Present Tense – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by the wonderful Rochelle, the undisputed master of what I call Sound Bite Fiction.
She sets the weekly challenge, and the standard.
This week’s
seemingly innocent photo by Marie Gail Stratford makes me confront some of my darkest fears.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on this picture, below.

© Marie Gail Stratford

Click here to hear the author read his short tale:

Present Tense

Are you ready, darling?
I stare in disbelief at her smiling face.
As the tennis player almost said, she cannot be serious.
Eyes twinkling, she jiggles the car keys.
That German word struggles into my mind.
She is enjoying my misery.
She knows how I feel about it.
I would rather scrub my cheeky bits with an angry porcupine than go with her.
It is perhaps the cruellest torture ever devised, ever inflicted on man.
And it is non-optional.
Christmas shopping.
I groan, try to push myself out of my chair.
She turns to the door, laughing.
Just kidding!

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59 Responses to Present Tense – Friday Fictioneers

  1. mandibelle16 says:

    Lol. Very funny. My Dad would agree and many other men I know.


  2. So it will be the porcupine instead… 🙂


  3. Perhaps, she’s happy just getting tha cash or credit card with no limitations, CE.
    I dislike shopping. I would rather make something for someone. But your words
    do describe the distateful shopping feeling very well. Merry Chirstmas. : )
    Isadora 😎


  4. Man after my own heart. Loved the last line.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos


  5. michael1148humphris says:

    Sadly shopping has been murdered by greed. In the past visiting a real shop, one would stand or sit – and talk. Shopping was more social, before hard earned cash was handed over. Most modern day shops are soulless.


  6. LOL. Very funny because of the truth that lies within its lines. Most families I think have a shopper and a non- shopper and as the non-shopper in mine this resonated.


  7. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover says:

    This made me laugh. You description were very vivid, to say the least.


  8. pennygadd51 says:

    A fresh take on the phobia. Nicely told, CE!


  9. Jelli says:

    HAhah! Love it! I’m totally sure that’s how my hubs feels on black friday. He’s my place holder in line while I shop. Payback for all the hamfest’s and radio shows he drags me to throughout the year, maybe. 🙂 Love your story, feel your pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. rgayer55 says:

    Damn, you nailed it this week. That was scary. I thought for a minute she was going to make him go. Pass the porcupine.


  11. Moon says:

    I am happy she was ‘ just kidding’ , she should perhaps save the not kidding for more auspicious days like her Birthday or/ and Anniversary.🙂
    A humorous take on the trap and a very fun read.


  12. Mike says:

    What happens when she learns to shop on-line? Does he have to get out of his chair to answer the door bell when the packages start arriving? Just kidding.


  13. Nan Falkner says:

    The wife is aware of his reluctance and gives him an “out”. Good for her. She deserves a nice Christmas present!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. granonine says:

    I’ll stay home with you. Let the frenzy in the stores blow by me for another year.


  15. I’ve never enjoyed shopping of any kind if it involves crowds. I love sitting at my computer, ordering something up and having delivered. Ah! That’s the life. Your story made me smile, especially the cheeky bits. But a porcupine?!? Ouch.


  16. Lynn Love says:

    ‘I would rather scrub my cheeky bits with an angry porcupine’ – if I’d been drinking at the time I read that, my laptop would now be covered in tea! Very funny. And I agree – after a brief jaunt into Bristol city centre last weekend, I asked my other half if we could Christmas shop online this year. It’s hell out there! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I almost choked on my gin and tonic when I read this! Excellent, but then you never fail to entertain.

    Click to read my FriFic!


  18. Reena Saxena says:

    Ritualistic shopping to boost egos and commercial interests. Banks offer loans to overspend now, and repay at leisure.


  19. Iain Kelly says:

    Ha, excellent misdirection and reveal. A good chuckle here 🙂


  20. James says:

    I hate going shopping in any event. The missus and I haven’t celebrated Christmas in many a year and I can’t say I miss it. Oh, the lights are pretty and pine trees smell nice, but I absolutely adore not having to deal with crowds and fighting to buy stuff. Ho, ho, ho. Bring on January 2nd.

    Oh, I should say that we do a proper Thanksgiving and Hannukah is very nice, especially with the grandkids.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Dear CE

    I’m actually feel his pain. I used to adore Christmas shopping…getting out among the people. Now I’d rather have an un-anesthetized root canal. There’s a shopping pain to equal his, though. It’s that of accompanying my husband to his favorite hardware store. If you think women are bad about taking their time shopping and comparing bargains, you should see this man in action. Or worse yet, Guitar Center. I’ve refused to ever go there with him again. Aside from that…good story.




  22. Sandra says:

    I feel your pain. Though I thought she was proposing something much worse.


  23. neilmacdon says:

    Shop now for Christmas 2018 also. Then you won’t have to do it next year. I feel your pain

    Liked by 1 person

  24. MrBinks says:

    The fact he attempted to get up should be heartily commended! 🙂


  25. Some how this read like a true story! Is it? I don’t mind a bit of shopping now and then, but not at Christmas. Can I stay home too?


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