I must admit, I struggled with this one. I had to write three different stories before I had one I didn’t actively dislike. The first story was boring. As for the second, I liked the idea but 100 words turned out to be too limiting and the story just didn’t flow well after it had been edited down. I’m not saying I’m 100% in love with this third attempt, but it’s better than the others. For some reason though, the people had the same names in all stories, though not always specifically mentioned. They are Charlie and Mary. Charlie wasn’t even part of the second story, but he was still Charlie. I didn’t use Mary’s name in this story, but it is her name nonetheless. Anyway, let’s get down to business.
Here’s the prompt from Rochelle and my story follows:
Bet she doesn’t even notice me, thought Charlie. Of course she doesn’t, why would a girl like her notice a guy like me?
She’d probably think you’re a loser anyway. Everyone else does. Lost in thought, the woman’s inquiry went unheeded. His hand gripped the piano wire in his pocket.
“Pardon me?” she repeated.
He turned toward her intoxicating smile. “Yes?”
“Happen to have the time?”
Charlie looked at his watch. “3:38”
The woman crossed the street and Charlie’s grip on the wire loosened. For the first time in a long time, his smile was genuine.
(word count: 100 words)
August 8th, 2013 at 4:43 AM
Sometimes we get the characters without a story. (Re: your 3 attempts)
I like the mystery – was the piano wire a ‘fatal’ tool? Who was the victim? Many questions litter this piece – and then none of them matter as Charlie loses all power to the woman who needed the time.
August 8th, 2013 at 6:30 PM
The piano wire was meant as a fatal tool for the woman, that was a bit more obvious before I trimmed it to fit the 100 words.
August 8th, 2013 at 5:15 AM
I love the way it ended, it was gearing up one way then flew off in another, good job 🙂
August 8th, 2013 at 6:32 PM
Thanks, Helen. I have a tendency of killing of my characters, or implying that that they’ll soon die. I have to throw in the occasional happy ending to mix things up.
August 8th, 2013 at 5:23 AM
We never know how a kind word will effect or change another person, do we? This is subtly illustrated in your story. Another good one and the care you put into it shows. Thank you.
August 8th, 2013 at 6:33 PM
So true, Rochelle. Sometimes a kind word can make all the difference.
August 8th, 2013 at 6:27 AM
Adam this piece works well. I liked the characters interaction and conclusion. The piano wire? That is a mystery, I hate to think what he might do with it. Well done again.
August 8th, 2013 at 6:35 PM
The piano wire is for one thing and one thing only, and it doesn’t involve a piano. The real question is has he used it before or did she narrowly avoid being the first?
August 8th, 2013 at 12:32 PM
Good portrayal of an insecure man with a lousy self image who may have had evil thoughts about the wire, but doesn’t seem to be the type who would do anything about them . In any case, he met up with a lucky lady who said the right thing. Well done.
August 8th, 2013 at 6:37 PM
He may not be that man yet, but if he doesn’t take steps to fix his broken self he will likely become a man capable of such acts before all is said and done.
August 8th, 2013 at 2:00 PM
What was he going to do with the piano wire? TO himself or to another?
August 8th, 2013 at 6:38 PM
The wire was meant for the woman. I had to trim a bit of that explanation out to fit the story into 100 words and hoped that would be implied.
August 8th, 2013 at 10:59 PM
In my mind, she turns him from a dark path with her unwitting distraction. I’m sad that we lost the details of that path in the editing, though. Maybe you can post the longer version sometime too!
August 9th, 2013 at 6:37 PM
It’s unlikely you’ll ever see the longer version, unless I turn Charlie’s story into something a lot longer in the future. I have some sort of weird OCD when it comes to making these things exactly 100 words. I spend way more time on that than I do on the actual story.
August 8th, 2013 at 11:13 PM
I thought your meaning was perfectly clear. I guess I watch too many crime shows! Glad this one had a happy ending.
August 9th, 2013 at 6:40 PM
Personally, the only crime show I watch is Psych, but that is more of a crime show spoof than an actual crime show. I like my shows/movies funny and my writing/reading on the darker side. Makes for a nice balance I think.
Glad you understood what I was going for. Thanks for reading!
August 9th, 2013 at 7:04 PM
I guess I’m the opposite, NCIS, CSI and write humor.
August 9th, 2013 at 4:30 PM
So that’s the real opposite of a killer smile isn’t it?
August 9th, 2013 at 6:42 PM
You pose and interesting question, but I’d have to disagree. To my knowledge a killer smile has never actually killed anyone whereas her smile has definitely kept someone from being killed.
August 10th, 2013 at 6:10 AM
Not that i’m counting, but welcome to the top ten. This was a very good story an many levels, now put down that piano wire.
August 10th, 2013 at 8:18 PM
Thanks, Doug. It’s an honor to be in the top ten.
But, about the piano wire: does it matter if it is slightly used and has a few red stains? Do I still have to put it down then? Think maybe I could sell it on Ebay and get a couple bucks for it?
August 10th, 2013 at 9:07 AM
I got your direction loud and clear, Adam, and your title was perfect. I had the same though as Rochelle–you never know how the smallest action might affect someone else. Good to have you back.
August 10th, 2013 at 8:22 PM
I’m glad you understood where I was headed. I’d say I went with a happier ending because killing my characters off every week would be bad for business, but I’d be lying. There are plenty of replacements waiting in line and I don’t get paid, unless you’re putting a check in the mail that is. No? Well, can’t blame a guy for trying.
August 10th, 2013 at 7:03 PM
Gee, I wish she’d call me cutie. Your hard work paid off, Adam. This one is definitely a keeper.
August 10th, 2013 at 8:23 PM
She probably calls everyone cutie, though I don’t know her well enough to say for sure. This time it paid off for her, but I assume that wouldn’t be the first time.