Painting the Fence

This is my 100-word story for the Friday Fictioneers group, run by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. This week’s prompt is the photo below by © Adam Ickes

I was originally going to go in a completely different direction with this, linking it to last week’s story. That was until  the gardener in me noticed the fence needed painting …


Friday Fictioneers prompt for 14/03/2014
© Adam Ickes

Painting the Fence

Thomas read about Tom Sawyer in school and was full of admiration for his wily namesake. So when he and the other care home residents ‘volunteered’ for the City Park Renewal Scheme during school holidays, he raised his hand at a request for someone to paint the fence.

It’ll be fun,’ he said persuasively.

The others stared. Even the co-ordinator looked surprised.

‘Whatever you’re into dude,’ an older boy said.

When Thomas saw the fence he was horrified. He couldn’t even see where it ended, but laughter carried from the distant community centre where the others were busy working on the new murals.

© Siobhán McNamara

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70 Responses to Painting the Fence

  1. Adam Ickes says:

    Maybe he can con someone else into painting it for him.

  2. Sandra says:

    Bad choice… I hope someone comes along to help. Nice one.

  3. Whoops! Guess he should have taken a look at the fence first.


  4. JudahFirst says:

    Yeah, you should definitely know what you’re up against before diving in! lol I love the reference to Tom Sawyer.

  5. misskzebra says:

    Things never quite are the way you imagine when you read books.

  6. A lovely little story! I like his enthusiasm and how he couldn’t see where it ended (nice link to the photo!) I also enjoyed reading your intro about the fence needing painting… it’s always interesting to find out the creative processes of other writers!

  7. This is why kids today supposedly prefer sedentary pursuits. Mind, Huck Finn with an X-box just wouldn’t have been the same.

  8. He’s a wonderfully enthusiastic character and I feel so sorry for him. Great story, Siobhan.

  9. Bumba says:

    Good take on the prompt.

  10. Horus says:

    Give a distress call to Huckleberry ! 🙂

  11. Interesting take on the prompt. He really has his work cut out for him. Maybe someone will take pity on him and offer to help. Well written.

  12. Dear Siobhán,

    Perhaps Thomas will think twice before emulating another book hero. Good story. I could feel his despair at the end.



  13. HaHa! I love what you did with it. Poor fellow. 🙂

  14. If only he had the powers of persuasion his namesake had.

  15. Tom Sawyer was one of the first real books I ever read (you know, other than Dr. Seuss and all that kid stuff), and I wanted to be Becky! This was a great little tale — careful what you “volunteer” for.

  16. Dee says:

    Poor man, feel sorry for him. Hope he gets help pretty soon.

  17. And I’m joining in that laughter here 🙂

  18. Ha! Bravo, Siobhan! I love this take on the prompt. Tom Sawyer was the furtherest thing from my mind, and yet, as soon as I read your story… I could see exactly how you got there. Such a clever route to take.

  19. Such a relatable story! Though daunting, I’m sure he’ll have a great sense of accomplishment once he’s completed the job.
    “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

  20. scrbwly says:

    love it!

  21. K.Z. says:

    haha nice take on the photo 🙂 made me smile. i hope someone comes along and decides to help him

  22. AnnIsikArts says:

    This says to me that cruelty doesn’t recognise fences. 🙂

  23. Thomas heard what he wanted to hear 🙂

  24. atrm61 says:

    Poor Tom-maybe if is as wily as his namesake ,he will find a way out of this mess 😉 Loved this cute take on the prompt:-)

  25. Amy Reese says:

    That would be horrifying to see a long fence to paint. There goes your Saturday! Cute take.

  26. storydivamg says:

    Poor Tom’s not quite as charismatic as his namesake, I take it. Cute story. I’m glad you stayed light and breezy this week.


  27. Hi Siobhan,
    I think kids are a lot more cynical than they were in Tom Sawyer’s time, just like they are in your story. Ron

  28. plaridel says:

    like his hero, i’m sure he’d find a way to get out of the situation. just wait and see. 🙂

  29. Ha.. yes all the other’s had already read Tom Sawyer I assume

  30. Sun says:

    poor fellow…first inspired by Tom Sawyer only to find a daunting task ahead of him.

  31. Oops! Thomas just got a reality check 🙂 Nice twist in the middle!

  32. Yay, Thomas. But the school of hard knocks delivers more than painting murals. Nice update on the original.

  33. vbholmes says:

    Now we get to see how his salesmanship stacks up against his that of his namesake.

  34. Nan Falkner says:

    Good story and funny! Hope they get the fence painted! Nan

  35. Well done! While struggling to respond to the prompt, I posted the pic on fb and asked my friends/family what was the first word they thought of. Prince Charming said, “I think it needs to be pressure washed and restained LOL.” Obviously, great minds think alike! :>

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