Friday Fictioneers — Memory Stoked

The writing of my latest tome is taking longer than I expected, thus my urge to take a breather and take part in this week’s Friday Fictioneers challenge. Many thanks to Sandra Crook for the photo prompt and to our dynamo of a host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

My apologies for posting yet another excerpt from my novel Counting Magpies (last seen disappearing through a black hole into another universe, otherwise known as the publisher’s submissions backlog!).

Genre: Speculative fiction
Word Count: 100


Janice has never lived in a city akin to Warsaw, or witnessed multitudinous fire-gutted buildings, some with bodies inside. I trudge after her, weighted by a memory.

When I was seven years old the Mafia burnt down my favourite ice-cream parlour—some kind of turf war—with my friend, her older sister, father, and grandmother inside. Afterwards, I’d obsessed over visions of gallons of ice-cream melting into a rainbow stream that ran all the way out the door and down the road to forever, not to hell but to paradise. This fantasy was better than imagining the family incinerated alive.


To read other Friday Fictioneers’ stories for this week, or to add a 100-word story of your own, please click on the blue frog below.


Author: Sarah Potter Writes

Sarah is a British eccentric who writes offbeat fiction, haiku and tanka poetry. When stuck for words, she sketches or paints instead. She's into nature conservation, sustainability, gardening, dogs, natural health, and reading. Her sociability is something that happens in short bursts with long breathing spaces in between.

40 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers — Memory Stoked”

  1. A lovely, upbeat, inspiring read on this rainy Friday morn. LOL Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m just going to go cut my wrists. 🙂

    And what really bothers me about these 100 words of yours, Sarah, is that I love them. Of course, I write the Shadow series with a multitude of deaths, so there you go.

    Happy Friday my friend!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I don’t do too many deaths in my writing, although am not averse to reading about them in my fellow author’s novels 😉 The poor woman in my novel has some very bad memories to deal with, and something has just triggered this one big-time. There is plenty of light as well as shade in the story, including some funny bits, although not as many as in my latest tome.

      Happy Friday to you, too, my dear friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Number 1: Don’t you dare apologise for using an excerpt!
    Number 2: This was fabulous in an awful and wonderful way. The horror of what happened, and the way she dealt with it… ice cream river is better than a blood-filled one.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I will therefore apologise for apologising for using an excerpt 😉 At the point when this character (Marta) enters my story, she is a comlex woman who carries a lot of baggage with her, which I reveal in slow drips throughout the novel.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. well… the excerpt fit completely and so in my opinion, you keep using them as you see fit – and this was a dense snippet – loved the part about “but to paradise. This fantasy was better than….”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you 🙂 Directly I saw the photo prompt, I thought of this excerpt. There was another one in the novel later on that fitted the prompt — an incident that was a knock-on effect of the character’s childhood experience — but it was too long and there was no way that I could have squeezed it down into 100 words and made it stand on its own.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ahhhh.
        and my pet peeve is when an author takes the liberty to double or triple the suggested length – just make a different pots to share it and go for the word count – which is what you did…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Great story and writing. I could almost see the terribleness of the city, the ice cream stream being the only temporary shade from streams of pain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m guessing that if you keep on replaying a traumatic happening, you either get dragged down into the pits of despair, or keep shifting the focus onto something more bearable. Doubtless those who suffer such as abduction and/or lengthy imprisonment, use this sort of technique to keep themselves sane. It’s all about seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.


  5. Dear Sarah,

    What better way to advertise your novel and entice potential readers? Apologize? Nonsense. I’m with Dale. Don’t you dare. Loved the rainbow of ice cream. Beats blood. Can’t wait to read it in its entirety.

    Now to go rest my ulcerated eye. This is really impeding progress this week. Much love and



    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Rochelle,

      Until it’s published, it’s not advertising 😉 That being said, I did post an excerpt from Desiccation; not that I expected any sales as a result. I’m far too much of a realist for that!

      Poor you, with that ulcerated eye. I don’t know much about that condition. Does it happen spontaneously or through something irritating it? It sounds horrid. I do hope its not too painful. Even the slightest bit of grit in the eye can feel like a boulder. I’m guessing you need to keep your eyes closed as much as possible and stay indoors out of the wind.

      Wishing you a speedy recovery,

      Lots of love,
      Sarah x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dear Sarah,

        I took myself to the hospital emergency room yesterday and was given antibiotic drops. It’s much better today so I’m being a stubborn patient and am back at the computer. Thank you for your kind words.



        Liked by 1 person

      2. Dear Rochelle,

        I’ve noticed in life that stubborn patients get better quicker! There are some people (professional patients, I call them) who seem to revel in the attention they earn through illness, so they prolong the mildest of complaints.

        I’m glad you’re feeling much better 🙂

        All best wishes,

        Liked by 1 person

  6. A powerfully written story that says so much in such a short space. I love that image of the ice cream shop. If you hadn’t said this was a novel excerpt I’d have no idea. It works.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🙂 I’m glad you thought my excerpt worked as a standalone piece. This particular snippet/flashback just happened to more-or-less fit the word-count, only requiring me to trim out three words.


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