Black Friday – Friday Fictioneers

Copyright M-G Stratford


Her last known address was 59th street.

I stayed over occasionally, on nights when icicles fringed the railway arches.  You hid in the furniture department till closing-time, then selected your doss… simple as that.

I liked a king-size, but Josie preferred an orthopaedic bed – bad back, you know.

That last night, I woke to the sound of cash registers ringing, murmuring voices, muffled footsteps, the swish of taffeta silk.

“This one?”

A tall, frock-coated figure loomed over me.

“No, that one, I think.”

We talk about Josie a lot, down at the railway arches.

She had style, that one.

Our talented hostess, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields has been gracing the airwaves this week. I believe.  Looking forward to hearing that.  Friday Fictioneers invites 100 word stories in response to a photo prompt – some weeks it’s easier than others.  This was not one such week for me. 

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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74 Responses to Black Friday – Friday Fictioneers

  1. MrBinks says:

    Thoroughly engaging, and leaves you wanting more.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. neilmacdon says:

    It’s so interesting how many stories about social inequality this prompt is generating. Great story, Sandra


  3. Dear Sandra,

    If this was a difficult prompt for you, I couldn’t tell. You make it look effortless. Clever, these homeless ladies. I’m sorry Josie got caught. Well done as always.



    PS the interview was great fun. I don’t envy Dr. Paul having to edit over an hour’s worth down to half. I’ll be sure to let it be known when it’s up for listening. Of course I’ll download and blog it, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Iain Kelly says:

    At least she went in style. We had the first big frost of the winter here this morning, an apt reminder for those less fortunate than us.


  5. Your reply to Rochelle gave your tale a whole new meaning. Excellent Sandra.

    Click to read my FriFic!


  6. Great, evocative story. A lot of the stores had dogs they kept in kennels on the roof. They’d let them loose after hours to make sure nobody stayed in the store at night.


  7. ceayr says:

    Sorry, Sandra, this one escapes me.
    I get that Josie is dead, but why is the narrator still asleep when the store is open?


  8. Ahh, I didn’t quite get who it was who was ‘collecting’ her until I read your comment to Rochelle. Great story, and nicely written. Do you remember that man who got locked into Waterstones on Piccadilly a while back? This reminded me of that, although that probably wasn’t so comfortable.


    • Sandra says:

      Being locked in Waterstones overnight must be the ultimate definition of mixed feelings. Sorry it wasn’t so clear. When I struggle with a piece it’s usually an indication that it’s not going to be clear to the reader.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. granonine says:

    Poignant. Most of us will never come close to living–or dying–that way.


  10. James says:

    I have a horrible feeling Josie came to a bad end.


  11. bbryanthomas says:

    Very enjoyable – and believable


  12. Lynn Love says:

    She really did have style! What a way to go. Love your little details of description, that swish of tafetta. Lovely Sandra


  13. pennygadd51 says:

    Taffeta, cash registers, frock coats, you gave us plenty of clues, Sandra. I think it’s a well-written little ghost story. Nice one!


  14. I have always thought it a waste with furnitures unused over night. But I’ve never thought about the eerie collectors coming for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I knew right off the bat Josie had gone off to another world. I like the ingenuity of your women. Lovely story.


  16. Mike says:

    I was thinking that these were homeless women until I read your reply to Rochelle. Then that opened up a WHOLE NEW LINE of story. Very interesting.


  17. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover says:

    Great conversational tone in this. I didn’t expect the dark end.


  18. michael1148humphris says:

    I loved reading that the icicles fringed the arch, and I understood that your character had died. But I am not so sure that I saw her as a ghost. Telling the reader so much in a hundred words is so challenging. To challenge the reader is good


    • Sandra says:

      The narrator didn’t die, her companion did when the ghosts of previous customers came to collect her. I don’t know why I just didn’t say that, really. 🙂


  19. JS Brand says:

    Great writing. I’ll spend the rest of the day wondering how the prompt brought out this idea. You must have been at the front of the queue when imaginations were handed out ( and have been served by an elf with a mischievous streak).


  20. Nan Falkner says:

    Good job Sandra – you are always so clever!


  21. Love the picture of the icicles over the railway arches. Sets the scene for the ghostly final night.


  22. Rowena says:

    Sandra, I really liked the ideas behind this piece, which made for a wonderful story once explained, but couldn’t get to that point without the prompts. Perhaps, that’s a factor of the word limit. I really feel this story has real potential, but just needs something to take the reader with you. It’s almost there.
    xx Rowena


  23. draliman says:

    At lease she passed away in a nice warm bed. It’s creepy that your narrator also saw the ghosts. Close call!


  24. rgayer55 says:

    Being rather simple-minded, I didn’t get it until I read the comments. Then I thought, Wow, what a cool story. I especially loved the last line.


  25. Poor Josie. We get such a good sense of who she was in 100 words and she wasn’t even in it! Really well written.


  26. I love the title Black Friday. The ‘special offer’ in store was not at all what the women were expecting!


  27. You never disappoint me with your clever stories, Sandra. You always pack so much into those little 100 words. I 2nd and 3rd all of the comments left here. It’s always a pleasure to stop in and read your written words.
    Isadora 😎


  28. Laurie Bell says:

    Ooooooo creepy. I wanna find out what happens!


  29. Liz Young says:

    I guess the cleaners found Josie in the morning. At least she died comfortable 🙂


  30. Dale says:

    They’re coming to take her away, hah-hah…

    Only not to the funny farm… the the never-return-from-place.
    I swear. I canna tell you why this tune popped into my head except that they came to take her away…
    You are ever so clever, Sandra. Loved this.


  31. Such an interesting story, although I must confess I didn’t fully understand what had happened until I read the other comments. It’s hard to convey everything in 100 words, isn’t it?

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos


  32. Sarah Ann says:

    Oh I like this. The detail of icicles and rustling taffeta. This has such a melancholy feel to it, in a good way.


  33. LucciaGray says:

    Haunting story. Lovely.


  34. An atmospheric story, elegantly told- I felt a real sense of there in the moment.


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