Sarah Ann Hall

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

#FridayFictioneers – 23/5/14 – Things to do

with 43 comments

Every Wednesday Rochelle Wisoff-Fields publishes a photo prompt to inspire writers to write 100-words of flash fiction or poetry.

At any point during the following week, the Friday Fictioneers post their 100-word tales. Read the other stories by clicking below.


Thank you to everyone who read and voted on my stories last week. I agree with everyone who said the second story was better.

Thank you to Erin for her beautiful photo this week. I was caught by the ethereal nature of the mist, at least that’s my excuse. This is more of a vignette than a story – I don’t know where my character came from or where she’s going, so no beginning or end.




PHOTO PROMPT Copyright - Erin Leary

Copyright – Erin Leary



Things to do (100-words)

‘Have I phoned Fred? Did I answer Charlotte’s email? I must make a list.’

Elizabeth rehearses what she must do, knowing it’s getting worse. On good days, thoughts enter her head, circle for a while, then flit away. She tries to catch hold, but they evaporate. On bad days, intentions rush in, only to get lost in the fog of melancholy and despair.

‘Why did I want my pen? Oh, let’s put the kettle on.’

Fortified by tea, Elizabeth writes her list. She even writes to daughter Charlotte, remembering, of course, to omit mention of the increasing episodes of forgetfulness.


Friday Fictioneers



Written by Sarah Ann

May 23, 2014 at 5:08 pm

43 Responses

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  1. Great way to interpret the shot!


    May 23, 2014 at 5:17 pm

  2. Remembering to omit things… that just about sums it up. 😦 Nice one Sarah Ann.


    May 23, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    • I’m glad you picked up on that line. It wrote and re-wrote that one to get it right. And it’s a pity that that can be the sum of it. Thanks for reading and commmenting.

      Sarah Ann

      May 23, 2014 at 6:27 pm

  3. Elizabeth probably planned to have a beginning and an end to her story – she just forgot! You captured the murkiness of a forgetful mind brilliantly. A lovely piece of writing.


    May 23, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    • Thanks. Well she forgot to tell me at any rate. I have a fantastic memory for some things and an awful one for others and I write lists all the time. Just typing that has reminded me I need to make a bank transfer – better do it now, while I remember….

      Sarah Ann

      May 23, 2014 at 6:11 pm

  4. Sad story, but so true. You and Dee had similar themes this week.


    May 23, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    • We did, although Dee’s was more poignant and written from real life. I’m hoping Elizabeth might not be on the slippery slope to dementia. Thank you for the gorgeous photo this week.

      Sarah Ann

      May 24, 2014 at 8:43 pm

  5. Oh Dear! This may be me. I hope not, I think maybe just trying to too much at once. A ‘vignette’… I like that idea. I am adopting that… sometimes I want to say something that is not a ‘story’… thank you, Sarah Ann.


    May 23, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    • p.s. I forgot to say I liked your vignette… but I guess you guessed that.


      May 23, 2014 at 7:12 pm

      • Thanks Ted, yes I guessed. And unfortunately sometimes this could be me too – definitely a case of trying to do too many things at once in my case. Good luck with the vignettes.

        Sarah Ann

        May 24, 2014 at 8:51 pm

  6. Nice take on the prompt. It’s what you see, not what’s there. Good!


    May 23, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    • Thanks Kent. I try not to go for the obvious because, if I do, I find my stories don’t stand alone without the photo. Quite a few of us based stories on the mist this week – there are a lot of scary things hidden in that fog.

      Sarah Ann

      May 24, 2014 at 8:55 pm

  7. Mine was a vignette this week, too. But, I really see yours as a story, especially by writing that list at the end and tying it to the forgetfulness at the beginning. It works as a story for me! Nice one! And of course, the fog motif plays out well in your story.

    Amy Reese

    May 23, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    • Thanks Amy. I’ll allow you to convince me it’s a story. 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      May 25, 2014 at 7:33 pm

  8. Trying to remember when our brains are a little foggy, ties in well with the pic. How many of us suffer, some worse than others, with forgetfulness. Nicely done S. x


    May 24, 2014 at 12:08 am

  9. A tender vignette illustrating the anxiety around memory loss and the way we hide it. Well done.


    May 24, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    • Too many hide forgetfulness when possibly they should seek help. Me? I’m sticking to my list writing. I get there in the end. Well, so far anyway.

