Stepping Back #Friday Fictioneers

Suddenly reacquainted with classical music, I found myself searching on YouTube for a song I only remember by sound, not by title.  Thankfully, I tracked it down, because I needed it for this story.  And what is this story, you ask?  Every Friday, writers from all around the world write 100 word (or thereabouts) flash fiction based on a photo posted that Wednesday on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog.  This one’s my contribution.

I welcome constructive criticism; without it I cannot grow as a writer.  Thanks for reading!

Cellos – Copyright Roger Cohen

Stepping Back

“You ready?” I said to myself, looking around the small basement apartment.  I took out my last twenty and laid it on the table.  Then I set my key next to Mr. Jackson and picked up my backpack.  It’s funny, the things you start wondering about when stuff really gets heavy.  Why am I even bringing my backpack after all?

Footsteps in the room above.  Something clanked, a chair scraped.  And then – those first two notes.  Elgar’s cello concerto. The one in E minor.

I sighed, hand on the doorknob, and turned back.  “Not just yet,” I answered.


About glossarch

The word "glossarch" doesn't exist. At least, not yet. But let's pretend it does for a second. The first part is "gloss," a word that comes to us from Ancient Greek via Latin and English. It means "language." The second part also comes from Ancient Greek and can mean "having power over." So "glossarch" means simply "language controller." So what am I doing making up words? Well, I made up an entire language once. It's called Angosey. So I'm the Glossarch of Angosey. I'm currently a doctorate student in volcano seismology (a branch of geophysics). I enjoy writing fiction and poetry, launching balloons, programming, and hanging out with my lovely wife! Follow me on Twitter! Writing and language creation: @glossarch Balloons and science: @bovineaerospace
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20 Responses to Stepping Back #Friday Fictioneers

  1. billgncs says:

    I liked the “feel” of it, but I wasn’t sure what was going on and what he paid for.

  2. Ditto Bill’s comment. It’s an evocative piece, but I’m not really sure what’s going on.

  3. Anne Orchard says:

    It sounds to me as though your MC has some huge problem which they are running away from (possibly even contemplating suicide though it could be read either way), then the beauty of the music calls him back and persuades him to give life one more go. Am I on the right lines? I think possibly it could benefit from a reference to how he/she is feeling in place of the bit about the money. I like the idea that music can make such a different in one moment.

  4. Sandra says:

    I thought he’d just put the last of his rent on the table as he was moving on. I think a stronger link to the cello playing above might have paid off – some reference to the player perhaps. Or maybe he’s just a music lover. 🙂 Nicely done.

  5. I thought maybe he wanted to stay because of the music. Maybe he was second guessing his decision to leave, or he has a connection to the player. In any case, nicely written.

  6. The music was obviously captivating, but perhaps it was the reason for leaving too – I imagined that he was a failed musician, wanting to get away from the memories but unable to remove himself from the music. lovely piece. 🙂

  7. elappleby says:

    I enjoyed this and it left me wanting more – which is a good thing, especially in flash fiction. Loved the talking to himself parts.

  8. I’ll jump in, too. I thought he was moving out without his cello because it was so heavy but the music made him reconsider. Nicely done, no matter what the actual meaning. You got us all thinking, which is a good thing.

  9. Hi Danny,
    My interpretation is that your character was ending some phase of his life, but had second thoughts when the cello music played, a kind of omen. Liked the way this plays to the imagination. Ron

  10. KC says:

    Pretty mysterious…but I liked it. 😉 Moving out is always an adventure, even if it’s an unlooked for one. I think he’ll get to his music sooner or later…it’s the journey, not the destination, yes?


  11. wmqcolby says:

    You have a nice narrative here. I might want some more details as to why the character is leaving, though. Also, what is special about Elgar? That would make it a bit more intriguing. You’re getting there! Keep it going!!!! Good job!

  12. My mind is spinning with theories of what’s going on. The story is a little confusing, but it’s got a great flow.

  13. brudberg says:

    I agree, it’s difficult to understand what is happening here. Obviously the music make him change his mind. The key, a backpack and his last twenty. Intriguing … Hmm

  14. tedstrutz says:

    I think the person is leaving to commit suicide. Nice details in this story.

  15. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Danny,

    Ted’s theory gets my vote. A good story and an evocative mystery to boot. Well done.



  16. I’m glad the music made him stop. I enjoyed the internal dialogue.

  17. Sarah Ann says:

    Hi Danny,
    I really like the feel of this peice. I hope the character was moving on, rather than about to commit suicide. Leaving the key next to Mr. Jackson had me confused – a childhood toy?

  18. Abraham says:

    I am also leaning towards the suicide theory, but the word ‘bringing’ in ‘Why am I even bringing my backpack after all?’ makes me wonder a bit.

  19. rich says:

    if he’s not bringing the backpack, then it seems like a “one way journey.” and the music caused him to stay his hand for the time being. i don’t mind that i don’t really know exactly what’s happening. well done.

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