I suppose any "free riches" would do the same, gambling addictions included. I won $75 on a penny slot machine once and can see - from even that little bit of excitement and euphoria - how these things could get started.

      ~Susan

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  16. From greed to obsession into madness. Visit Atlantic City or Las Vegas and see it in reality. You hit the jackpot with your true-to-life story. well done. Here's mine:
    www.triplemoonstar.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you...even at the casinos here, I can see the look of desperation in some people's eyes...so glad you enjoyed.

      ~Susan

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  17. Dear Susan,

    This is one of your best Friday stories! I loved how you led us from joy through obsession to madness in a hundred words. A good reminder to stop and smell the roses along the way, too.

    Aloha,

    Doug

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    1. Dear Doug,

      Again, your assessment means a great deal to me. I try, in my own good life, to enjoy what I have. Period. It easy to fall in the trap of yearning for MORE.

      ~Susan

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  18. Oh I hate to say that his obsession rings a little familiar as I watch piles of dirty dishes and laundry grow in my house, and put off going to bed so late that a shower feels like such a chore... great story!

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    1. It's easy to get sidetracked with one thing or another, isn't it? Sometimes I start writing or blogging and realize I have not eaten breakfast or lunch or even, sometimes, brushed my teeth...haha Thank you for reading and commenting, Madison.

      ~Susan

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  19. This story has a nice creepiness to it. I liked the connection between the red gem and the red blood. Here's my take on this week's prompt: http://bit.ly/vYUdU3

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    1. Thank you...I hoped that wasn't too obvious. I'm glad it worked. I'm off to read your offering.

      ~Susan

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  20. I could picture your story in my mind as I read... nicely done.

    http://tedinfridayharbor.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, Ted. I'm glad you liked this week's story.

      ~Susan

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