Lesson in Kind

Old cart Mike Hauser flickr

Photo credit: Mike Hauser



When the old man finished the story, Den chuckled.  Ashaen rolled her eyes.  Why had her husband offered a ride to this stranger, who slowed the cart, and never stopped talking?  Den’s kindness could be costly.

The cart lurched, making a terrible cracking sound.

As Den righted the baskets, Ashaen examined the broken wheel, wishing she were as handy as Den believed.  They’d never reach town by nightfall.

The old man limped over.  “Let me.”  One spell later, the cart was good as new.

Ashaen swallowed her guilt. “We’re lucky you’re here, grandfather. Tell another story, to ease the journey.”



Word count: 100.  Written for this week’s Friday Fictioneers flash fiction challenge.  Thanks to our tireless hostess, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, who also provided this week’s photo prompt:

FF.auto-aftermath

Photo © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

This is my first flash piece in what feels like forever, but is really only since before last month’s Camp NaNo / Workapalooza craziness.  Still, that’s more than five weeks.  It feels good to be back!



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32 thoughts on “Lesson in Kind

      • The FFs are actually harder for me than some of the others, because it’s shorter. 175 or 200 words feels infinitely easier than 100. And now that I’ve been working on 2,000 and 5,000 word stories for a month, even 200 feels like nothing. But I will try to do at least one flash per week; we’ll see.

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    • Thanks Bjorn! Although I guess Ashaen is getting rewarded for Den’s good deed. I get the feeling Den thinks the good deed is reward in itself. Ashaen is learning, though.

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    • Sometimes you need a reminder about being a good person. I was picturing Ashaen and Den having that ideal aspect to their relationship, where each one respects what the other is better at, and tries to learn to be more like that — in Ashaen’s case, she still needs a reminder sometimes to be kind, like Den is naturally. Thanks for commenting!

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  1. I really liked the way your story played out, Joy. It isn’t too easy to tell a story in only 100 words, but you’ve managed it beautifully. Ashaen certainly had to swallow her guilt. (We ‘oldies’ come in handy sometimes:) )

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    • I’m so glad you think so — the 100 words just *kills* me sometimes, and all I can see are all the many parts of the story that I left out or barely hinted at. And yes, it turns out that people who are older have had more time to practice and get really good at things… whaddya know! Thanks for reading, Millie!

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  2. Wow they picked up the right hitchhiker! A handy man to have around even if he slows the wagon and tells boring stories. Perhaps there is greater value in what they are doing for this old man, then they think or consider hm worth!

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    • He’s definitely handy! I’d like to think that if she learns to be more patient and live in the moment, she wouldn’t find his stories to be quite so boring and wouldn’t mind the journey taking a little longer. Her husband seems to understand that, so I hope she’ll learn too. Thanks for reading!

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