Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Flash Fiction: In the Rough


Whatever had possessed her?

She pushed aside the plaid cotton curtain that concealed the empty space underneath her kitchen sink.  The light was dim, and the space offered little more than elbow room in which to work. She’d expected that.  But it was filthy too. Since moving in, she had yet to sweep here. Still, judging from the thick layer of powdery dirt, years, possibly decades had passed since the old linoleum had felt the touch of a broom.

She took a careful breath, sized up her task, and picked up her new pipe wrench.  It felt heavy and awkward in her hand.  Balancing a small black flashlight atop a box of saltine crackers, she hunched over to make her five foot nine inch frame as compact as possible, and guided by the narrow beam of light, leaned forward to fit the loosened  jaw of the wrench around the pipe, and gave a tug.

Crumbling, more than yielding, the pipe fell to pieces, disgorging  a  mix of water and sludge down her arm.  And once again, second thoughts made her second guess the wisdom of her decision-taking on this fixer upper of an ancient, ungracefully aging house.

Yes, whatever had possessed her?

She straightened her back, smoothed a stray wisp of hair with her clean hand, and  looked again at the wreckage of pipe and water, dust and sludge.

And then she saw the diamond ring.

This piece was inspired by the Write on Edge prompt to explore a setting in 250 words.


  1. Wow, that's a fun prompt! And I love what you did with this. I would be scared to delve into my pipes like that. Your story leaves me wondering - is it her diamond? Someone else's. I want more!

  2. It's perfect...from beginning to the very last word! I was amazed at how much you packed into so few words. Brilliant!

  3. I'm with Lisa, I'd be too chicken to get in there. I like a strong woman though and your character was very empowering. And I loved the honesty of the dirt on the floor. I've missed you my friend.

  4. Lisa-I think pipes are pretty scary too-and sludge-yuck! The diamond ring belonged to a previous owner....but just which one is still a mystery-even to me. I should write more of the story and find out for myself:)
    Thanks for commenting, and have a great 3 day weekend!

    Dawn-thank you so much! I am so thankful to have found you and your blog!

  5. oh oh!!

    wonderful surprise, opening for a mystery, and perfect description of the dirty undersink!

  6. Thanks Cam! I had a great time with this prompt-and this piece. I think a part two may be in order...

  7. Talk about a reward for a job well done! I especially like the line, "Crumbling, more than yielding, the pipe fell to pieces, disgorging a mix of water and sludge down her arm."

  8. Thanks Tracy! I wanted to show that taking on an old house has its rewards-my own house so far has given up a gold wedding band and a very old dime from the late 1800's. Pretty exciting!