Slipping – a 100w story

For this week’s prompt I have reworked a flash fiction that has been published in the National Flash Fiction Day 2013 anthology ‘Scraps.’
I did start to write a new story  but this kept coming to mind so I decided to see if I could get it down from 150 words to 100 without losing too much of what it was about.
If anyone would like to read the original version, it’s here

This week’s photo prompt comes courtesy of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields who also hosts this group. To get involved in the challenge, click here

To read other contributions, click on the blue froggy




Her eyes twinkle as she takes the apple pie from the oven.
She can see the beach through the kitchen window and knows by the rising tide that the harbour is full enough for her handsome new husband to land the boat.
The back door slams and she smiles.  But instead of her young spouse she sees an old man who hasn’t fished the bay for nearly twenty years.
“Margaret, my love,” he says quietly. “Do you know that’s the third apple pie you’ve made today?”
The pie dish slips from her trembling fingers and shatters.

©Siobhán McNamara

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33 Responses to Slipping – a 100w story

  1. neilmacdon says:

    A miracle of understatement (which always works so much better than angst)


  2. Laurie Bell says:

    Oh oh…you set this up as a great scene, I’m dying to know what happens next


  3. athling2001 says:

    Great story in that it changes the readers perception at the last moment. I had to re-read it in order to decide if the husband had done a Rip Van Wrinkle or if she was somehow slipping away from the real world and into her own fantasy. The structure of the story – the first two sentences on separate lines – distracted from my reading at first. I had to stop and make them into a paragraph before continuing. But all together a wonderful story of hope and loss.


    • Thank you for your feedback, I’m glad it still worked! I debated whether to put a paragraph break there or not, the oven to the beach felt like too much of a leap but it might need a bit of restructuring or slight rewrite to help the flow.


  4. Beautifully written. 🙂


  5. samra says:

    Brilliantly done. The ending left me wanting for more.


  6. michael1148humphris says:

    I saw great love baffled by illness, so sad.


  7. wmqcolby says:

    Whoa! I’d say you hit the nail on the head. That ending left me out cold on the floor. I read the original version AFTER I read this one. You didn’t need those 50 extra words. It packed a wallop even more soundly in 100. Bravo, Siobhan! 🙂


  8. plaridel says:

    i find the story appropriately titled. well done.


  9. Dear Siobhán,

    You told so much in those last few lines. So very well done.




  10. Powerful and heartbreaking, Siobhán; loved it!


  11. I echo what @Dawn Quyle Landau said above!
    That last bit killed me.
    That poor, poor woman, and even worse, her poor husband, who has to see her losing her mind slowly, as she peels away the years.
    A stunning piece of story-telling, truly.


  12. Very well written.


  13. gahlearner says:

    I can only echo what everyone else said. I, too, read the original and found the shorter version to be even better. It’s packed with emotions.


  14. There is so much emotion packed into those hundred words. I read it over and over again. A simply brilliant piece.

    My secret beach


  15. I read both version and I actually think the shorter version worked at least as well.. The tragedy of not being who you used to be, tragic for her, and tragic for her husband… (and very real)


  16. Tales From The Trunk says:

    This is amazingly done, you’ve packed so much emotion into this small story – great job!


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