Flash Friday: Brothers

I’m posting this a bit early as I have to be out this afternoon, but will link to Madison’s page when I can. Meanwhile you can check out the rules for Friday Fictioneers . To read what others have done with this weeks prompt, go HERE.

I would like to quote this, which is on this week’s Prompt Page : 100-words isn’t a *rule* and some of us write more than that. My goal is to have The Friday Fictioneers use 100-word stories as an exercise in choosing concise phrases and strong verbs. It’s an excellent way to show your stuff to the world without exposing too much. It’s okay if you use more words, but if it’s much more let us know in the comments so we’ll know how to allocate our time if we’re trying to read all the posts.

I added that caveat, because this week, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t whittle my tale down to 100 words – this is the first time it has happened, but there was simply nothing I could omit. I even feel I omitted some of the “flavor” by cutting it down so much, but hey, that’s the rules, and I like to follow as closely as possible. Anyway, here is this week’s

Picture Prompt

And here is my tale:

“Brothers”Β  118 words (eeps!)


Johnny peeked through the small hole between the rocks – what was his brother Mike doing there with those guys?

As he watched, one of the guys handed Mike some money. Mike slipped something into his hand, then ran off.

The guys walked by where Johnny was hiding, One of them said “I can’t believe you finally got him to sell you that card.”

That card? Mikes special limited series baseball card?

Johnny sat for a long time, getting madder and madder. Mike shouldn’t have caved. Johnny was gonna tell him what for! Β He rushed home and into Mikes room.

“Happy Birthday!”, Mike said, handing Johnny a new baseball glove. “Now I can teach you to play catch.”


critique is welcome – if anyone has ideas how to make it shorter, or what might be missing, I’m open to hearing it.


54 responses

  1. It had the flavor of The Gift of the Magi, at the same time, it felt a bit like The Outsiders to me. I very much enjoyed the blend.

    There are more places that can we whittled down, but I think as you write more drabbles, you will be able to revisit this one with fresh eyes and see for yourself how to do so and maintain your own voice and intention. Excellent job!

    The link to mine is: http://quillshiv.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/orientation/

    1. Thank you for the comment. I agree, often coming back later with fresh eyes can help so much. Heheh, I like the word drabbles, too. Nice of you to visit. πŸ™‚

      1. Yeah! Drabbles is the official name for a 100 word story. LOL all the “new” length stories have their own names. I’m veryyyy late making the rounds from last week. I’m so sorry.

  2. The Gift of the Maji sprang to mind. I like the twist. It surprised me.

    1. Thank you Jenny, glad you dropped by. πŸ™‚

  3. Caerlynn Nash | Reply

    Goes to show… you should never jump to conclusions. πŸ™‚ Wonderful story.

    1. Thank you Caerlyn.

  4. We’ve all been there, getting the wrong end of the stick, then getting all riled up and ready to cut loose on someone, only for them to disarm you with some sweet comment or gesture. The worst part is you’re still left with that anger, but now you have to keep it bottled up or end up looking like an arse!

    I appreciate you bringing attention to the laxity of the rules. Making sure my drabble is exactly 100 words frustrates me every time! I’m gonna have to try to be less anal about that.

    PS: I also suspected a drug deal. What does that say about our society?

    1. Yeah, rules are to be intended as guidelines, I think, making sure these don’t turn into too long readings – though i set up a challenge for myself to make each one exactly 100 words, no more, no less, so this was a break off from my own personal challenge. Oh well, like you said, sometimes you just need to say what you need to say.

      Thanks for coming by, Jake. πŸ™‚

  5. […] tuit:Β  100 WCGU-ScupltureΒ Β  Flash Friday: Brothers Β Β  Saturday […]

  6. a charming tale and nicely crafted. For Sandra’s editing tips, I will add, that there is no shame ingoing back and trying them out. I sometimes edit my stories even weeks later!
    as my favourite robot says: Perfection is sublime!

    1. Thank you Lindaura, and thanks for the tip on going back to edit – I’ll wait, though, while I agree with you fully, I personally find it a good reminder to see what I did wrong, or could have done better – I am very forgetful, lol! Thanks for taking the time to comment and suggest, much appreciated!

  7. Sweet, a really lovely gesture from brother to brother! I loved how you made it seem suspicious, then revealed what a big sacrifice he’d just made. Great work!

    My offering over here: http://joannakneilson.wordpress.com/2012/03/09/flash-fiction-friday-cellar-wall/

    1. Thank you Joanna, for such a lovely comment. πŸ™‚

  8. Great post and a sweet gesture on behalf of Johnny’s brother!

    1. Thank you susie, glad you dropped by. πŸ™‚

  9. I was as surprised as Johnny! Great tension and twist.

    Mine s here: http://erinleary.wordpress.com/2012/03/09/flash-friday-fictioneers/#entry

    1. Thank you Erin, glad you liked it. πŸ™‚

  10. Oh, goodness–I loved it. “Sort of” a “Gift of the Magi” touch but–for this generation–much more appropos. Love your portrayal of the brothers–nicely done.

    Mine: http://www.vlgregory-circa1800.vpweb.com/blog.html.

