Friday Fiction: 100 Word Challenge

Friday Fiction: 100 Word Challenge

Friday Fiction: 100 Word Challenge

A quote: “If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get.” ~~ Frank A. Clark

I’ll start with a story …


Seth whirled about me with the boundless energy of all 9 y/o boys. He had his own garden this year, raising a fine crop of pumpkins and couldn’t wait for Thanksgiving guests to taste “his pies”.

Menfolk erected tables, boys and girls set them. Cookfires set at dawn were yielding a bounty of fowl and game. Families came with all manner of sides and sweets.

God was good to bring us to this place, to give us these neighbors.

I‘m helping the young women pack up baskets of the choicest bits. The young men standing guard will eat well tonight.


Now, it’s your turn.
. featured image, cropped, Adobe Stock standard license

Written by

  • Leigh Kimmel says:

    Elaine looked at the stack of presents accumulating in the back of the closet, waiting for the big day, and realized it was time for a talk. Not that Talk — the kids were too little for that one, thankfully. But she needed to have a talk with her husband about thank-you notes, and specifically how to go about having the children writing their own, instead of her writing on their behalf. How much weight should they put on the forms, as opposed to the sentiment?

    Back home in Iowa, there had been no question. When thank-you notes were owed, you got sat down at the kitchen table with pen and paper, and you ground them out — longhand, in ink , and letter-perfect or you rewrote them until they were.

    Except sometimes those requirements led to so many rewrites that gratitude got lost in the pursuit of exemplary form. She still remembered being required to write one a second time on the grounds that her handwriting was too small, and the elderly recipients’ eyes might struggle to read it.

    But her younger sister Ruby always struggled no end with the demands of the process. Because she loathed it, she’d try to go as fast as she could, just to get done sooner. Except she’d always trip over something. No, she couldn’t just slip the forgotten a or of where it belonged, because it would look crowded in, or visibly smaller. Or her handwriting looked dashed on the page, and needed to be neater.

    Whatever the fault, their folks would yet again belabor the point that haste was not speed, that if only Ruby would take the time to do it right at the beginning, she’d get done far sooner, instead of having to do it over. By the time an acceptable copy was finally produced, they’d only succeeded in convincing Ruby yet again that the whole process was a setup to humiliate her and waste her time on picayune details.

    But Iowa, especially the rural areas, was still a lot more traditional about the forms and rituals of politesse. This was California, a much more laid-back state where she’d been able to e-mail her thanks to friends. While security issues here at Sparta Point made that solution less viable, surely she could take a more relaxed attitude toward hardcopy thank-you notes, focus on thankfulness instead of perfection.

  • LTC (Ret.) Ted says:

    But for The Incident, we’d have never heard of the town of Lesser Mousing. Few even in neighboring shires had heard of it.

    Certainly, Durward Stintling would remain unnamed in our memories, except for the missing Wilton cheese. In person, we would have seen an average man, of average height, average coloration and weight. Durward’s intellect? Average.

    Stintling, you see, came from the dairying family. That is the family that claimed they’d raised kine in the area since before “William the Bastard” upset everything in 1066. Kine produce milk, and, in the days before refrigeration, milk had to become cheese or pig slop, one or the other.

    Durward’s many times great grandmother had been a Wilton. Second daughter of the Wilton who avoided the War of The Roses owing to a club foot. Naturally enough, as the chief cheese maker, old granny named the product, the famed then, and missing later, Wilton cheese. Grandmama was never modest.

    So there are the factors: Durward Stintling, Wilton cheese, or rather the absence of, and, oh yes, the investigative reporter. I mentioned her, didn’t I? No? Wilma Brightbit was her name, fresh out of J-school at a nearby provincial college. Out to make a name, don’t ye know?

    As it turned out, Wilma could have modeled for the Willendorf Venus, but not headless, or missing limbs. Large and round behind; large and round up front. Let’s toss in that she fancied herself a sight in a dirndl. Indeed she was.

    Back, then, we must turn to Durward, and The Incident.

    In the cafe styling itself, Cozy Nook, on the high road in Lesser Mousing, Mr Durward Stintling took his luncheon. As it was high tourist season, all ten covers were occupied. Doris Wilton, herself a descendant of the afore mentioned grandma, had lain Durward’s cheese salad before him and retired. Then one thing followed another like Guy Fawkes Day.

    Durward, one eye on the local advertiser, took a careless bite of his salad. Immediately, his face turned crimsony purple, he spat salad, which, fortunately failed to cross the table to the Town Council Secretary. Roaring, “That is never my family’s Wilton cheese!”, he picked up the salad, which, indeed, had been laced with a lesser cheese.

    Salad in hand, Durward intended to toss it toward the kitchen, but, with Wilma Brightbit standing in the way, she intending to interrogate Durward to get the true story of cow abuse by his progenitors, he failed. Said salad thumped into the upper reaches of Wilma’s dirndl, funneled down through her vast, not to say enormous cleavage, to land over her tummy bulge.

    Suffice it to say, that Wilma submitted her piece on the assault salad with her selfie to the provincial press. It was picked up by successively larger publications, to end up on “Page Three” of a national tabloid. The follow-on lawsuit was also grist for the print mills, thus bringing Wilma Brightbit, Lesser Mousing, Durward Stintling, and Wilton cheese to worldwide viral status.

    Post-mortem, many witnesses and readers wondered whether that summer would have been half so interesting, had Durward Stintling, now an unhappy cheese multimillionaire, been pleased to eat his cheese salad, and kept his piece.

  • Cameron says:

    Fifteen years after that picture was taken. Two deployments, college, marriage for a few years, ended when cancer paid a call.

    Alcohol to cope with things. Nearly destroyed myself. Avoided people, especially friends and family. Found a job that let me work from home so I could stay a shut-in.

    The picture was a younger me. Mom was going to make things with the pumpkins and she told me to pick a good one.

    “Why show me this?” I asked.

    “Because you need a reminder that things can be better,” dad replied.

    He had a point. So I came back.

  • Dupin says:

    Will he pick a blasted pumpkin?

    Correction. Will he pick one for long enough that we can pay and leave? Too many people here. Something could happen.

    Nothing’s going to happen. The therapist helps, but my lizard brain’s on high alert, so I scan the crowd.

    At least he found a quiet spot to find his perfect pumpkin. I can’t tell him we’re not safe out in the open. He wouldn’t understand. Hopefully, he’ll never understand.

    He’s having fun, so I smile…and scan again—take a breath to slow my pounding heart. This should be normal. Please, God, keep it normal.

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