A Really Good Listener – Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

Flash Fiction for for Aspiring Writers is a writing challenge hosted by Priceless Joy. It asks us to write a piece of fiction from the photo prompt provided in around 100-150 words – give or take 25 words. It encourages us to comment, constructively, on other entries, so supporting each other’s writing. If you’d like to join in with this challenge, follow the above link to see what to do. The challenge runs from Tuesday to Tuesday every week.

This is the prompt, kindly provided by my daughter, Louise, at thestorytellersabode:

photo-20160626134608912

And this is my story:

A Really Good Listener

‘You know, Stanley, it’s no fun living with a man who takes me for granted and never listens to a word I say. He’s really selfish, when I think about it.’

Glum-faced, Melanie leaned against the gate beside her friend, considering how miserable she’d been since Jack moved into her flat. ‘He never wants to go anywhere, even at weekends, says he’s too tired after working all week. Cobblers to that! I work all week, too, and have all the housework to do. Jack doesn’t even help with that. He just sits in front of the telly, waiting for his meals. And don’t get me started about the washing up.’

Feeling more positive than she’d done for months, Melanie made to leave. ‘Thanks for being a good listener, Stanley. This little chat’s helped me make my mind up. Jack can pack his bags tonight.’

Stanley the Scarecrow watched Melanie stomp off down the lane. Yes, he was a good listener. He’d be a good talker, too, if someone had thought to give him a mouth.

Word Count: 175

If you’d like to read other entries, or add a story yourself, click on the little blue frog:

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 A Really Good Listener – Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

  1. r_prab says:

    Beautiful! 🙂

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you! It’s a while since I wrote a flash fiction post, and I’ve really missed it. (Hope to be visiting blogs over the next few days. I’ve not been on mine for the last two weeks, so I’m very behind). 🙂

      • r_prab says:

        Yeah, this one was absolutely fantastic Millie! Although the picture showed that scarecrow is being called a good listener , still the way you wrote stirred my mind! 🙂

        It is OK, it happens we tend to get left behind in following up with the blog but we all get back soon, how long can we stay away from writing and reading? 😀

      • milliethom says:

        Hi Prabhat. Just to let you know that we all make our own titles up for these posts. We just get a picture, which we interpret however we like. So the title here was mine.
        The challenge is open to everyone, and as you like to write, you’d probably enjoy doing this one! I got into flash fiction writing when another blogger said the same thing to me. 🙂

  2. giffmacshane says:

    A twist I wasn’t expecting! Thought it might be a cat or a cow…

  3. Hahaha! Adorable! If only someone had thought to give Stanley a mouth! LOL! I really enjoyed this Millie! It’s so very nice to have you back! I hope we will see more stories from you in the future.

    • milliethom says:

      I’d dearly love to write one every week, as I used to do, Joy. I’ve been busy writing stories for my own flash fiction book, you see, using my own photos as prompts. I didn’t want my book to have just stories written for WordPress challenges. I felt I needed some that hadn’t already been read. So you see, I’ve been writing a lot and my blog has been sadly neglected. Now that’s done, thankfully, and the stories are with the editor. I still have Book 3 of my trilogy to finish, but I’ll try to do more of your challenge, if I can.
      The first thing I noticed about that scarecrow was that he didn’t have a mouth. Poor thing. 🙂

  4. Yay!
    Happy to see Millie on the fiction site.
    I love this very much, why didn’t they give him a mouth.

    • milliethom says:

      Hi Chioma. I’ve really missed doing these challenges, but it’s hard when I’m writing my own stories at home. Doing the travel posts is a nice change. I did this one because I was with Lou when she took the photo (in fact, I’ve got several of the same scarecrow). I think it was a bit mean of whoever made him, not to give him a mouth – and only half an arm, too. They’ve no feelings at all! 🙂

  5. Joy Pixley says:

    Wonderful to see a story from you again! And oh, that poor Stanley, wanting so much to be able to return the favor of those confidences, or at least give some good advice to his best (and only) friend. If he only had a mouth! (Cue that Wizard of Oz song…) 😉

  6. luckyjc007 says:

    Funny! Yes, he needs a mouth, after all, he already has a brain! Great story. 🙂

    • milliethom says:

      You’re absolutely right. People often tend to either be good listeners, or they love the sound of their own voices so much they talk people half to death! Thank you for the nice comment, IB. 🙂

  7. draliman says:

    Everyone needs a Stanley sometimes 🙂

  8. Ha ha, that’s a good one! Hope Jack is out of her life now!

    • milliethom says:

      Thanks, Cameron. Scarecrows are funny things to write about. We can make them have so many different personalities and even make them quite evil, if we choose. The one in this photo was taken by one of my daughters when we were in Cornwall a few weeks ago. He’d look much better if he had a mouth! Lol. 🙂

  9. inesephoto says:

    Haha, never underestimate a scarecrow 🙂 Great story!

  10. Lovely story! a great read 🙂

  11. Felicia Hf says:

    Poor Stanley! Though he’s still been a great help to Melanie 😉

    • milliethom says:

      Yes, I feel sorry for Stanley, too, having to stay silent all his life. Perhaps some kind passer-by will Give him a mouth. He certainly did help Melanie to see her best way forward. 🙂

  12. swritings says:

    This was a great read! I agree with draliman, everyone needs a Stanley sometimes! 🙂

  13. Hahaha this is excellent Millie…I didn’t see that one coming 🙂

    • milliethom says:

      Hi Lynne. It’s ages since I did a flash fiction challenge, and I thought I’d better do this one, as it was my daughter’s photo. She took it when we were down in Cornwall a few weeks ago. The scarecrow looked quite odd, standing by the fence down a quiet lane. Thank you for liking my story, though – I enjoyed writing it! 🙂

  14. I bet he would have had quite a bit to say. Great post.

  15. Millie, I enjoyed this too, poor Melanie, what a predicament. The scarecrow was truly a good listener, and I liked the little kick of humor at the end!

  16. Ellespeth says:

    Hahaha! I loved how Melanie just poured her heart out here. It doesn’t matter, does it, as long as we can just get our frustrations and feelings out.
    If Stanley could talk, eh?
    Ellespeth

  17. nowathome says:

    I am sure he would be able to tell you a story or two!

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