Don’t Pluck My Heartstrings – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers is a flash fiction challenge which asks that we write a story in no more than 100 words from the photo prompt kindly provided by the host, Rochelle Wisoff Fields. To join in with the challenge, or find out more about it, just follow the link on the challenge title above.

Here is this week’s prompt, copyright David Stewart . . .


and this is my story . . .

The lights of the bandstand glow against the darkening sky, lively tones of the violins dancing on the evening air. The merry tune is well suited to the May Day mood. I gaze at my husband, so focused on his playing he will not see me …

In truth, James rarely does see me, for he’s a violinist of perfection and married to his music. But, after three years of loneliness, my musical appreciation has waned.

Tones of the violins soar as I turn away. The note on the kitchen table will not pluck too fiercely at James’ heartstrings.

Word Count: 99

If you’d like to read other entries, click on the little blue fellow below:


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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62 Responses to Don’t Pluck My Heartstrings – Friday Fictioneers

  1. Bekki Hill says:

    Nicely done! Not easy to take us on such an atmospheric, emotional journey in so few words.

  2. AnnIsikArts says:

    Good take on the prompt. Also, a bit of a cliffhanger as I wonder where she is off to. I guess music won’t figure too highly in her future. Hope she’ll find someone who shares HER passion. πŸ™‚

  3. This is very deep. Often times, we get stuck on our passions and forget to care about the needs of others. It’s heartbreaking, but we can’t expect them to cling onto us forever. They need to live, too. It’s sad that she doesn’t think her absence will pluck so hard on James’ heartstrings that they break.

    • milliethom says:

      I agree, its a sad situation, and happens all too often, I think, Izzy. I don’t think there’s any easy answer to it, either. Thank you for thinking about it so carefully. πŸ™‚
      (I’ll have that post done for Monday, but I just thought I’d ask – is it OK to use the logo etc. on your post?)

      • “Ma chere mademoiselle, it is with deepest pride and greatest pleasure that I welcome you” to use the logo ^_^

        (from the “Be Our Guest” Disney song)

      • milliethom says:

        Merci, mam’selle etc. etc. πŸ™‚ Can’t think of a suitable quote right now – I’m in the middle of reading your Friday FF story! Thanks for replying, Izzy.

  4. This is really sad! πŸ˜₯ It is a terrible thing when spouses marry themselves to their work. It leaves such a lonely life for their partner. Wonderful writing as always Millie. I loved it. (as always).

  5. draliman says:

    Poor woman. It sounds like she’s making the right choice – go and find someone who appreciates her.

  6. Shivangi says:

    Loved this one…in a few words…sad being the second best..

    • milliethom says:

      It must be very difficult being with someone so devoted to their work – or any pursuit – to the extent of neglecting those who love them. Thank you, Shivangi. πŸ™‚

  7. I think James relationship is now officially plucked.
    not sure why it took so long.

  8. This hit home. I know what it’s like to be the second banana. It’s very painful, and you captured it beautifully. Nice to write, isn’t it.

    • milliethom says:

      Being second banana is definitely not a good place to be! Great phrase! πŸ™‚ Sorry to hear you’ve had personal experience of it, though, so thank you for sharing that. And yes, It’s really great to write. πŸ™‚

  9. plaridel says:

    it’s not a good idea to marry someone who is consumed with passion for something no matter how noble. you’ll always end up second fiddle to this person such as in this story.

    • milliethom says:

      You’re right, Plaridel, it must be awful. Fortunately, I haven’t had experience of it personally, so I’m lucky. I know people who have, though. πŸ™‚

  10. Better to leave after three bad years than endure another thirty!

    • milliethom says:

      Definitely, although I suppose we could argue there are two sides to every story. I reckon she’s taken the best way out, though. Thank you, Alicia. πŸ™‚

  11. It doesn’t take ling before peopke show their true colors. Too bad they married.

  12. This is a harsh crowd. Maybe the little Mrs. never tried to find her own passion within the marriage and relied on him for her happiness.

  13. scrapydotwo says:

    Happens in real life and way to often. Very clever written. Glad it’s the end between them.

  14. I know it’s hard for him to leave his passion behind, but I think he needs to be responsible for his partner to make her feel she is his significant other not so called “partner”… Good one Millie! πŸ˜‰

  15. adamjasonp says:

    Aw…it came to that.

  16. You’re writing is beautifully poetic, well done!

  17. Francesca Smith says:

    Beautifully written, and I agree with Cheryl, it is poetic.
    In these situations you cannot expect one person to make all the effort. Relationships are a two way street and I think maybe if she got more involved or found something they both enjoyed then their marriage might not have ended.
    There should also be respect and acceptance, for I do not think she realised that through both, one can enjoy so much more in life.
    But that is of course just my opinion.

    • milliethom says:

      Your opinion is always welcome, Francesca. In my story we see only a very one-ided account, when in reality, both people’s concerns should be heard. Perhaps she never tried with the relationship from the word go. I need another hundred words now …! Enjoy what’s left of the evening and remember it’s ‘spring forward’ night! πŸ™‚

  18. smilecalm says:

    people just
    don’t seem
    to commit
    anymore πŸ™‚

  19. It is hard to compete with a mistress such as that. I guess he will find he’s made a mistake too late.

    • milliethom says:

      Well, when all’s said and done, it takes two to tango! No outsiders can really say what goes on in others’ partnerships. Thank you for commenting, Bjorn. πŸ™‚

  20. Creatopath says:

    Great ending. The poor woman has finally had enough and I could imagine the violins playing in the background making it even sadder.

  21. A perfect scene for a farewell…I love it!

  22. Dear Millie,

    I guess she could only take playing second fiddle for just so long. Nicely done.



  23. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Millie,

    I wonder if she’ll ever date a musician again. A nice tale of a breakup a long time in coming. She sounds better off now. Well done.



    • milliethom says:

      Aloha, Doug. Thank you for the lovely comment. I think any break up must be heartbreaking. In this case, it seems to be for the best. Perhaps she’ll pick an actor, or an author next time! haha. πŸ™‚

  24. Oh, I really like this one! I can see why her “musical appreciation has waned”! Maybe he’ll realize what he’s lost when she’s gone, but I doubt it will bring her back.

  25. Aquileana says:

    I loved the idea of a character married to his music and Love also playing an important role over here. Nice one dear Millie. Have a great week ahead Aquileana ⭐

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you for the lovely comment, Aquileana. πŸ™‚ I think a lot of really talented people can become obsessed with their art – or science, or anything else they feel passionate about. Even hobbies can take over a person’s life. It’s bound to take toll on relationships, especially if the other partner is constantly excluded. A sad situation, whatever… πŸ™‚

  26. MissTiffany says:

    Wow…she might not have plucked James’s heartstrings, but you certainly plucked mine! Well done.

  27. Margaret says:

    Wonderful use of the musical images to describe their relationship. You’ve captured the mood so well – she’s full of regret, but knows what she has to do. Sad.

  28. I have a friend like this…a band widow! It is almost a story in a sentence! With the previous paragraph, a descriptive preamble. So clever! You could write anything.

    • milliethom says:

      I wish that were true, Amanda, but the prompts do actually work. They get the brain cells working quite nicely. Your kind comments are very much appreciated. πŸ™‚

  29. I also love the way all those who made comments have become embroiled in the story and are now questioning the characters actions. That shows how talented you are, Millie.

    • milliethom says:

      FF challenges often elicit these types of interactions, which make it all so interesting. It always gets me thinking of alternative responses in my characters, too. Thank you again, Amanda.

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