Friday Fictioneers – Might Have Been

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story, based on a photoprompt, with a beginning, middle and end, in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!


Might have been

You have a pretty house. Sometimes I imagine I live there.

On Sunday, when your family dress in their best clothes for church, and then afterwards you all sit down together to eat roast chicken, plates heaped high with meat and potatoes and carrots and cabbage and fresh green beans.

On a summer evening, when, gin and tonic in hand, you cuddle Robert in the backyard.

At night, when the ghostly flicker of the TV illuminates the sitting room, and you leave the curtains open as the outside world disappears into shadows.

The things that might have been…

InLinkz – click here to join the fun!

35 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Might Have Been

  1. Someone always has to miss out, but I wonder if this person will end up doing more than just looking and wishing and decide to take more drastic action to get what could have been! Good work Penny

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is very creepy to think that someone from your past watches your every move without your knowing. The ‘stalker’ is on an unhealthy way to deal with their regret since they must have watched for some time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Keith. My take on the main character is that she was once Robert’s girl friend, and was dumped – and never got over it. But I hope that in almost any reading of the story it will be clear that the divide between success and failure is very slender – the thickness of a pane of glass away.


    • Thank you for your thoughtful and intriguing comment, James. “a ghost is observing the world that has passed by.” I wonder if that’s how it feels to be someone who has lost out and become destitute?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Such a rich mixture of feelings in this – the unsuspecting happiness and satisfaction of the household, and the envy of the watcher. We read all about the family, but we feel we know the watcher’s circumstances more deeply, even though you tell us nothing about him or her. So cleverly written.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Margaret
      Thank you for such a wonderful comment. You’ve read to the heart of the story.
      On a technical point, you say, “we know the watcher’s circumstances more deeply, even though you tell us nothing about him or her.” I think the reason for this is that I deliberately wrote in the second person. You, the reader, are Robert’s wife. At the same time, as the reader, you are naturally drawn towards the narrator, and the two perceptions merge into a single whole.
      That’s what I intended, anyway!
      With very best wishes

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s really interesting, Penny. Thanks for sharing how you approached this. It certainly worked out as you intended, and I really like the effect. It drew me right into the character.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Penny,

    I can’t help wondering what the narrator might do next. She sounds like a stalker, one with an axe to grind. A voice that says, “It should have been me cuddling with Robert.” At any rate, well constructed story. So many directions things could go.



    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Rochelle
      Thank you for your thoughtful comment. You’re right that the narrator has a great deal of pent-up emotion. I wonder whether those who have slipped through the cracks of society feel like that about those of us who have been fortunate?


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