Five after Whatever

15 Oct

100 words for Friday Fictioneers based on the photo prompt below.

Five after Whaever

(copyright Douglas MacIlroy)


I was building a cuboctahedron when a packet of hot peppers fell from an opening and onto the workbench. I peered inside and found myself seated in a restaurant opposite a beautiful woman with sparkling eyes and a sunny smile. Across the street sea met sky beyond a pristine white sand beach.

“I was strolling on the boardwalk when a craving for Calimari alla Griglia came over me.” she said.

“And I was….Oh, never mind.”

“This is going to be an unusual relationship, isn’t it?”

We meet at Scalini’s in St. Heliers every Thursday at five after.


71 Responses to “Five after Whatever”

  1. Sandra October 15, 2014 at 10:24 am #

    If I wasn’t happily married I’d be out there shopping for a packet of hot peppers, Doug. 🙂 Lovely story, your imagination knows no bounds. And I could feel the heat…

    • Sandra October 15, 2014 at 10:25 am #

      Gasp! I mean ‘if I weren’t’. What am I doing in this subjunctive free world…

      • dmmacilroy October 15, 2014 at 10:33 am #

        Dear Sandra,

        Luckily for you, I haven’t a clue what a subjunctive is and I should because I lived on a sub for three years….

        Thanks for reading and commenting. I’ll send you a packet of peppers.



  2. rochellewisoff October 15, 2014 at 10:34 am #

    Dear Doug,

    It’s those unexpected and unusual relationships that add spice to our lives. I could smell sea and hear the waves crashing against the shore. Beautiful descriptions. I think I feel a craving…


    Rochelle SD

    • dmmacilroy October 15, 2014 at 10:43 am #

      Dear Rochelle,

      What a nice comment. Thanks for reading and craving.



  3. wildbilbo October 15, 2014 at 11:13 am #

    You had me a hot peppers.

    A mind twisting bite of flash fiction – I had to read it 3 times, and I’m still not sure I understand what’s going on. But its undeniably cool.

    • dmmacilroy October 21, 2014 at 1:32 am #

      Dear WB,

      N-dimensional travel facilitated by creative geometry and a dash of fantasy leads to romance by the shore. Thanks for reading it three times, though perhaps I should write more clearly. In any event, I appreciate you poring over it.



  4. Sightsnbytes October 15, 2014 at 11:23 am #

    nice piece…gotta watch out for those hot peppers…could led to trouble!!

    • dmmacilroy October 21, 2014 at 1:33 am #

      Dear S+B,

      Thank you for checking out the menu…and yes, hot peppers are dangerous in the wrong hands.



  5. sandraconner October 15, 2014 at 11:25 am #

    I grinned and giggled. This piece is so “not you,” yet it really is you at the same time. Know what I mean??? Well, often people don’t know what I mean, so it’s okay if you don’t. Great job at a piece that takes us right out there into fantasy land. Slightly hilarious, but truly touching. My favorite line in the whole story is “This is going to be an unusual relationship, isn’t it?” Maybe it’s because every relationship I’ve had has been “unusual,” and I can relate.

    And I just have to say, Doug, that — for the second time — I was absolutely sure this picture was one of yours — before I looked at the credits. I had the same experience months ago when I took the first look at that photo of the man sitting in front of the fire with his feet propped up and holding an iPad. Don’t know why, but there’s something about your photos that carry your mark.

    • dmmacilroy October 21, 2014 at 1:39 am #

      Dear Sandra,

      Your comments are so wonderful to read and i can’t thank you enough for the time you take and attention to detail you lavish on them. “So not me”? Who am I, anyway. Thanks for letting me know I came close to my target this week. I’ve always been a fan of Easy Travel to Other Planets and Heinlein and this story was an homage to both writers and their imaginations.

      As for being able to tell if a photo was/is mine, let’s keep watching and see if your discriminating eye or my identifiable compositions keep your record going. I’ll try to weave a more invisible web next time.



  6. aliciajamtaas October 15, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

    This very much has an Alice in Wonderland feel. Perhaps it’s the falling packet of peppers. Nice piece, Doug, and thanks for a great picture.

    • dmmacilroy October 21, 2014 at 1:29 am #

      Dear Alicia,

      You’re welcome, re the picture. My workshop never looked so good Thank you for reading and commenting. Who knows, maybe it was Alice that he met at Scalini’s.



  7. elmowrites October 15, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

    I’m taking some time off, but your title intrigued me and I’m glad I stopped by. Unusual is another word for special. Relationships we feel able to define on our own terms are often the best.

    • dmmacilroy October 21, 2014 at 1:28 am #

      Dear Jennifer,

      I heard somewhere that you are racing in the Iditarod or something. I Sebastian bundled up warm and tight?

      Thank you for giving my story a look see. I like the way you peer as deep into a story as you can. You’re one of the people I think about when I imagine my work being scrutinized for content and clarity. I appreciate you taking the time to do so.

      Have fun out there.



