Today I’m taking part in Rochelle Risoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers flash fiction challenge, which requires participants to write a piece of fiction in 100 words or less from the photo prompt provided. It’s my first time doing this challenge and I found it good practice in eliminating unnecessary words. (Yikes! Rambling’s a hobby of mine.)

So, here is the prompt . . .

dining-room (1)

. . . and this is my respone to it:

It was a small area, when one considered the size of the house. A simple, open-aired square, like some Daniel had seen in old Roman ruins. When the sun was low it was shaded, best suited to his dark moods.

The hired assassin made a superb job of his elder brother and parents’ murders, shooting Daniel in the shoulder to deflect the blame. The house was his now. He kept the dining table laid for them, so they’d know he hadn’t hated them: he’d just wanted this house, with the quadrangle. And the hoard of Roman coins buried beneath it.

Word count: 100

You can read other entries to the challenge here

About milliethom

I am a reader and writer of historical fiction with a keen interest in the Earth's history and all it involves, both physically and socially. I like nothing better than to be outdoors, especially in faraway places, and baking is something I do when my eyes need respite from my computer screen.
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43 Responses to Quadrangle

  1. adamjasonp says:

    A(nother) FF story with bullets, and yet it seems to fit with the image well enough… We never quite know everything behind a face, do we?

    • milliethom says:

      I haven’t read many of the other stories yet – I’ll do that soon – so I don’t know who else has bullets. Shooting is just quicker to describe than other means of murder, I suppose! I do agree with your comment about not knowing what’s behind a face. It’s very true. Thanks for commenting, Adam.

  2. Great writing (with no rambling!) hahaha. I laughed at that part. Well done Millie!.

    • milliethom says:

      I’d really like to write a longer story for this. It’s so much easier to ramble than condense! Good for me, though! Thank you so much, Joycelin. I’m glad you had a laugh.

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you again, Tony. I know my interpretation was a bit gruesome, but the picture looked gloomy to me. I couldn’t think of anything happy to go with it. I do write pleasant things, sometimes!

  3. MissTiffany says:

    Rambling was a habit/hobby of mine as well…but I’d like to think I’ve gotten better about being concise after a year of Fictioneers! Welcome to the club and hope you stick around!
    And what a gruesome and thrilling debut! Love it!

  4. Sandra says:

    So… a fairly straightforward kind of guy. Knows what he wants and goes for it. I like that in a man. Welcome to FF, and a noteworthy debut too! 🙂

    • milliethom says:

      I don’t think he’d be my first choice of man! Ha! He might know what he wants but the rest of his baggage I could do without. Thank you so much for the welcome, Sandra. I’ll try to write about someone nice next time. Daniel was too creepy for me. And to think that I like the name Daniel, too…

  5. Wow! You are awesome! Perfect short story… you siad so much in just under 100 words 🙂
    I’ve been trying to get myself to start writing stories under 100 as I can write long stories but short ones… now they need serious discipline!

    • milliethom says:

      Hi Heena. Flash fiction really is good practice. I’ve been thinking about doing some of the challenges for a while now, and several people I follow do this one. I loved doing it. Thank you so much for your ‘awesome’ praise! (I’ve been considering your Word challenge too, so I’ll have a look at that this week.)

  6. Welcome to Friday Fictioneers! I like how you set us up to feel sorry for the guy and then turn everything on its head. Nicely done.

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you, Claire. Your comment makes me very happy because I did enjoy writing it. I’m just about to look at some of the other stories, so you’ll probably hear from me some time soon.

  7. Dear Millie,

    Welcome to Friday Fictioneers, my fellow lap swimmer. I feel it only fair to warn you that writing flash fiction for this group is as addictive as the breast stroke.

    This is a great exercise for learning how to make every word count.

    Your MC sounds like a true narcissist. He obviously has an over-inflated sense of entitlement. Nicely done.



    • milliethom says:

      Thank you for the kind welcome and your comments about my story, Rochelle. I’ve already realised how addictive this flash fiction habit is! I wondered whether you’d remember me outside of the swimming pool!

  8. You should write a longer story Millie, you already have a great opening.

    • milliethom says:

      Funny you should say that . . . ! I really want to have a go at a crime novel once I’ve finished my trilogy. It would probably have a historical setting, though. I’m a bit stuck in the past! Fossilised, probably.

  9. This is fantastic. I really want to join in on your writing prompt posts. I tend to come up with stories based on pictures too!

    • milliethom says:

      Yes, it is a great idea to do these writing challenges. I have Mara Field to thank for suggesting I should give it a go. (Mara’s another writer, whose blog I follow). I’ve started on three this last week and am already in danger of serious addiction! The links to the three are on my posts, if you want to have a look what you need to do. All three involve photo prompts. They are fun, Mariella, and the people who do them are so nice.

  10. Great job…I really enjoy the way you use such great imagery in such a limited amount of words.

  11. draliman says:

    Wow, he’s a very cold and calculating person. Very much “it’s nothing personal…” blam!
    Great story!

  12. Amazing that how in just 100 words you can tell a whole story. I tend to waffle on too much to be this concise. I look forward to more stories like this!

    • milliethom says:

      I’m probably the world’s best rambler! I’ve had to be very strict with myself in order to write my books. This challenge is excellent pracitce in being concise! Thank you for your nice comment, Amanda.

  13. Margaret says:

    Told with precision and economy – quite an achievement for a ‘rambler’. Most enjoyable. Welcome.

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you, Margaret. I’m really trying hard to kick the rambling habit. I’m a natural chatterbox, you see, so it simply comes out on paper, as a rule! Old habits die hard . . . !

  14. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Millie, Welcome to FF! I love your debut story and what a cold, calculating creep! Great story and it’s awesome! Nan 🙂

  15. talesbytink says:

    Nice! I like the way you tie the ending to the beginning.

    • milliethom says:

      Thanks for the nice comment Tink. I did intend to link the ending with the beginning, so I’m pleased you spotted it. I particularly referred to the layout of old Roman villas so that the mention of Roman coins wouldn’t seem odd at the end. 🙂

  16. Great twist to the prompt!

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