Sarah Ann Hall

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

#FridayFictioneers – 21/9/18 – Ever So Helpful

with 39 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 looked at the prompt, showed it to hubby, and while I love the photo, nothing came to either of our minds. So I’ve taken my cue from those lovely brollies and twisted from real life this week for the below vignette. Having just finished painting a gunwale yesterday morning, an un-forecast shower chucked itself at my boat and I almost resorted to chocolate. Friday Fictioneers saved my tears, and my waistline.

Thank you to Rochelle for hosting and Dale for a great photo.

© Dale Rogerson

Ever So Helpful

(Genre: general fiction; 100-words)

‘You’re going to need a big brolly.’

I smile and attend to the leaf I’m painting. A stage set does not need so much detail, but the veining keeps me calm when passersby offer such useful comments.

The end of October might not be the best time for outdoor theatre, but that doesn’t mean we give in. It means we must be prepared for all eventualities. My set will be ready, the quick drying paint doing its job despite the wind and showers that attempt to thwart me. The audience will provide their own umbrellas. The show will go on.



Written by Sarah Ann

September 22, 2018 at 9:17 am

39 Responses

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  1. Dear Sarah Ann,

    Those are the chances an outdoor artist takes. I think back a couple of weeks to an art fair we did. I was distraught because of the moisture and light rain that made my book pages warp a bit. The show, indeed, must go on so make sure to hoist your umbergamp. 😉 Nicely told story.




    September 22, 2018 at 10:32 am

    • I hope it doesn’t make the mime’s facepaint run. That would be tragic!

      Russell Gayer

      September 22, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    • I sympathise with you and your warped pages. Were you able to weight them back into shape?
      I’m going to see a friend’s band playing at a chilli festival tomorrow. If it’s as wet as forecast there’ll be umbergamps everywhere.

      Sarah Ann

      September 22, 2018 at 10:02 pm

  2. What are you performing? ‘Singing in the Rain’ perhaps?

    Click to read my FriFic tale!

    Keith's Ramblings

    September 22, 2018 at 11:59 am

    • I’m not sure of the production. Maybe something ethereal. Hopefully nothing too earthy.

      Sarah Ann

      September 22, 2018 at 9:58 pm

  3. This reminds me of all the summer BBQs we have had in the garage.

    James McEwan

    September 22, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    • Our garage was always too full of rubbish. We stayed in the garden under those huge garden umbrellas …. and got wet 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      September 22, 2018 at 9:57 pm

  4. Writing what you know? I enjoyed this one.


    September 22, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    • All I know at the moment seems to be exhaustion, frustration, and cracked thumbs. Oh, and a brain that doesn’t want to string words together creatively.

      Sarah Ann

      September 22, 2018 at 9:55 pm

      • sit back and think of nothing for awhile – might help.


        September 22, 2018 at 10:44 pm

  5. I enjoyed the image of an outdoor show. By all means, the show MUST go on!

    Russell Gayer

    September 22, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    • We’re used to damp shows in the UK. It’s a rainy weekend this weekend so the brollies, and raincoats, are out in force.

      Sarah Ann

      September 22, 2018 at 9:53 pm

  6. Reminds me of stories of films having to reshoot in Autumn and paint leaves back on to trees to match earlier shots. Nice tale, I like that her work calms her.

    Iain Kelly

    September 22, 2018 at 10:20 pm

  7. sounds like a real trouper to me. well done.


    September 23, 2018 at 3:11 am

    • Thank you. She is, just needs to be a little happier about her work.

      Sarah Ann

      September 24, 2018 at 12:04 pm

  8. And as an added bonus some people love watching paint dry. Nice one.


    September 23, 2018 at 6:42 am

    • Yes, the silent, staring pre-theatre audience is an added pressure I didn’t have the words to address. 😉

      Sarah Ann

      September 24, 2018 at 12:04 pm

  9. I only hope they won’t be waving prop swords in the air in the middle of any thunder and lightning storms 🙂


    September 23, 2018 at 6:49 am

    • Now there’s something I hadn’t thought of. Or at least let’s hope the swords are wooden or rubber.

      Sarah Ann

      September 24, 2018 at 12:03 pm

  10. I love this little slice of life although I can’t help shivering at the thought of outdoor theatre in October!


    September 23, 2018 at 10:08 am

    • Take a brolley, a flask with your favourite warm tipple, maybe a sandwich or two, make sure you have on stout boots and a good wooly and you’ll be fine, 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      September 24, 2018 at 12:02 pm

  11. “Why? Why must the show go on?” asked the star of the show, in a voice reminiscent of Sir Arthur John Gielgud .
    A small pause. Then, the audience clapped.
    The show went on 🙂

    Eric Alagan

    September 23, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    • ‘Because. Because. Because,’ screamed the director in the wings, thankfully not heard above the audience’s enthusiastic clapping.
      The show went on, but the star and director never worked together again.

      Sarah Ann

      September 24, 2018 at 12:00 pm

  12. We have all been there. A little of the wet stuff never hurt anyone but the wicked witch of the west. 😊


    September 23, 2018 at 4:08 pm

  13. If you live in a wet place there is only way to go… never give up.

    Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

    September 23, 2018 at 8:32 pm

    • When living in a wet place, or somewhere where the weather forecast is never accurate, preparing for the worst and living in hope is the solution.

      Sarah Ann

      September 24, 2018 at 11:54 am

  14. Fabulous! Love the detailed work in set painting! Such an art to make a panel look like wood or a floor or bricks!

    Laurie Bell

    September 23, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    • I’ve always been amazed by stage set painting – the effort and detail for a few performances before it’s painted over again. More dedication that I have!

      Sarah Ann

      September 24, 2018 at 11:48 am

  15. I swear, when we are drawing a blank with an image is when we become most creative. I enjoyed this, Sarah Ann!


    September 24, 2018 at 4:45 am

    • Thank you for your comment, and the photo, which I absolutely love. My other angle was bad luck for having all those umbrellas up indoors, but that didn’t spark anything creative.

      Sarah Ann

      September 24, 2018 at 11:47 am

      • 😁 probably just as well…


        September 24, 2018 at 11:59 am

  16. I love the sense of theatre in this, and the determination that the show will go on, whatever happens.


    September 24, 2018 at 10:38 am

    • Thank you. It pays to be determined. The weather will know to behave itself when the time comes 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      September 24, 2018 at 11:46 am

  17. Light up the wood burning stove and soon your barge will be warm and toasty, and the paint will dry quicker.


    September 24, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    • 🙂 If only that would work – it’s the outside I’m painting.

      Sarah Ann

      September 27, 2018 at 4:30 pm

  18. I love the determination here, the art-at-all-costs attitude.


    September 24, 2018 at 5:33 pm

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