      Sarah Ann

      May 25, 2014 at 7:36 pm

  10. To hide the forgetfulness. To hide our failings.. The most human nature.. And just maybe her daughter prefers it that way.

    • To hide our failings is human nature. I can see daughter preferring not to know, but in the long-term, maybe it’s better she does. If she’s aware, procedures/ tactics could be put in place to help. This is something lots of us have to tackle with as we watch parents/ get old ourselves.

      Sarah Ann

      May 25, 2014 at 7:38 pm

  11. Elizabeth does a great job, I’m sure, of hiding her growing forgetfulness. Job well done! Nan 🙂

    Nan Falkner

    May 24, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    • Thanks Nan. Unfortunately, Elizabeth is more likely than not to get caught out eventually.

      Sarah Ann

      May 25, 2014 at 7:40 pm

  12. We were on similar tracks this week, weren’t we, Sarah. I like the sad irony of her remembering not to mention her forgetting and was very relieved that the teapot wasn’t left on the stove to catch fire.



    May 24, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    • We did, although yours was more poignant for being in the first person. I’m still hoping this might be a short-tem ailment for Elizabeth.
      Re: teapots, a friend (late 30s) left her pewter teapot on the stove and forgot about it when her mum Skyped from abroad. An hour later she found her hob covered in molten metal and bubbling tea, so it can happen to anyone.

      Sarah Ann

      May 25, 2014 at 7:43 pm

  13. your character’s anxiety surfaces so well in your story, Sarah. ugh. i really feel for her. well done!


    May 25, 2014 at 3:08 am

    • I’m glad to know the anxiety came through. I’m not sure she’s quite ready to admit there’s anything really wrong yet though. Thanks for the read.

      Sarah Ann

      May 25, 2014 at 7:45 pm

  14. How wonderful!
    Alas, AnElephant understands this all too well.


    May 25, 2014 at 8:40 pm

  15. The closing line is just poignant. A perfect ending!


    May 25, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    • Thank you. It took a while to get the tenor right – how to say she remembered to omit – so I’m pleased to hear it worked.

      Sarah Ann

      May 26, 2014 at 11:16 am

  16. i like the way your described her forgetfulness in the last lines… it’s something that i don’t look forward to in the future 🙂 great take on the fog


    May 26, 2014 at 4:53 am

    • Thanks. KZ. I’m not looking forward to forgetting, especially as it’s something I’m very bad at tolerating in others! 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      May 26, 2014 at 11:11 am

  17. Dear Sarah Ann,

    “She tries to catch hold, but they evaporate.” Well said. My favorite line in your story. I’m forgetful enough and always have been. I chalk it up to multitasking. But the kind of forgetfulness you write of is tragic and heartrending.

    Nicely done.




    May 26, 2014 at 9:56 am

    • Hi Rochelle. Yes, my forgetfulness is all down to multitasking too.
      I’m happy that line worked – I tried with a number of words (disintegrate, disappear) before settling on evaporate. And of course, that sits best with the mist.
      Thank you.

      Sarah Ann

      May 26, 2014 at 11:09 am

  18. What a wonderful take on the prompt,Sarah!As we age,these bouts of forgetfulness may become unmanageable -that’s what most of us fear- deep down-that mental fog which will never ever lift-shudder!


    May 26, 2014 at 11:20 am

  19. Dear Sarah,

    Charlotte knows. Good story about a road down which we all must travel…




    May 26, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    • Thank you, Doug. If only we didn’t all have to take this road! Some of us travel much lighter than others.

      Sarah Ann

      May 26, 2014 at 9:00 pm

  20. remembering, of course, to omit mention of the increasing episodes of forgetfulness. What a poignant line. Well done – the whole bit is wonderful.


    May 26, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    • Thank you. Of course, failing to mention it to her daughter is of utmost importance – unfortunately for both of them.

      Sarah Ann

      May 27, 2014 at 10:15 pm

  21. Sarah Ann, Good piece and familiar to many of us as we grow older. My mother had Alzheimer’s so I’m familiar with that kind of memory loss and I’m old enough now that I don’t think I’m going to inherit it. Most of memory loss is just something that happens as we age and I now know the difference thank goodness. Well written. 🙂 —Susan


    May 27, 2014 at 6:35 am

    • Thanks, Susan. Yes, there’s memory loss and there’s memory loss. Sometimes it takes time to recognise difference.

      Sarah Ann

      May 27, 2014 at 10:25 pm

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