Charlie Brown… such a clown (Friday Fictioneers, September 2014)

Copyright Kent Bonham

It had been quiet at the top of the multi-storey, but down here the sobbing and approaching sirens were hurting Charlie’s ears.

Pete hadn’t bounced on hitting the ground, not like on the cartoons. He was going to need a new head though, and his lollipop was ruined, sticky with blood and grit.

Pete wouldn’t be playing out awhile…if ever.

Looking around, Charlie spied a plump toddler slouched in an unattended buggy.

“Bet she’d bounce,” he thought, starting forward.

Steel fingers clamped his wrist; Charlie stared into the coldest eyes he’d ever seen.

“Been watchin’ you, son,” said the man. “Gotta plan for you.”

This was a difficult prompt and I’m still not sure what it represents.  However, when in doubt, go gruesome…  Thanks again to the First Lady of Friday Fictioneers, Rochelle.  Where would we be without you?

About Sandra

I cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and write fiction and poetry. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
This entry was posted in Friday Fictioneers, Just Sayin'. Bookmark the permalink.

73 Responses to Charlie Brown… such a clown (Friday Fictioneers, September 2014)

  1. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Sandra,

    Sounds to me as though Charlie is going to get his own chance to pass/fail the bounce test. I don’t know who the steel fingered gent is, but I like his style. Eye for an eye, one good fall deserves another, eh?

    When in doubt, go gruesome? I’ll have to remember that. Thanks for the tip.



    Liked by 1 person

  2. Definitely a psychopath if ever I read one. I don’t know if it was a difficult prompt (what is it?) or really easy (don’t know what it is – I can write anything!). But I loved your take on whatever it is.


  3. wmqcolby says:

    Whoa. Holy cow! I’m … stunned. SO incredibly horrifying.
    Bravissimo, Sandra! Five stars.


  4. Oh my, this was gruesome indeed. You mislead me with your title, I was expecting something light and funny. But no, no…you had to go there…and now I really want to know more. Great work, Sandra!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. jenniesisler says:

    Well it is the witching month, so going gruesome seems appropriate. I can’t help but wonder what happens to Charlie now

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sorchia D says:

    Wonderful! Well, how else is a kid supposed to learn?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “When in doubt go gruesome”…well it certainly worked for you!


  8. What a twist of the prompt. Or not. It does look a bit like a gruesome lollipop. Hope the steel fingered man can keep Charlie at bay.


  9. For a second I was terrified you were going to “go there” with that little plump little toddler. HUGE SIGH OF RELIEF!


  10. paulmclem says:

    Good job with a stinker of a prompt. Not as many entries so far – a sure sign it wasn’t an easy pic. I thought it looked like a mouse on a stick…but that’s just me!


  11. plaridel says:

    to bounce or not to bounce… it must be charlie’s turn this time.


  12. Have we met Charlie Brown before? I seem to remember a simple-minded man in the service of a very evil man… or am I imagining thing? Either way, uh-oh all around on this story!


  13. Elizabeth says:

    Did Charlie do it? Or is he the next one to find the ground?


  14. oh my…bad Charlie!


  15. Dear Sandra,

    There seems to be an innocence about Charlie. I didn’t see him as a psychopath but as mentally disabled. He definitely needs to be gotten off the streets but I’m not sure the steel fingered gent is his answer.

    Well written as always. As for the unidentified object on the street, Kent has no clue what it was. He told me he even picked it up and inspected it. (ugh!) Then he took a picture of it and sent to me as a potential prompt. I figured if Madison could post a picture of grapevine ooze I could post this one. I’m hoping to get people to think outside the box. How’s it working?




  16. Sandra says:

    I’m glad you saw that side of Charlie. I meant to portray him as one of those kids missing that vital link between actions and consequences, the kind that thinks cartoon action can be compared with real life. Of course, that could be a psychological disorder and maybe the steel-fingered man intends to nip this in the bud… or use it to his own ends. As for the prompt – certainly the response is slower than usual but I think there’s been a wide variety of ‘takes’ on it. Interesting. Thanks for commenting.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. margirene says:

    What an unusual and gripping take on the prompt. Well done.


  18. Kir Piccini says:

    so many places to go with this story. A well told and eerie story.


  19. Anyone bouncing toddler deserve that vice grip.. hope it works out for the better…


  20. draliman says:

    Wow, my story’s character is miles behind yours in the “budding serial killer” stakes. I reckon the mysterious man has found his new apprentice.
    Great read!


  21. Gruesome is cool.
    AnElephant loves it.


  22. wildbilbo says:

    Gruesome works REALLY well for flash fiction – the shorter it is, the gorier it can stand to be. It was the matter of fact way of telling that did it for me here. Nice work.


  23. Bastet says:

    The kid had seen too many cartoons I’d say … the story gave me a shiver up the spine. Brava!


  24. Wow! Where did that come from? Real stuff of nightmares.
    Not sure if the cold-eyed man is a goody? Will Charlie be joining Pete?


  25. MrBinks says:


    (But deliciously so.)


  26. I skipped to the bottom of the comments, so I don’t know what I missed. This is the origin of Charlie Brown of Peanuts fame, and of Charles Schulz picking him out and priming him for stardom. No doubt we are in a cartoon world so that bouncing babies are no big deal, and although Charlie is sort of a delinquent, Mr. Schulz knows he can turn him around. “That Charlie Brown, he’s a clown.” Great piece! At least the way I see it.


  27. Ellespeth says:

    Oh so much for the song! Times have advanced.


  28. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Sandra – Creepy cool – and poor kid is probably not going to enjoy the big guy at all. The kid has problems already. Very good Sandra! Nan 🙂


  29. storydivamg says:

    Cold and creepy, Sandra. Good take on the prompt.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail


  30. Hi Sandra. This is deliciously gruesome and creepy. Well done! LHN


  31. Amy Reese says:

    Dark and chilling. Now this strange stick has blood and grit on it. Brava, Sandra!


  32. liz young says:

    Excellently gruesome! SO glad someone recognised Charlie’s potential.


  33. Sometimes, I read your stories, Sandra and I’m just left totally lost… trying to figure out how your head got there! I’m not sure I understand this story, but it grabbed me nonetheless. Whatever I don’t know, I know chilling, and this creeped me out, and stuck in my head. Each week, you amaze me with your versatility in story telling.


  34. Indira says:

    Its really unusual take on the prompt that too when object is not clear. Gruesome but interesting.


  35. AnnIsikArts says:

    I’m glued to your mystery, Sandra and your bizarre characters, vividly drawn.


  36. “When in doubt, go gruesome?” That should be a mantra for all of us, I think!
    Your imagination, handling of character, dialogue and setting are all excellent, and your pace is totally gripping.
    Great story!


  37. Sarah Ann says:

    So well crafted. The lack of sense/ empathy in Charlie is horrifying, but I’m more worried what the man with the steel grip has planned next.


  38. MissTiffany says:

    Yikes! This isn’t a Charlie from the funny pages….still, as horrifying as his lack of empathy (understanding?) of his actions was, I disliked the steel from the unidentified man at the end more. I certainly felt the twinge of fear Charlie most certainly had to feel himself! Well done.


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