Papa’s Music – Friday Fictioneers

I’m jumping back on the short fiction train. The challenge is to write a story based on the picture prompt and keep it to 100 words. A challenge I take to heart. This fun exercise is something I enjoy and hope to continue. New participants are always welcome. Pop on over and meet our amazing and talented organizer, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

Today’s picture prompt is provided by Roger Cohen. Thanks, Roger!


Image copyright – Roger Cohen

Papa’s Music

Excited, Neala took a seat as the rest of the group gathered, sitting in a large circle while Papa pulled his instrument from its case.

“Ready?” Papa asked. He stood center.

Chatter rose, hands clasped, creating a large link.

The first note struck, bow against string. The melody began and with it the story whirled around Papa in a wisp of golden ash and dust. Horses rose from the particles and maidens danced.

Neala reached for the magic wonder, pulling free from her mother’s hand.

“No, Neala!”

Everything vanished.

Everyone continued to travel on the magical story waves but Neala.

(100 words)


I hope you enjoyed this week’s rendition of Friday Fictioneers. To read more great short fictions just click the funny frog.

Thanks for stopping by. I always look forward to your comments. Until next time, au revoir.

About Debra Kristi

Debra Kristi is a mother, an author, a Pinterest addict, and sometimes DIY home decorator. Hang with her to escape the everyday stress. Be sure to leave your mind open to the fantastical.
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57 Responses to Papa’s Music – Friday Fictioneers

  1. tedstrutz says:

    I like how the story whirled around Papa… nice imagery, Debra.

  2. Anne Orchard says:

    Ah, what a week for video clips this is going to be! (I have one too). I loved the way you described the creation of the images from the music, but am confused as to what happened to Neala. Did she get left behind, sucked into the alternate reality, or something else entirely. Apologise for being clueless – maybe it’s just early.

    • Debra Kristi says:

      I already have your page open. I’ll be taking a look shortly. 🙂
      No apologies necessary. I know it’s not as clear as it could be. The original piece was around 120 words. I sacrificed cutting it to 100. That’s what I get for waiting till Thursday night to work on this. LOL. The idea was that the entire circle was traveling on the music waves through time and space. That kind of thing. When Neala let go she stopped traveling and was left at that spot, alone. Maybe they will be able to return to her, maybe not. That story hasn’t been written yet.

  3. Sandra says:

    That was terrific imagery, I could just imagine it. I took it that she broke the circle and so the rest of them couldn’t come back, but hey, what a way to go!

  4. I loved the fantasy element, Debra. And, I loved the imagery of horses and maidens. Beautiful piece. The vid is fabulous. And, the dog laying there…funny. Thanks for that!

  5. I agree with the other comments about your imagery, you have a real skill there I think. Like Anne though I was a bit confused as to what happened to Neala .. 😉

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Thank you, Linda. I’m sorry if the story lost something when I cut it to 100 words. Maybe it’s in need of a rewrite. The original concept was that the entire circle was traveling within the story, no longer tethered to space and time. When Neala broke free from the circle she no longer traveled in that story with the group, but was left at whatever point and time it was when she released her mother’s hand.

  6. elappleby says:

    How sad – she touches the ‘music’ and it disappears? Very interesting take on the prompt.

  7. Clever take this week, Debra. Love the video.

  8. What happens to Neala is the mystery. She’s too young? She doesn’t have the gift? Everything vanishes for her but not for the others? Nice imagery and ambiguity.

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Yes, poor Neala got left behind. Sigh. That’s a scary thing to be all alone when you’re little like that. Let’s hope she’s found soon. Thanks, Perry.

  9. Emma says:

    Beautiful imagery.

  10. This was gorgeous:

    The melody began and with it the story whirled around Papa in a wisp of golden ash and dust. Horses rose from the particles and maidens danced.

    I agree with others about the ending. It’s not entirely clear what happened. It seems Neala is still sitting in the circle with the others, but blind to the beauty of the music, in which case I’m not sure she’s lost quite enough or maybe I just don’t see that she realizes what she’s lost.

    It’s a beautiful piece, but the stakes – whether real or as perceived by Neala – don’t seem quite high enough.

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Thank you for your well thought out comment, Lisa. I realize I lost some crucial stuff when I cut it down to 100 words. Oh well, you can’t win them all. 😉 I may revisit it later when I have the time.

      • Yeah, sometimes it’s impossible to get everything into 100 words. I do think this is a beautiful piece, though. I hope you do revisit it! It’s a great scene that could serve as an excellent beginning to a fantasy adventure – like if they did all disappear and leave the girl behind and she has to go in search of her family or something. It’s full of potential. The stories that stick out the most to me are ones that are well written, emotionally charged, and feel like a piece of something larger – and this DEFINITELY stuck out to me! I could see this in a book with the flavor of Lloyd Alexander’s The Rope Trick.

  11. I like the intersection of music and magic and at the best of times, they do intersect, although perhaps not exactly like this. 🙂 The first thing I thought was, “May the circle be unbroken.” Loved your description of the story elements rising out of the music.

    • Debra Kristi says:

      That’s the wonderful thing about being a writer, isn’t it? We can exaggerate something like the magic of music. 😀 Thank you so much for the compliment.

  12. Debra, I love “Friday Fictioneers!” This is awesome. What a great way to stir your imagination. And don’t you know, I feel so rusty since I took that time away from everything. From now on my Friday’s will never be the same! Thanks my dear friend. You did a great job bring that photo to life! 🙂

  13. Patricia says:

    Fun stuff. I think I’m going to like the Friday Fictioneers! Great way to keep the creativity flowing.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  14. Jan Brown says:

    Your story was a beautiful fantasy, followed by the fantastic reality of Adam Ben Ezra. Thank you for introducing me to his music!

    • Debra Kristi says:

      You’re welcome. It’s pretty cool what you can find when you go searching. I found several excellent double bass players. Adam Ben Ezra won out. 🙂 Thank you for the lovely compliment.

  15. Nice job, Debra! I hope things will start settling down for me soon, because I’d really like to join in on the fun too! 🙂

  16. Very creative, Debra. I’m wondering if Neala disappeared into the story vision, or am I off on the wrong tangent? Either way, quite inventive. Ron

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Thank you, Ron. Everyone in the circle is riding on the wave of magic the music has created. When Neala let go of her mother’s hand she no longer rode that wave and was back in normal time and space. Make sense? I’m sorry it came across as confusing.

  17. Diana Beebe says:

    Great story! Poor Neala getting left out like that! I bet she doesn’t let go the next time.

  18. wmqcolby says:

    It did what you designed it to do. Play that bass!!!! Well done!

  19. billgncs says:

    I felt the magic!!!

  20. kz says:

    horses and maidens.. what a wonderful piece you’ve written!..and very different from the rest

  21. brudberg says:

    Wonderful images created here, music can do that to you, but it must be terrible to be left out..

  22. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Debra,

    Your piece this week was very well done. i was there immediately as the first note was played. Truly well done. Broken circles. Do they ever come together again? Hard telling, not knowing.



  23. love this movement around Papa: “The melody began and with it the story whirled around Papa in a wisp of golden ash and dust. Horses rose from the particles and maidens danced.”

  24. nice imagery, Debra and a good surprise at the end.

  25. Abraham says:

    Nice magical story.

  26. rich says:

    that was very pretty. i hope she has learned not to break the link next time. well done. i’ve noticed that this week’s picture has brought out several “papa” stories. but none like this one.

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