Le Crunch – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly challenge hosted by the wonderful Rochelle, the doyenne of what I call Sound Bite Fiction.
She sets the standard I aspire to.
The idea here is to write a story of around 100 words based on the picture below.

Copyright Sandra Crook

Copyright Sandra Crook

Le Crunch

The tension is palpable.
The streets are almost empty.
A mother hurries her child home from the doctor’s surgery.
An old man chews on the end of his baguette, nervously stumbles into a doorway.
No one wants to be outside when it starts.
Men in dark clothes group at either end of the street.
We surround our champion, make sure he is prepared for this clash.
Eyes flicker to the dreaded opponent, younger and quicker.
I look at Henry, read the doubt in his face.
And the fear.
I know it is the end.
Real Tennis is an unforgiving game.

About ceayr

A Scot who has discovered Paradise in a small town he calls Medville on the Côte d'Azur, C.E. Ayr has spent a large part of his life in the West of Scotland and a large part elsewhere. His first job was selling programmes at his local football club and he has since tried 73 other career paths, the longest being in IT, with varying degrees of success. He is somewhat nomadic, fairly irresponsible and, according to his darling daughter, a bit random.
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35 Responses to Le Crunch – Friday Fictioneers

  1. Margaret says:

    Very entertaining. Great pacing and set up and I love the twist.

    Like

  2. great twist! I was expecting bloodshed and got….bouncing balls?!

    Like

  3. wildbilbo says:

    I was guessing shoot-out 🙂
    Well done, really tense set up here.

    Like

  4. storydivamg says:

    And they lure us in with those spotless white outfits and sunny-bright balls! Good turn at the end there.

    I don’t recall hearing the term “sound bite fiction” before, but I did attend today, and I love it. It actually works better than the more loosely defined “flash fiction” for stories under 150 words long.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

    Like

  5. rgayer55 says:

    There’s always someone younger and stronger trying to knock the leader off the top of the mountain. I can hear Cream’s “Anyone for Tennis” playing in the background.

    Like

  6. Nicely done, I was sure it was going to be a shootout at high noon! 🙂

    Like

  7. Amy Reese says:

    You bring it home with the intensity. There’s no doubt in my mind that tennis is pretty serious stuff. Tennis players are such find athletes, too. Nicely done.

    Like

  8. Nice build-up, then got me! Very well-written.

    Like

  9. A nice shift at the end of your story. Well written …!!! 😊
    Isadora

    Like

  10. gahlearner says:

    The mood and tension building up was great, I did expect them to play Boule, though. But now I’ve learned something new, real tennis, hadn’t heard of this. These are the best stories.

    Like

  11. Clever with the right amount of tension building up which is difficult to do well but you did it very well.

    Like

  12. Love the build up, brilliantly done!

    Like

  13. Jan Brown says:

    Very interesting! A great job building tension…finally leading to the ultimate “reveal” at the end. I had to look up Real Tennis 🙂

    Like

  14. ansumani says:

    Haha.That was an unexpected ace-serve (if my tennis language is right). Good one 🙂

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      One can certainly serve an ace in Lawn Tennis, but my knowledge of the finer points of Real Tennis is best described as sketchy!
      Thank you for comment, glad you enjoyed the story.

      Like

  15. Vinay Leo R. says:

    May the best man win. 😀 Liked the misdirection.

    Like

  16. Dale says:

    I almost got torticollis from the sudden shift!
    Excellent, mon ami, excellent!

    Like

  17. Very cleverly misleading!

    Like

  18. Niki says:

    I’m still enjoying the image of the old man chewing on the end of his baguette

    Like

  19. The tension was there, for sure. Competitive sport is often too cruel and you reminded us of that splendidly.

    Like

  20. Reblogged this on anelephantcant and commented:
    AnElephantCant cool down his trunk
    He confesses he is somewhat flustered
    Mummy’s home-made apple pie
    Brings a tear to his eye
    When he smothers it in what he thinks is custard

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Sandra says:

    A superb piece of misdirection. Well done, CE.

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      Thank you, Sandra.
      I am not sure that my story does much credit to Dijon’s wonderful architecture, as shown in your photo.
      But I did, at least, manage to sidestep any mustard-related puns.
      However, I know AnElephant who will probably make up for that.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Dear CE,

    I love being led in one direction only to find myself somewhere else. I hope that made sense. In other words great build of tension with a delightful twist at the end. Athletes are very serious about their sports. Well done, sir.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    • ceayr says:

      Thanks, Rochelle. Remember that, here in Medville, nothing is ever quite what it seems. Sandra’s street view immediately reminded me of a Real Tennis court.

      Like

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