Celebrity Head

PHOTO PROMPT – © Jennifer Pendergast

*Language warning*


“I got Paltrow. G, P. Five fucking points.” Boyd threw his scrabble tiles on the board.

“Eleven points.” Skipper said. Boyd spat. “Queen Latifah.” Skipper gestured to his bulging bag, proof of the shot. “Q, L.”

Three points.” Boyd was scathing. “Her real name is Dana Owens. D and O. Idiot.”

I took sixteen points and the other paparazzi groaned. Two J’s. Janet Jackson.

The door swung wide and Rod strode in, cardboard box in his arms. It sagged, dripping red on his shirt. “Twenty points fuckers!”

We stared. Finally Skipper asked, “What’s in the box?”

Smirking, Rod opened it, revealing flies, black hair, and pointed prosthetic ears.

Zachary fucking Quinto.”

Word count 100 (plus a few after brief adjustments!)

Welcome to this weeks instalment of Friday Fictioneer’s – where writers are challenged to write a proper story (beginning, middle, end) based on a prompt in 100 words or less. As always, the challenge is placed by Rochelle, and this week’s photo is courtesy of Jennifer Pendergrast.

Ok, I went to a weird place this week. For those wondering how I got here, here is my bizarre thought path…

  1. A picture of train coupling, a somewhat desolate background.
  2. Coupling led me to ‘conscious uncoupling‘, a term used by Gwyneth Paltrow on her separation from the guy from Coldplay.
  3. Gwyneth (and that desolate background) led me to the final scenes in the movie Se7en.
  4. This took me to headhunting celebrities,
  5. and from there, an extreme game by murderous paparazzi.

I’m not sure if this story actually works, I found the 100 word restriction really tough.

Anyway, let me know what you think, whether it works, whether it doesn’t…



Postscript: Ok, there are a few messages that this didn’t work for everyone, and I think at least one of these things is the leap from letters to points  – this is a scrabble thing, so I’ve made this clear = (G & D =2, P=3, O & L =1, J=8, Q & Z =10) . I’ve also explained the connection between Queen Latifah & Dana Owens.


39 thoughts on “Celebrity Head

  1. No I didn’t get it, but your explanation made things a bit clearer. I don’t really know who these people are (apart from GP), nor am I familiar with the film. All down to me though, others seem to get it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it would work better if you could expand it a bit more. The one-hundred word limitation did make you work harder to be concise and I liked that. I just missed the points system and how it applied to each specific celebrity. I did like that it wasn’t clear from the beginning ‘how’ they were gaining their points. If you could clear up the reasons why you spelled out names “D-Dana O-Owens”, that might help people like me who don’t initially grasp the ‘gamer terminology’. (Unless it had nothing to do with that. In which case, never mind.) Loved the gruesome realism of the paparazzi character. It seems like just one small step up from their current inhumane approach to celebrity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kiri – thanks for the feedback. I’ve thrown in a few more words… not too many as it takes me past the 100, but maybe it makes things clearer? maybe?

      But as the monstrousness of paparazzi’s was my main theme, I’m kinda glad that came through anyway. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And there was me thinking it was the monstrousness of scrabble – but then you’d have composed it of lots of obscure two letters words.
        This isn’t instantaneously clear – but clear enough and drew me in to do the work needed. (The Seven reference jogs it along and I’d been thinking of you-know-who anyway ‘consciously decoupling’ as a bit of serendipity.) Actually I had to go back and find the title – for people are as inattentive as me, you could put it right above the piece as well.
        Very inventive and just the right level of over the top macabre. Great stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I also had trouble to understand your story! Reading your thought process helped a little! There are so many elements in your story that just seem to pop-up from nowhere. But then again, I’m not that much of a writer or a good reader…so….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your feedback. Sometimes the stories we want to write in these flash fiction pieces simply need more words than we are given – I suspect this was one of those occasions.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I got it with the “head in a box.” But, as others mentioned, didn’t get the point system and was lost in the celebrities. (only because I don’t know some of them so as Sandra said, that’s on me.) Great idea though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Alicia – the points made sense to me, but I can see how there is a ‘leap’ between the initials and the numeric values. It’s actually based on scrabble tiles, and I’ve made an adjustment to clarify that. thanks for the feedback


  5. I felt like the points were based on scrabble tiles and the names obviously based on their latest ‘head shot’, but like others I did find this a little unclear. The 100 word limit is tough – sometimes a story just doesn’t fit, other times it needs HEAVY editing to add the necessary explanation without losing the tale itself. Not sure where this one falls, but I felt like I was on the cusp of getting it, so probably the latter.
    I love how you explained the thought process – conscious uncoupling…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It gradually dawned on me what was happening so that by the time I got to the end I was laughing. “Celebrity Assassination Scrabble (Paparazzi Edition)” sounds pretty cool, but I doubt we’ll be seeing it in Toys ‘R Us any time soon 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Three cheers for axing Gweneth. Hmm… bonus drinks for pretty much all of these, from a celebrity-hunting standpoint.
    [Note: Celebrity Head might be confused with another game entirely…]

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear KT,

    I followed the trail of your clues and story and was delighted with the way you put it all together. The imagination required to stitch together all of the disparate bits of this story is a testament to your skill as a surgeon of words. Well done.



    Liked by 1 person

  9. I applaud your ingenuity, KT. I could follow it fine, until the end. Did he actually kill Zachary Quinto and the pointy ears are because of Spock, right? Oh, say it isn’t so! I love that guy. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh HEY. I just got it. The letters in the name are counted up as points as if they were Scrabble tiles. Wow, I so did not get that the first time. Hence Zachary Quinto being worth the most points.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I read it after the edits – so I’m not sure how it was originally – but it worked perfectly for me. I got all of it – the celebrities, the points, the headhunting. I like macabre humor so this one was a win for me. Loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. A great take on the prompt! Even without the explanation, I understood what was going on. I enjoyed the macabre feel to this, and the interplay between the paparazzi.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Dear KT,

    Wow, that was quite a journey. What’s more, I enjoyed it. I’ll admit that I needed the explanation at the end. As for Paltrow and their “conscious uncoupling,” it caused me to have a conscious unswallowing. .
    I’m a big Scrabble player anyway and the connections were amazing. Se7en as one of the most disturbing movies I’ve ever seen. Your story will stick with me.



    Liked by 1 person

  14. Whoa! I’m behind this week, KT and this one really took my head round and round! Got the head in the box, and thought of Seven… the body count and scrabble… again, whoa. You really did some creative writing this week! Quick and calculating, like the characters.

    As for that 100 words… it’s a bitch, but that’s why it’s flash fiction! 😉 Every week, I’m cut, cut, cutting! Ugh!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. That story was easy to appreciate even before the explanation which is not my thing as I like very prompt related stories and it fell right so that I’d say the word requirement was fine too.

    No worries then mate, you got it right IMHoO, Tay.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s