Sarah Ann Hall

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

#FridayFictioneers – 5/5/17 – Dwell Not

with 20 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.

I stared and stared at this week’s prompt and couldn’t muster anything. Then I began to think about decay, and this strong female character turned up.

Thank you, as ever, to Rochelle for hosting and Sandra for the photo.

Copyright Sandra Crook


Dwell Not

(Genre: historical fiction; 100-words)

The hall’s fading splendour cuts Elsa deep. She once thought to reign here. Old Edward had favoured his cousin umpteenth times removed. Until the housemaid begot his brat. None fully believed; Edward was too proud to deny.

Elsa married a different cousin, strengthening the line with six healthy children.

The housemaid died of pox. Her brat is barren, however frequently and forcibly he humps; he ages speedily. None wish to bear his scion, or bind themselves to a house that rots while he gambles.

Soon Elsa will return as widow, residing while her sons restore grandeur to house and name.




Written by Sarah Ann

May 5, 2017 at 5:40 pm

20 Responses

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  1. Love the language here… and it seems like she will win in the end anyway…

    • Thank you. Yes, I think she’ll win, just a few years later than she’d anticipated.

      Sarah Ann

      May 8, 2017 at 7:48 pm

  2. Sounds like a sad and too true history of various royal families.

    Christine Goodnough

    May 6, 2017 at 2:42 am

    • I felt Elsa was sad having lost her love and made do. Others see the challenges she’s faced as a positive thing. That’s the beauty of flash fiction – there’s room for interpretation.

      Sarah Ann

      May 8, 2017 at 7:47 pm

  3. Just a small blip in the line, soon everything will be back running smoothly.


    May 6, 2017 at 6:05 am

  4. A very different take. Enjoyed this one.


    May 6, 2017 at 9:38 am

  5. Dear Sarah Ann,

    Wonderful voice in the telling that set the stage. It sounds like Elsa married the right cousin, after all. Well done.




    May 6, 2017 at 10:48 am

    • Thank you. It’s good to think Elsa married the right cousin. I had imagined she did it out of desperation, but maybe she was planning all along….

      Sarah Ann

      May 8, 2017 at 7:45 pm

  6. A great snippet of how things can go wrong. This is a story which has legs and can run and run.


    May 6, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    • Thanks. I hadn’t seen it like that, but now you’ve got me thinking. I’m sure the maid’s brat would come out fighting if he had any idea what Elsa had planned.

      Sarah Ann

      May 8, 2017 at 7:44 pm

  7. i sense there’s so more to the story than 100 words can allow, but essence remains. well done.


    May 6, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    • Thank you. Yes, there’s a lot of backstory here that could be explored.

      Sarah Ann

      May 8, 2017 at 7:43 pm

  8. Grittily told. The ‘forcible humping’ was almost too much for me at this delicate stage of the morning. 😉


    May 9, 2017 at 8:43 am

    • Apologies for upsetting your morning, but I’m glad the words were able to convey the scene.

      Sarah Ann

      May 9, 2017 at 9:49 am

  9. What a great take on the prompt, Sarah Ann! I, too, loved the voice and that all worked out in the end, so to speak…


    May 9, 2017 at 2:52 pm

  10. Good for Elsa. It’s surprising how things turn out sometimes, not at all as we expect them to. Good writing, Sarah Ann. I loved this story. 🙂 — Suzanne


    May 9, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    • Thank you. Elsa’s road was not a smooth one, but she got there in the end.

      Sarah Ann

      May 10, 2017 at 12:01 pm

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