Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not; practising flash fiction.

#FridayFictioneers – 14/12/12 – Christmas Cheer

with 27 comments

Each week Rochelle Wisoff-Fields posts a photo prompt for writers to write 100-words of prose or poetry. Each Friday (or earlier) writers from around the world post their stories.

I’m posting on Thursday to make sure I get round to it this week.

See what others made of the photo here:

This week's photo courtesty of Douglas M. MacIlroy

This week’s photo is courtesy of Douglas M. MacIlroy

Christmas Cheer (100-words)

‘Honey, I don’t understand.’

He watched her scowl. The backdoor slammed.

What had got into her? She usually piled his papers to clear the kitchen table. Today she’d upended the lot: books, notes, empty coffee mugs.

Why was it so important that he helped her with the shopping? And what had she said about Christmas? No room to stuff and pack? At least he’d saved his laptop from her ire.

‘I know,’ he said, as he crunched across the lawn. ‘I’ll clear some space in the garage, type away, be finished by Christmas. She’ll love my book as her present.’



I never did get round to posting last week’s story. I love this photo from Rich Voza. It conjures all sorts of institutional thoughts for me. Here’s my extremely belated take on it.


(100 words)

‘Welcome to Tomorrow is Today Incorporated. On this orientation tour, you will learn who lives behind each of these doors.’

A nod of the head; supercilious grin.

‘Take note, people. This is your future.’

Arms outstretched in a death welcome.

‘Let’s begin our journey together.’

‘On my left we have Mr. Smith, Head of Development.’

His arm swung out, straightened.

‘On the right is Ms. Uphill, Communications Manager.’

The clockwork arm followed a minuscule turn of the head.

‘Second on the left – ‘

As the group shuffled forwards, Sasha ran. On the street, escaping artificiality, she breathed life-giving air.


Read the other stories the photo inspired here:


Written by Sarah Ann

December 13, 2012 at 8:42 pm

27 Responses

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  1. I hope she likes his book as a Christmas present and the lack of mess in the house as well, but it’s hard to say. Your story reminds me a bit of trying to get gifts for my in-laws and one of my s-i-l’s. “Stuff” that takes up room isn’t needed, so we tried (in the case of my in-laws, now deceased) and try (my s-i-l) to give consumable gifts.


    December 13, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    • We present the same gift issues for our friends and family – living on a boat we don’t have space for ‘stuff’. Books are always good though, for us anyway. I think my character’s wife will be far happier about the lack of mess than the gift of his WIP.

      Sarah Ann

      December 14, 2012 at 8:55 pm

  2. What if she doesn’t like the book? Guess we’ll have to wait till Christmas day to find out.


    December 14, 2012 at 12:26 am

    • In my mind she throws the book at him as soon as she opens it. But everyone else seems to think she’ll appreciate it. Let’s hope so.

      Sarah Ann

      December 14, 2012 at 8:53 pm

  3. I liked how you tied in Christmas with this. That was expertly done! Great story. Poor guy sent to the garage to work on his Christmas present. I hope she appreciates it in the end.

    The Bumble Files

    December 14, 2012 at 1:05 am

    • Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I hope she likes it too – the jury’s still out.

      Sarah Ann

      December 14, 2012 at 8:56 pm

  4. I liked that we got a real sense of the self-absorption of this character without any tacit reference to it. Good writing.


    December 14, 2012 at 8:35 am

  5. The guy’s unflappable. Nice work Sarah. Hope she appreciates the nature of his gift.

    Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

    December 14, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    • He is and, as I wrote, I knew she wouldn’t but, after all your comments, I think she might have to.

      Sarah Ann

      December 14, 2012 at 8:47 pm

  6. Very well written. The greatest Christmas present of all times.


    December 14, 2012 at 2:33 pm

  7. Hi Sarah Ann,
    The devoted writer. Hope he has his priorities straight. But I understand. He doesn’t really have a choice. The words have to come out. His wife will understand when she reads his beautiful work. Ron


    December 14, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    • Thanks, Ron. I’m not sure on his priorities, but no, he doesn’t have a choice. I hope she does understand. 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      December 14, 2012 at 8:50 pm

  8. He’ better have some romance in there. If so, maybe he’ll live to write again.


    December 15, 2012 at 4:37 am

    • I think you might have solved the problem there Russell. Thanks from me and the (not so) happy couple.

      Sarah Ann

      December 18, 2012 at 10:00 pm

  9. Oh the sacrifices, sitting in the cold garage typing. Not sure it is in sync with her priorities though. Hope she is a reader.


    December 15, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    • I think she might be a reader and have the power to forgive.
      Personally, I can’t think of anything worse than writing in the cold, or in draughts – stiff fingers and keyboards (or pens and pencils) don’t mix.

      Sarah Ann

      December 18, 2012 at 9:59 pm

  10. I’m sitting here thinking: Wouldn’t it just blow his mind if she hated the book and asks for a divorce.
    She’s so tired of him not spending time with her and always thinking his WIP is the best thing in the world.

    mari wells

    December 15, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    • Yep, she is tired of him and his WIP, but maybe the book is all about her. I don’t know, but I don’t think divorce is on the cards yet.

      Sarah Ann

      December 18, 2012 at 9:54 pm

  11. the best presents are those made with our own hands. or keyboards. well done. she’ll understand, eventually, i hope.


    December 16, 2012 at 3:17 am

    • I agree about the presents. And I’m sure she’ll understand but, as you say, it might take a while.

      Sarah Ann

      December 18, 2012 at 10:01 pm

  12. Reminds me of some friends: Hubby was complaining about some money that the wife had spent, turned out she had spent i buying him a birthday gift.

    I did not quite follow the second story (sometimes i am a bit slow:- ) )


    December 18, 2012 at 8:50 am

    • Did your friend like his gift?

      I’m not sure about the second story either – possibly I was trying to portray too much in 100-words. I think the orientation guy speaks too much and the protagonist comes in at the end only to run away. Maybe s/he needed to appear earlier for it to make sense and for us to know what was going on. It’s supposed to be about new employees being introduced to their work and one deciding the office culture is all wrong…

      Sarah Ann

      December 18, 2012 at 10:07 pm

      • Yes he did 🙂

        Thanks for the explanation. I think I’d wait for the tea break and not be seen again 🙂


        December 19, 2012 at 9:16 am

  13. Dear Sarah Ann,

    I loved both stories. Got a laugh at the first and a shiver from the second. You just post them whenever you can. They’re worth the wait.




    December 18, 2012 at 10:07 am

    • Dear Doug,
      Many thanks for your kind comments. Laughing and shivering are good.

      Sarah Ann

      December 18, 2012 at 9:52 pm

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