Friday Fictioneers – Vocabulomancy


He opens the book, grabs its spine, and shakes. A heap of words tumble onto the table. Some verbs skitter and roll, ending up lost behind the pepper grinder. The scent of azaleas assails him from the vase. With the long forefinger of Michelangelo’s Cistine God, he stirs the lexical mound. Subjects swirl, encounter objects, and bind. Predicates zip on.

The battleship, the shoreline …. bombards.

Henry, the dog …. eats.

Nowhere is there love because that is one of the verbs that rolled away.

His brow dampens and his hands shake.


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

63 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Vocabulomancy

  1. That took me back to school, where we studied syntax and analysis of sentence structure. (It wasn’t called a grammar school for nothing.) I like the concept of words being and acting like animate objects.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Neil,

    I love the word vocabulomancy. I’ll have to remember that one. I’ve invented one for those who kill the English language whenever they open their mouths. Grammaticide. Perhaps we logophiles should start our own dictionary. 😉 Delightful story.



    Liked by 1 person

  3. Awwww … I felt a jolt when I read love rolled away. I can’t imagine what life would be without love.
    It’s a glue that keeps us together. I hope he found love under the ottoman.
    Good story, Neil. I always enjoy your insights one the photo prompt. Have a wonderful weekend.
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow! I’m just blown away! The “love rolled away” line was brilliant in the context of your entire story. Really food for thought, because it was the verb love that disappeared from his life, not the noun. Again, brilliant and moving.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the idea of a godly finger stirring the lexical mound. With so few words, you laid your poignant story on the table and peppered it with evocative images. Excellently done, Neil.

    Liked by 1 person

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