A Pain in the Ash

The Fab Four is back: Me, Myself, I, and that zany Dizzy Blonde Blogger. Tickets on sale now!

The Fab Four is back: Me, Myself, I, and that zany Dizzy Blonde Blogger. Tickets on sale now!

Hi-dee-ho, Friday Fictioneers and regular readers of my quirky blog!

It’s time for me to get back to pithy business and write a 100-word (or less…yeah, right) story in response to a photo prompt.

I know. I have other things I should be doing, but I can’t remember what they are.

And how long could it take to write a curt, clever, coherent conveyance that comprises a complete chronicle?

I always have; I always will.

I always have; I always will. No matter how long it takes me or how much it hurts…

Judging by how long it took me to write that last sentence, I could be here a while…

Anyway…

This week’s photo prompt comes to us from Dee Lovering. Nice work, Dee!

unnamed

My piece is realistic fiction and is 100 words long (or short, depending on your POV).

A Pain in the Ash

“It’s actually quite pretty,” Wife brushed the opalescent silky, debris from her arm. It stuck to every hair, giving her arm the spiky appearance of a battle-ready porcupine.

“This isn’t a good sign.” Husband stared mournfully at his greying, dusty hotdog. “This stuff’s only been falling for five minutes and look around.”

Wife looked around, smiling.

Food Vendor frowned as he quickly closed up shop. “Time ta skedaddle. Last time she blew, more ’n a foota ash fell.”

“Let’s be sure to visit Mount Saint Helens,” Wife said as she grabbed her hungry husband’s hapless hotdog and tossed it.

*****

Forgive me. I recently visited the great Mount Saint Helens and it was only 35 years ago that the volcano blew it’s top. The devastation to the landscape is still evident today. The force of the initial blast was enormous, but the ash cloud (or tephra plume) lasted for about eight hours and the plume top was about 10 miles high. Ash fallout caused major problems in communities up to nearly 400 miles from the mountain. Click here for more info and two amazing pictures.

See? I paid attention to the friendly and knowledgeable guides!

Mount St. Helens before May 18, 1980 and after.

Mount St. Helens before May 18, 1980 and after.

See you next time, pithy writers!

 

~ by Lorna's Voice on July 22, 2015.

56 Responses to “A Pain in the Ash”

  1. Thanks so much, Tracey!

  2. Great title and a very enjoyable story.

  3. You had me with the Beatle wave, and kept me with your 100-word Mt. Saint Helen story (I figured out where the couple were right away – have visited the area also). Let’s hope we don’t blow our top any time soon.

  4. I really like the humour and the use of language in this.

  5. You do a lot in just 100 words! Have you ever visited Mt. St. Helens? I haven’t – I need to get out more.

  6. Nice one, Lorna.

  7. Thanks Alice! Except maybe the hotdog… 😉

  8. Similar stylistic scourge? Sorry! 😉

  9. I’m no better at it than you and the many other FF writers. Thanks for bringing me into the fold, Izzy!

  10. Thanks, Suzanne. I remember when it happened, too. Then, I was on the East Coast. I can’t imagine what it was like being as close as I am now. And I hope I never have too…

  11. Good story, Lorna. I remember Mount Saint Helens well. I remember one of the people who said it was his friend and wouldn’t hurt him. It shows some people don’t relalize volcanoes do exist in the U.S. and are a force of nature, not friend or enemy. That was a realization some people tragicly didn’t live to learn from. Well done. —– Suzanne

  12. Interesting the way vacation spots can be inspirational. You’ll have to travel more, now. 😊This story proves you are highly inlfuenced by your everyday encounters. I love this take on the prompt. It’s outside the box. I was a lot more literal in my story because I remembered a carousel in NY that was enclosed when I was a child.
    Anywho … I’m so happy your doing FF. You are soooo good at it. You’re inspiring. Have a GREAT weekend .!!!
    Izzy 😍

  13. Comic, clever, concise, communicative. Fantastic flash fiction for Friday Fictioneers.
    Enjoyable, enlivening, excellent.
    Sorry, my alliteration muse got carried away. 😉

  14. That could have been a conversation straight out of Pompey.

  15. You are reading way too many words into this tiny story, Diana…but thanks! 😉 ❤

  16. Wonderful! I live to serve! 🙂

  17. Absolutely awesome alliteration! 🙂

  18. Thanks! I don’t know where these characters and ideas come from, but I won’t turn them away! 🙂

  19. Thanks so much! This one was easy because I just visited Mt. St. Helen’s with my family. It’s only about an hour from where I live, which is great for sight-seeing now…but if it ever blows again–YIKES!

