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Friday Fictioneers – Carlo’s

18 November, 2016

The muse, as I’m sure you will agree, is a fickle mistress. Some weeks when Rochelle‘s prompt email arrives on Wednesday, I can spend two days at work going regularly back to it, and two evenings at home staring at it, waiting for and clutching hopefully at inspiration. Other weeks I can have several false starts that go nowhere before I finally stumble on a viable story only minutes before deadline.

This week was different. I am stupidly busy at work and at home so when this week’s pic


taken by FF regular Björn Rudberg hit the inbox I barely had time to glance at it. Got home late Wednesday, knowing I had about an hour before bedtime and no other chance to write before the weekend, I opened the image again and expected this week would be a blank. Twenty minutes later, FF was in the bag. If only it was that easy every week.

I’ll show you my 100 words in a minute, but before then, a reminder to visit Frogtopia where you will find everyone else’s FriFic tales. OK, here it comes. Hope you enjoy, feel free to leave a message, especially if you find typos or errors I haven’t spotted in my rush to post. And yes I know the instruments I describe in my story don’t really match the pic, but it sort of went off in a different direction…


Every local knows the history of Carlo’s bar, that one distant November night, four bluesmen were shot, mid-set, on the backroom stage.

But everyone knows the story differently. A jealous husband took revenge; a gangster punished four musicians who wouldn’t transport his liquor; the police raided a whites-only bar where blacks were playing.

Carlo doesn’t know which story is right. But he knows one secret truth. That every year, after closing on one November night, he places a guitar, bass, trumpet and sax on the backroom stage.

And he sits alone, sips bourbon, and hears four musicians play the blues.


  1. everyone knows a different story. Yes

  2. Great image at the end, very atmospheric.

  3. That sounds as if it could be a true story – brilliant

  4. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover permalink

    Nice take on the prompt. Like how everyone knows the story differently. The last line was bittersweet, too bad he is the only one who will hear the four bluesmen.

  5. I do love the different alternative stories you paint from the event… very atmospheric from a prohibition era of jazz and speak-easy.

    • Thanks Bjorn, for your kind comments and for an inspiring (and well-taken) pic.
      I hadn’t realised at the time but I’ve managed to write four stories for the price of one, all inside 1o0 words 🙂

  6. I love this! I truly do. I’m glad the muse hit you with a bolt of lightening. It’s one of my favorites this week.

  7. Wow! That is quite the story you came up with, very intricate.
    I struggled this week, I hope I can write something better next week.

    • Thanks Symanntha, and I was very lucky that it all came so quickly.
      Sorry to hear you struggled; some weeks it all slots into place, and some weeks it just won’t work.

  8. Dear RG,

    I understand that fickle muse. I have to work for some stories and then others just zap me. It makes me happy when a fictioneer is NOT literal with the prompt. Close enough and imaginative I’d say. Well done. However I did find a teeny typo:”…the police raided a whites-only bar were blacks were playing.” I think it should be “WHERE blacks were playing…”



    • Hi Rochelle. I know what you mean – a prompt is a prompt not an instruction! Wherever the muse goes after that doesn’t matter…
      Thanks for spotting the typo, that had passed me by.

  9. Loved this. One typo at the end of paragraph two, were should be where.

  10. Sounds like a ghostly concert, RG, although quite different from the one I wrote about. Good writing. 🙂 — Suzanne

  11. So atmospheric- I was there at the end!

  12. This was a great idea, everyone having a different story, presumably the one which fitted their particular agenda and at the end of it,the important thing was their musicianship

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