Friday Fictioneers: Vintage

It’s Friday Fictioneers time again, and this week Madison Woods wants us to tell a story about grapevines. Inspired by grapevines. Somehow related to vines.


“Well, we’ll have a party,” Grandma said. “Make sure your Brian knows he’s welcome.”

So the family squeezed together under Grandpa’s grape arbor. And Grandma brought out the good wine. Trouble was, that meant Grandma was going to make a speech.

“Tina and Brian.” She beamed. “We wish you a marriage that endures like this wine. But remember, great wines suffer. They survive drought and heat and grow strong. We wish you happiness – but as the years pass only the strong stay happy. We wish…”

Tina stopped listening. None of it had anything to do with her and Brian. They were young and in love and life stretched forward like this summer day in the shade of the big grape leaves. Happy.

* * *

(This story took more cutting than anything I’ve written yet for Friday Fictioneers, and it’s still 122 words long. Of course, that means that I managed to get rid of 170 words, and I wish I could put some of them back. I especially liked the little glimpse of Tina’s Mom and Tina’s Dad’s current girlfriend managing to avoid each other because the family is so enormous…but Mom, Dad, and girlfriend all had to be evicted. Alas.)

35 responses to “Friday Fictioneers: Vintage

  1. Write a longer version and use it for something else. 500 words is also considered flash fiction. Nice piece. Tina has a lot to learn. She will.

    • Good idea – I even have a story where it might fit. Tina has a lot to learn, but an engagement party really isn’t the time for Grandma to tell everyone how hard life is!

      And now that I’ve read yours – a much happier approach to the theme! Nicely written.

  2. Uplifting story. Well written.

  3. You are learning the skills of a good arborist. A cut here, a snip there, add a little sun and in time the uncomplicated wine rewards you with its sweetness. Well done.



  4. Poor Grandma…someone needs to tell her to zip it and let them be. Young lovers don’t need lectures. They will learn on their own. I’m #68 on the list.

    • Thank you! I admit I’m kind of prejudiced in Tina’s favor – there are so few times when we can feel our lives are perfect that I want to protect her while she enjoys it.

  5. I agree with Rochelle, you could write it again in just the way you want it and try submitting it to a magazine or competition! What have you got to lose? It’s an excellent story 🙂

  6. What you have here is cute, but I tend to agree with Rochelle, you could extend it again and still have a lovely piece, which would allow you to show more insight into your character. Very interesting story. Well done!

    • Three commenters voting for an expanded version. Okay. Time to add more depth and development to this one 🙂 Thank you!

      Your story has a wonderfully unexpected ending.

  7. A well written story with a cute view of the grandmother. I like where you went with the story. Very cool

  8. Awww, I like the story as it is. But when you explain what we’re missing, I want to read. I am already imagining a beautiful scene. Excellent story telling 🙂

  9. It’s much easier to expand than to cut, so the practice you’re getting is well worth the “suffering.” 🙂 You’ve conveyed much with these few words and let us imagine the rest. And no one says you can’t do a longer story elsewhere, so go for it!!

    • Oh, I completely agree that learning to cut is valuable! And it’s kind of interesting, too, after letting my imagination sprawl all over the screen, to figure out what’s not earning its space and why. On the other hand, there are types of stories that demand more room to spread out and let the reader explore a complex situation – this particular example is probably, at its roots, one of the ones that need more than 100(ish) words.

      • As I understand it (and after only being here three weeks, perhaps I don’t), the 100 words is often only the start of a longer story, the part that draws you in to want to know the rest…exactly what you accomplished since people want to know more. I haven’t used it that way; I’ve been telling my story in the 100 words, but we’re allowed to do that, too. 🙂

      • Good point! (I think my understanding is that the two important rules are that the story should be (a) short, very short and (b) related in some way to the prompt. Beyond that, from what I’ve read it can be a standalone, the beginning (or middle. or end.) of a longer story, and even part of a series that week by week are supposed to fit together to make something larger.)

  10. Really nice ending. It is hard cutting. I use the prompts as the impetus for a chapter for the novel I’m writing, so they always get much much longer than the 100 words or so we have here.
    I’m here:

    • Glad you like it! Most of my short-short stories here and at the 100 Word Challenge will have to stand by themselves, but there have been a few that I’ll probably expand, including this one. The imagery in your story is wonderful!

  11. I smiled a wry smile, nicely done

  12. I agree with you, let the young lovers enjoy the perfect moments when they can…they’ll travel all the bumps anyway, same as everyone. Works really well as you’ve cut it, but I, too, am looking forward to your longer version 🙂

  13. I like that Tina tunes out the advice. She might well remember it when it’s her turn to give the speech to her grandkids 🙂 Nicely done, Sharon.

    We’re here:

    • She’ll probably remember it – and hopefully use the memory to steer herself to choosing a better time for this sort of advice. Thank you!

      Your story is a real surprise – the end turns it into a completely different genre from what it seemed to be!

  14. I love the way the end turns in my hands as I read it. I hope you will save the parts you cut and write a longer piece with the puzzle pieces restored. I like the challenge of 100 but sometimes, the story needs more space.

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