  20. Thanks, Sandra. Glad you liked it! 🙂

  21. Thanks! 🙂

  22. Yes, me thinks that Husband would call Wife a “pain in his ash” only if she was safely out of hearing distance… 😉

  23. To me “she grabbed her hungry husband’s hapless hotdog and tossed it” says that he’s going wherever she wants even if it’s straight into the mountain. Which is going to lead to more than just a pain in the ash. Nice piece that works on a few different levels, even George, John, Paul, and Ringo would approve.

  24. Great take on the prompt!

  25. Well done, and a great take on the prompt.

  26. I thought of ash but couldn’t conceive the tale to match. You’ve made a really good job of this.

  27. Cool story, Lorna. I love your direction. Yeah, I’d blow out of there, too. It’s not worth the risk. The photos are stunning.

  28. Excellent short story, Lorna which fits the picture perfectly. 🙄 I loved the brief cameo appearance of the food vendor. 🙂

  29. Poor Hungry Hubby and His Hapless Hotdog. He thought he was biting into a wiener and got a mouth full of ash instead. No wonder he’s in such a sour mood. Wicked Wife Wonders, Why Me?

  30. This is great!!! Thanks so much for sharing. Made my plodding afternoon.

  31. “It stuck to every hair, giving her arm the spiky appearance of a battle-ready porcupine.” Great line and clever short fiction story.

  32. Somehow, you managed to make volcanic ash sound attractive. That take talent!

  33. Thanks, Rochelle. I’m happy to finally be back after a long hiatus. 🙂

  34. Nice to know I’m not the only one!

  35. Thanks! Can’t resist a pun, you know. And I don’t doubt it–about the ash. I think it traveled around the globe on the jet stream. Amazing phenomenon…and she’s still gurgling with seismic activity!

  36. You aren’t wrong, Peter. It is snow. I just wanted to write a story that was different from the obvious. And so I did. 😉

  37. Of course, looking at the picture, I thought it was snow and how pretty it all was. Once I read your story I realised, not for the first time in my life, that I had got the wrong end of the stick. Silly me.

  38. Grrrrrrrerat title to this piece. We remember Helen blowing. I think there was ash down here.

  39. Is that you in this story? 😉

  40. This was the other plot that was fighting ion my mind – glad that you presented it so nicely!

  41. Nice alliterations! You can’t toss a scrummy hotdog, though. Just wipe the ash off 🙂

  42. Dear Lorna,

    Great descriptions down to the hapless hot dog.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

  43. Loved “opalescent silky debris” description of the ash (although I’d lose the comma in there) – also the bristly porcupine line 🙂

  44. Ash, I like the twist. I remember the eruption of Mt. St. Helen’s. Our cars were covered in ash in Reno!

  45. I think they should listen to a guy who knows and skedaddle!

  46. You’re making me wish it was Friday…

  47. Ha! I have photos from a few years ago when we got hail in July. It looked like snow, too.

  48. It works very well.

  49. Yes, much to Husband’s dismay… 😉 Not quite the fun vacation he had planned.

  50. Thanks, V. I’ve been reading lots of other submissions about snow. Only one other (so far) has done something different–and that was about an explosion at a sugar factory!

  51. I know. Confusing, isn’t it? Rochelle posts the photo on Wednesday and er idea was to have people cogitate on their stories, write, edit, and so on…then post on Friday. I tried that and felt as if I was procrastinating since so many people post on Wednesday. Maybe she should all it Wednesday’s Fictioneers, but (like me) she like the alliteration. Wednesday’s Why-Be-Wordy Writers? Hmmm. Doesn’t have the same appeal as Friday’s Fictioneers, does it?

  52. Thanks so much. I used this technique of labeling people rather than naming them in my memoir, too. It was fun. 🙂

  53. I liked your non-naming of the characters. And this – a battle-ready porcupine – is wonderful!

  54. Nice take on it. But Lorna? It’s Wednesday. Telling me it’s time for Friday Fictioneers was mean!

  55. Wow–1980. It just doesn’t seem that long ago. Clever twist to your story, Lorna.

  56. I love the “wife’s” spirit ….looks like it will take more than a volcanic eruption to bring her down. Nicely done.

Silence can be just what the doctor ordered. You know I'm a doctor, right?

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