NaPoWriMo – Day 11


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The Secret Meaning of Flowers

You offered to landscape
My yard—a new yard
A new house
Not yet a home
You chose yellow acacia
For friendship, you said
Only later did I discover
Its true meaning:
Secret love

Our first date
Led straight to my bed
You never left!
You added red
For love
I was not ready
To be loved

Over time, white snowdrops
And candytuft
For betrayal and heartbreak
You could have watered them
With your copious tears
Still, I remained untethered
You finally resolved
Your pain
Or so I thought

Herbs grew in the window
Fragrant basil and bay
For hatred and death
After a year, you imbued
A calm elegance
To the back garden
White chrysanthemums
For mourning
On top of my unmarked grave




Still Free

Welcome to  Friday Fictioneers! We are an international community of writers who post 100-word stories each week, based on a photo prompt provided by our lovely leader, author Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  She is re-running some of the favorite photo prompts this summer while she complies with her publisher’s pesky request to complete her third novel.

This was originally posted in September, 2013, based on the photo by Jan Wayne Fields. Thank you, Jan!

statue of liberty jan wayne fields

Photo Copyright: Jan Wayne Fields


by Jan Brown

I’ve lived in New York all my life, but never visited the Statue of Liberty until today. I ventured out with a small group from our women’s shelter.

What impressed me most was the broken shackle and chain at her feet. She was free. She was me. Releasing the old, embracing the new.

My jerk of an ex-husband was waiting when the ferry returned. He pulled out a gun, but I walked right up to him and grabbed it. The force of the gunshot blew me back onto the ground, and he slumped on top of me.

I was free.


Photo Credit: National Park Service

For more Fictioneers’ stories, click the link:

Happy Ending?

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers! My story is a little different this week. No one gets assaulted or killed. No one commits suicide. No one is buried in the back yard under the magnolias. Hmmm…something must be wrong with me! Maybe next week I’ll be back on track 😉

Here is the photo prompt from our fearless leader, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in Friday Fictioneers, please visit her website for more information.

kitchen window rochelle

Photo Copyright: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Happy Ending?

by Jan Brown

Sarah knew it would be hard to leave her home of twenty years. She had been awarded the house in the divorce, and she considered herself lucky–at first.  But her heart was broken. She thought they’d write the story of their romance there. A story to last a lifetime. 

Now she saw their lives from a more realistic perspective. The nights alone wondering if he was really “working late.” The anger, the shouting. The questions from their kids. The broken dreams.

Her heart raced as the moving truck arrived. A tentative smile crept across her face. She was ready for the next chapter.


To read more Friday Fictioneers’ stories, click the link:

Lost and Found

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers!  We are a community of writers from around the world who post 100-word stories every week, based on a photo prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog.

Photo Copyright: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Photo Copyright: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Lost and Found

by Jan Brown

Bella was a hoarder of monumental proportions. It started with her son’s suicide, which she blamed on her husband, Bill. The boy couldn’t take his constant abuse. He hanged himself in the shower.

Bella was profoundly affected by the loss. She was terrified of losing anything else; nothing could be thrown out. Every object, no matter how insignificant, took on enormous value. Except her husband.

She lost Bill when her hoard finally reached the ceiling. She barely acknowledged the loss until years later when, to her horror and delight, she uncovered his mummified remains under a mound of decade-old newspapers.


To read more Friday Fictioneers’ stories, click the link:

Throwback Thursday – Roommates

It’s almost time for Friday Fictioneers, when writers from around the world post 100-word stories based on a photo prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog. This week’s photo is a “rerun” of a prompt from October, 2012. The photo is by Raina Ng.

I am rerunning my story from 2012 as well. I hope it stands the test of time; you be the judge!

Photo Copyright: Raina Ng


by Jan Brown

Walking into Sarah’s kitchen, I experienced simultaneous waves of nostalgia and nausea. In the sixties, five of us lived here. It was large and airy, with a relaxed feel and a perfect location near the university. When we welcomed a sixth roommate, things changed.

We thought Marty was merely a “Type A” personality who would help us get our shit together. But a near-constant rage sizzled just below the surface of his counterfeit charm.  Sarah fell under his spell and stayed with him all these years, enduring the narcissistic behavior and sadistic abuse. Some said death was a blessing. Hers wasn’t. His will be, at the hands of the state.


To read other Friday Fictioneers’ stories, click the blue button:

How Not to Heal a Broken Heart

The NaPoWriMo prompt for April 18th is to write a poem about a rushed delivery of an urgent message. 


She sang

As naturally, as beautifully
As a siren
Once that sound
Had cured me
Of a broken heart
It only wounds more deeply
I squirm in the back row
Hold my chest
Lest my heart jump out
And pursue her
She trills her last note
And I wend my way forward
Rushing as fast as I can
Against the movement of the crowd
To hand her roses
A symbol of our love
Black roses
Desiccated, lifeless
She drops them
Knowing the message they convey
A death knell
For her
For me
Like the opera
She just performed
I’m closer now
I plunge the knife
Before security hauls me away
And I swallow the capsule
Taking one last look
At a dying diva


April is Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM). This story is based on the lyrics of the great Billy Strayhorn’s “Lush Life” and the weekly photo prompt provided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for Friday Fictioneers.

Photo Copyright: Lauren Moscato

Photo Copyright: Lauren Moscato

I’ll live a lush
Life in some small dive
And there I’ll be
While I rot with the rest
Of those whose lives are lonely too

– Billy Strayhorn, “Lush Life”


by Jan Brown

The only thing I got in the divorce was a small jazz bar in a rather dubious neighborhood. It was aptly called “Hole in the Wall,” but most people just called it “The Hole.”

There is a feeling, when you walk in the door, that you’ve entered another universe, a dank, dingy world where there is so much darkness and pain that your own personal problems seem less ominous in comparison.

He still visits on weekends when I sing, despite the restraining order. Last night, he looked so old, so smashed, so irretrievably sad. And then he pulled the gun.


You can read other Fictioneers’ stories here, and even add your own.

You can learn more about Jazz Appreciation Month by visiting their  Facebook page.

As an extra added bonus for reading this far, here is Lady Gaga’s very luscious version of “Lush Life.” Enjoy!


The first week on a new job can be so difficult–for you as well as your loved ones. Especially if they don’t love you back.

This is the theme of my story for Friday Fictioneers.  Rochelle Wisoff-Fields leads our rowdy band of fictioneers by providing a photo prompt to inspire us each week. Writers from around the world post 100-word stories, based on the prompt. You can see them all here, and you can post your own story, too!

Many thanks to Dawn Quyle Landau for this week’s photo.

Photo Copyright: Dawn Q. Landau

Photo Copyright: Dawn Q. Landau


by Jan Brown


Promotions were announced at the precinct. My husband, Jack, got his gold shield. I didn’t.

He always has to be one step ahead.


A wasted evening listening to Jack bitch about his new job in Homicide.



I dissolved my monthly supply of lithium into his coffee.

He forgot his thermos.


I bashed his brake line with a chunk of asphalt.

He didn’t take his car.


I made breakfast for Jack and his new partner.



I reported him missing.

The next spring:

I hiked along the tracks, smiling as I passed their graves.