When It’s Over – Friday Fictioneers, July 2020

Copyright Jean L Hays

The men in Cressida’s life are as prone to extravagant gestures as Cressida is to studied understatement.

Thus relationships seldom endure.

But they do say that you never know the true nature of a man until you leave him, so Cressida finds herself mildly curious to establish the content of the tightly-taped and padlocked crate outside her gate.

She nudges it with a neatly-shod toe.  There’s resistance.

Her husband’s head perhaps?

Or her lover’s heart…?

Interest waning, she retreats indoors.

In the midday sun, the box shifts slightly.

“Are you there, Cressida?” says a plaintive voice, “please, I beg of you…”


In this world of wokerie, and after due consideration, I opted against calling this “When The Fat Lady Sings” – I wouldn’t want the cancel culture to finish off the job that lockdown has already started.  Our anchor of sanity, Rochelle, leads us out into the world of Friday Fictioneer 100 word stories yet again.


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.
This entry was posted in Friday Fictioneers, Just Sayin' and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

70 Responses to When It’s Over – Friday Fictioneers, July 2020

  1. neilmacdon says:

    Lovely tale. Those given to the occasional extravagant gesture may feel offended.


  2. trishsplace says:

    Studied understatement vs extravagant gestures. Cressida might survive a lover’s tiff, but perhaps not the zombie apocalypse! Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Iain Kelly says:

    Appropriate name for her, it should have been a warning to those men. You’ve seen the film ‘Seven’? If you have then that box can only be one thing!


  4. Dear Sandra,

    I laughed at Iain’s comment because for me the movie “Seven” came to mind also. I hope it’s not her husband’s head in the box. Run, Cressida!




  5. MrBinks says:

    Ha, very good!


  6. Creepy Cressida 🙂


  7. ceayr says:

    I guess I’m not the only one who finds Cressida somewhat adorable.
    I love that her curiosity wanes so quickly, the lady obviously has much on her mind.


  8. Ananda says:

    Masterclass in micro story writing


  9. granonine says:

    Creepy, Sandra. Love it! Similar in feeling to my story this week 🙂


  10. I was thinking the incredible shrinking man! Well done.


  11. Anita says:

    I thought of the body part in the box!
    We never know what’s there till we open it!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Her interest may have waned, but If I was passing by and witnessed that I’d be both alarmed and intrigued!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wonderful story! So funny on so many levels. Well done, Sandra.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Very subtle and highly adorable character, this!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. pennygadd51 says:

    Grim, grim humour of the blackest kind. Well written Sandra!


  16. Bill says:

    Excellent plus. I noted her “studied understatement.” Fortunately, I am seldom of the extravagant gesture variety of male, at least while sober.


  17. Haha. I love this! Talking heads can be an effective literary device after all!


  18. Somehow I find that midday sun troubling if there’s a body part inside that box. Perhaps there is, perhaps not. You’ve certainly got us all guessing.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. This is one of those times where I knew the story was going to be good from the first line. And it didn’t disappoint.


  20. Dale says:

    Well now… I’m thinking if he’s pleading inside the box, he can’t be just a head – maybe a recording device or some sort?. Wonderful writing, as per.


  21. wmqcolby says:

    I loved those opening lines.You have a definite way with description. As for the box, I imagined a very short Troillus. I would have preferred your original title — it’s American as apple pie, leather jackets and chewing gum. Brilliant work, Sandra!

    Five out of five Fat Ladies Singing, four calling birds … three French Horns … etc., etc. (I’m up late, so I’m kind of goofy right now!).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra says:

      Was it Jimmy Durante who originated that ‘fat lady sings’ saying?


      • wmqcolby says:

        Nobody knows who said it, to be honest (it’s been attributed to either announcer Dan Cook in 1978 or sports information director Ralph Carpenter), but it came out of broadcast sports and got VERY popular right away. Yogi Berra, the legendary baseball player, once said something similar, “It ain’t over until it’s over.” Now THAT’S a certainty. 😀 I think Jimmy Durante was long gone before that, although, it sounds like something he would have said.


  22. draliman says:

    Looks like this is one extravagant gesture that has gone a bit wrong!


  23. I wish I had met some of these men of extravagant gestures 🙂 Superb story, as usual !

    Liked by 1 person

  24. doodletllc says:

    Oh, I’m sure it’s the husband’s head…freshly slaughtered, brain still operating, but he will soon be done in by that intense sun. A wicked tale.


    • Sandra says:

      Many thanks for reading. I went to yours and commented but the captcha thingy wouldn’t let it through, kept saying ‘error… etc’ Anyway, I enjoyed your tale. 🙂


  25. Liz Young says:

    If her lover dies of heatstroke, will they arrest her or her husband?


  26. How big was that box? I wonder if it was an entire person or just the head in there?

    Liked by 1 person

  27. plaridel says:

    creepy. at least, the crate was padlocked for security.


  28. Extravagant gesture indeed, mailing himself to Cressida. He should have known better. Creepy funny!!


  29. dmmacilroy says:

    Dearest Sandra,

    You make me smile.

    (Poor fellow. I hope he built himself a robust life support system for his crate. If he was too stupid to build himself a way out from the inside then she shouldn’t worry about not having selected him. Darwin files and all that.)

    Stay safe and low and keep producing these gems.



    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra says:

      Some guys are just so sure of their persuasive capabilities I guess they don’t stop to think of escape routes. Anyway, better off without him – they sound temperamentally unsuited. Stay safe too, Doug. I think your chances of doing that are much improved in your present location than in your former one. And I’m pleased about that.


  30. Oy vey! Some will go to extra measures indeed … 😉 I think that he ought to think outside of the box …


  31. tedstrutz says:

    Wicked mind wielding pen (or actually, most likely keyboard) strikes again.


  32. Gabriella says:

    You can ignore a silent box, but can you ignore a plaintive package?

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Nobbinmaug says:

    So, I guess he’s not a major award. (That joke only works if you’re familiar with “A Christmas Story.”) At least Van Gogh only sent his ear.


  34. subroto says:

    Ha! Ha! He really needs to think out of the box next time.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. I really like the way you characterize Cressida and the ending that made me smile broadly. good story Sandra.

    Liked by 1 person

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