Sarah Ann Hall

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

#FridayFictioneers – 21/7/17 – Mothers’ Ruin

with 21 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’m very late to the party this week and have struggled with the below. I showed it to hubby who suggested a couple of minor changes. I don’t think either of us thinks this works. Perhaps I’m trying to squeeze too much in?

With thanks to Rochelle and Kent this week.

© Kent Bonham


Mothers’ Ruin

(Genre: general fiction: 100-words)

Sally smiled as she threw Rick her car keys. He was a sensible boy. It wasn’t his fault his parents had moved to the middle of nowhere during his first year at university. It was only fair they should lend him their car to go to see his friends in town.

Squeal, screech, thud.

That’ll be another bairn flattened, Irina thought, shuffling along. When would the young learn sense? How long before humans and hedgehogs lived in co-existence?

As the sun went down, Irina’s array all arrived home safely.

Less than a mile away, Sally’s cottage bathed in blue flashes.



Written by Sarah Ann

July 23, 2017 at 9:45 pm

21 Responses

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  1. Ah, okay, on third read I got it. The hedgehog survived. The human didn’t. I think I was a bit slow because the motive in the first para didn’t quite click with me. Too much info, I think, as you said in opener. You wanted, I think, to set up the young man as a sensible driver but wasn’t cos he was a student… Sorry, is this seems too critical.

    • Thanks for reading and the comment. You’re not too critical at all. I think I needed to tell Rick’s story or Irina’s. Trying to squeeze both into 100-words was too much, or required lots of judicious editing I didn’t achieve. Constructive criticism is always welcomed here!

      Sarah Ann

      July 24, 2017 at 9:52 am

  2. That’s sad.

    Eric Alagan

    July 24, 2017 at 3:24 am

    • My run of upbeat stories came to a crashing end. It’s a good job I don’t live the lives I imagine for others. 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      July 24, 2017 at 9:50 am

  3. “How long before humans and hedgehogs lived in co-existence?”.
    Enjoyed this. It has so many facets.


    July 24, 2017 at 6:34 am

    • Thank you. Are there too many facets for it to hang together though?

      Sarah Ann

      July 24, 2017 at 9:48 am

      • The story line is quite neat and I enjoyed the perspectives you touched on. It would be a little bland if narrated linearly. These facets add to the narrative.


        July 24, 2017 at 1:15 pm

  4. Oh dear, I hope no-one was badly hurt. Lives changed in an instant.


    July 24, 2017 at 8:16 am

    • Indeed. I was obviously feeling miserable when I drafted this last week, because I fear the worst for Rick.

      Sarah Ann

      July 24, 2017 at 9:49 am

  5. Bittersweet – glad the hedgehogs survived, but a real shame for Rick.

    Iain Kelly

    July 24, 2017 at 11:00 am

    • Definitely a shame for Rick and his family. Thanks for reading.

      Sarah Ann

      July 24, 2017 at 7:04 pm

  6. I think this works very well. There is nothing wrong with a reader reading a piece more than once to gain clarity. In fact, I think it’s a lot like poetry.
    The house bathed in blue light is poetic and somber.

    Sascha Darlington

    July 24, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    • Thank you. Your comment is really encouraging. I sometimes wonder if it’s me when I need to read something more than once. Very glad you liked the last line.

      Sarah Ann

      July 24, 2017 at 7:05 pm

  7. Dear Sarah Ann,

    Having read all of the comments and the story twice, I’m still left a little baffled. Not that I mind reading a story more than once. Hell hath no fury like a hedgehog’s mother?




    July 24, 2017 at 7:23 pm

  8. I don’t think using the collective name for hedgehogs (array) has helped. Two mothers worry about their children out at night – the hedgehog kids come home, the newly arrived student didn’t. I was trying to be too clever, and failed!

    Sarah Ann

    July 24, 2017 at 7:47 pm

  9. Another example of insured wildlife roaming our highways. If it’s not the deer, or the armadillos, or possums, it’s the pesky hedgehogs.


    July 24, 2017 at 9:25 pm

  10. accident happens. the mother shouldn’t blame herself. after all, her son was a sensible boy. hopefully, he survived.


    July 25, 2017 at 3:23 am

    • I had imagined he’d died, but after the reaction to the story, I think he might survive, after a stay in hospital with some broken bones.

      Sarah Ann

      July 25, 2017 at 8:09 pm

  11. Irina’s a pretty bad name for a hedgehog, I think. That last line speaks volumes – wrap it in cotton wool and keep it in a safe place.

    Patrick Prinsloo

    July 25, 2017 at 7:47 am

    • You’re going to have to tell me why Irina’s a bad name. I was making a play on Erinaceinae. Thanks for popping by.

      Sarah Ann

      July 25, 2017 at 8:16 pm

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