Yay! We have a photo that I took for this week’s Friday Fictioneers! I’m excited to read the submissions based on this prompt. Here is my short story. Huge thanks to everyone for reading and commenting.


Helpless, I watched tears roll down her cheeks like raindrops sliding off the tip of a trembling leaf.

I wished life had an undo button.

“Long time ago, I read Hemingsway’s shortest story. For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” She paused briefly and continued –

“Today, I understand how it feels!”

The steamy mug sat on the table and listened quietly.


FF_santoshwriter (1)


38 thoughts on “Helplessness

  1. You capture the grief economically, and the image of the steaming mug is intriguing – some ambiguity in its presence, and the fact that it’s listening. Lovely photo, too. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. He would have been 19 this week! I cherish the almost 8 months we had him with us.


  2. An undo button would be nice, but then I wonder what kind of person I would be if I’d used it too many times. After all, it’s those things that shape us.

    A nicely written piece, and thanks for the photo.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely story – but so sad.
    And thanks for the beautiful photo.
    Reading the discussion about tenses made me go back and read your story all in the present tense – would work this way too I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “I wish life had an undo button.” Great line.

    Too bad your character is still duped into believing Hemmingway wrote a story that first appeared in print in the early 1990s, but I believe she has a lot of company. Still, that urban legend makes a good vehicle for your story.

    AND . . . thanks for the fabulous photo! It took a bit for me to come up with a story to fit, but I really love the shot. Great composition and focus.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually it isn’t. I wasn’t pointing that out in order to be a “know it all.” The truth is that a character might easily believe this. But the story was first seen in print in 1991 and seems to have been inspired by a couple of newspaper ads from the 60s and 70s, all of which date well after Hemmingway’s death. I’m unsure how the story got attributed to Hemmingway in the first place. Sorry for not providing the links to articles with more details. I’m mobile today (setting up office in the auto shop at the moment).

        All my best,
        Marie Gail

        Liked by 1 person

  5. A bittersweet story. An undo button would be great, but sometimes, if everything was perfect, we would not grow and learn from mistakes.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for the lovely photo. It seamlessly slotted into the story I’ve been writing for a couple of days. 🙂

    Very much like the inclusion of the six-word story. You used it to great effect!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh I love the idea of an undo button for life. Thank you for such a wonderful photo this week – very inspirational. And I loved you story. (One minor point – it starts in present tense and then moves to past tense – is that deliberate?)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear Santoshwriter,

    Wouldn’t it be nice if life did have an “undo” button for all those times we let fly things we wish we hadn’t said? Nicely written piece and beautiful photo. Thank for the loan of it.



    Liked by 1 person

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