Balanced, precariously (Friday Fictioneers)


Image by Sandra Cook

‘I don’t think we should see each other anymore.’

Her voice was shaky, hoarse. I could tell she had been crying, even from the other side of the world.

‘There’s just one thing that’ll change my mind. And I’m only going to say it once…’

I pressed the phone tightly to my ear.

A tractor passed laboriously through town, right in front of my eyes. Its diesel engine choked and grumbled as it pushed the rusty machine over the cobblestones. The rattling trailer was overloaded with bales of dry brittle hay, balanced precariously.

‘…so what’s it going to be?’


Friday Fictioneers is a challenge set by Rochelle Fields where writers around the world create 100 word stories inspired by the one image. For more information see:


Filed under Friday Fictioneers

59 responses to “Balanced, precariously (Friday Fictioneers)

  1. Good one Jessie, well done, of course you have left me hanging you realise.

  2. Dear Jessica,
    Now he has a dilemma doesn’t he? Does he ask her what she just said before the tractor interrupted or think fast? Good one.
    Welcome to Friday Fictioneers. I don’t know if anyone has warned you but this is one of the most addictive activities I’ve ever been involved in. I look forward to reading more of your work.

  3. Great to see you on Friday Fictioneers, Jessie. Oh, how I feel for him! Couldn’t he explain what happened and get her to repeat it. Then tell us!

  4. MrBinks

    Nicely done 🙂

  5. Dee

    Great to see you here Jessie. A good take on the prompt this week, I like your open ending but now I’m worried what was missed…

  6. Diana Threlfo

    Love your first Friday Fictioneers submission, Jessie. Ultimatums! Perhaps he’s better off without her and fate intervened.

  7. Well I guess that settles it. It’s over. It’s a million to one (or worse) odds he guesses what she said.

  8. So I think he should say “I’ll do whatever you want…” And then just keep his fingers crossed. 🙂 What an original way to end the piece. Nice one.

  9. Great timing, it left me smiling. 🙂

  10. Welcome to Friday Fictioneers, Jessica. That was a very good story. Well done. That would really be a problem. He has to think fast.

  11. Welcome to the madhouse, Jessie. Love your initial story. I’m still laughing.


  12. What an exercise in suspense!
    Beautifully linked with the prompt. Well done and thanks for the follow on twitter, I reciprocated in kind.

  13. camgal

    Ooh nice one for your first 🙂 welcome and hope to read more from you.

  14. Helena Hann-Basquiat

    Oh, Sh!t. Very clever, darling.

  15. Wow I could feel her heart fall into her stomach! Excellent storytelling here!

  16. Great take on this! She’ll dump him and tell her friends he never listened to her

  17. My guess is the one thing that could change her mind was if he agreed to pay the long distance phone bill.

  18. Love how the two stories come together…in frustration. Good one!

  19. That’s awful. How IS he going to respond? I’ll be thinking about this for a while.

  20. Aaaah, that was so frustrating!! Which means your story hit the mark rather splendidly

  21. Jim Kane

    Welcome !
    A wonderful post!
    I almost used the lady in the picture but ran out of words!

  22. What perfectly imperfect timing. There’s no right thing for him to say. Well crafted, a good take on the prompt.
    Marie Gail

  23. Argh-how inopportune for both of them-star-crossed lovers?A great debut entry Jessie,loved it and welcome to the family:-)

  24. Welcome to Friday Fictoneers, Jessie! 🙂 This is quite an interesting tale you wove here. Poor guy, I feel really bad for him, if his relationship ends, he’ll probably curse tractors for the rest of his life!I really hope it works out for him 🙂

  25. shailajav

    Argh!! No, you cannot do that! Finish the tale. Back up, rewind

  26. Honesty is the best policy, but how many of us take the honest route. It would be better to say “Can you hear me now?” or something more clever. This is a very interesting fork in the road. Thanks, Nan

  27. A real cliffhanger! Those precariously balanced bales are a great metaphor for the precariously balanced relationship. Well done. You are clearly good at suspense. Ann (fellow Newcastletonian)

  28. Exquisite use of the form. Really making the brevity work for you.

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