Friday, May 29, 2009

Fiction Friday - Last Week's Winner and Prompt V

First, I want to take a minute to pimp my own short story, Tangles, which I posted last week. I've gotten some great feedback, but I would love more input. In particular, I'm interested in the answer to this question: Why does Melissa refuse to take the shampoo? Several people have said, "Guilt," and while that seems like an appropriate response on the surface, I'm going to suggest that her body language doesn't convey guilt. What do you think?

Next Friday, I'll share What the Author Had in Mind.

Okay, on to what everyone really came for. The entries were even stronger this week, and no broken rules, so I was forced to judge all 8 entries. Each story was very different, and each had a lot to recommend it. In the end, I chose this one because, even after reading it a second and third time, the ending gave me a little chill. So, congratulations to this week's winner, AnnieKay.

Since it only ran 98 words, I took the liberty of adding a title.

Signature Dish

It was not what it seemed.

From her kitchen window Melissa could see straight into Sam’s dining room. They met three months earlier when he moved in. He was single, a former chef; a friendly new neighbor.

Over time Melissa observed six different women dining with Sam. “Why not me?” she wondered.

Then unexpectedly, Sam called. “I’m making my signature dish tonight and hate to dine alone; care to join me?” Melissa agreed.

Upon entering Sam’s place, her knees weakened. The six previous “dinner dates” were still there…motionless. “Melissa,” Sam smiled, “you’re my next ‘signature dish.’ Be seated.”

Next week's prompt: As neighbors go....


  1. excellent choice!

    and thus it shall be written: another new pen joins the circle of eight

    great work, AnnieKay!

  2. Congrats to AnnieKay. I'd like a little Chianti with my signature dish.

  3. Cool, I like the story!

    I may not do it this week, I have a lot on my mind...

  4. Tangles is a great read! I was interested right from the start and stayed that way until the end.

    To answer your question, I think Melissa shows her disdain for Tina by not accepting her gifts.

    I also belive that Tina has a lover she is hiding...and maybe it's Katherine's rich husband?

    Love this story!

  5. it does give me a chill too!!

  6. Oh yeah I like the story. Good choice Jeanne. I am in a better mood this weekend so I am going to participate. And I am really interested to hear your input on Tangles.

  7. I forgot to mention earlier - Steven G's work on Prompt IV was my favorite this week. I would never have thought of that approach. Great stuff.

  8. Oh My, I loved that story and want to hear the rest. AnnieKay that was brilliant!! So much fun Jeanne. I cant wait for the next one and I am going to put a link on my blog to your little writing concept later tonight. Does that mean given we enter these that we can call ourselves writers?? LOL!!Now I will go and read your story.

  9. This is a true story....

    As neighbors go one by one, the 78-year-old woman began to panic. As her neighbors abandoned their homes, vandals picked them apart; the empty houses used by drug dealers and transients. She realized that she was truly alone, the only home still occupied in a four-block radius. She realized that if she needed help, that no one would come. She lived in fear, hiding, hoping no one bad noticed.

    She called the news hoping that someone might help. But no one did. She was forgotten. Four months later, she died. Her neighborhood now truly a ghost town.

  10. Congratulations to AnnieKay, great story. Definitely works well on rereading.

  11. New Neighbors

    As neighbors go, the new couple was way too private for Jan.

    As lead contractor of our development, I met most of the new folks on our street as their houses were being built, but it was my nosy wife Jan who would learn the most intimate details of their lives in no time.

    Jan always knew which couple was fighting, cheating, who had a new boob job, you name it.
    Her ignorance about this new couple was driving her crazy.

    “Honey”, she threatened me, “ you MUST find a way to repair the cameras in house seven!”

  12. As neighbors go, I really enjoyed hanging with Rachael. She was young, the picture of health, and we quickly became friends when she moved in.

    We usually saw things from the same perspective, and were viewed by others as welcoming. Occasionally new neighbors would join our group. “It’s nice to see our circle of friends grow,” Rachael smiled.

    Being “homebodies” we didn’t venture out much, so when I heard Rachael was missing, it really upset me.

    She broke her nail? I hope they fix it soon – I miss her – you see, I’ve hung on this wall beside her for years.

  13. Peculiar

    As neighbors go, Barry was peculiar. He lived alone and kept to himself.

    We had our suspicions that Barry was watching our every move with binoculars and a hidden camera.

    And we were right.

    Someone discovered Barry’s Blog.

    There was a picture of Myrtle in her dressing gown and furry slippers collecting her morning paper, Cheryl the stay at home Mom standing at her door step in lingerie kissing the postman, and me with my hair in curlers and no makeup looking like something the cat dragged in.

    As neighbours go, Barry wasn’t the only one who was peculiar.

  14. Homeland insecurity

    As neighbors go, the Canadians seemed like all we could hope for: distracted, docile and dumb.

    Until the Great Hockey War of 2013.

    Some say it was the Red Wings’ seventh straight Stanley Cup victory that set them off. Others think it was Obama’s health care plan making theirs look so feeble. Whatever the reason, Homeland Security was completely unprepared for an attack from the Great White North.

    Once Buffalo, Detroit and Seattle fell, defeat was inevitable. Who knew they had turned hockey pucks into incendiary devices? It was devastating.

    But…now we have pretty money.

  15. The Hood

    As neighbors go the newbies kept their lawn neat, the noise of their many late night activities were kept to acceptable levels, and worked to generally improve the Neighborhood. They knew the Committee’s rules.

    In wasn’t until 8 months in that the first missing person’s flyer went up and only increased from there. The Neighborhood was being invaded by police and bad press, which made for angry neighbors.

    Unfortunately, The Neighborhood had to enforce the rules to the newbies, with extreme prejudice.

    Remember vampires, demons, and things of the night the only thing suburbanites fear is declining property values.


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