Sarah Ann Hall

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

#FridayFictioneers – 19/4/13 – Take the Rough with the Smooth

with 31 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 Fictioners 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.



Take the Rough with the Smooth (100 words)

Ted made decisions on the throw of a dice. Ellie trusted the runes. Vera let pebbles choose her fate – smooth for yes, rough for no. She was never the one to pick for fear of influencing the selection.

Vera carried a drawstring bag, asking others to withdraw a stone when required. Once someone had participated, they knew the rules and couldn’t be asked again. When she had petitioned all her friends, Vera entreated acquaintances.

Her village was small, with a limited pool of strangers, and the time was fast approaching when Vera would have to make a decision for herself.



Written by Sarah Ann

April 19, 2013 at 7:26 pm

31 Responses

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  1. An interesting take on this prompt, and one I enjoyed … one day Vera will learn to trust her intuition!

    • I hope so, or she’ll be going round shaking her head a lot and worrying. Thanks for reading.

      Sarah Ann

      April 19, 2013 at 8:08 pm

  2. Nice, Sarah. I really enjoyed your story. Very interesting. I wonder what will happen to Vera. Will she accept her fate?

    The Bumble Files

    April 19, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    • I have no idea what’s going to happen to Vera. A panic attack seems likely. 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      April 23, 2013 at 9:20 am

  3. Oh, don’t we all trust others to make our decisions at one time or another.

    Lily Mugford

    April 19, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    • We do, but it becomes a problem when you can’t decide anything for yourself.

      Sarah Ann

      April 23, 2013 at 9:22 am

  4. Very interesting. I wonder what huge decision she’ll be forced to make

    H.L. Pauff (@HLPauff)

    April 19, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    • Hmm. I wonder too. I hadn’t got beyond the day-to-day ones. Thanks for reading.

      Sarah Ann

      April 23, 2013 at 9:28 am

  5. And I assume that when the really important decisions are up she is out of options to make other decide.

    • Maybe. I don’t want to imagine the state she’ll get into when it comes to that.

      Sarah Ann

      April 23, 2013 at 9:29 am

  6. Quite a different idea, Sarah. I like how you showcased her indecision. Maybe she’ll move to a bigger city, though, and still never make a decision (although that would take making a decision.)



    April 20, 2013 at 12:39 am

    • Maybe her last stranger will help her move to a city? Maybe Vera will finally grow up? I don’t know, but I think she’s stuck dithering at the moment.

      Sarah Ann

      April 23, 2013 at 9:30 am

  7. What a great idea! If she moves to a bigger town she’ll find life much easier to manage. Well done Sarah Ann, enjoyed this.


    April 20, 2013 at 8:20 am

    • 🙂 I’m glad you liked the idea – I was stumped for a long while, just staring at the photo and getting nowhere.

      Sarah Ann

      April 23, 2013 at 9:31 am

  8. Dear Sarah,
    An intriguing take on the prompt. Kudos for thinking outside the box, or the bag as it were.


    April 20, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    • Thanks for the kudos, but I think I’d reached desperation, as wasn’t able to do anything with the wasp’s nest.

      Sarah Ann

      April 23, 2013 at 9:37 am

  9. A fascinating idea – both characters let luck decide for them, but in very different ways. I love the idea of rough and smooth stones in a bag. Might try that next time my kids fall out over whose turn it is to wash up!


    April 20, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    • Let us know how it goes with the kids. Although I think a rota might be safer. I can just imagine them feeling every pebble, turning each over, working out which one will get them out of washing up, only for you to change the rules when it comes out. Not that I’m saying you would change the rules, just that they’d think you had. 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      April 23, 2013 at 9:38 am

  10. Clever. Using stones to decide their fate. I’m not brave enough to leave my future up to a bag of stones. I love Appleby’s idea to use the bag of stones on his kids. lol. Nice work.

    Lora Mitchell

    April 21, 2013 at 5:29 am

    • No, I don’t think a bag of stones is necessarily a good idea, but I do know people who just can’t make a decision without help. And when it all goes wrong, it’s always the other person’s fault.

      Sarah Ann

      April 23, 2013 at 9:40 am

  11. loved this idea fascinating as el has said… out of the box thinking i felt.. enjoyed this 🙂


    April 21, 2013 at 9:08 am

    • Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m very glad you enjoyed it.

      Sarah Ann

      April 23, 2013 at 9:40 am

  12. to me, that illustrates how we live our lives in modern times, trusting the TV oracles of delphi.
    This was a very thought provoking post.


    April 23, 2013 at 5:18 am

    • Thank you Bill. Your comment has got me thinking more than my story did. Your take on it and suggestion of TV oracles is slightly scary.

      Sarah Ann

      April 23, 2013 at 9:41 am

  13. Vera sounds to be a fan of fate. Whatever happens is what is meant to be!

    Joe Owens

    April 23, 2013 at 2:32 pm

  14. AnElephantCant tell if you are old enough to recall The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart, which had a similar theme.
    But excellent take on the prompt, original and well written.


    April 23, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    • I’ve never heard of it, but Wikipedia is a wonderful thing (sometimes). Thanks for the tip. I don’t need any more holiday reading but I think I’ll look out for it.
      Thanks for you glowing comment – well it’s making me glow anyway.

      Sarah Ann

      April 23, 2013 at 8:33 pm

  15. I wish I had a system for making decisions!


    April 24, 2013 at 5:05 am

    • There are plenty of pebbles on the beach…. not sure it’s a good way to make decisions though. I’m not sure about leaving them to chance. First reactions are supposed to be good.

      Sarah Ann

      April 24, 2013 at 8:14 pm

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