A 100 Word Story

Friday Fictioneers



I just sang Walk on By and they walked on by. I used to have a studio. I made records, sold lots. I filled halls, played festivals. Now look at me. In my guitar case, there’s just a few coppers, a pound coin and screwed-up chocolate wrapper.

See him, posing for selfies? Last time we met I was Jack-the-lad and he was sleeping rough. I once helped him out, gave him a bed and a square meal.

Think positive. I can do it. Smile, sing. Give ‘em soul, show ‘em Elvis lives! I will eat tonight. I will!

Please God say I will.


music-roomFor Friday Fictioneers which is hosted by Rochelle who also provided this week’s picture.

98 thoughts on “A 100 Word Story

  1. Sandra Jun 27, 2018 / 11:06

    Regret and desperation in equal measures. Well done, Keith.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. granonine Jun 27, 2018 / 14:31

    This just makes me so sad. You’ve written it beautifully, or it wouldn’t have had such an effect.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Christine Goodnough Jun 27, 2018 / 15:00

    Well written and really touching. How many of those old guys we see are living the hard life of a “has been”? Some buskers make a good living; we heard of one young man, playing the flute, who made enough to pay his way through university.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ceayr Jun 27, 2018 / 17:43

    It’s tough at the top, but much tougher at the bottom.
    Good one, Keith

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dale Jun 27, 2018 / 19:25

    Not everyone makes it big in music. I could feel his pain and despair.
    Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Vivian Zems Jun 27, 2018 / 19:57

    I’m rooting for this busker too! He’s had a taste of life in the real world and deserves a break.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Alicia Jamtaas Jun 27, 2018 / 22:35

    Keith, this one grabbed me and won’t let me go. It’s truly one of your best. Great rhythm, well-chosen words. Kudos!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mike Jun 27, 2018 / 23:13

    Great use of 100 words. I love seeing good buskers, and often wonder about their life story.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. draliman Jun 28, 2018 / 09:09

    A tough life, especially coming after success. Love the first line!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Joy Pixley Jun 28, 2018 / 14:10

    Such a tragic story, looking back at past glory and, I assume, regretting the poor choices and chances squandered that landed him in such poor straits.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Russell Gayer Jun 28, 2018 / 17:50

    It made me think of all the one-hit-wonders. They rose to the top quickly, then crashed and burned almost as fast. Music is a tough business.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith's Ramblings Jun 28, 2018 / 18:16

      There are indeed so many examples, Only the strongest survive. Cheers Russell.


  12. jillyfunnell Jun 28, 2018 / 22:08

    An affecting story, beautifully told. I love buskers and find it almost impossible not to stop and listen awhile and drop a bit of cash into the hat. Great opening with him singing “Walk On By” as they walk on by.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. michaelwynnauthor Jun 29, 2018 / 10:40

    You conveyed his desperation and determination to keep positive. The depressing thoughts raging through his mind must be horrifying.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. prior.. Jun 29, 2018 / 11:27

    such a deep piece for so short – felt the angst (and love how sandra wrote equal measures – bah)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Brenda's Thoughts Jun 29, 2018 / 16:18

    Life for many is very difficult. I felt his anguish and desperation, yet determined to survive another day. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Na'ama Yehuda Jun 29, 2018 / 17:31

    Well done, Keith. There is always a story behind every person, and you put a face on those who are so often fleetingly faceless, even if we pause to put some coins or a dollar bill in their case.


  17. EagleAye Jun 30, 2018 / 00:53

    Such is the life of a busker. Some days you don’t eat, some days you eat like a king. You portrayed this life very well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith's Ramblings Jun 30, 2018 / 08:10

      So true EA. Now that so many people have read about him, he might start doing pretty well…oh, hang on, it’s fiction!

      Liked by 1 person

      • EagleAye Jul 1, 2018 / 00:29

        There’s a great documentary out there called “Searching for Sugar Man.” If you haven’t already heard of it, you should see it. It’s an amazing story about a rise to fame and a fall from grace.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Piyali Jun 30, 2018 / 12:59

    Oh, a tragic story. How did his dreams turn into a nightmare, I wonder. The best part is, the narrative allows me to interpret the story (as a reader) in different ways.

    A part of me says that he ended up like this because of the person he helped once.

    The second interpretation is that he could never make it big as a musician (not because of any lack of talent but circumstances perhaps) and now he has resigned to his fate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith's Ramblings Jun 30, 2018 / 13:28

      Both scenarios played out in my mind as I wrote this, also that his music was no longer current. In the pop ‘music’ digital age however it’s not that necessary to be musical at all . Anyway, I’ll leave it to you to decide!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Anita Jun 30, 2018 / 18:22

    He helped that lad rise.
    Glad that he still has his spirit intact. May he achieve his goal again.
    Have a lovely weekend, Keith!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith's Ramblings Jun 30, 2018 / 18:41

      The power of positive thought is a valuable tool. Thanks for your good wishes.


  20. Fatima Fakier Jul 1, 2018 / 09:58

    The desperation at the end is frightening. Will he hopefully have more than a meal in his future? I hope so. Seems like he is a great guy.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Woman walking Max Jul 1, 2018 / 12:00

    Well done Keith, you pack a lot into so few words – his backstory, his despair now, his only hope to get a few coins is to project verve and optimism, the exact opposite of what he feels. Good story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith's Ramblings Jul 1, 2018 / 21:35

      Thanks so much, WWM. I’m pleased it came through. Comments such as yours make it all worthwhile


  22. Jan Morrill Jul 5, 2018 / 11:28

    I could feel his longing laced with hope. Very sad, and I’ll think twice before I “walk on by” again.


  23. Emily in Ecuador Aug 14, 2018 / 15:32

    Well done, Keith. In those few words, I feel like I know a lot more about him than I would expect.

    Liked by 1 person

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