Finders Keepers – Friday Fictioneers, November 2016

Copyright Jean L Hays

Copyright Jean L Hays

The few people passing this way, since the new highway was built, hope to find someone… or lose them.

Suspecting the latter, Joe let the blonde stay.  She was no trouble.

One morning he watched her on the porch, scenting the air like a wolf; later that day she was gone.

The next arrival, practically glowing with malevolence, spotted the wildflowers in a jam-jar on the windowsill.

He grabbed Joe by the throat.

“She went that-a-way,” Joe rasped, pointing.

The man turned left at the crossroads; later, still hurting, Joe limped right.

He’d found someone.

He wasn’t about to lose her.

November has never been my favourite month, and I’m amazed to find we’re already into it.  I loathe the darker evenings.  Even the news that two of my older short stories are to be published in anthologies has failed to raise my spirits much, or to prompt me back into submitting work once again.  Head down, I think, and just plough on into December.  However, my little ray of sunshine, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields still manages to stay ahead of the Friday Fictioneers game, despite all that she has to do.  Inspirational!

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.

86 Responses to Finders Keepers – Friday Fictioneers, November 2016

  1. neilmacdon says:

    Hi Sandara. This is up to your usual standard of darkness – November has done its sinister work. And congratulations on the reprints by the way. Just one tiny niggle with this story. We’re in Joe’s point of view, whereas her disappearance is in the point of view of an external observer. The pacing and structure of the line “One morning he watched her on the porch, scenting the air like a wolf; later that day she was gone” is lovely, but it’s confusing

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      That’s interesting. I don’t see it that way at all. I read the ‘she was gone’ as an internalisation of an observation. But if it confused you, there must be something in what you say. Thanks for mentioning it; I’ll give it some more thought.

      Like

  2. Dear Sandra,

    There’s so much story between the lines. Hopefully things will work out for Joe and the blonde.

    I know what you mean about November. Getting ready to set the clocks back Sunday so that it will be even darker earlier. Your story is a bright spot this morning.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  3. Mysterious, Sandra. I’m guessing Joe went to find the woman. Anyway, good writing as always. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Like

  4. ceayr says:

    Wonderful as ever, whole lives in 100 words.
    Your tiny details – scenting the air, wildflowers in a jam-jar – make the magic.

    But you stretch my credulity with ‘little ray of sunshine’!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Picture that he has her chained in a cave somewhere, maybe?

    Like

  6. Beautiful. And so much going on in it.

    Like

  7. Mike says:

    Dark nights are for reading, but may the sun shine and keep you writing, I always enjoy reading your stories. Mike

    Like

  8. I don’t know what to think of Joe…I wonder if he is going to help her or just keep her for himself. Intriguing and delightfully sinister. Right there with you on November, depressing as hell.

    Like

  9. Hey, I like your Joe a lot better than mine… somehow I can actually see that there are similarities between our stories. A tough world for women.

    Like

  10. Dale says:

    I like to think she was onto the both of them and made an early getaway by herself!!

    Like

  11. Mysterious and thought provoking, just the kind I enjoy. Marvelous job telling so much in so little.

    Like

  12. Lynn Love says:

    I’ll never know how you manage to cram so much story in so few words – you’re a whizz, Sandra. A really good tale, brimming with intrigue and secrets to uncover. Will he save his girl? Great stuff.

    Like

  13. Intriguing tale indeed! As for Joe – mmm, not too sure about him!
    My silly story!

    Like

  14. A beautifully woven story with minimal words and maximum effect.

    Like

  15. Loved this very much.
    He saved her or hid her away like a brave knight.
    Good on Joe.

    Like

  16. Iain Kelly says:

    Nice story, I can see this as a classic Hollywood noir film in the 50s. Great scene.

    Like

  17. She was no trouble. This line says a lot about Joe and the blonde. Well done.

    Like

  18. wmqcolby says:

    The tone for this is nice! It recalls the old days of the 1940’s. A little noir kind of texture. Sandra, this is great!

    You need to come to Kansas City — we have temps in the 80’s F right now which is unusually warm here at this time.

    Like

  19. A lot of action in your 100 words–nicely told! I like the detail of the flowers in the jar.

    Like

  20. gahlearner says:

    I like Joe and refuse to see the other options. How’s that for November sunshine? Great writing as always, and congrats, you deserve it. I like the wildness of November, the roughness of storms, colours peeking through the grey, falling leaves, colder days.

    Like

  21. draliman says:

    I’m guessing the flowers on the windowsill gave her away. I hope he finds her, they could be made for each other.
    Congratulations on getting your work published!

    Like

  22. writelindy says:

    I’ve just read your story and your beginning is similar to mine but I do like the direction that your story travelled.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Lizy says:

    “dripping malevolence” – wonderful choice of words. I hope Joe limped fast enough.

    Like

  24. Amazing story! I love the first line.

    Like

  25. Indira says:

    Mysterious.You can take it any way. Interesting. Congrats for two stories being published.

    Like

  26. Laurie Bell says:

    Wow great one… i want to know more. I hope shes okay and that he does find her.

    Like

  27. Super write … but … what else would Sandra do. Genius !!!
    No writers block just plenty of yummy things to think about after reading.
    I like that there are a few interpretations. I think the blond is hiding from her abusive husband.
    Joe’s trying to keep her safe. And, she’s pretty to look at from his point of view. ~~~ : – )
    Congratulations on your 2 stories being published. Time for a HAPPY DANCE.
    Isadora 😎

    Like

  28. plaridel says:

    i wonder if she’s caged somewhere like a treasured pet.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. My view is that he is hiding her from whoever the angry guy is. “Later that day she was gone” means she is gone from view but not gone for real. I think. Maybe. Kind of sort of.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. rgayer55 says:

    As a youth, I watch a lot of westerns.“She went that-a-way,” is one of my favorite lines. Thanks for including it in this tale of romance.

    Like

  31. Congratulations on the publications! I’m not too sure about Joe. I can’t decide whether he is as bad as the second visitor or not! I love the intrigue!

    Like

  32. Hi Sandra – I’ve just joined Friday Fictioneers so nice to meet you.
    I really like the undertone of menace but juxtaposed against the flowers in the jar, nice touch!

    Like

  33. Michael Wynn says:

    At first you wonder bout Joe’s motives but the excellent detail of limping to the right infers he’s not totally altruistic. Great read

    Liked by 1 person

  34. subroto says:

    Wonder if she is the reason the wildflowers are doing well. Always looking out for a good potting mix now that summer is here in the Southern hemisphere.

    Like

  35. I still worry about the blond. Joe maybe not as evil as the last guy but he is still a little possessive. Good story that makes you think.

    Like

  36. Perhaps it’s a writer’s crush, but I’m loath to criticize anything you do… though I was a bit confused too. Or, perhaps it’s the election wine I’m already drinking… I have thrown out a FB invite to anyone who wants to drink all day tomorrow–– something I’ve never actually done. I love your writing; the phrasing here is wonderful, the story intriguing, but yes, I’m a little confused. And blurry. (blame it on a day of calling voters in swing states and months of anxiety!)

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      You should always feel free to criticize Dawn. It’s clear that the story lost something in the editing down to 100. Basically, she was running from someone, the main character let her stay, one day she sensed her persecutor coming, disappeared. The persecutor saw the flowers in the window, knew she’d been here, tried to force him to say where she’d gone and the main character sent him in the wrong direction, before going after her for himself. Now that I say all that, I see it probably was a bit too much for 100. 🙂 I did like, however, that a little element of ‘yet another control freak’ peeked out in the last line. Hope you’re not drowning your sorrows today. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wow! I think I did in fact miss the boat on that one! ( 😉 see what I did there? ) Usually, I see all the twists and turn in your stories, but I didn’t here. It’s a lot of story, and alas… my thoughts were probably not entirely focused.

        Yes, still in shock. Several of us have said it feels much like the days just after 9/11. We know something terrible has happened, but it’s so hard to wrap our brains around it. Each time they say President-elect Trump, I feel a bit more shaken. We will all move on, but I hope something better comes out of all this. That is the only hope I have right now… the HP piece was about waking up; now I just feel foolish. Probably more answer than you were seeking… 😉 Thanks for the wonderful explanation of the story, Sandra! Have a good weekend. 🙂

        Like

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