Friday Fictioneers – Dan Grimes

Photo Prompt © Nathan Sowers

In the whole village, only I still remember Dan Grimes. He lived, carried to the fields the scythe he called Excalibur, drank ale, married Bess, and died, all before living memory.

The young uns don’t credit it when I say Dan would walk half way across the county for work.

“Why didn’t he get the bus?” they ask.

“Weren’t no buses then,” I say, and they ponder this in silence.

When folk say Joseph Grimes has his mother’s crabbiness, I tell ‘em the viciousness is purely Dan’s. And they respect my lore.

But Dan weren’t vicious when he were young. He were sweet. Just not sweet on me. He comes to me in my dreams.



Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

75 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Dan Grimes

  1. That’s a fascinating glimpse of country life perhaps 100 years ago. You’ve cleverly chosen to tell it through the voice of a very old woman, and slowly reveal that she has a personal stake in the memory of Dan Grimes. She hints at his potential for domestic violence, but gives away the fact that she’s an unreliable witness because Dan rejected her. What a great way to give your history depth!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I loved how history of his life is summed up, “drank ale, married Bess, and died” (I assume it was over a period of time and not immediately after the wedding. I wonder if ‘she’ thought he had married the wrong un and was the reason for his bad behaviour.
    A great story, in so few words, that makes thoughts tumble through my mind.

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  3. There are such an array of interesting responses to this weeks prompt, and your did not disappoint, I enjoyed the voice and the characterisation, and how much you packed into so few words. Lovely

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The casual but brilliant reference to the name he chose for his scythe tells us more than a thousand word description of the man. Seems he deteriorated as he got older but she got the best of him, when her world was young.

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  5. Love the voice, Neil, and the sense of longing, the sense that she has to tell people about him, to keep him alive for her own sake – even if he didn’t want her. Deep layers here. Well told

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Once again, a beautifully written tale. This line nodding towards a case of domestic violence-“But Dan weren’t vicious when he were young. He were sweet. Just not sweet on me”- was so nicely crafted.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You can hear the love in her (or his) voice, the valuing of character traits, that people do without, these days, because they’re spoiled.I love the “scythe he called Excalibur.” So much reminiscing on a harsher time, this week, with stories to instruct the young, who, unlike their elders, have never wallked a mile barefoot in the snow, just to get to school.:)

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  8. Mmmmm … I thought I had added a comment here before, Neil.
    I don’t see it. Perhaps, the mirror has captured it. I know I added
    that I loved Penny’s comment and being late to comment left little
    for me to add … BUT … BRAVO hasn’t been said.
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great story, Neil. I like that she isn’t bitter that he didn’t marry her and has only good things to say about him. She’s his strongest defender when he is criticized. It’s endearing how she keeps his memory alive.

    Liked by 1 person

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