An Unusual Formation


PHOTO PROMPT – Β© Copyright Marie Gail Stratford

“So tell me what we’re looking at?” asked Amelia, clipboard and pen at the ready as her wife Grace stepped past, black cocktail dress hidden beneath the newly acquired lab coat. Behind them, the night staff of St. Gregory’s clustered around the yellow tape marking off the far corner of the hospital car park.

Amelia sighed, they’d been having such a lovely date night.

“Well it’s not man-made,” said Grace, crouched down in front of the mess of crystal implanted in the tarmac. “It looks like it grew here.”

“Grew?” repeated Amelia.

“Yeah,” frowned Grace. “It looks familar, almost like——-


“It’s representative, not literal,” shrugged Noah, arms folded, watching the journalists clustered around his newest exhibition. “The idea just came to be, like a bolt of lightening on a clear day,” he smirked.

“Or a meteor at three o’clock in the morning,” snorted Poppy, his daughter. Tucked away towards the back of the exhibition she was out of earshot.

“I wanted to examine the complex, nature of human life, fractures yet still one whole.”

“You’re first words were awesome… it’s so shiny.”

“I really poured myself into this piece. Blood sweat and tears.”

“You had me dig it out.”


Now I’m really hoping that I’m not going to get in trouble for posting two responses to this prompt, but I really wasn’t sure about the first and the second sort of just popped up immediately after. I also wanted to use the same title for both pieces and it makes life less confusing if there aren’t multiple posts on a blog by the same title I find.

If you want to join in the Friday Fictioneers madness then just click on the badge above and it will zip you strait to the lovely Rochelle Wisoff’s site where you can find all the nitty-gritty. Tally ho bloggers! Β [Clearly I’m in quite an excitable mood, blame the very large mug of tea I just downed.]


  1. Dear Carol,

    I’ve heard that originality is merely the art of concealing your source. πŸ˜‰ It sounds like Poppy’s going to blow that for her dad.




  2. Hi Carol, I liked the second one more – Poppy’s unheard responses were witty and you get a real sense of her.

    The first one… I don’t know, it just seemed to hang a little *too* unfinished for my tastes.



    1. I thought the same about the first one when I wrote it as well, but I was interested to see what readers would think. I’ll admit I much prefer the outcome of the second, and the creation of Poppy. She was wonderfully fun to write.

      Thank you for the feedback.


    2. I’m with Bilbo. Didn’t feel there was enough of a story/hook. I’m happy with open-ended but for me there wasn’t even enough to leave you wondering. Needed something else.


  3. Hello! I really like your blog and therefore have nominated you for the versatile blogger award! Please look through my blog for more information. Cheers πŸ™‚


  4. Hello! I really like your blog and therefore have nominated you for the versatile blogger award! Please look through my blog for more information. Cheers πŸ™‚


    1. Thank you for the nomination, I don’t tend to participate in these awards but I do appreciate bloggers taking the time to point a finger in the direction of my work. I tried to follow the link to your site but it said you’ve deleted it.


    1. Well we might just find out if I do re-post this as a more fleshed out piece. The audience seems pretty split on if they like how open it is or not, which is fabulously interesting for me. It’s great to be getting such targeted feedback. Thanks for commenting.


  5. I think the first one has such a great rhythm, I was hooked from the get go. Just wish you finished that last line. With anything.
    The second one was very entertaining, I keep imagining Poppy delivering these great lines. What a character!


    1. I love a good female character, especially one with wit, they’re always so fun to write.
      As I mentioned to paulmclem, I might re-post the first in a couple of days as a longer piece so give some of you poor readers closure. It seems some people do like how open it is, but it might be fun to explore it a bit more.


  6. I’m glad you told both stories, Carol. These are two fun takes on my photo. I’m thoroughly enjoying the many different tales this shot is inspiring. Thanks!

    All my best,
    Marie Gail


    1. Hi Marie,
      I just thought that I should check with you to see if it was okay if I used your photo again for the expanded version of An Unusual Formation. I’ve included also the usual bump underneath and linked it to your blog. Let me know if there’s any problems and I’ll take it down immediately.


      1. Thanks for checking with me on this, Carol. Yes, feel free to use it. Please keep the copyright line on it any time you wish to use it, and if you use it off your blog, please add the line “Used by permission.”


  7. Having a daughter in art school, I got a good laugh out of the second story. (BTW, “earshot” is one word.) I don’t mind the openendness of the first one at all. It lets our imagination run wild.



    1. There seems to be a fifty-fifty split on the first. It seems I also could of had an extra word in the second, thanks for pointing out my typo.
      I’m glad you got a good laugh, that is definitely the response I wanted with Poppy and her father.


  8. I love open endings, so I liked the first one very much. The second one was great, too, though, with the daughter’s replies. I like it when the readers are challenged to continue with the stories any way they want.


  9. I really like both of these responses. I don’t mind the open ending of the first one, though I would have liked there to be a little more too it, and I love the character of Poppy in the second. Well done. πŸ™‚


  10. I was rather intrigued by the first one and it left me wondering. Like almost everyone else, I loved Poppy and her role in the second story.


  11. Lots of tension in the first story (but don’t tell us Grace is her wife, let the text reveal that) and the second was great fun. I thought smirked is a good word to use – artists can be so pretentious at times when describing their work.


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