Friday Fictioneers: Free Me – C

I pledgeAnother week, and another prompt for the Friday Fictioneers graciously provided by 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.

People like me who like and need constructive criticism label their posts with a C, according to the guidelines of the Friday Fictioneers Concrit Subgroup.


Image © ceayr

Free Me

“One day I’ll build one for you just like this,” Jim said, showing me his sandcastle.

I put my shovel down and beamed. “I’ll be your queen, then?”

“I’ll be king,” he said.

Now, twenty-five years later, he shows me his house.

“This could have been yours, you know,” he says.

His gorgeous wife pretends not to hear. She’s impeccably dressed, but I see the bruises on her wrists and give her my phone number.

“We should have lunch, get to know each other,” I suggest.

She nods, he frowns. I can’t get out fast enough.
Who needs a castle?

(100 words)


The title comes from Joss Stone’s song ‘Free Me.’

Featured image: “Children on the Beach 1884” by Mary Cassatt
Licensed under Public Domain via Commons –


71 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers: Free Me – C

  1. A well constructed story, I really like the sentiment and it’s very well done. The character of Jim is a terrible one…..

    C – If I would have anything to complain against, I would probably have preferred not to mention the bruises. Rather let us guess that by giving hints on her demure behavior or sideways glances. But hey, it’s hard to make the reader understand without it…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Björn. Sadly, there are still many Jims around, and bruises are often psychological, not so easy to spot. I’m glad you liked. I thought last week I may have been a bit too subtle, so this week I thought I spell it out. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Good comments Bjorn. Sometimes I find the word limit too constraining and in editing I end up telling rather than showing. I’m trying to challenge myself and learn to do better.
      G – I like how the story starts offsweet and innocent and devolves.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! Word count is difficult at times, but I find sticking to it is excellent exercise in finding the right words, in using active verbs, active speech, and so on. I think that’s part of the fun, it also teaches us to cut mercilessly, something I always have trouble with when writing longer pieces.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Well crafted. You pack a lot of story in those few words. King of his castle, indeed. I can see why he’d frown to think that his wife might get some outside support.

    Thanks for the link to the song, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! That’s a relief, I find writing any kind of social commentary difficult because one wrong word (often used out of ignorant or naive reasons) can cause a lot of anger and pain. I’m glad you liked it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This goes on quite a journey ( time, place, emotions) in those 100 words! The turn around of the line ‘I’ll be king’ from child’s innocent comment to something more sinister in the telling really works well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well constructed story that starts off so innocent.

    C- The wife pretending not to hear was a strong image and for me the bruises were not needed to tell the story. But that’s me.

    Overall well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved this piece. And unlike some other comments, I will say: keep the bruises in your story. Yes, there is a show, don’t tell ‘rule’, and you’d probably make it more mysterious for some readers, but others would not get it. Once I read somewhere that writing is not about making sure people understand, it’s about making sure people don’t misunderstand, and I think that’s more important than ‘show, don’t tell’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the great feedback! Yes, it’s always a fine line between being too subtle or not subtle enough. This time around, I wanted the meaning to be clear, but it’s still good to practice with the subtle… It’s an interesting quote about the ‘don’t misunderstand’.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love how you’ve planted phrases that seem innocent and loving, but end up with another, darker meaning as you read to the end. Very good, Gah. You’ve also got some really intriguing relationship dynamics happening within this threesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Who needs a castle when the kingdom is a dictatorship. Excellent construction. The mention of bruises spell it out so clearly. I think the most amazing part is the narrator’s willingness to reach out to Jim’s wife and offer her friendship and help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Melanie. At first I wanted the narrator to dislike the pretty wife, but for some reason her unhappiness surfaced, and women should help each other a lot more, I think.


  8. Great story and goes along with your musical selection. She’s a talented singer! I read Bjorn’s crit and thought I would offer my thoughts. Instead of saying, “I saw,” it could come about with an action. Maybe the wife gives her hand shaking and sees her arms covered up. Or, her sleeve comes up to reveal a bruise. I admit it’s really tough with the word count. I don’t know if that helps. Very strong story, Gah. Who needs castles, indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

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