  8. singleworkingmomswm October 15, 2014 at 6:42 pm #

    Doug, how fitting that I get to enjoy reading this just as I’ve been having moments of daydreaming lately, wishing I could somehow “slip” away into a place I’ve never been. I don’t get to travel, and this piece allowed me to do so in a wonderfully whimsical kind of style. Loved it. 🙂 XOXO-Kasey

    • dmmacilroy October 15, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

      Dear Kasey,

      I wish for you an expedition of happiness that takes you traveling. I haven’t done much and would love to do more, but, upon reflection, realize that I’ve seen a bit of the world. Get out there by reading at the very least, something I probably don’t have to mention. Would you like the perfect adventure? Read A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Heprin. (And don’t be put off by it’s title. You won’t regret it. happy travels and thanks for reading Five after Whatever and commenting.



      • singleworkingmomswm October 16, 2014 at 8:14 pm #

        Thanks, Doug! I’ve taken the name and author down and will definitely give it a read! Reading is indeed a great escape and a great way to “travel”. Thanks, again!

  9. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) October 15, 2014 at 6:56 pm #

    Ah.. this has to be one of the most odd way to start a relationship I ever came upon.. just falling from the sky like that.

    • dmmacilroy October 15, 2014 at 8:04 pm #

      Dear Bjorn,

      But in the end, don’t we all just fall from the sky into each other’s lives? Life is so wonderful like that.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.



  10. lingeringvisions by Dawn October 15, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

    I love the romance here!

    • dmmacilroy October 15, 2014 at 8:08 pm #

      Dear Dawn,

      Mmmmm! Me too. Thanks for reading and commenting.



  11. siobhanmcnamara October 15, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

    I love the blend of fantasy and romance, which really go hand in hand quite well 🙂

    • dmmacilroy October 21, 2014 at 1:24 am #

      Dear Siobhan,

      Fantasy and Romance. Should we be learning something from these two words working so well together. Probably best not to think about it.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.



  12. JanuarysDreamer October 15, 2014 at 10:37 pm #

    Random acts of … dining! Magic.

    • dmmacilroy October 21, 2014 at 1:22 am #

      Dear JD,

      I like your description of my story. Would have made a good title, too. Thank you for reading and commenting.



  13. tedstrutz October 15, 2014 at 11:38 pm #

    Love the last line. Leaving on a trip and I wasn’t going to write a story until I saw who the photo contributor was… It came to me in an instant! Aloha, Mate.

    • dmmacilroy October 21, 2014 at 1:21 am #

      Dear Ted,

      You’re kind to an old campaigner. Where are you off to now? Camera ready? By the way, your story this week was stellar. Thanks.



  14. David Stewart October 16, 2014 at 1:38 am #

    that’s the sort of serendipity magic that would really infuse some quirkiness into the world. At least, as long as you only met beautiful women at restaurants on the beach. 🙂

    • dmmacilroy October 21, 2014 at 1:19 am #

      Dear David,

      And that’s to say nothing about being on the other end of the rabbit hole. I think I’d like a world like that. Thank you for stopping in to read and comment.



  15. Nan Falkner October 16, 2014 at 3:19 am #

    Dear Doug, So romantic and clever. I love it and I guess we are all lucky to find our true loves. Great story Doug! Nan

    • dmmacilroy October 21, 2014 at 1:18 am #

      Dear Nan,

      The forever quest, eh? True love is elusive, but worth the time and travel required to find it. Thank you for your kind comments on my story this week. I appreciate you taking the time to stop in and check it out.



  16. draliman October 16, 2014 at 6:31 am #

    A fantastical romance! Who says you have to go out and look for love? Great piece!

    • dmmacilroy October 21, 2014 at 1:15 am #

      Dear Draliman,

      N-dimensional travel. I thought you might like this one. Thanks for reading and commenting.



  17. Lisa Yow-Williams October 16, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

    It sounds like this is going to be a hot romance considering its start. Your last line is clever referencing the time on the clock. I think we all would like a little romantic calamari once in a while.

    • dmmacilroy October 16, 2014 at 7:05 pm #

      Dear Lisa,

      I second your thoughts re the temperature of the romance. Romantic calamari? That would be a great title for a flash fiction, perhaps an alternate for mine this week. Thanks for such a nice comment.



  18. Margaret October 17, 2014 at 12:06 am #

    Love this. I wonder if he ever finished the cuboctahedron?? Seems like he’s become somewhat distracted.

    • dmmacilroy October 17, 2014 at 12:08 am #

      Dear Marg,

      If he finishes it, he loses his window to St. Heliers. It remains a work in progress. Thanks for reading and commenting.



  19. Elizabeth October 17, 2014 at 2:01 am #

    Sunny Smile! I love it, romantic story.

    • dmmacilroy October 21, 2014 at 1:14 am #

      Dear Elizabeth,

      Thanks for saying so. I love a good romance as well.



  20. storydivamg October 17, 2014 at 3:44 am #

    What an adventure! I always enjoy reading the stories from the person who originated the week’s photo prompt, but this was an extra-special treat. One of my favorite FF stories ever, Doug. Great work.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

    • dmmacilroy October 21, 2014 at 1:13 am #

      Dear Marie,

      Your kind comment has me chopping in tall cotton. I really appreciate you saying that you enjoyed my story this week. Having to write about your own picture kind of forces you to up the bar, lest folks say ‘great picture, but not much of a story.’ Thank you for letting me know I hit close to the mark.



