In Fiction on July 20, 2012 at 10:43 am

This week I knew right away how I wanted to deal with Madison Woods’ Friday Fictioneers photo prompt — hopefully that doesn’t make this a lazy story. Read, enjoy, comment and criticize, and then be sure to check out all the other stories with the link below.


Through the glass, the sunlight made the wine shimmer like fresh-flowing blood. Helene watched as the fat man tipped it back, drinking it down in one gulp.

“What do you taste?”

He considered a moment. “It’s earthy, with a robust finish. Plums maybe? Oak?”

Helene sighed, but she smiled and nodded just the same. The tourists had such unpracticed palates. They never tasted them as she did, the bodies, buried deep where the vines curled playfully about their bones – through mouths packed with soil and ribs cracked by stones.

Her first harvest.

“Let me show you the cellars,” she said.


That little blue guy is holding the other stories hostage — go free them! If you enjoyed the story, maybe check out my Five Sentence Fiction or earlier Friday Fictioneers. I always appreciate good feedback!

  1. I get a subtle sense of menace. with just a hint of crazy. Nicely done sir.

  2. This takes tourist disgust to a new level, doesn’t it? You made me use my dictionary. I like that. Had to look up terroir…at first I thought it was a typo for terror. I suppose it could be a double entendre in this story. Good job! And thanks for commenting on mine.

  3. A nice subtle spooky piece, great imagery (vines curling playfully around bones is a lovely line). I’m not going wine tasting again.

    Good one.


    • Me either, Sandra, me either. I’ve always wondered how sensitive grapes can be to absorbing the flavors in the soil – thanks for reading!

  4. oh I like it. I had a feeling some one would do this and I’m glad it was done well. Awesome share mine is here: http://remakingme-atiyatownes.blogspot.com/2012/07/friday-fictioneers-under-vines.html

  5. Hi Brian,
    You have another winner here. So much happening, buried bodies, wine drinking, the dark cellar. It has a real noir quality. It’s good to know where the bodies are buried.

  6. Yikes! I could have never thought of wine and bodies together! This is uniquely menacing!
    Good job! 🙂

  7. Like Rochelle, I had to look up terroir. It’s always wonderful to learn a new world. Somehow I suspect our fat tourist friend will soon be adding his own special touch to next year’s crop.

    Thanks for your nice comment. Here’s the link for others who want to swing from a different vine. http://russellgayer.blogspot.com/

    • I think you’re right about the tourist, and glad I could help you learn a new word (although, to be honest, I only vaguely remembered that I’d heard that word once and I had to look it up myself before I wrote the story)

  8. Wow Brian. The scariest so far. Probably because I see the impending doom from a perspective other than the victim’s. Great job. Mines here: http://niftitalks.com/2012/07/20/she-heard-it-through-the-grapevine/

  9. ACK!! OK – I was really glad to see someone used “Terroir” in their tale. Yours was a perfect juxtaposition. I often misread it as Terror, and well, you delivered.

    Mine is here: http://erinleary.wordpress.com/2012/07/19/flash-friday-fiction-12

  10. Looks like everything I thought of saying has already been mentioned so I’ll just say, “Ditto”, and I enjoyed the story. The subtly of the slowly revealed horror is appreciated in an era of in-you-face gore and yuk. It’s a more classic style that depends on what’s being written (or shown) than on an obvious over-the-top terror (or terroir.) Maybe I should check around the vines of the man I wrote about and not walk too close just in case. 🙂

  11. This is a really good perspective to write this story from. Very chilling. What would she have done, I wonder, if he *had* tasted the essence she seems to love so much? Wow, this has so much potential! My only crit point is to take out the comma in the first sentence and rearrange it to logical sequence so that the sunlight is coming through first and making the glimmer second. Otherwise I thought it was perfect.

    • Thanks Madison! I agree with your crit too. That’s actually how I wrote it originally, but changed it so the sunlight and shimmer would be right on top of one another, but I prefer your way better I think. I appreciate the helpful comment!

  12. That is phenomenal! A full bodied wine story told at its best.
    4 pens up or in this case 4 stems up!!!!!

  13. the honor of recycling, or the irony…. enjoyed it.

  14. I enjoyed this story. Lovely descriptions and understated menace.

    Here’s mine

  15. Brilliant, Brian. The first sentence is lovely and leading, revealing immediately a bit of her blood lust – makes me wonder how she executes the murder.


  16. Wow…fertilizing with human bodies! I like the way you play with language; the dark irony is great. I especially appreciate the last line. It sounds like tourists with unpracticed palates might end up in the next row of vines.

    I would cut the line “her first harvest” and just roll right on down to the cellars!

    • Thanks, I’m glad you liked it, and I definitely agree with you about cutting that line. I thought at first it’d be necessary to make it clear what she was up to, but you’re right — it can go!

  17. Hah…always say no to the cellar sir tourist. Great piece of writing, subtle, with that underlying bit of madness in her. People should be more appreciative though geez!! 😉

  18. Is she gonna wall the bastard up behind some stones? Wait, wait, that was brash, which is unlike me. Wait, no it’s not. Good story!

  19. […] We started out in Calistoga, a town north of Napa. The yellow flowers are actually mustard. (The wine from this vineyard tastes like hotdogs). Want a wine related story? Bam. How ‘bout Terroir. […]

Leave a Reply to rgayer55 Cancel reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: