Fray (Jane Doe Flash Fiction)

Jane sits in the reception area, her face a mask of pre-interview eagerness, mentally rehearsing everything she’s learned about this company.

If she crosses her legs, she can hide the crease in her slacks. Living out of a duffel doesn’t allow for ironing much. She eyes her blouse cuffs and wonders again if the frayed edges are obvious, whether rolling them would look too casual.

Even her good-luck almost-leather portfolio, cradling her resumé, looks frayed. Frayed, like her heart, her very spirit, after so many years of trying and failing. How many times can you try just once more?

makamukio pixabay

Every week at the Ranch, Charli Mills hosts the Rough Writers and Friends flash fiction challenge. This week’s prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about something frayed. This vignette is from The Life and Times of Jane Doe. Follow the link for fun flashes from other writers.

The cue took me immediately to this Stones song, from Exile on Main Street. Seeing the photos, it’s hard to feel sorry for anyone exiled to the rock star lifestyle in the Nellcôte mansion on the French Riviera, but it can be hard to remember is that even those who appear to have it all are struggling with something. The lyrics remind me that no matter how frayed we get, there is always something to keep us going.




Author: Deborah Lee

I like trees, dreaming, magic, books, paper, floating, dreaming, rhinos, rocks, stargazing, wine, dragonflies, trains, and silence to hear the world breathe.

8 thoughts on “Fray (Jane Doe Flash Fiction)”

  1. That’s the frayed sentiment summed up in your last line. Perhaps frayed is indicative of trying, doggedly. And good point that anyone call feel frayed because no matter what circumstances or abodes look like, we only know our own steps to get through. Life is not easy for anyone, but levels of compassion and self-awareness vary!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is a heart-wrenching piece, Deborah. Sometimes it’s hard to keep going when you know life is stacked against you and, like a book, you are judged by your cover and hardly given a chance. Yes, whatever our walk in life, we have problems, but some have more to contend with than others. A very real and poignant scene.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Eventually, even if it’s an accident, I’m going to write something that’s really, really good.”

    You did it again!

    Accident? “You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.” (Inigo Montoya)


    1. Aww, thanks! I operate under the theory that writers have to just keep on writing, good or bad, if we’re afraid to write badly, we’ll never write well. ☺ And I love me some Inigo Montoya!

      Liked by 1 person

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