Old Steel Forges Chains

Better late than never, here I come with my bowl of stew to add to the Friday Fictioneers buffet. I didn’t think I’d be able to cook up anything this week—too many other irons in the fire— but my Muse has been bustling around in the kitchen putting things together.

Our witty Hostess and Toastess for this pot-luck is Rochelle. She serves up blue frog links to anyone who wishes partake of the meal; these you can find over at her blog, Addicted to Purple where you’ll usually find her seasoning her words. (I’m feeling very metaphoric tonight. Is it full moon?)

Photo prompt © Claire Sheldon

Enough Steel Forges A Chain

“You’re trying so hard to run from the past, you’re going to miss your future.”

“I’ve made mistakes, Jeff. Major ones.”

“He hurt you bad, now you’re scared to let anyone get close to you. Scared of being trampled on again.”

“I have some important lessons to remember.”

“And you’ve piled up bad memories like these old staples.” Jeff grabbed the cup and trashed the clips. “Out with the old.”

Vonnie glared at him.

“A pile of steel can forge a chain, Vonn. And God knows you don’t need any more chains.” He smiled and held out his hand. “Still friends?”


This hasn’t been the most upbeat I’ve lived through. I started cleaning up my sewing room Monday and all the “To Finish” projects coming out of the closets threw me into a mini-depression centered on my main character flaw. Add to that Tuesday’s sudden appearance of outdoor bebittes in our bathroom, creepy-crawlies that needed dispatching. Ah, summertime!

I don’t handle multi-mess well; it tends to tower over me menacingly until I can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. I wrote a short story yesterday in response to the prompt, but it felt as gloomy as I did. Still, I may use it some other time. But I dealt with some pressing tasks today and tonight while making supper this opening sentence came to mind. It seemed like something I might use in a story sometime.

I munched and mused, letting the rest of the story sort itself out. The paperclips might represent something undesirable stored up too long. Painful memories. I thought of those of us who have endured some abuse in our childhood and have had to — or are having to — deal with dark memories, yet not let them damage our future. I’ve left it open as to who gave Vonnie those painful lessons, but I think Jeff might help her through. Do you? Or will she fish the paper clips out of the garbage as soon as he’s gone?

43 thoughts on “Old Steel Forges Chains

  1. This was brilliant (as was your intro – you were waxing poetic big-time!)
    No… it ain’t frizzly at all!
    I know exactly what you mean by the pile(s) of unfinished stuff. Today I am tackling some.
    As for the bibittes… beurk! 😉


    1. Oh, thank you! The word frizzly popped into my head via my poetic muse, I guess, but it gives me the idea for a character in one of my Winnie stories: her annoying neighbour, Fritzley Arndt. 🙂
      I so admire disciplined types — people who always finish what they start. Admire them from afar — I’m not standing anywhere in close proximity. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, Christine! You jumped right in on that first line. Excellent! Dialogue is nice and crisp. Good read. Everybody needs a Jeff to get them on the straight and narrow. Now, as to whether Vonnie will fish out the paper clips, I didn’t see much in the dialogue that said she would or wouldn’t because it’s still a guess at some point. But, that’s the beauty of resolved, yet open endings. Kind of like the ending of Three Days Of The Condor.

    Five out of five “That was easy”s.


    1. Thank you for the encouragement. When you only get 100 words, there isn’t much room for preamble. 😉
      He’s moved a few bricks in her prison wall, but it may take another few swings to break it down totally. Just like the Spirit does with us. 🙂
      “Little and often makes a heap in time.”


  3. She will probably fish them out from the trash can but I like to think he will again dump it. Each time she will find less and less to recollect😊


  4. I’d be furious at him for just throwing my stuff away, but I’m sure that’s what she needs. Great story, and I hear you on things piling up. I’ve been looking through my unfinished craft projects these past two weeks, too. Amazing what was started–and likely never gets finished, LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe you would if it were valuable, but maybe you’d have second thoughts if it was old used staples. 🙂
      As to my “To finish” pile: as well as the sewing projects this stash also includes two small tubs of potential or half-completed articles and poems. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Jeff was taking a chance she’d hate him, but I hope she does realize this.

      This is why I enjoy writing fiction, being in “Meddle age” already. If you give advice directly, some people get huffy. But you can put it in a story and let them hear it from a neutral stranger. 🙂


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