FFfAW : Hemmingway’s Shoes

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Shivangi Singh. Thank you Shivangi for our photo prompt!


She flies at the workmen, claws at their arms, her grey hair flying. They swear, drop their chainsaws, grapple for her hands, pin her arms. When she spits, they back away cursing, shaking their heads.

‘Mad old witch.’

Sinking to her knees, she weeps, stares at the sawn tree trunk, at the treasures tangled in its branches. For years people have come to tie ribbons and leave notes, photographs, beads … teddy bears.

For Jane. For Simon. For Grandad, with love. 

Somewhere among the snapped twigs and crushed leaves is her own offering, the first, the one that brought this wishing tree to life.

Two objects. Together they can balance on the palm of her hand. Salmon coloured leather, pinked flower design round the toe, the buckles now dulled, silver flaking.

For my own, sweet Beth. I hope you’re still dancing x


Written for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. See the pic and have a go. See here to read the other tales.

I’m sure many of you writers out there are aware of the – probably apocryphal – story of Ernest Hemmingway taking a bet that he could write a complete story in six words. He wrote on a napkin,

For sale : baby shoes, never worn.

and collected his winnings.

I thought of this story as I wrote my own.