Friday Fictioneers: Explorers

Another week, another Friday Fictioneers, another photo prompt chosen by the one and only Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Let me know what you think of my story!


“Stay out of the old barn,” Mom said. So did Grandma. Mostly it was empty except for Grandpa’s workshop. The farm was sold years ago – now it grew houses, so there were neighbor kids to play with when I stayed with Grandma.

Of course we loved to explore the barn. Ghost smells of hay and cows, stripes of sunlight filtering between the old boards. I don’t remember the floor breaking or Grandpa rushing out of his workshop and calling the ambulance.

I woke up with a sore leg. Mom looked scared. “You kids were in that barn,” she said.

“Am I gonna get punished?”

“I think you punished yourself enough. You’ll have that cast on at least a month.”

44 responses to “Friday Fictioneers: Explorers

  1. I do like it. You evoked the past and put a charming spin on it – creating a little fable all your own. Plus, you added some interesting descriptive twists, such as “Ghost smells of hay and cows” Good job.

  2. Nicely written. this is the first i read with the consequences of playing in the barn.

  3. Old barns, houses, and forbidden places hold some of the most cherished childhood memories.

  4. I like this, Sharon: “Ghost smells of hay and cows, stripes of sunlight filtering between the old boards.” I also like the farm growing houses.


    • Thank you! The description of the barn is just a memory of old farm buildings I’ve been in, long ago – but I’m kind of proud of the farm growing houses. Then again, that’s something I’ve seen, especially in my mother’s part of central Pennsylvania – I believe it happened here too, but long before I got to New Jersey.

  5. ha – sounds like you have experience getting into trouble, you really nailed it at the end. 🙂

  6. good description..and an interesting write-up

  7. haha if that were my mom, i’d be punished AND my leg would be in a cast. ^^ stubborn kid, so reminded me of me ^^ great story

    • Well – if I hadn’t cut the last few paragraphs of the original version (it was over 200 words to start with), we’d learn that the accident led to the barn getting torn down at last, and the narrator feels as if this was his real punishment. (Even though that’s not what the adults had in mind.)

  8. A nice recollection of the way we were, always looking for trouble.

  9. Dear Sharon,
    What a delightful piece. Some kids have to learn the hard way, don’t they? Perceptive grandmother to leave it at letting the child reap what she’d sown. Urbanization summed up with “now it grew houses.” Clever writing as I’ve come to expect from you.

  10. This was lovely. You see we think that grown ups are telling us not to for one reason, but its really for a quite different one.

    • Thank you, Beverley! Yes – once I had children, I found myself telling them some of same things that I hated hearing from my own mother. But from the grown up point of view, surprise! All those warnings made perfect sense.

  11. We never listened did we? Thought we knew it all. Absolutely loved the …now it grew houses. Perfect.

    • Oh, we sure did! After all we had five years or eight years or even eleven years of experience to draw on 🙂 – who needs more than that? And I’m glad you like the “growing houses” line – it’s one of my favorites.

  12. My Mama always said, “If you can’t listen, you gotta feel.” Great lesson here.

  13. I like the line about the farm now growing houses. So true. Nice one.

  14. Ghost smells of hat . . . Fab writing Sharon

  15. Always listen to your elders. Nice job.

  16. Mothers do know best. And grandmothers may even know better. Still ends with kids knowing little.

    Adieu, scribbler

  17. A lovely moral tale. ‘I don’t remember the floor breaking…’, such a great throwaway line resulting in so much more.

    • Thank you! I think part of the moral here is one of those self-enforcing ones, a little like the old joke about “186,000 miles a second: it’s not just a good idea, it’s the law!” (For those who aren’t physics geeks – 186,000 miles a second is the speed of light, and physicists say it’s impossible to go any faster no matter what you do. So it’s the speed limit of the universe.) Anyway – “Gravity: it’s not just a good idea…”

      But one of the important things we all have to learn is that gravity doesn’t make exceptions, and that’s why the grownups tell us to be careful 🙂

  18. I like the title! And the story.

  19. When you don’t listen to the warnings you must pay for the consequences!

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