Sarah Ann Hall

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

#FridayFictioneers – 28/12/12 – The Sunny Café

with 32 comments

Every Wednesday Rochelle Wisoff-Fields publishes a photo to stimulate and inspire writers to write 100-words of flash fiction or poetry. Every Friday the Friday Fictioneers post their 100-word stories.

Visit Rochelle’s site for the rules on how to join in and check out the other stories here.


I think my story’s a bit lame this week, but I wanted to include reference to the beautiful stained glass prompt. Go on, tell me how to make it better.


Copyright Jean L. Hays

Copyright Jean L. Hays


The Sunny Café (100 words)

He was late. Again.

Chin resting in the cup of her hand, she looked out. Each pane framed a miserable picture – the street devoid of walkers; trees without leaves driven away by bitter winds. Customers left the dry cleaners squeezing tickets of hope between gloved fingers, each needing to win the lottery of repairable holiday accidents. Icy tendrils spread through her heart.

Only the shop sign displayed any warmth: a gleaming, beaming sun. As she examined it, a smile forced its way onto her lips.

Okay, so she could wait another half hour. She ordered coffee and imagined his excuses.

Written by Sarah Ann

December 28, 2012 at 7:33 pm

32 Responses

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  1. A bit of sunshine a/o beauty really can turn things around (at least for a bit.) I’m glad the sign gave her a bit of new hope and that once he arrives, things work out. If not, hopefully she can move on. I liked this sentence: “Customers left the dry cleaners squeezing tickets of hope between gloved fingers, each needing to win the lottery of repairable holiday accidents.” You really painted her frame of mind nicely with the depressing view through the window.

    Happy New Year!



    December 28, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    • Hi Janet,
      I’m glad you liked that sentence because it’s the one I worked on most. Many thanks.
      Happy New Year to you too.

      Sarah Ann

      December 29, 2012 at 1:38 pm

  2. Nothing lame about this at all. Poetic in fact. I agree with Janet…. that is a lovely line and you paint the imagery so well. Good work.

    Tom Poet

    December 28, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    • Thank you, Tom. Poetic from you is a compliment indeed. 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      December 29, 2012 at 1:39 pm

  3. This is not lame at all. I quite liked it.
    As Janet and Tom also said, you have created a beautiful scene here. I like your protagonist’s forgiving attitude – shows a beautiful warm heart and deep love.
    I repeat, not lame at all. Quite the opposite.


    December 28, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    • Oh dear. My head is starting to grow now.
      I’m glad she turned out to have a warm heart as she didn’t when I started out. And I’m happy you liked it.

      Sarah Ann

      December 29, 2012 at 1:41 pm

  4. I loved the part about the drycleaning, and you have cleverly (and quite beautifully) described a few seconds in someone’s life. A perfect piece of flash fiction in my opinion.


    December 28, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    • Many thanks for your kind comments. No pressure for my future efforts then.

      Sarah Ann

      December 29, 2012 at 1:44 pm

  5. Not lame at all. It’s perfect. I have nothing to add, in fact. It’s very crisp. nice imagery and shows her inner mind working from a bad moment to a new reality. I like those moments in fiction. Good work!

    The Bumble Files

    December 28, 2012 at 9:47 pm

  6. Dear Sarah,
    A nice hopeful piece. I echo the sentiments of the others thus far.


    December 28, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    • Thanks Rochelle. I’m glad I got some hope and positivity in. Jean’s glass is so beautiful it merits a happy ending.

      Sarah Ann

      December 29, 2012 at 2:07 pm


    Great piece of writing ! Short but meaningful x


    December 29, 2012 at 12:37 am

  8. sometimes it’s not about being poetic but being precise.

    the street devoid of walkers; trees without leaves driven away by bitter winds. 13 words

    consider” empty streets, wind-stripped tree limbs. 5 words

    regardless – well done.


    December 29, 2012 at 5:12 am

    • I think I prefer to be labelled poetic, but wind-stripped works for me. And the extra 8 words you’d add are…?
      Thanks, Rich for pulling me up.

      Sarah Ann

      December 29, 2012 at 2:00 pm

      • 8 words:

        a woman, mid-20’s, approached. “Are you Mrs. Davis?”


        A man, mid-20’s, approached. “Buy you a refill?”


        The door opened, two policemen scanned the room.


        December 29, 2012 at 2:58 pm

      • I think I’ll go with the refill, as it’s the most obviously positive. Thanks, as ever, for your input.

        Sarah Ann

        January 1, 2013 at 3:05 pm

  9. Yes, the excuses…that would be the lame thing in the story. I enjoyed your story. 🙂


    December 29, 2012 at 6:59 am

    • I hadn’t thought of it like that, but I’m glad you did and took the time to point it out. Thank you.

      Sarah Ann

      December 29, 2012 at 2:02 pm

  10. I too loved the ‘tickets of hope’ line. A fresh take on an age old situation – women waiting for their man to show up. Nice one.


    December 29, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    • Thanks Sandra. I’m glad you enjoyed it and very happy that the ‘tickets of hope’ line worked.

      Sarah Ann

      December 29, 2012 at 2:09 pm

  11. I thought the ‘tickets of hope’ line was beautifully written, as was the rest, but I wasn’t sure that this line, however lovely added to the story. Although it might be hard to do away with (‘murdering your darlings…’) you might want to change it to be something about why he is late again, or why something makes her change her mind and smile.


    December 29, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    • Hi Claire.
      You’re absolutely right. The line doesn’t add to this story, but could be another one in its own right. Thanks for pointing it out. Now I have to put my thinking cap on again and work out why he’s late.

      Sarah Ann

      January 1, 2013 at 3:13 pm

  12. You depict a world through her frustrated eyes, and a glimmer of hope with this one window. nicely done. The dry cleaners bit is a bit long-winded for me: the fact that you need to explain the words “tickets of hope” with the phrase about the lottery weakens it and makes the image take up too much of the story (for me). Both lines are good, but in a piece this length, I think you could combine them. Something like:
    Customers left the dry cleaners squeezing their tickets, each needing to win the lottery of repairable holiday accidents


    December 29, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    • Long winded, moi? Seriously, thank you for the suggestions. I hadn’t seen the ‘tickets of hope’ and lottery references as over-obvious, but can see it now. I suppose that’s the problem of being too close to something. We need other’s eyes to flag up the weak aspects, so thank you.

      I included the ‘gloved fingers’ to portray the cold, but understand it’s easy to get bogged down in the sentence. Will try harder next time to be more succinct (and precise for Rich).

      Sarah Ann

      January 1, 2013 at 3:34 pm

  13. The only lame think about this post was your introducing it as lame, Sarah Ann. What a mood to be in… I can see why… loved the last line.


    December 30, 2012 at 2:30 am

  14. Dear Sarah Ann,

    A lovely descriptive story that left me waiting happily with her in the sunshine of your writing.




    December 31, 2012 at 5:52 am

  15. I love that descriptive paragraph, and hope you don’t change it! Your story isn’t at all lame. It leaves me wondering if his habit of running late is in some small way endearing to her, even while it drives her mad, enabling her to enjoy another cup of coffee, knowing it isn’t lack of love that makes him late.


    January 5, 2013 at 3:14 pm

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