It has come to my attention that the world doesn’t stand still at my command. Days begin and end, as do semesters, without a care for how many things need to be crammed into them. While I’d like to think I could stop time and make it wait for me to catch up, I cannot. Damn the relentless tic-tocking!

I missed posting a story for Friday Fictioneers last week. It was written, but I just didn’t get around to posting it. So, if you will indulge me, kind readers, you will get two, similar but different, stories for the price of one this week.

Last week’s prompt, courtesy of Georgia Koch, inspired this story:

Copyright Georgia Koch

Copyright Georgia Koch

Sink or Swim

Madeline stepped off the train. She’d made the first decision solely for herself in more than twenty years. The crowd waiting to greet the other passengers with hugs, bouquets, and squeals of delight was almost more than she could stand.

She felt dizzy. She made her way to the bench at the end of the platform. There was no luggage to claim. She’d arrived with only the small satchel her mother had given her all those years ago when she was a young bride.

She wondered for a moment if it had been a good idea to rock the boat.


This week’s prompt, courtesy of Ted Strutz, yielded the impromptu recycled story below, entitled Adaptation. This word has been on my mind a lot lately. My life, each and every moment of it, is one continuous adaptation. The time for my mediation practicum is finally here. I am excited to reach this point and am looking forward to what’s in store next as I get closer to graduation. Much of my writing energy will be consumed these next few months by class assignments. In light of this, posts will continue to be limited. I hope you enjoy these stories. Thanks for reading. Be sure to check out more Friday Fictioneers here.

Copyright: Ted Strutz

Copyright: Ted Strutz


Madeline stepped off the train, her future a mystery. The crowd, greeting other passengers with hugs, bouquets, squeals of delight, was more than she could stand. She felt dizzy, powerless. Her energy drained, like someone had pulled the plug on her just as she summoned the strength to make the first choice solely for herself in more than twenty years. She made her way to the bench at the end of the platform. There was no luggage to claim. She’d arrived with only a satchel filled with odds and ends from her old life.

That life, dead to her now.


45 thoughts on “Times Are A Changin’

  1. wildbilbo says:

    Both good, but I prefer the second story – the first is lovely, full of new beginnings, but the second has more emotion, more drama. Conflict is what gets us turning the page, and the second story hints to more of this.

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Hi KT, you’re right. I think Madeline’s story could be one of those page turners.

  2. rgayer55 says:

    Quite an adaptation ahead for this young girl. I enjoyed them both. Rockin’ the boat was a great line and pullin’ the plug was another way to escape the monotony of being manipulated. Well done.

  3. Margaret says:

    Both stories are most enjoyable and intriguing. I’m interested in your comments that one shouldn’t jump to conclusions about who or what she’s leaving. Whatever it might be, you’ve created an engaging character.

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Margaret, I appreciate your remark. It’s true, our starting assumptions take us away before we get all the facts, even in fiction. It is an interesting topic.

  4. erinleary says:

    Nicely done – I liked the reworked version better. It reminded me of a manuscript I just read about escaping an abusive marriage. You did well on both prompts!

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      It’s very interesting to me that our minds go there, leaving a bad marriage, when neither story comes right out and says that is what she has done. It just goes to show, there is always more to the story. 🙂

  5. Amy Reese says:

    Well done, Honie. I enjoyed both stories equally. Best of luck in what lies ahead! I hope you’re energy isn’t too drained. 🙂

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      I think I’m on the uptick on the energy thing. Each day for the past couple of weeks it has been improving. I’m to the point where I don’t need a nap most days.

  6. I enjoyed both stories. Same idea, different arrangement. Well done.

  7. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Honie,

    Both stories are good but I preferred the first for its rhythm and flow. I love that you are growing and studying and pushing the envelope of your dreams.

    Keep writing and stay in touch. You’ll be missed when you’re gone and loved when you’re around. I hope its more of the loved than the missed.



