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Friday, October 15, 2010

Flash Fiction Friday 10-15-10: "Ball and Chain"

(Source image provided this week by Advizor; original source unknown).

She felt the cold bite of fear in the pit of her stomach. Is this real? Am I dreaming? Things like this don't happen to girls like me. I'm ugly. I'm worthless. I'm stupid.

She raised her head and looked at him then, and on his face was a look of tenderness so radiant that her eyes brimmed with tears. He spoke the words, slowly, loudly, never looking away from her.

“I do.”

And they kissed, and accepted their congratulations, and left the office, holding hands, linked by something far stronger than steel. Because True Love never dies.

Your challenge for today was to use the picture above and write a flash fiction of 90-100 words. Additionally, I provided a key phrase I wanted to see used somewhere in the submission:

"...the cold bite..."

Nobody's checking word counts, or for the key phrase, but you're only cheating yourself if you break the rules. Unless you're doing it to earn a spanking (in which case, see me after class).

Special Bonus Director's Commentary Track:

As with many of the photos I use for these, there were lots of different directions to go with on this one. I liked the contrast in the photo, the rigid bracelets with the relaxed grip of the two hands. It made me think they were going somewhere, strolling around in public, wandering nowhere in particular, and happy to be inextricably linked.

Then I got thinking about a phrase to use. I decided on "the cold bite" because I wanted to use something about the cold bite of the steel on their wrists. After posting the challenge entry, I realized almost immediately that everyone and their sister was probably going to use the "cold bite of steel" approach, so I started looking at it another way.

Then I thought, what if there's no actual cuffs at all? What if this is just a way of thinking about their relationship? Then I remembered the "old ball and chain" metaphor for marriage, and pop: there it was, a sappy romantic vignette about the ugly duckling girl who never believed she was worth anything, but found a guy who wouldn't listen to her and loved her for who she really was. Yes, I guess I *am* a sappy romantic at heart, you got something to say about that? :)

It probably also had something to do with the fact that I'd been listening to Orianthi lately and her tune "According to You" was playing in my head. Here's the video if you want to take a few minutes and listen. Yeah, it's not exactly the same situation, but....hey, wait a minute, this is my commentary, I don't have to justify anything here. :)

So many people never realize their worth, and so I'm always delighted when someone else sees beneath the surface and helps them understand that yes, they really ARE that awesome.

The following people are participating this week. Go check out their take on this FFF, won't you, and thank 'em for playing along.

Spring Flower:
Advizor  (who also provided the pic for this week):
Katia:   (late addition)
Kenny:   (another late addition)

Also, Just a Taste told me she was playing but didn't provide a site link. I think she's at   but I'm not certain.

Check back here on Monday for the next challenge! And if you have any photos or artwork you'd like to see in a future challenge, please send them my way. 

-- PB


Anonymous said...

Awwww! I like this one. LOL! ;-) I wrote two versions (haven't posted them) and the first one had a similar idea as yours. I'm enjoying your commentaries, too.

Anonymous said...

Aww, this speaks to the sappy romantic in me!! Very beautiful. :)

(I think a lot of women have felt this way once in their lives; I know I did)

Not My Original Vows said...

I liked it! I'm playing too, I was a dummy and forget to send an e-mail.
Happy FFF!

The Panserbjørne said...

TemptingSweets: Hey, a new visitor. Thanks for dropping in! I appreciate the nice words.

Spring Flower: Figured you would probably like it. You and I are a lot alike in that respect, I'd say. Being a sappy romantic, that is. I *know* you're not worthless or ugly, so that doesn't even enter into the equation. :)

Katia: I'll add you to the list when I get a chance. Thanks!

-- PB

Naughty Lexi said...

I confess, I think there's a reference I'm not getting, with weddings at the office and true love in capital letters. I like the angle though; it's a good way to go. And the commentary, of course, is great.

The Panserbjørne said...

Lexi: It's a non-religious wedding, held down at the county courthouse (or other similar office). I guess that wasn't very clear, was it?

As for "True Love" in caps, that's just me being a sap. Think "Princess Bride", perhaps.

-- PB

Soren said...

Great take, PB. Your angle was one I hadn't considered, and you portrayed it beautifully. Well done :)

In regards to the challenge itself: It's really enjoyable when you use word counts that are very limited (such as this week's). It seems to stretch us more, and forces us to find new creative ways to communicate our ideas.


The Panserbjørne said...

Soren: Hey, thanks for the compliments. I appreciate that!

Re: word length -- I think over the next couple weeks I'm going to see what people can do with a less restrictive word length, then I'll maybe do an ultra-short one, 40-60 words or something like that.

Tell you what, for the pic you sent, you get to pick the word length too, how's that? :)

-- PB

Advizor54 said...

The cynic in me likes everything her but the last line, but like I said...

The metaphorical cuffs are the ones that bite the most, the links and connections we make in our hearts are hard to forge, hard to break. I liked your approach though, a little romance is good now and then.

Naughty Lexi said...

No, no, True Love in capital letters is indeed the noblest, but that's not what you said. You said "To Blave" and as we all know, to blave means to bluff... *looks around for Carol Kane to show up and start whacking her*

Cheeky Minx said...

This speaks to the romantic in so many of us, including me.

As for "True Love", perhaps it can be a love that isn't merely a cliche of hearts and roses. Perhaps it can be a love that is dark and light, that is challenger and protector, that is pure and true when together or apart.

Intimate, beautiful and touching, PB...

The Panserbjørne said...

Advizor: Glad you liked it even if the cynic's approach is usually the one you'd take.

Lexi: I will never, ever get tired of watching that movie. Or reading the book, for that matter.

Minx: And maybe you're right. Maybe it's more of a dichotomous thing than I mentioned. True Love wears so many faces, after all. Thanks for the insightful comment.

-- PB