    1. Thank you Gregory, nice of you to stop by and comment.

  11. So sweet. I would love to read Johnny’s reaction to what happened. Very nice.

    1. Thank you so much, I appreciate the comment. πŸ™‚

  12. Madison Woods | Reply

    Well you’ve had lots of good suggestions about how you could whittle it, so I’ll just say that I liked this a lot. What I most liked was that it started out looking like a drug deal, then turned into something that made the boy angry, then into something that was done FOR him. So in a short span of time, you’ve made us assume something different twice and resolved it at the end. Very nice!

    1. Thank you Madison, I appreciate your comments. And I love doing this weekly challenge when I manage it. Great stimulation for creativity!

  13. Lora Mitchell | Reply

    Sweet, tender story. I also thought of the Gift of the Magi…. Thank you for sharing it with us. Here’s mine: http://www.triplemoonstar.blogspot.com

    1. Thank you Lora, nice of you to visit.

  14. Such a wholesome twist at the end. I imagined Mike to be a runner for the mob or something. I also thought that Johnny was a little older until his brother talked about playing catch. I’m not one to think about the youth in fiction much so this was a very nice surprise. Thanks for sharing and thanks for stopping by my blog earlier today.


    1. Thank you Atiya. Yes, it’s hard to establish age and such with so few words, it was clearer in the original, but the original was much too long. Thanks for dropping by.

  15. Nicely done. First thought it was a drug deal, then the hurt of his brother selling a precious possession. But it beautifully turned around to a loving gift. Great story. πŸ™‚

    Here’s mine – a little different:


    1. Thank you Siobhan, I’m glad all three points made it into this short piece. Thank you for commenting.

  16. This is very endearing. You can feel the closeness of the characters in a very significant and immediate way.

    One suggestion for cutting in the first sentence. It could go from what it is to: “Johnny peeked through a hole in the rock wall – what was Mike doing with those guys?” (-3 words)

    You do such a good job establishing the brother relationship that you really don’t have to flag it for us — a testament to your writing, really. Hope that’s helpful.

    Mine is here: http://thecolorlime.wordpress.com/2012/03/09/imprisoned/

    1. Yes, thank you so much, I appreciate the help, and also the comment about establishing that they are brothers. So nice of you to offer a suggestion, I really appreciate it. Thanks for coming by.

  17. I love the sentiment behind your story. Gift of the Magi was the first thing that popped into my head too.

    ~Susan (Here’s mine: http://www.susanwenzel.com/)

    1. Thank you Susan, I think Gift of the Magi has had a great influence on me, and sometimes shows itself in my writing.

  18. Such a sweet tale of brotherly love, punctuated perfectly by the twist ending.

    Here’s mine for this week:

    1. Thank you Niiko, nice of you to drop by and comment.

  19. I’m a sucker for a good twist at the end. It was worth the few extra words.

    Here’s mine: http://teschoenborn.com/2012/03/09/friday-fictioneers/

    1. Thank you so much, I’m glad you liked it.

  20. Sandra nailed it on the advice side. Good hearted story of brotherly love, though. Great job.



    1. Thank you Doug, and I’m glad to see you did one too – off to read.

  21. I also thought it was going to be a drug deal – instead you turned it into some sweet. Great twist.

    Here’s mine: http://postcardfiction.com/2012/03/09/waiting/

    1. I’m glad, because I wanted it to look like that, but of course, with the word limit, the reveal had to come pretty quickly. Thanks for coming by and commenting.

  22. Hi Judee,
    This has all the warmth and charm of a Dickens tale, and the storyline reminds me of The Girt of the Magi by O. Henry. Great story!
    Here’s mine: http://bridgesareforburning.wordpress.com/

    1. Thank you so much Ron, that’s a lovely comment. I appreciate you dropping by.

  23. I really like this heartwarming story you told! πŸ™‚ And the way you wrote it, is a very nice way to remind us about making assumptions. Good job!

    Here is mine: it is a prose poem rather than a story:

    1. Thank you Jeannie, and I’m glad you got the lesson bit.

  24. I really liked this tale. The only thing I can think of to make it a bit stronger is rephrasing the penultimate paragraph. Instead of saying something like, “He was going to give him the what-for” just leave it at, “Mike shouldn’t have caved. It infuriated Johnny.” Something like that.

    I hope this helps.

    Please visit mine, if you get the chance:


    1. Thank you Sarah, especially for the suggestion, it does help to get critique from others, and I appreciate it. I’m off to read yours. πŸ™‚

  25. Aww this is lovely, a really good take on it! Agree with Sandra’s advice on that line – it’s hard when you get stuck on a phrase you know that you can whittle down, but it just doesn’t come to you straight away. Either way a really sweet story πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you so much Emma, I appreciate you dropping by and commenting.

  26. This was a really nice flash. It started off looking like a drugs deal and changed into something entirely more wholesome! πŸ™‚

    There’s plenty of opportunity to whittle this down without losing anything. Just looking at a couple of sentences; “The guys passed Johnny’s hiding-place. One said, “Can’t believe he finally sold you that card.” Down from 24 to 15.

    “Johnny sat for a while, fuming.” For me, that says the same as “Johnny sat for a long time getting madder and madder.” You can substitute ‘ages’ for ‘a while’ to bring the word count down further.

    But I loved the way you turned the tale into a feel good ending; brilliant!

    1. Sandra thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my request for help/critique – and you are so right about whittling it down – the examples you gave are perfect. It’s so easy to get stuck on a phrase and not be able to see another way around it. I really appreciate your help! Glad you liked the ending. πŸ™‚

      1. So glad you found it helpful.

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