Friday Fictioneers: Two Tales ‘One Wish’

Every Friday, writers from around the globe join to write tiny tales in response to a photo prompt posted on Rochelle’s blog. This week’s photo prompt has been supplied by Sean Fallon.

Our Fictioneers stories follow the image, but we’d also like to invite you to ‘share’ in a little celebration. 19th November 2013 marked three years writing as a duo, so we decided to honour this ‘anniversary’ with a blog post. Please do have a read if you’re interested!

And now, to the stories . . .

Image (c) Sean Fallon

Image (c) Sean Fallon

Joanna’s story ~One Wish on my Birthday

She’s standing before the mirror again, mouth pursed, eyes narrowed. Hands on waist, turning from side to side, reflection appraised and judged.

My eyes blur with tears. She was so beautiful as a child. Free, unlimited, spontaneous. Then she discovered magazines, the movies. The airbrushed pictures, the runway models. The need to measure up. To fit in. To be skinny.

Her ribs are visible. Her hip-bones protrude. She’s brittle, fragile, breakable.

Sometimes I wish we lived on a remote island. Without the media, without images of unattainable perfection, could my daughter be happy?

Closing my eyes, I make my wish.

[100 words]

Ron’s story ~ One Wish on Mum’s Birthday

Why does she worry?

Such a shame after all she could have been. I can still see her beauty, hear her words of learning. Was it all covering such fragility? Did I not see it? Did I not see the changes as I grew?

No, of course not. The change was slow – and we drifted.

Nearly there now; just a few more ounces to shed. Then I will be perfect. Then I will be happy.

And so will Mum.

[80 words]


The tales written by other writers who’ve taken part this week can be found by clicking the blue frog below.

Our earlier stories can be found here and on our old blog.

~ Joanna & Ron


34 responses to “Friday Fictioneers: Two Tales ‘One Wish’

  1. Dear Joanna and Ron,

    Both of your stories went straight to my heart. I intimately know this daughter. Beautifully written. Ron, I loved your last line. So typical. And it’s never going to be enough…there’ll never be a “then I’ll be happy.”




  2. Oh dear, this does hit straight to my heart. I prefer the first story as it is so direct and meaningful. And sad. So sad.


  3. You’ve broken my heart this morning. Too, too many fall prey to this illusion, this damning desire. The sad thing is, which of us would want our daughters to be anything like, in way, those “role models” that are set up for them? Or us to be like any our age?



  4. These stories are strong story individually but seen together as you’ve written them they are a powerful insight into the minds and hearts of the people affected by anorexia. Beautiful writing, as usual.


  5. Both very moving stories dealing with a very topical problem. ‘Just a few more ounces’ and ‘the need to measure up’. Very well done.


  6. Powerfully sad, both. 🙂


  7. Very nice pair of stories.

    If the subjects of your stories are still alive to reach their golden years (which aren’t really very golden), they may come to realize that it’s not about physical beauty but inner peace. I hope they find some.


  8. Both stories are very well done. Extremely poignant and disturbing. We are so helpless when we face our children’s pain.


  9. I’m not sure how to respond to this beyond saying that as a father of daughters, I found it incredibly moving.


  10. You seem to have collaborated more on this post or is it just more obvious?


  11. These are two stories talking about the vanity… both so sad in what we do to achieve a glossy perfection… very touching and well told.


  12. Hi Joanna,
    Couldn’t help but be struck by the symbiotic relationship between the two stories. I couldn’t agree more about the damaging effects of the media on our personal image of ourselves. Ron


  13. Dear joanna,

    These two stories were really heartbreaking. A perfect pair to ring in your anniversary. Well done.




  14. Lovely page and so interesting. Loved your stories too. Thanks so much for liking my recent Flash Fiction and for visiting my author blog too…keep in touch. Great to make contact. Good Luck. 🙂


  15. As they led me and my fellow soldiers down this streets in chains, on the way to our public execution, I had only one second to look to the right, into this stairwell, and envisioned a shrine there, a mocking, wretched altar, insulting and informing all that I had become.., all that I had allowed myself to be deluded into: War. Ego, Immitation. Conformity. Callousness. Desire for jaundiced sex and material enrichment.
    I felt a wooden club hit my back, and as blood rushed into my head in a tidal wave, I heard a violent voice telling me to keep my head pointed straight ahead. I stumbled, but the taut chains connecting my companions and I prevented me from falling.
    Yesterday, I was a hero. Today, I am spat upon and treated with the ultimate disdain by those very same people.
    Look well, those young who hear the drums of war: This may be your ruptured trophy.


  16. Joanne, I haven’t read much of your work, yet, but, judging from what I have, your stories are so substantial and potential that I always wish they were longer.


    • Thank you! Well, Fictioneers has a limit of 100 words, and our Bitesize Tales, which we also write for this blog, are a step up from that (usually 150-400).

      The longer short stories (1000+ words) we usually keep for our short story volumes which are sold on Amazon, etc. We like the variety and challenge offered by the different formats, but it does take time and creative energy away from the novels and novellas! 😉


  17. I would, Joanna, but I find the word limit unnecessarily constraining and counter-productive.


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