FF - The broken statue

Fast Fiction is fiction written fast. The object is to get your brain thinking about a given subject without interference from “reason”. Go for the 30 minute time limit.

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FF - The broken statue

Postby JillStar » Fri Aug 26, 2005 7:22 pm

jillstar wrote: Fast Fiction is just that... fiction written fast. Please visit What is FAST FICTION for more information.

Look at the subject for today's Fast Fiction at the end of this post... once you have the slightest beginning to your story… begin to write. Don't stop to ponder the meaning behind your writing or try to "fix" it so it's perfect... just write.

If you want to include your Fast Fiction finished product on WordTrip, simply add it to this thread. We would love it!

REMINDER: Please keep your stories PG13 if posted on the site. If you want a critique after you are complete, please consider using your writing group for help in that area or send a PM to one of us.

... try to stick to the 30 minutes time limit... ready, set... WRITE!

SUBJECT: The broken statue.


Thanks to Pengwenn for helping out with some ideas for this week's Fast Fiction. She suggested "nothing left to lose" and I've added "everything to gain".
Last edited by JillStar on Thu Sep 08, 2005 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Mlou » Mon Aug 29, 2005 4:28 pm

THE WEARY TRAVELER

It traveled with us from home to home. As we moved, so too did the statue of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. On this, which we hoped to be our final move, it traveled one last time, to what would be an honored place in the garden.

In the hurly-burly of the moving men's coming and going, furniture piled this way and that, boxes to the ceiling, everything in flux, I hadn't a thought to spare for my statue. I assumed, correctly, that they had placed it somewhere safe along the perimeter of the yard.

They presented me with the receipt to sign. Who has time to check everything? I signed affirming that all was present and accounted for. It was. More of less. Long afterward, when the interior of the house was arranged and we'd paused to celebrate and catch our breath, I thought to check my decades old statue.

It looked fine until I really got close to it. Then, to my horror, I realized something was seriously amiss. Our lady had no hands. We searched everywhere. The hands were gone! Perhaps they traveled away in the van. Perhaps they broke them off during loading. I'll never know. Having signed the slip, I had no recourse or redress.

We placed the statue in the garden. It looks nice among the lilies and geraniums. If you approach it closely and notice the missing hands, we tell you quite simply.
"We have renamed our statue. It is now Our Lady of the Amputees."

(true story. :-D )
nothing is ever simply Yes or No. There's always a But...


GINGERBREAD MAN by Mary Lou Healy at Amazon.com http://www.publishamerica.com/shopping/ ... ogid=16658 at Publish America
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Postby timberline » Wed Aug 31, 2005 3:29 pm

Mlou, nice story. I faced the same thing--missing parts to an etagere--when I moved in '95. This FF exercise took 20 minutes to write. But first I had to spend two hours cutting the grass and thinking it out, line for line. Forgive any geographical lapses. (700 words)

The Broken Statue

Anton Borodin felt that his third trip back to Mespotamia was going to be most rewarding of all. He had wired his department head in London that he would be delayed yet another week and would catch a boat down the Euphrates to Dubai and from there would find a steamship home.

McCallister at the museum wouldn’t be happy, but Borodin didn’t care. He was so close to finding a match to the statue in the British Museum that he would remain months, if necessary, and usher in the new year of 1930. He had seen the statue and the memory of the almost life size marble statue remained in his waking dreams. If he had to stay in Baghdad for months, it would be worth it.

After breakfast, he found Salem, his translator and guide, and had him bring the truck around. The Autocar truck with the wooden bed was not in good shape, but it was the best that could be rented in the city. Borodin checked to make sure Salem had filled the water bags and that there were two spare tires and enough petrol to carry them on the day-long trip into the desert.

He got into the seat next to Salem and motioned him to start the car. Leaning back on the dusty seat, he lit a long cigar—his last Macanudo—and dared to dream of what lay ahead.

The dusty town south of the capital was a goldmine of antiquities. Every day, farmers brought up potsherds and stone utensils, parts of religious figurines and stones from long-gone cities pre-dating Athens and Sparta, Alexandria and Rome. Three days before, the wizened old man in a nameless town showed him to a mizzen heap of trash and, with a bare toe, pushed aside the offal and brush to uncover the statue’s shoulder.
The white marble glowed in the light of the setting sun. Borodin could hardly contain himself as he uncovered the work of art. Through Salem, he had offered the farmer three dinars. The man had held up four fingers. Borodin offered three and a half and the man dithered for a long time.

“Tell this disgusting farmer he is getting a very good deal,” Borodin had told Salem. “Tell him we will be back in three days. Our car is not big enough to take it with us now. Anyway, the arms are broken off. It is not a good statue. Tell him I only want the head because it has an interesting nose. Three and a half dinars is more than generous.”

