Wordle #23 from The Sunday Whirl,, gave me a problem. Not because they were so difficult, but because I wanted to do something different with them. I wrote and discarded three poems that refused to relinquish the flavor of those words. Then I gave up on poems and switched to prose. Ah, and there it was.

The wordle words were, “accident, look, chat, jostle, motion, move, shop, occasionally, strolling, passers-by, outside, clutch.”

by Mike Patrick

From forty yards away, she doesn’t see me. She could, but I would be just a nut hanging out at the mall with a camera; passers-by don’t pay any attention to slightly eccentric shutter-bugs taking pictures of pigeons and architecture in the outside plaza.

This turned into a pleasant job, she’s remarkably beautiful. There is a fluid grace in her strolling along with the motion of the crowd, stopping occasionally to window shop. Only someone like me would notice she doesn’t move naturally. That innocent glance, with the casual scan of the eyes, isn’t casual at all. She is looking for someone.

There! That’s the first time she’s jostled anyone. It’s no accident. He’s a handsome guy and they act surprised to see each other. They chat, but only for a moment. Then they separate and move off—in the same direction.

He leads to the darkened doorway of a shop under renovation. In the shadows, they hungrily clutch each other.

That’s the money shot, the one that will make me a lot richer. I was hoping it wouldn’t come to this; she is so beautiful. Moving closer, I reach into my pocket for the gun. Sorry, babe—as soon as I saw proof of infidelity, your status changed from a surveillance to a hit.

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23 Responses to SNAP

  1. Wow, The ending caught me off guard! Very cool. Liked the repetition of Snap. With each paragraph there was a tension building which made me want for the next line. Through your writing I am learning once again. Thank you!
    p.s. This week over at dVerse they were discussing repetition, you might want to check it out. Submit this prose.

  2. siggiofmaine says:

    Like this a lot…worth the wait and work ! Clever use of repetition and the surprise ending. is a fun read.
    ☮ Siggi in Downeast Maine

  3. Janet says:

    Always a treat! I never read anyone’s wordle until I’ve completed mine, but it is so much fun to see a person’s thought-line sparked by 12 words!
    I keep getting new favorites constantly here…Your ‘copper-eye’ is revealed in this one:)

  4. Nanka says:

    Marvelous and loved the writing style too!! The snap breaks really made the mystery intriguing and opened many possibilities……. perfect!! The twist at the end had the sting!! Applause!! Applause!! Loved it!!

  5. earlybird says:

    OOO! I didn’t see that one coming. Excellent, Mike!

  6. Laurie Kolp says:

    Revenge can be snappy… love the style, voice, surprise ending.

  7. Oh wow… I never saw the end either! What a wonderful write.. Fantastic use of the prompt!

  8. Peggy Goetz says:

    Wow Mike. Quite the surprise ending tale. Excellent, whether poetry or prose. And thank you too for your visits to my blog as well. I always appreciate comments.

  9. vivinfrance says:

    An incredible leap across styles produced this astringent tale: every day you astonish me with where you are taking language.

  10. Kelly says:

    Yow! Poetry noir. Nicely done! 🙂

  11. Mary says:

    The “snap” was so very effective! I loved the setup to the whole scenario, and the ending was heart-stopping! (Well, almost.)

  12. MP… Late to the party with my comments and most of the good ones already ‘taken.’ Snap…crisp, fun, clever, and of course enjoyed the snap of the ending. Can still hear the shutter clicking…. Terrific (and now, after reading this am doubly honored that you enjoyed my little twist.)!

  13. brenda w says:

    Oh this is excellent, Mike. Thank you for sharing your process notes. One of my goals was to move away from the obvious, too. It’s fun that so many of us did just that. Prose suits you, this is fabulous.

  14. geri-Mom says:

    wow…wonderful poem. I didn’t see the ending coming…

  15. Irene says:

    What a snappy ending. The built up was great.

  16. Good heavens, Mike, I wasn’t expecting that surprise ending. Well done.

  17. 1sojournal says:

    I had a similar problem with the wordle words. They seemed to want to march to that other drummer, prose. Was just going to let it all go, and then it fell in place. Like what you did and the repetition works well here. Snapshots beg for the rest of the story. Great fun and good reading,


  18. Susannah says:

    Very nicely done! You had me totally wrapped up in the story. Loved the “snap” and the ending. Wonderful work with these wordle words!

  19. Traci B says:

    MIke, I’m glad you followed the words to this crisp bit of PI prose; great flash fiction (pardon the camera pun). 🙂

  20. Cathy says:

    Excellent and you sorta caught my character in my poem for this week too.

  21. Mr. Walker says:

    Mike, your prose works well here. The first part made me feel awkward; I’ve taken pictures in public like that and felt “eccentric”. When I re-read it, I spotted that they “act” surprised; a nice touch. And that ending, amazing, that sudden shift.

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