    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Dear Doug,

      Thanks for the feedback. Funny how different versions appeal to different people. I guess that is how stories get passed down slightly changed from one storyteller to the next.
      See ya ’round the bend,

  8. Dear Stephonie,

    I love your use of both of the prompts. I suppose I could be off base but it seems to me that you’ve told the story twice only the second one is much tighter. At any rate, well written.

    Off to bed to regenerate.



    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Dear Rochelle,
      Hope you are regenerated on this cold Monday morning. The weekend whooshed by and I’m just now getting around to replying to comments. It may be the same story. I agree the second one seems tighter. I think that may be why I hesitated too long to post the first one.
      Rainbows and Lollipops,

  9. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Honie, I really liked both of your stories! You are so talented! Nan 🙂

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Nan, you are so generous. Thanks!

  10. Sandra says:

    Both of them intriguing. Very well done.

  11. Honie,
    I know how the beginning of the semester can really suck up all available free time. I was swamped too a few weeks ago, although am mostly floating now. Great stories. 🙂

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      It’s true. It usually takes me a few weeks to hit my stride. Thanks for commenting.
      Stay Afloat, 😉

  12. In my humble opinion one should always rock the boat so long as there is a good flotation device nearby.


    1. Honie Briggs says:

      I couldn’t agree more, Val. Rock it!

  13. Very good! I almost feel inadequate to leave a comment on the posts of so many wonderful writers here in FF. All that I am worthy of saying is that I enjoyed reading your story and it stirred emotions in me.

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Your comments are worth quite a lot to me as I am sure they are to all of the FF writers. Kind words are worth more than gold.

      1. Thank you. Also, thank you for understanding my little rant. 🙂 I appreciate your kind words.

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Perhaps she is 90 years old and has decided to assert her independence and retrace her steps from where she first met her dearly departed husband, against her middle-aged son’s objection, in a final act of remembrance of the choice she made long ago.

  14. Allan G. Smorra says:

    Do I sense a weekly recurring character? Both posts work well together.

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Ah, what a great idea. That would be a challenge, to tell more of Madeline’s story each week with the different prompts presented by our generous FF contributors. Hmmm…something to ponder.

      1. Allan G. Smorra says:

        Yes, something to ponderrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

      2. I love that idea, too. I was just thinking, I really want to know more about Madeline…

  15. Yes, I’m with Carrie. I want to know more of her story. Nicely done. I’m glad you posted them together

    Adapting and doing things for ourselves, a hard concept, isn’t it? Are you done in May?

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Sadly, no. December is my target. It will depend on what I decide to do during the summer. I have to get in a couple of straggler classes for two of my concentrations that haven’t seemed to be available when I am.

      1. It goes fast..but the hell you feel doesn’t , right? Hang in there

        1. Honie Briggs says:

          It all starts to run together after a while. Maybe that means I’m learning something.

  16. acflory says:

    I think I like Adaptations better – it seems to express the visual prompt perfectly.

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      I agree, the second one does tie in better with the prompt. Subtle vs obvious, the problem with metaphor, I suppose. I love writers who can craft a visual but leave room for us to read between the lines.

      1. acflory says:

        Bloody hard to do but well worth the effort when it works. 🙂

  17. That point when you realize you can’t turn back and you have nowhere to go.. These would work excellently as a startingpoint for a longer story… I like the first one better since it gives me a hint that she had good reason to leave the first time.. But both metaphors work..

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      That point of no turning back gets us every time, doesn’t it Björn. I can see how the first story would seem like there was a romance gone bad, but maybe Madeline isn’t the one who left first…hmmm. Thanks for commenting. I like to hear what readers think.

  18. Carrie Rubin says:

    These are wonderful. I want to know what happens to Madeline in her new life. (And the secrets of her old one…)

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Oh, she has secrets, this one. Thanks, Carrie. I think Madeline would challenge the assumptions of most of us. Stories like hers are never what people assume.

  19. helenmidgley says:

    Loving both of these, I was sucked straight in and wanted more 🙂

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Thanks, Helen. You can read more, similar but different stories, in my book Summoning The Strength.

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