Friday Fictioneers: Damsel in Distress

I pledgeTime for the Friday Fictioneers with another prompt from our Fairy Blog Mother, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

The task is to write a story: beginning, middle, and end, in 100 words or less. You can find all the Fictioneers’ stories when you click on the Froggy. Please read, comment, and if you like, join the fun. Everyone is welcome.

There’s something new, too: the Friday Fictioneers Concrit Subgroup. Thank you, Jennifer Pendergast and Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, for making this available to those of us who welcome constructive criticism. Praise is always nice, but a bit of information why something works, or doesn’t work, helps to become a better writer. Criticize away.

Image © Connie Gayer

Damsel in Distress

When young Tommy found a piece of wire on the ground, he couldn’t resist picking it up. He turned it this way and that, then bent it into a circle. The sad face of a young girl appeared within. Tommy dropped the wire and ran away.

Tom never forgot that face. He called her his princess, and looked for her everywhere.

One day he visited ‘Hole-in-the-Rock’ in Arizona. As he was looking through the opening, the sad face of a young woman appeared.

“Princess!” he cried, and ran through.

“Dinner!” the dragon on the other side said, and ate him.

(100 words)

Edits: I added the word ‘young’ in the first sentence.

1200px-Phoenix-Hole-in-the-Rock-Papago_Park“Phoenix-Hole-in-the-Rock-Papago Park” by Tony the Marine (talk) – I (Tony the Marine (talk)) created this work entirely by myself.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia –
The Hole-in-the-Rock is a Phoenix landmark located in Papago Park. It is a series of openings (tafoni) eroded in a small hill composed of bare red arkosic conglomeratic sandstone. The sandstone was first formed some 6-15 million years ago from the accumulation of materials eroding from a Precambrian granite, long since eroded away.


67 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers: Damsel in Distress

  1. A stalker dragon…I like it!
    You have one word left in the limit…perhaps add “young” in the first sentence (“When young Tommy found a piece of wire on the ground…”). The switch from Tommy to Tom coupled with the description of the female from “young girl” to “young woman” does show the progression of age, but being definitive at the opening that Tommy is a boy would help solidify the image.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Such a great ending, that I can’t believe anyone would see coming!

        C – I’m afraid I disagree with the insertion of ‘young’! Now you have three ‘young’s in the piece, and it just seems too many for such a short story.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you. 🙂 I see what you mean. Beofre I posted I had ‘little Tommy’ there, but thought it didn’t quite fit with the young girl, and little girl just didn’t sound right. I could also take the young away from ‘woman’ and just leave it at woman. Difficult…


    1. C-
      I agree that this could benefit from using an adjective before the first “Tommy,” but think that something indicative of his inquisitiveness may be of the most use. Time, while significant in delineating his obsessive search for “his princess,” is not so integral in this piece that it must be reaffirmed at every possible instance. His utter curiosity, however, frames every action and is a key characteristic.
      As it’s already been discussed, it’s really all a matter of your own comforts. Labeling Tommy with a descriptor right away may make the story more immediately accessible, but it may also threaten to flatten his character.
      That being said, as much as I don’t really care for out-of-left-field-endings, this is well done in that Tommy’s search surely blinds him to possible perils.


  2. Dear Gah,

    C-I agree with Ansumani about the use of Tom and Tommy showing the age progression. Obviously the dragon was quite clever as well as being a mind reader. Really I couldn’t find anything negative to say. Again Con crit is also designed to say what does work.



    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I took the green out again, I thought so, different colours throw me out of a story, too. I’m glad you liked it. And much energy to you, too. I’ve had a good phase the last three days, but the next four days will be less productive.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This rock really does look alive. A lot packed into 100 words!
    A whole life in fact from beginning to (crunch!) end.

    PS The first young helped me. Perhaps the girl needn’t be young! These edits can turn around and bite!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love your imagination, Gah! I didn’t expect a dragon to appear at the end. So much for the princess.
    C – I think Melanie’s suggestion is a good one. Being young might also account for him dropping the wire. I wanted him to pick it up and keep it, but if he’s young, it makes more sense that he’d be reactive and leave it. And, it bridges the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful, surreal twist. I was much too taken with that crafty dragon, to even think of doing a word count, not that it would ever enter my mind to do so (unless it was some kind of competition in which I suspected the winner had broken the rules!). Better to have one less word than end up fiddling with a piece and risk spoiling it. Blame the lost word on the dragon, who gobbled it up before it could be written.

    Liked by 1 person

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