Friday Fictioneers – The Pain of Separation


“Crazy ain’t it? It’s a Jesse Mallakoy original. Cost us a million bucks” said the barman as he poured his customer a whisky.

Slowly sipping the drink the old man stroked his mottled beard and smiled.

“He’s dead. Killed himself after finishing this. Locked his soul into it or so the story goes. That’s him in the middle” continued the barman as he turned to point at the picture.

No! How?

The man in the picture was gone. The barman quickly spun round. An empty stool. The glass of whisky he’d poured seemingly untouched.

Jesse Mallakoy felt whole again. He could now rest at peace.

This is my entry in this week’s 100 word writing challenge over at Friday Fictioneers.


61 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – The Pain of Separation

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Always good when the first comment is positive. Never entirely sure people will get some of my stuff. It’s quite a simple little story but tricky to get over in 100 words. Glad you got it. Come again Helena!

      1. paulmclem Post author

        Ooh. I like that comment. I do try to make the most of every word so one may actually seem like two or three…err, if you see what I mean. Thanks again!

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Cheers! Yep, so far I think only we’re the only two to focus on the painting. It was the first thing I looked at. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    1. paulmclem Post author

      The last two sentences were tricky this week but I think the ones I settled on give enough hints to what happened. I hope so anyway!

  1. zookyworld

    Cool story fusing the bar customer as the artist for the painting. We shared a somewhat similar inspiration this week, as a character in my story imagines being in a painting. Something about the power of paintings, I guess. Good story!

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Cheers Zook. Yep, the painting really drew me in. Not just that but the man in the picture. I thought more might have written about him.

  2. Mystikel

    Good ghost story. Hopefully people believe the barman’s story and don’t think he was drinking on the job.

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Rochelle, as I’ve said on other people’s efforts I much prefer complete stories. It’s not easy at times to squeeze them into 100 words but I like the challenge.

  3. Shreyank

    a great tale ! well written enjoyed it.. actually I wanted to write something abt the artist soul being captured in the picture.. but cudn’t piece 2gtr a story.. glad i didn’t, urs was amazing πŸ™‚

    1. paulmclem Post author

      I’m sure you could have come up with a good one too. I find the trick is you need to have an extremely simple premise i.e. ghost comes into bar to reclaim soul from his last painting. You now take that and stretch it to 100 words. Bit of punchy dialogue, a good name or two and an extra crispy last sentence. Easy! My worry is people won’t understand these kind of stories but they usually do.

      1. Shreyank

        i liked your ‘How to write a good ghost story in 77 words ‘ πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚ will keep this handy next time i attempt a ghost story πŸ™‚

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Wow! You heard about it before getting here…am I trending on Friday Fictioneers πŸ™‚

      Relieved it lived up to expectations. Thanks as always for taking the time to read and comment.

    1. paulmclem Post author

      I’ve only been doing this a few weeks and I’m surprising myself to be honest. I think I can write to a certain extent but didn’t think my efforts would be hitting the spot this quickly. Trick is to keep it up, keep trying different styles and eventually to move from 100 words to a 200,000 word novel. Hmmm. Might need a few years! Thanks for reading and commenting on my story again this week.

      1. elappleby

        Friday Fictioneers is an amazingly powerful way to improve your writing – not only by writing yourself, but by commenting on others – I’m thrilled at how much I’ve grown since I started. And yes, I love being able to play with different styles too! See you next week πŸ™‚

      2. paulmclem Post author

        Commenting on others is still something I’m unsure about. If I clearly like a story I will say. If it’s ok I just tend to like. If I do neither it’s because I’ve either missed it, didn’t get it or didn’t like it. However, I’m not sure people are really up for negative critiques. In some ways I wish they were. Personally I think it would be fascinating to get into real discussions over a story.

        ps this makes it sound like I didn’t like or get yours. Please don’t take offence πŸ™‚ I’ll go back and have another read and post an honest review.

      3. elappleby

        It’s cool – I follow pretty much the same rules as you for commenting. I only comment when I have something to say and I often have to stop myself from giving constructive criticism. I tried in the early days, but there are only a few of us out there that can handle it! I think noticing what you like or don’t like is enough to help you grow as a writer. I’d be wary of being too critical.

      4. paulmclem Post author

        Yep. I doubt I will post real critiques on FF. Doesn’t really seem that sort of place. Which in some ways is good. There are a couple of forums out there where people are more than happy to give it to you with both barrels. Not places for the easily discouraged!

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