Friday Fictioneers – Starting Afresh

ff161215Ruffles stirred in his wicker basket as the door was slowly pushed ajar. The old, chocolate Labrador yawned, and then watched through tired eyes as Emmy tip-toed across the cold, stone floor.

At the window she paused. This had always been her favourite time of the day: the dawn mists rising over the barn; a slither of red sky beyond the southern cornfields. For just a moment she hesitated, before propping up the white envelope against a bowl of apples on the kitchen table.

Picking up the small suitcase, she turned to Ruffles and smiled. Perhaps a heavy heart, but no tears, as Emmy slipped quietly out the back door.


These words form my entry into Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge.

17 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Starting Afresh

  1. Claire Fuller

    I really like how this starts and ends with the door opening and closing, and almost from the dog’s point of view. I’m assuming it is Emmy who props up the envelope, but if it is, I’m not sure why that part of the sentence is passive, because the word ‘before’ could suggest that she’s standing in front of the envelope, rather than putting it down. I know you aren’t looking for crit – but thought I’d mention it, because it’s a lovely atmospheric piece – and it’s easily solved by changing to ‘before propping up the white envelope…’

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Cheers, Claire. Always appreciate any thoughts you might have. Today was a funny one as our work email was down and so I had to write my story on a scrap of paper, instead of emailing it home. That line you’ve pointed out was something I changed at the last gasp as I was typing it in. Still didn’t feel quite right, but I couldn’t really put my finger on why. I will take a look and likely make your suggested change.

  2. Sorchia D

    A nice frame–the door opens; the door closes. Show her hesitation–“Her hand poised above the white bowl of red apples, she watched the dawn mists rise above the barn…” I like the dog, but decide whose perspective you are using–the dog? Emmy? It could work either way. You’ve painted a wonderful picture in broad strokes here–beautiful sunrise , panoramic view, and heartbreaking decision. Nice work!

  3. Bloggeuse

    Aw, poor Ruffles! Very moving little piece of fiction; funny to find yourself rooting for someone after fewer than 100 words, but I really did hope for better days for Emmy (and not too much heartbreak for Ruffles, either!).

  4. Joy Pixley

    In one door and out the next, nice touch. And seeing that favorite view for the last time, knowing it’s the last time: very poignant. It does feel a little sad to leave the dog without tears, though. Poor Ruffles.

  5. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

    This is an excellent piece.. clearly not the same woman as in my story. I agree how the door is so very effective in portraying an event that probably will look very different in full daylight. I also think the dog adds such a nice touch.


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