Sarah Ann Hall

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

#FridayFictioneers – 15/3/13 – Sky-Lily

with 47 comments

Every Wednesday Rochelle Wisoff-Fields publishes a photo prompt to stimulate and inspire writers to write 100-words of flash fiction or poetry. Every Friday (or before) 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 by clicking on the blue guy.


I attended a talk hosted by Mark Billingham and Martyn Waites this week. Maybe that’s what put me in a frame of mind mis-matched to Lora Mitchell’s photo.


Copyright - Lora Mitchell

Copyright – Lora Mitchell


Sky-Lily (100 words; Genre – Crime)

‘I’m changing my name. I want to be Elizabeth or Catherine.’

‘Well, let me know which.’

Laura’s innards contracted as she watched her 15-year-old daughter leave.

Hugging the toilet-bowl, tears dripping from her jaw, she tried not to remember that night. Lilies against the sky the only thing to look at as he –

Sky-Lily had been the one good thing to come out of that room.

Sky-Lily, the mantra Laura had whispered as they’d cleaned under her fingernails.

Sky-Lily, stronger and more street-wise than her mother, would never be so gullible or trusting. But what about Elizabeth or Catherine?


Written by Sarah Ann

March 14, 2013 at 10:24 pm

47 Responses

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  1. This is a really powerful piece.


    March 14, 2013 at 10:50 pm

  2. Hmmm, stronger indeed…


    March 14, 2013 at 10:57 pm

  3. I think she needs to trust her daughter more. A name is simply that. She’s not going to lose her streetwise-ness with a name change. I like how you used the girl’s unusual name to tell part of the story.



    March 14, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    • I think you’re right. The name change has come out of the blue for mum, but she’ll get used to it. her daughter’s happiness is far more important.

      Sarah Ann

      March 18, 2013 at 2:49 pm

  4. Nicely written.


    March 14, 2013 at 11:59 pm

  5. a part of me believes that a name has the power to change a person and a person’s fate 🙂 really loved this story. very powerful.. very well-written


    March 15, 2013 at 4:18 am

  6. Very sensitively written. Good job.


    March 15, 2013 at 9:51 am

  7. Very powerful. I can feel the pain. Well done.

    R. E. Hunter

    March 15, 2013 at 5:24 pm

  8. Ooo…wow. The product of rape, eh? And now she want to leave her mother…Wow. Great story. Well done. I really enjoyed reading this because it was really well-written. Thanks for a great story. 🙂

    Scriptor Obscura

    March 15, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    • And thank you for your comments. It’s really helps to know I’m not writing in a vacuum and that my words work for other people.

      Sarah Ann

      March 18, 2013 at 2:53 pm

  9. Powerful stuff – a lot squeezed into your 100 words this week – and a lot said without actually saying it. Brilliant!


    March 15, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    • Thank you. I’m glad you got the gist without having to spell it out. I definitely thought less was more in this case.

      Sarah Ann

      March 18, 2013 at 3:54 pm

  10. A story bursting from within the 100 word limit.

    Joe Owens

    March 15, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    • Thanks, Joe. If I went back and counted without the hyphens, I’m sure I’d be over but I hope there’s not a word wasted.

      Sarah Ann

      March 18, 2013 at 4:04 pm

  11. I loved the writing style! You make me want to hear more from these characters, to see more that happens to them.


    March 15, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    • I thought when I wrote that that was that, but I think I might want to hear more from them now too. I’ll have to see where future prompts might take them. Many thanks for reading and commenting

      Sarah Ann

      March 18, 2013 at 4:06 pm

  12. A rose by any other name….


    March 16, 2013 at 11:34 am

    • Indeed. I think Laura will come round to the idea once she’s got over the shock.

      Sarah Ann

      March 18, 2013 at 3:56 pm

  13. Wow, that story took my breath away, really strong. It can’t be easy growing up like that either.

  14. I think our names can help shape our lives and who we are. The world treats you different if it thinks your name is beautiful.


    March 16, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    • That is so true, my wife and I were so concerned about how a child’s name can influence their lives that we thought long and hard before naming them.


      March 16, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    • I tend to agree. Names seem to belong to certain types. Or do people become who they are because of their names? I thought Sky-Lily was a lovely name, although I can see why she would hate it.

      Sarah Ann

      March 18, 2013 at 4:08 pm

  15. This is a very strong piece of writing and I liked it very much. I thought reading between the lines that they had just had that conversation where all was revealed to the daughter. It was great the way you used what wasn’t said in the piece to lend depth to the story through the readers inferences. Nice job. 🙂


    March 16, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    • Oops, missed the hyphen in readers!


      March 16, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    • I’m pleased you were able to infer. I find it interesting that you think they’ve just had the ‘reveal’ conversation. I hadn’t thought of that. When I wrote, Sky-Lily was just fed up with the taunts from school, but I couldn’t get that in in 100-words. It’s great to learn what others read into (or not) my stories – so thanks for letting me know.

      Sarah Ann

      March 18, 2013 at 4:00 pm

  16. I mean apostrophe!


    March 16, 2013 at 7:46 pm

  17. Brilliant – love it!


    March 16, 2013 at 8:48 pm

  18. Wow… Heavy Duty. Your second line said a lot.


    March 17, 2013 at 12:30 am

    • Thanks, Ted. What does it say to you? For me it was shock and acceptance of her daughter’s decision but not wanting to upset her or influence it either

      Sarah Ann

      March 18, 2013 at 4:27 pm

  19. What a horrible event to associate with lilies.I would think having the Sky-Lily it would make it harder to forget, but then maybe she would rather have it closer to the surface. Nice writing.

    The Bumble Files

    March 17, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    • Yes, a horrible event. (So many FFers seem to associate lilies with death and despair this week.) I think the name came from Laura not wanting to choose anything else. She didn’t want to go through a baby-name book, because Sky-Lily wasn’t a ‘wanted’ baby in the normal sense. She didn’t want to ‘taint’ a name from the family. So she chose the only thing she could. And then she grew to love the child and the name. At least, that was in the back of my mind as I wrote, but I couldn’t squeeze it in. Those sentiments were in the first version, but soon got edited out as un-needed backstory. Maybe I was wrong?

      Sarah Ann

      March 18, 2013 at 4:23 pm

  20. What a great story. I loved how you show way more of the story than you express in words.

    David Stewart

    March 18, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    • Thank you. I didn’t want to be too obvious. I can well imagine that Laura thinks about the events everyday but never mentions them out loud.

      Sarah Ann

      March 18, 2013 at 4:22 pm

  21. Really good SVU take on the prompt. Sky-Lily. quite a twist from the peace lilies I saw. My daughter changed her name from something I thought was really pretty (I can’t tell you what it was…)
    Well crafted story.

    Lindaura Glamoura

    March 18, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    • Thanks for reading and commenting. It’s odd what we see in the photo prompts – I missed the TV screen completely, saw it as a skyline out of a window, and saw the lilies as tiger-lilies. I hope your daughter still has a pretty name, even if it’s not the one you chose for her.

      Sarah Ann

      March 18, 2013 at 5:45 pm

  22. Strong images stated and implied. Very well written!


    March 18, 2013 at 3:34 pm

  23. Powerful story! So evocative


    March 18, 2013 at 3:42 pm

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