Friday fictioneers – the fall of an angel


PHOTO PROMPT © Mary Shipman

The dresses hung pale from the trading post ceiling like angels descending, frozen in mid-fall. That fascinated and scared Padraig. The boy would lie, staring up at the reverse heaven of tables and chairs suspended from the roof. Until Ulrich found him in some fragrant corner, and shooed him back to work.

Padraig served. “Wire and nails, Mr. Johannsen.”

“Yes, Mrs. Franklin, one rolling pin.”

Ulrich had whatever you wanted. Until the whiskered stranger arrived.

“A diving compressor,” he demanded.

The shop seemed to shudder, and an angel fluttered to earth. Padraig hiked out the door into bright sunlight.


Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find It here.

59 thoughts on “Friday fictioneers – the fall of an angel

  1. Dear Neil,

    I’m a little mystified by this one. I like the descriptions but am not sure who or what Padraig is. I have a special affinity for the name Ulrich since one of my main novel characters has the same name. 😉



    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s the rub of the 100 word story, isn’t it? I’ve reworked a few pieces for the same reason. What made perfect sense in my head didn’t quite get there in the reader’s. And it might be me being dense.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. A nicely mytical and atmospheric piece – I enjoyed it. I hope he finds what he’s looking for as he seeks his fortune, though I suspect it might not be so interesting as upside down chairs and tables and angels fluttering from the ceiling. Good one.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This piece is atmospheric – much like the photo. And now, having read through the comments, I admit “oh, I get it.” I totally understood the relationship between the owner and shop clerk – and even was blown away by the words chosen to suggest his ideas of dreams, dreaminess, yearning to possible think of something more, but not quite believing it could exist outside of the shop – but I guess, the 100 words was a wee tad too restricting, because I too was one of the ones that went “huh?” at the end. And maybe, and I’m laughing at this – myself, thoughts, – it was because you had to use such an unusual item of request in order to “break the containment” …. which, ultimately speaks to how well you made us read this store as having everything under the sun …. with that “trading post” feel. So, although some aspects are perhaps a bit fuzzy, it’s still a really cool piece – and read.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. well perhaps the only fuzzy bit is my brain – but as I’ve re-read this again and again, I think it’s the item requested that makes me think “what?” But it’s well done.


  4. Lovely descriptions but I confess I had to read it a few times before I experienced epiphany like Padraig. I guess he is not going to work in a confined spaces of a shop again.


  5. Sounds like the diving compressor is the final straw for Padraig. Time to see what’s out there! I like the image of him lying there mesmerised by the stock until the owner catches him.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. For me the story worked like this: working in the shop was like being under a spell, frozen in time, even the fallen angels froze mid-fall. When finally something out of the ordinary happened, the spell was broken and Padraig could walk away. I found the images and words beautiful.

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  7. I got a lot from your imagery, Neil, and I love that he walked into the ‘bright sunlight’ at the end. He was at risk of losing his grip on reality in that shop, I suspect. Thank heavens for the ‘whispered stranger’. I’m still thinking about your reference to Australia as a ‘reverse heaven’, seeing as I live there.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love the frozen angels. As someone who spent a lot of time as a child looking (Alice-like) into the similar but alternative world inside a mirror I can understand Padraig’s fascination with the upside-down world, but also his need to escape it. He’s a likable character.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The story came out very mystical and other wordly. I had some questions that was answered in the comments to other readers. Now that I get it, it adds an extra dimension of Padraig’s state of mind to the atmosphere and makes it more enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I was enchanted by this. I can understand Padraig’s fearful fascination with the positioning of the objects hanging from the ceiling and his reluctance to tear himself away from them until he is chased back to work. I particularly liked the “Ulrich had everything until …” Those ‘until’ moments are the ones that shape us and make all the difference to our destiny. The bright sunlight beckons! Such a great piece. Who needs more than 100 words!


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