Salem and the man had chattered for ten minutes and Borodin became impatient. “It is too damned big to take now. We have to come back for it in three days. Make him understand he has a broken statue of no interest to anybody. Three and a half dinars is my limit.”

The pair argued for another five minutes, and then Salem said the farmer agreed. Borodin could hardly keep from jumping up and shouting Huzzah as he and Salem returned to their car.

Four hours later, the town appeared on the horizon, just a dusty mound threatened by the shifting sands. Borodin grew agitated. The statue would soon be in the truck and then crated and on a ship to London. Finding this rare example would ensure his reputation the way Schumacher soared among archaeologists for finding Troy. Lectures at the Explorers Club and a promotion, scientific papers and receptions in his honor would follow.

The farmer was waiting for him as though he had himself turned into a dusty statue, silhouetted against the sun. The truck sputtered to a stop and Borodin jumped out. “Tell him I want my statue,” he demanded of Salem.

“It is here. In the cloth,” Salem said. He pointed to a bundle sitting on the ground.

“No, the statue, dammit. Where’s the statue?”

Salem was uncertain. “The farmer said you wanted the head. That the statue was no good. Broken. He cut off the head and broke up the rest to repair his wall.”

“You idiot!” Borodin shrieked.

The farmer cringed without understanding.

Salem stepped back. “Three and a half dinars for a head is a very good price, boss. The statue was broken.”
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Postby Mlou » Wed Aug 31, 2005 6:32 pm

Good twist, timber!!
nothing is ever simply Yes or No. There's always a But...





GINGERBREAD MAN by Mary Lou Healy at Amazon.com http://www.publishamerica.com/shopping/ ... ogid=16658 at Publish America
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Postby JillStar » Wed Aug 31, 2005 8:42 pm

Two hours cutting the grass huh? Got yourself a big yard... or just taking lots of breaks. :D

Nice addition to your already huge collection of Fast Fiction stories Timber! I'm glad to see you have come back to the fold. :wink:
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Postby timberline » Thu Sep 01, 2005 8:59 am

Jill, normally three hours, but I sometimes forgo the beer-and-cigarette breaks.
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Postby JillStar » Mon Sep 05, 2005 12:37 pm

As you probably noticed... there was not a Fast Fiction this last Friday. With the holiday weekend, etc. I didn't post mainly because I was doing "other stuff".

But not to fear... a new FF will come this Friday! I hope. :wink:
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Postby timberline » Wed May 16, 2012 2:07 pm

Ooops, I forgot to say “Statue of Limitations” was published by World of Myth on Mar. 29, 2012, at http://www.theworldofmyth.com/.

The Babylonian statue was the discovery of Arthur Pennington’s lifetime, until pride stepped in. No hubris in my bailiwick, Jill, but lots of thanks.
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Postby JillStar » Thu May 17, 2012 9:30 pm

Nice job Timber!!
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Postby Hissmonster » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:42 pm

Timb..,

You're on a roll!!
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Postby timberline » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:04 pm

Tkx Hiss. Wish I had more time for flash. It's gratifying to see something go up in a short period of time.
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Postby Hissmonster » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:06 pm

I have always had a problem with time management and focusing on where to sell work
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Postby timberline » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:17 pm

Me too, and wasting time on social networks and getting distracted--e.g., just pubbed an erotic novella and a silly piece, "Marilyn Monroe Lived Me," at Writers Haven for its 9th issue, at http://original-writer.com/writershaven ... alter.html
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Postby Hissmonster » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:23 pm

I have several erotic shorts looking for a home
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Postby timberline » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:38 pm

Take a look at Wapshott Chronicles antho, "Erotique." "Oysters and Chocolate" just suspended itselfm unfortunately.

Oh, more specifically, go to http://wapshottpress.com/about-the-waps ... 1647-5330/. I think I helped get Ms. Myerson started again on the romance/eros.
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Postby Hissmonster » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:41 pm

I heard of O&C. Desdemona has stopped publishing too...but not wc...will take a look.
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Postby timberline » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:43 pm

Gotta log off and get to sleep. Seriously. Jet lag. But where were all the other attendees to this little kaffee klatch? Think I'll do some cross-refererencing on FB tomorrow.
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Postby Hissmonster » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:48 pm

Okbee...just 4 of us...oh well...will see if we can get more:)
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Postby Hissmonster » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:49 pm

Hey think CP is here!
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Postby timberline » Sat May 17, 2014 10:19 am

Here's a wild shot in the dark, since there've been 10,000 views of this page and no one haunting any nrew topics: I'm writing a short (500-1000-word) non-fiction piece on the value of prompts, where the creative epiphany comes fom, are they worthwile idea generators, do they prevent writer's block?

