Posted in friday fictioneers

Prior To This

The following story was written in response to Rochelle’s FridayFictioneers photo writing prompt. This week’s PHOTO PROMPT © Yvette Prior

Lulled out of hiding, cough, convalescence, by my amigo Y’s photograph, I wrote three entries for this week’s prompt. Two shall remain buried in that bedroom-sized bottom drawer, the third I tentatively lay before you.  I hope you like it, and say so, and why. If you don’t like it, I hope you can tell me and say why, too. I think this story is the best of the three, for whatever that’s worth. I felt the other two were too flippant and silly rather than funny – which is what I was aiming for.

If you want to read others’ stories also based on this prompt, click the blue frog button below.

Happy reading and commenting!



Kelvin M. Knight

It started at the coffee table, and quickly spread throughout the house. The books, shoes and toys hiding the stairs were worst. Someone was going to trip and fall. Probably her. Hopefully her. Snatching a weight loss magazine off the coffee table, she saw herself on every page. Hurling that magazine away, she grabbed several cigarettes, then spat them all out. That bottle of bourbon! She stumbled to the sink. Here she swayed, that bottle poised above the plughole. Here tears brightened her eyes. Here she took the mightiest swig. Today. Tomorrow. Were gone. This life was here to stay.

(100 words)


First and foremost I am a reader, then a storyteller. My reading tastes are eclectic. My writing can focus around the intimacy of closed settings and may tend towards characters who might be hiding something from themselves.

55 thoughts on “Prior To This

  1. I just felt the incredible sadness of your main character. Clearly she is feeling hopeless and isn’t sure why she goes on living. You used colorful words that showed us what you wanted us to see. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m getting there, restlessjo – loads going on… at this exact moment in time I am looking into some rodeo writing challenges in September and October while frantically trying to finish another story for a magazine deadline this week. Hope all okay with you?


    1. Loved you story btw, Susan. I am commenting here on my phone as WordPress App on phone wouldn’t let me like or comment on your site. Hmm. We wrote similar stories, the harsh reality of addiction, and the toll they take. Thankfully I choose drinking to your smoking. I read your story after writing mine. Honestly.


  2. You say: “…best of the three, for whatever that’s worth. I felt the other two were too flippant and silly rather than funny – which is what I was aiming for.” and I say, I fail to see the humour in this piece… it is a slice of a sad life to me. And very well done, by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There was no humour in this story Dale. The other two unblogged stories were stories in their own right, based on this prompt, but unrelated to each other or to this story. I was try my hand at humour with them and I didn’t feel it worked hence the no show. One of them I started three times and never got to finishing. Sorry for the confusion. Hope it is clear as mud now. 😊

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I realise that, my dear Kelvin. You know when you read something one way, re-read it and wonder where your first understanding came from? Totally what happened to me here!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Ali. I am slowly reading from the top upwards but have been sidetracked in digging out that article from my MA I mentioned to Y in the comments below or above. I am cringing reading this article… I must honour my pledge to publish it though…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. powerful, Kelvin.
    I only noticed the magazine this week when Rochelle published the picture. How I missed it – ? Either way – did you notice that the magazine ironically says “feel great today!”
    well not sure if you playing off that –
    or the other titles on the cover – but your fiction piece all fit so well.
    Although I am curious as to the other two versions.
    And imagining them safely tucked into a drawer reminds me of Emily Dickinson (I guess she tucker her poems away as she wrote to write – like true writers do – it is in them and they might pause – but they write to write – it is what they do.”

    and the sad ending was also the reality

    there was also beautiful movement here
    mightiest swig
    and then the us eof the word “here” in the last couple lines had something extra I cannot describe….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that quote, Y, really do. On the MA in Creative Writing, one of the first self-awareness of our writing exercises was to write an essay (and share!!) on why we write. Mine was titled, why I cannot, not write. I will have to dig it out one day and put on my blog, maybe turn it into something tippy (no, not trip Mr SpellChecker!). I am glad you got my piece. I knew you would. And the movement too. It was commented on once or twice by my lecturers that there is an energy to my stories even the sad ones!

      But, you did not comment on that title I spent hours and hours on, well, it was Away, Away, first before I smilingly changed it. You probably did get it but were too humble to comment?!

      Great to see you here. You are always ALWAYS welcome, amigo.


      1. I just did comment on the title – and I promise it was before I read this – it was like at the same time – (spooky music plays) — oooo


      2. Well I am no officially replying to the hours you spent on the title.
        Because I think of our blog chat about this so many times – like when I sse a title like “Sooner’ or when I either slap up a title or wait to chew on one – funny how that sharing of yours continues to ripple my way.

        and looking forward to when you share your piece on “why I cannot, not write.”

        and your note about the “energy” – be back (gotta run – brb)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Good story… very dead-on. Found it left me feeling sad. Very strong images. But then, I’ve seen this life in the person of my ‘mom’. Soooo very glad to be away from that life, too.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am glad you found it dead-on, Jelli. Sadness always seem to follow these kinds of stories, don’t they. People who know something is wrong, and want to do something about it but not really, or lack the courage and strength and conviction to make a lasting change. In all fairness they will need help too… Sometimes that’s the hardest part of the battle, admitting you need help then accepting it whilst realising the hard work comes from inside you… but I am whittering. So nice of you to read and comment, Jelli. Until next time…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. you are very correct in your analysis, Kelvin. Admitting the issue and then doing something about it are indeed two different ball games. Many an addict admits it, few can accept the needed help, or indeed even help themselves. And sobriety (whether it be from drugs, alcohol, or tobacco) is a day to day challenge of hard work, but a work that is rewarding in so many ways.

        Liked by 1 person

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