Friday Fictioneers: Check Mate

Week five, and I’m feeling great about ending the writing drought. Thanks for all the support and wonderful feedback all y’all! This week’s photo prompt comes from Björn Rudberg, the weekly nudge from our dedicated leader, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. To join in the fun, check out her blog Addicted to Purple. As always, I appreciate honest, constructive feedback; please leave a comment.


© Björn Rudberg

Check Mate

Nina’s childhood was traumatic. Her mother’s death when she was nine, was followed a year later by her father leaving. She lived with her aunt and uncle until college, and then set her own course.

She learned from that childhood to be vigilant. “Life is like chess,” Nina told friends, “you have to be thinking two moves ahead.”

When driving, she calculated what each car would do, and looked three times before crossing; twice wasn’t enough.

I love you–– please say yes! She read the text, and smiled. Reaching for her phone, she never saw the flared lights of the oncoming truck.

(100 words)

*Please don’t engage in distracted driving! Put the phone away, out of sight. It only takes a moment’s distraction! It’s something most of us could work on.

*     *     *

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©2011-2016  All content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit and Link back to my work; plagiarism sucks!

About Dawn Quyle Landau

Mother, Writer, treasure hunter, aging red head, and sushi lover. This is my view on life, "Straight up, with a twist––" because life is too short to be subtle! Featured blogger for Huffington Post, and followed on Twitter by LeBron James– for reasons beyond my comprehension.
This entry was posted in Awareness, Dawn Quyle Landau, Flash fiction, Friday Fictioneers, Honest observations on many things, Life, Love, Tales From the Motherland, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

82 Responses to Friday Fictioneers: Check Mate

  1. neilmacdon says:

    Is it better to have loved and lost than ….? Great story, Dawn

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Dawn,

    Unfortunately believable story. Tragic and beautifully written. Someone is burning the midnight oil. 😉



    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dahlia says:

    Oh no! Well crafted.


  4. Very believable – and sadly only too topical – I really like the tone that matches Nina’s reserved demeanor & control and how the text message offers a brief glint of relief,change, hope even but quickly snubbed out as she’s caught off-guard. I did wonder about the order of words in that last sentence would she reach for her phone before reading text? But that is a very minor nitpick!


    • Thanks Poppy; I appreciate you taking the time to read, and share your feedback. Yes, I intended the order–– imagining her seeing the text pop up, and then reaching for her phone, to perhaps answer it, or read it again. I think that happens too often! Someone sets their phone down, driving–– intending to not use it, but then see a text flash on. If it pulls the reader out of the story, however, maybe it doesn’t work? I’ll give it some thought. Thanks for the suggestion! And welcome to TFTM!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. jgroeber says:

    Well played. Tragically real.
    So glad your writing drought is over!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Friday Fictioneers: Check Mate | ugiridharaprasad

  7. michael1148humphris says:

    O what an end, you hit me where it hurt, great piece of writing. Mike

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Iain Kelly says:

    Oh no! What a tragic ending, just as she found happiness at last. Great writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sandra says:

    Such a sad ending. But congratulations on being first past the post. Now get some sleep!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So happy to see your stories! Such a tragic tale, sometimes too much is not enough. Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Never let down your guard to read or write a text! Well told lesson to be learned.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Cathy Ulrich says:

    Whoa! I didn’t see that one coming either… Nicely done, Dawn.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow so sad, it only take a single slip for a history to change. So real, and alas, so close to reality


  14. That was all too tragic and all too sudden. Hit me where it hurts. Well written.


  15. Lynn Love says:

    Can’t believe she spent so long being so cautious and it was love that caused her to be reckless in the end! It only takes a moment. Tragic tale but nicely told


  16. Whoa! You just gave me the chill of all chills. Phenomenal twist ending that played on the being uber careful… and then not. Oh the irony.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. mamaheidi60 says:

    I’m always amazed about how much you can do with 100 words! Every one of them counts. And, I want to know the rest of the story!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh so tragic. To have lost life at the height of it!


  19. Oh this gave me shivers Dawn. So very well written and goes perfectly with the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Oh that sliced through the heart! So sad that love caused her to neglect her normal caution.


  21. Dale says:

    Nooooooo! Ach! Well done. That killed me.
    Your drought is definitely over.


  22. Rowena says:

    Hi Dawn,
    This is my first contribution to Friday Fictioneers and yours is the second contribution I’ve read after Dale’s piece led me there. Your piece was well put together with that cautious vigilant personality totally abandoned due to love. So many people pay dearly for that split second lapse of thinking.
    My piece is also about death, inspired by the story of Jacqueline Du Pre and her husband, except he had moved on before she died. He was living in Paris and she was in London.
    I play the violin so all I saw in the photo was the cello. My cousin is a professional cellist as well.
    xx Rowena


  23. Well that was unexpected! I am a terrible chess player by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. liz young says:

    Ouch! What a terrible fate for such a careful woman.


  25. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover says:

    And everything was going so well, then bam! Good lesson that even the cautious let their guard down.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Michael Wynn says:

    Poor girl, one moment of letting her guard down


  27. wmqcolby says:

    Whoa! Talk about a turn …!

    Five out of five text messages.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. plaridel says:

    i guess one couldn’t be too careful. accidents could happen anytime.


  29. Ironic comes to mind with this story. Her very well-organized way of life
    didn’t serve her well in the end. A thought provoking story for todays
    tech world. I enjoyed this very much, Dawn.
    Isadora 😎


    • Thanks Isadora. I think her organized ways wasn’t really relevant to what happens, other than to show that we all make mistakes. Life isn’t fair that way, for sure, that moment’s distraction is all that counts, in that particular moment. :-/ Thanks for your thoughts; I always enjoy connecting with you.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. rgayer55 says:

    Whoa! Talk about life changing (or life ending) moments. So very real.


  31. Margaret says:

    Oh yes – it can happen in an instant. Nicely told, but what a sad ending just when love’s about to bloom, and after all her vigilance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great to see you here, Margaret, and all good points! Hard to say what takes each of us to the story that we find, but this one was bound to go this way. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment; it’s much appreciated!


  32. Dawn–great story! The psychology made a lot of sense to me–the early tragedy making her almost excessively careful, and then her ironic, tragic death! Distracted driving is dangerous–you’re right.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. I like how you show how no one is immune from this deadly distraction.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. A story that fits right in these days. There’s checking the phone when driving and crossing the street, both extremely dangerous. At other times it can just be annoying. Good writing. —- Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Joy Pixley says:

    Oh no! What a tragic time for her to let down her guard for a moment, after being so careful for so long. Did not see that coming.


  36. Indira says:

    Nicely written. What a tragic end after being so careful…


  37. athling2001 says:

    Sad but true. Such a shame.

    Liked by 1 person


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