  21. Alice Audrey October 17, 2014 at 3:46 am #

    What a way to travel! Pass me a pepper.

    • dmmacilroy October 21, 2014 at 1:10 am #

      Dear Alice,

      And a small cuboctahedron on the side, right? Thank you for dropping by to read and comment.



  22. patrickprinsloo October 17, 2014 at 9:47 am #

    This is lovely. May I borrow your cuboctahedron?

    • dmmacilroy October 17, 2014 at 10:04 am #

      Dear Patrick,

      If you build one yourself you can zip through it to borrow mine, but, then again, if you can do that, you won’t need to borrow mine. Your call. The answer’s yes, either way.



  23. Sarah Ann October 17, 2014 at 10:24 am #

    I love the tone of the ‘.. Oh, never mind,’ as everything that has come before becomes unimportant in the face of this new relationship. I’d be worried about openings and things other than hot peppers falling through though.

    • dmmacilroy October 21, 2014 at 1:09 am #

      Dear Sarah Ann,

      I like the way you think….and besides helping to save words, the ‘Oh, never mind’ is instructional for moments like that. Have to roll with it.

      Thank you for reading and commenting.



  24. Suzanne Joshi October 17, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

    Doug, I wish travel was that simple. I’ve looked into food packages and never traveled. I think there was some magic involved with those peppers. Thanks for the lovely photo full of story ideas. Well written as always. 🙂 — Susan

    • dmmacilroy October 21, 2014 at 1:07 am #

      Dear Susan,

      Travel is a trial at times, which is why fantasy thrives on the written page. Thanks for your kind comments.



  25. Melanie October 17, 2014 at 1:21 pm #

    What a fun little fantasy. Now I’m going to be on the look-out for mysteriously appearing hot peppers so maybe I can find some of my own romance. 🙂

  26. Amy Reese October 17, 2014 at 4:23 pm #

    Whatever that dish is exactly, it sounds scrumptious, Doug. I could smell the sea salt and feel the wind in my hair. This sounds like a hot romance to me!

    • dmmacilroy October 21, 2014 at 1:06 am #

      Dear Amy,

      Out of the blue with a dash of hot peppers. The best kind of romance. Thank you for dropping in to read and comment.



  27. helenmidgley October 17, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

    I loved this 🙂

    • dmmacilroy October 21, 2014 at 1:03 am #

      Dear Helen,

      Escapist fiction. My geometry teacher had no idea that I was really paying attention in class. Thank you for reading and commenting,



  28. Ellespeth October 18, 2014 at 4:47 am #

    This reminds me of looking into those sugar Easter eggs with the miniature scenes inside! Interesting conversation…and nice open ending.

    • dmmacilroy October 21, 2014 at 1:02 am #

      Dear Ellespeth,

      What were those Easter egg dioramas called? Kachinka eggs? Thank you for the kind comment.



      • Ellespeth October 22, 2014 at 6:23 am #

        Oh my goodness, Doug! I had to look up what a Kachinka egg is. How beautiful! They certainly don’t look eddible 😛

  29. The Writer's Village October 18, 2014 at 11:55 pm #

    Nothing like a building a cuboctahedron to get one fantazing about hot peppers, beautiful women, and pristine views.
    What a matrix…. Randy

    • dmmacilroy October 21, 2014 at 1:01 am #

      Dear Randy,

      N-dimensional spaces and displacement traveling. I’ll never look at Platonic solids in the same light again. Than you for reading and commenting.



  30. Perry Block (@PerryBlock) October 19, 2014 at 3:14 am #

    Now I really appreciate that work of art! Lead me to the cuboctahedron! And throw in a little pepper too please.

    • dmmacilroy October 21, 2014 at 12:59 am #

      Dear Perry,

      Geometry was never so much fun in high school. I should have studied harder. Thanks for stopping by.



  31. Weltchysnotebook October 19, 2014 at 7:07 pm #

    Agree with Alicia, definitely a case of “through the looking glasses”. I like the wrap up at the end. Well written, though I had to reread to get the gist of it

    • dmmacilroy October 21, 2014 at 12:58 am #

      Dear WN,

      100 words places limitations on work, but I find it very much make me push to get the most out of a little. Thanks for reading and commenting.



  32. subroto October 20, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

    I’ll have what he is eating. Liked the whimsicality of this story.

    • dmmacilroy October 21, 2014 at 12:56 am #

      Dear Subroto,

      Thank you for dropping by to read and comment. I appreciate it.



  33. Leona H - Shadow Strokes October 20, 2014 at 6:27 pm #

    I wonder what I’d get if I posted a picture of a bag of chocolate? Thanks for a fun and creative read! Psst, I don’t know what subjunctive is either. 😉

    • dmmacilroy October 21, 2014 at 12:56 am #

      Dear Leona,

      Thanks for reading and commenting. The answer to your question is Hot Chocolate, but don’t tell anyone.



  34. etiennehanratty October 21, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

    What a unique interpretation of your prompt. Loved it.


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