Wet behind the ears

PHOTO PROMPT – © Dale Rogerson

The swirling, fetid water rising up Peter’s waist was less disturbing than the absolute refusal of anyone else on the thirty-first floor to acknowledge it. Co-workers splashed past his cubical as three glittering dragonflies alit his monitor. Materialising behind Peter, his team-leader croaked out a cough.

Panicked, a dragonfly dived into his coffee.

“I’m still waiting for that report Peter,” the team-leader said, tongue darting out to lick his glasses clean. “You knew this promotion would involve hard work. Some difficult changes.”

The insect bobbed in the coffee once before drowning.

“Sink or swim Peter. Sink or swim.”

100 Words

Weird Fiction

Welcome back to Friday Fictioneers, where writers and bloggers post 100 words of story prompted by a single photo. As always #FF is ably hosted by the gracious Rochelle of Addicted to Purple, and this week the photo is provided by Dale Rogerson (thanks!).

So, I’m still practicing my weird fiction – leave a comment if you like it, or if you hate it – I’m interested in all feedback!

Also remember to check everyone else’s posts here!

Friendly and Fraught Feedback on Friday Fictioneers…

Yes, I know…what can I say, I love alliteration!

Last week Rochelle asked for some comments on Friday Fictioneers, and I delayed my response until this week (officially to think carefully about my response, but honestly because I wanted to go to bed and sleep at the time I was posting). Anyway, Rochelle asked:

What do you like about Friday Fictioneers? How do you feel the discipline helps you as a writer? What are your pet peeves, ie what don’t you like?

Well most of my comments are exceptionally positive. I sincerely enjoy almost every aspect of this. I love coming back every week, I love coming up with some short story that is interesting (to me) and sharing it, and I love reading other people’s stories. I really love the fact that people read my stuff and comment on it. I love the community as a whole.

From a discipline perspective, I think that overall it’s a positive influence on my writing. Firstly, there is the simple existence of a deadline – it’s a thing that gets me back to the blog to write when nothing else will. When inspiration is low, when motivation is non-existent, I keep coming back to hit that deadline. I would have to check, but I don’t think I’ve missed one since my first post way back in September last year.

I also think the short 100 word form forces a writer to be superbly tight in their writing – it is a challenge every week to be both brief and engaging. I don’t get it spot on every week, but I think I’m getting better and better at it. It’s a beautiful environment for just trying different things.

That said I think that by constantly writing 100 word stories, I am ignoring the longer-form writing I used to enjoy. I’m not doing pieces of 500 words, or 1000 words, or 10,000 words – and I suspect it’s because I get plenty of warm affirmation from the fine folks here at #FF. This is not a criticism of FF, rather it’s identified a failing in myself – I need to keep up the 100 words every week, but I need to branch out too. Continue developing in different forms.

I’m sure I’d echo many of everyone else’s complaints. Serials don’t bother me overmuch but if a story doesn’t stand on its own I rarely bother to go back and read the previous version. Multiple prompt stories also don’t bother me UNLESS it appears forced (nothing is more jarring than squeezing three incongruent words into an unrelated photo prompt story) OR where the secondary prompt is highlighted in the story. Seriously: if random words are given a different Colour/bold/Italics it pulls me out of the story.

Anyway, that’s enough from me. Time to read some other posts while the kids are in bed!



28 thoughts on “Wet behind the ears”

  1. Dear KT,

    First, I enjoyed your weird fiction. I couldn’t decide if the rising water was in the MC’s head or was really happening. On the other hand, I don’t think it matters. I loved the visuals and the sense of foreboding.

    Second, I truly appreciate the feedback re Friday Fictioneers. I hadn’t thought about the deadline aspect but as I’m working with one at present with novel #2 I can see where FF helps. I concur with the rest of your comments.

    Thank you and shalom,


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Being John Malkovich is a great example of commercial weird fiction – so much is left unexplained in that movie – the only resolution is what comes to the characters personally. Thanks

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely weird tale! I’m trying to decide if his boss is a frog and he’s about to drown at his desk, or if it’s all metaphorical. It has conjured up a wonderful picture in my mind, though!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved this story. The imagery was so vivid I felt the water against me. And, I loved the boss, his condescending manner. I too, didn’t know whether he was human, but it didn’t matter. The ending was perfection. “Sink or swim…”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sea monsters evolve after climate change, taking their mud with them… I loved your weird tale. I also agree with everything you said about FF–these coloured or highlighted words irritate me, too.
    I’m by far not as advanced in my writing as most of the FF folks are, but I hear you on the longer pieces. I used to hack away and write, and write… didn’t have much time for that recently, but now I’m tiptoeing around the decision of doing the Nanowrimo and looked through what I had already written for my ‘novel’–and it is wordy. Far too wordy, and a lot of passive writing, and boring verbs. FF really helps me with seeing that.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the 100 word FF prompts as well. I hope that they are continually honing my craft. It does keep me away from the larger projects???? I think that as my passion for them larger ones ignites…. I hope so? Enjoyed your take on the prompt!

    Liked by 1 person

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