Radcliffe Hall

Friday’s the day for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s, Friday Fictioneers flash fiction challenge. This requires us to produce a piece of writing in no more than 100 words from the photo-prompt provided. Although it’s quite a challenge to write a mini-story in so few words, I really enjoy doing it!

Here’s this week’s photo, provided by Ted Strutz . . .


Copyright: Ted Strutz

. . . and here is my offering:

‘Mr. Digby.’ The elderly widow’s arrogant tone cut through the estate agent’s spiel. ‘I’m well aware that the celebrated Radcliffe’s once owned this house – and of the property’s value. I’m also aware of its scandalously high asking price. Undoubtedly you could sell it to someone prepared to overlook its dilapidated state in view of the prestigious address … although it also needs completely rewiring.’

Mr. Digby followed her censorious gaze to the antiquated socket, reconsidering his options. ‘Make me an offer?’

Sarah Drummond née Radcliffe smiled, her eyes sweeping the elegant room.  ‘Mummy will soon be home,’ she whispered.

100 words


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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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21 Responses to Radcliffe Hall

  1. Hmmm…

    I tried, I really did—and, it’s certainly well-written—but, I don’t “get” the last line—probably just me………

    • milliethom says:

      Ah . . . then I’ll try to explain. The elderly lady was one of the family of Radcliffe’s who had formerly owned the house. The intention of the story was purely to present her as crafty enough to convince the estate agent that the asking price was too high, so she could get the house cheaply. She was the true ‘mummy’ of the house where, perhaps, her children had grown up. I intended people to make their own minds up on that score.

  2. draliman says:

    Ooh, that canny old lady! Although to be fair, judging by the photo is does actually need rewiring 🙂
    I love the way she casually mentioned the house’s shortcomings to get the price down.

  3. Your writing style is lovely and poetic. I loved reading this 🙂

  4. Sarah Drummond seems like she’s got her head screwed on properly, while the estate agent is about to get properly screwed.

  5. sonya says:

    Sandra Drummond née Radcliffe certainly knows how to play hardball. Lovely piece of flash 🙂

  6. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Millie, Great story and Sarah is really a savvy buyer. Good job and well done! Nan

  7. Margaret says:

    She’s done well. You need skills like Sarah’s to deal with real estate agents.

  8. Ah.. yes, for an estate agent you better hide all emotional connections to the place.. I wonder if she manages to pull it off.

  9. Dear Millie,

    I love the cagey widow here. One little suggestion that might have made it clearer is if you had called the widow Mrs. Drummond at the beginning. Everything else was perfect and entertaining. Nicely done.



  10. tedstrutz says:

    You write with a certain elegance, which I like. Start of a ghost story, perhaps?

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you so much for that, Ted. This prompt was yours, i know, and all I zoomed in on was the fact that the socket was old. I think it would suit a ghost story very well and I’m flattered that you think my piece could be the start of one. It’s funny how many of these little stories could easily be extended into something so much longer. If only we all had the time! 🙂

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