Shoot me a reply if you have a thought or two, or catch me at Facebook/WalterGiersbach.

Thank you!
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Postby JillStar » Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:22 pm

Hey timber... how did this go??
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Postby timberline » Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:46 pm

I never did follow thro on a draft I wrote. Let me look at it in the next day or two.
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Re: FF - The broken statue

Postby timberline » Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:22 pm

I guess I did finish an essay on prompts, lateral thinking, whatever, because I polished the piece (eliminating missing links) and handed it out to my fledgling writers whose might be better spent scrapbooking or washing the car. Wonder where I could place it, now that Flash Fiction Chronicles is gone.

Don’t Get Me Started (I Might Not Stop)

I’m lucky never to have suffered writer’s block. There are just too many prompts — posted on publishing sites like Writer’s Digest (http://www.writersdigest.com/prompts) and social media like Facebook.

Prompts are those words and phrases, photos and plot setups meant to jar your thinking. But, let me suggest that the writer needs to perform one more mental gymnastic: think laterally, outside the lines, and freely associate words and images.

Case in point are the prompts from Facebook’s Fast Fiction Friday Jill Lostra, a poet and writer, offered prompts that generated many, many of my story placements.

Take, for example, this prompt: My week as a redneck librarian. Redneck associates with “Southern Gothic” and the ghosts of Faulkner, Capote, Williams, Harper Lee. Imagine a down-on-his-luck writer in a temp librarian job who’s writing his memoirs. The odd townspeople are vaguely familiar, and he realizes they’re characters from Gothic novels. In fact, the writer sees his dead son walk in the door and learns (spoiler alert) he himself is a character from his ex-wife’s memoir — which could only have been written after his death.

Or these prompts:

Cable window: Everyone dreads being stood up by the repair guy or the delivery person. While mowing the backyard, I wondered, “What if the cable guy and the customer were separated by ten years in time?”

Black coffee and junk mail: I just had to consider a Mom sitting at the table each morning while her semi-autistic child played with his handhelds. But the severely unhappy boy begins to come up with the winning lottery numbers for his materialistic parents. Thank you, D.H. Lawrence for letting me update that American classic, “The Rocking Horse Winner.”

Paper cut: Ouch! Except, freely associate those words and you may remember the rock-paper-scissors game. Take a down-on-his-luck Quebec gambler who meets a really bad guy on the lam. The gangster can’t resist betting a Mercedes-Benz against the loser’s engagement ring promised to a fiancé. The game is, of course, rock-paper-scissors. [This was just republished as “Holiday Games” by Every Day Fiction for its Xmas series, Dec. 28, at http://everydayfiction.com/holiday-game ... giersbach/.]

[b]Queen at the End of the Bar[/b]: I wanted to do a bounty hunter story about the same time I heard about endocrine disruptors. The PI follows the bad guy to the Columbia River valley where he meets the most beautiful girl in town. Her dad is a former biology professor who explains how the pollution was deforming the bees, one of which stung his daughter. The endocrine disruptors have given his daughter a stinger where there should have been a vagina... And the bad guy is hanging in the barn.

Edward DeBono, in his book New Think, stated , “Lateral Thinking is for changing concepts and perceptions. With logic you start out with certain ingredients [the given words in a prompt] just as in playing chess you start out with given pieces. But what are those pieces? In most real life situations the pieces are not given, we just assume they are there. We assume certain perceptions, certain concepts and certain boundaries. Lateral thinking is concerned not with playing with the existing pieces but with seeking to change those very pieces. Lateral thinking is concerned with the perception part of thinking. This is where we organise the external world into the pieces we can then ‘process.’”

• Grab those prompts you see and park them in your mouth like a wad of tobacco. “His life ended as the ice melted:” this prompt needn’t concern an avalanche or glacier, but a boy anticipating his girlfriend’s angry mother while watching cubes melt in his lemonade.
• There are prompts waiting in newspaper typos, such this reference to a “statue of limitations” in my Danbury, CT, News-Times. This led to creating a fictional archeologist wanting to buy a 2,000-year-old Babylonian statue that wouldn’t fit in his car. Returning the next day, he found the Iranian peasant had knocked off the arms and head, helpfully, so it would fit the archeologist’s truck.
• And remember that medical breakthrough of transplanting a new face on a person. Suppose your girlfriend died and, a year later, you saw her walking down the street? It’s a transplant, of course, but tie that to Valentine’s Day and the lyrics to “My Funny Valentine” and you see true romance develop.

Digesting prompts and regurgitating them into 1,000-word stories can be an elating experience. Even better, take no longer than 30 minutes to dash off your first draft. And then see what miracles of writing ensue.
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