Friday Fictioneers



In the mansion beyond the red brick wall fires crackled, tables groaned with food and servants fetched and carried. Daily, footmen prepared the master’s carriage for his visit to the factory where he walked between clanging machines, his loyal workers stooping as he passed.

Days were good back then.

Five scruffy urchins played in the dust whilst their mother prepared scraps of food. If her husband caught enough rats today, he’d earn a shilling with which to buy more food tomorrow. Soon their eldest son would be six and strong enough to sweep the chimneys of the mansion beyond the red brick wall.

Days were dark back then.


ronda-del-boccioThanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers and to Ronda Del Boccio for the picture. 

77 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers

  1. Iain Kelly Aug 8, 2018 / 11:07

    Has it really changed much since then? I think that wall still exists, even if not so literally now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sandra Aug 8, 2018 / 11:20

    It was ever thus, two sides of the same coin. Nicely done.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Christine Goodnough Aug 8, 2018 / 14:12

    Excellent picture of “the good old days.” We need to appreciate the “mobility” choices we have today. Before 1900, where you were born was almost always where you lived and died.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. abhiray59 Aug 8, 2018 / 16:20

    A red brick wall separates have and have nots.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. paulmclem Aug 8, 2018 / 16:33

    Nice idea. One tiny wee crit, I think you need some commas in the first sentence i.e. perhaps something like “In the mansion, beyond the red brick wall, fires crackled”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith's Ramblings Aug 9, 2018 / 08:56

      You have no idea how many times I added and deleted commas and semi-colons whilst writing this! In the end, I stuck to the version the Grammarly app approved of!


  6. pennygadd51 Aug 8, 2018 / 16:43

    You make excellent use of the huge contrasts between rich and poor to give your story energy.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. michael1148humphris Aug 8, 2018 / 18:32

    True then and true today. It is a divide which seems to be get worse,

    Liked by 1 person

  8. gahlearner Aug 8, 2018 / 18:53

    It seems as if nothing has changed. The divide is still there, only the places have changed.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. hilarymb Aug 8, 2018 / 21:34

    Hi Keith – yes it’s interesting how life has changed, yet hasn’t … now there’s more opportunity for more rats, as well as for clambering out of the hell hole … equally there should be more opportunity for people with privilege, or with enough to consider and remember others. Great story telling though – really ‘impaled’ the values … cheers Hilary

    Liked by 2 people

  10. 4963andypop Aug 8, 2018 / 22:25

    “They were the best of times, they were the worst of times… “(tale of two cities, charles dickens. ). You are in good company on this theme!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Denise Covey Aug 9, 2018 / 01:36

    Hi Keith! Very clever take on the prompt! I’ve come by to let you know WEP has joined with the Insecure Writers Support Group which will lead us to bigger and better things. If you’re interested in expanding your readership, please pop by the WEP site and see if the current prompt, CHANGE OF HEART gets your heart pumping!



    • Keith's Ramblings Aug 9, 2018 / 09:02

      I’ve been meaning to pop over to WEP again for some time. Thanks for the reminder, Denise.


  12. Piyali Aug 9, 2018 / 09:39

    A very realistic picture you drew with your words. I liked the contrast. The story sucked me right in.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. rochellewisoff Aug 9, 2018 / 13:09

    Dear Keith,

    I found this two-sides-of-the-brick wall story hauntingly well written. Good job.



    Liked by 1 person

  14. syncwithdeep Aug 9, 2018 / 16:52

    contrasting life.. beautiful take on the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Reena Saxena Aug 9, 2018 / 18:01

    The contrast is depicted beautifully. It is always the plight of children which saddens us.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. granonine Aug 9, 2018 / 20:47

    All that from a pot of grass. Outstanding. I love the comparison/contrast.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Elizabeth Young Aug 10, 2018 / 06:26

    Good piece of social comment. My daughter’s cottage in Ireland has a chimney wide enough for a man, let alone a child!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. draliman Aug 10, 2018 / 07:49

    Hubby should cut out the middle man and just eat the rats 🙂
    I like the two sides to your scene, the haves and have-nots.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. prior.. Aug 10, 2018 / 10:23

    wel I just so happened to write about darkness related to work – but more present day –
    and how extra nice to red your take here. It really reminds us to be grateful (or can have that message)

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Brenda's Thoughts Aug 10, 2018 / 10:37

    I enjoyed the way you portrayed two different perspectives of a single time period. It’s all about the person telling the story, isn’t it? A very nice thought-provoking piece. =)

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Susan Aug 11, 2018 / 16:09

    I think this is the message behind ‘Build the wall’. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Emily in Ecuador Aug 14, 2018 / 15:35

    Oh wow I thought they were going to eat the rats. I’m so glad they are able to exchange them for money for food. Thanks, Keith, for allowing him to exchange the rats instead of cook them.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s