Friday Fictioneers – Coming of Age

ff110614‘Ouch, watch it!’ yelled the patient reclining in his chair.

Ted Chezbluski was distracted.

‘Sorry, Mr Preston. Could you just open a touch wider, please? We’re nearly done.’

Ted’s breath froze as he spotted her being escorted from the noon ferry;  he prayed that Bill was ready.

In the blink of an eye she was gone: bundled into a waiting white van, her distant shrieks muffled by a thick grey blanket – Bill had been ready.  A small, guilty smile broke out over Ted’s face.

He was sure Ted Jr. would enjoy his birthday present.

If he didn’t, he would.


These words form my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge.

13 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Coming of Age

  1. elmowrites

    Haha, nicely creepy. I’m not sure exactly who the girl is, but I suspect she won’t like being wrapped up.
    There were a few places where the pronouns got me. First, we go from the female patient to “her” without making clear it’s someone different. I wonder if maybe “he spotted the girl…” instead. And then the final line, which cements the creepiness and is therefore great, also had a bit of a problem with the son / himself. Not sure what you can do about that though, maybe just accept the confusion because adding too much would take away from the revulsion.

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Got to be honest and say this story changed at the last minute. I originally had the thing coming off the ferry as being a present (a caged bird) for Ted’s wife. However, I just couldn’t get the ending to sound anything other than lame. Therefore at the last gasp it became a present for the son. What I had in mind was some sort of wildling/sex slave thing. The town being a weird Twin Peaks/end of the lake hell hole. In truth I think I overworked this one a bit, spent too long farting around with it. I even changed Steve to Ted as I was uploading 🙂

      Cheer for the crit.


  2. Dreamer of Dreams

    Or even if you wrote, “he spotted Joanna,” or some name.
    (Good suggestion, Elmowrites!)
    Also, instead of “if he didn’t, he would,” you could be more specific. ” If Ted Jr. didn’t, he (italicized) would.” Of course, that would mean cutting out another word elsewhere.
    Excellent story! I loved the narrative and the use of all the aspects of the images in the prompt. (That reminds me that I didn’t use all aspects of the picture in mine! Dang!)

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Thanks for the comments. Yeh, I thought this was an occasion when the whole picture told one story. Sometimes people focus on one small area and go from there, which is fine. However, the scene painted by the photo deserved a story.



  3. elappleby

    A creepy story indeed.
    I agree with other commenters about the final sentence. I think it’s something we’ve all come up against from time to time and sometimes the only way round it seems to be to rewrite it in a completely different way – and with only 100 words to play with that’s not always possible. One possibility would be to put the story into first person, which would also make it doubly creepy (If he didn’t, I would). One step further – first person present, so the last line reads ‘if he doesn’t, I will.’ Yuck, I’ve just creeped myself out!

  4. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

    Paul, it sounds like Ted here is a member of a creepy clan.. I can see a house with hidden basements.. where he brings his tools home.. to do some torture on the side… hmm maybe my imagination going a little wild.

  5. hugmamma

    I’ll layer your ending with my own take…the present is actually dad’s new girlfriend. Out with the old…in with the new! Although I don’t think that’s what you had in mind. Perhaps something more cynical?


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