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Second Chances (flash fiction)

September 19, 2013

Second-Hand Storefront, by John Nixon

Funky shirts, paperbacks, toys, coffee mugs: a chaotic mess.

“Whoever says they want to run a second-hand store when they grow up?” Lucas grumbled.

“Someone,” Claire said, “who likes second chances. We’re on our, what, fifth?”

At least this chaotic mess stayed in one place. Good after years of the tempting glint of golden schemes—from his vacuum cleaner/blender invention to his stand-up comedy/magician act. Unfortunately, that glint never got closer than the horizon.

This gold was tarnished, but it was warm and close: in the well-worn shoes comfier than those freshly factory hatched. And it was in the customers who came in to chat and sometimes bought something.


A little bit over the 100-word limit; my story clocks in at 110 words.

Friday Fictioneers prompt given by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. For other stories inspired by this photo, click here.
Photo copyright John Nixon
Story copyright Dave Williams

21 Comments leave one →
  1. September 19, 2013 6:45 am

    Dear Dave,

    Ah thrift stores, the fabric of cast off and broken dreams. Seems fitting that Luke should own one, given his past. Nice one.



  2. September 19, 2013 6:46 am

    Dear Dave,

    Your story was a magic act in spades, conjuring up memories of a lifetime in but a moment.



    • September 19, 2013 4:23 pm

      Wow — thanks so much for that. I love that you called the story a magic act.

  3. September 19, 2013 10:06 am

    So much told in so little written, great job 🙂

  4. September 19, 2013 11:49 am

    Really enjoyed the story you wove for the visual prompt…and the message conveyed with it.

  5. September 19, 2013 4:59 pm

    I think he’s found a place where he’ll feel at home, finally. Lovely story, Dave.


  6. September 19, 2013 6:44 pm

    Definitely a more down-to-earth venture than the vacuum cleaner/blender and the magic act. If Lucas doesn’t make it, I’ll bet Claire does. Good story.

  7. September 19, 2013 8:40 pm

    “Someone who likes second chances. ” lovely.
    you said a lot in a few words. 🙂

  8. September 19, 2013 10:54 pm

    I’m glad he gave up his dream of the vacuum cleaner/blender 🙂

    • September 20, 2013 5:22 am

      But once you’re done cleaning, you’re ready for happy hour!

  9. September 21, 2013 3:25 am

    A real insight. Wonderful.

  10. September 21, 2013 11:30 am

    My wife has a little shop and the interaction with the customers is often more rewarding than a sale.

  11. September 21, 2013 12:33 pm

    Hi Dave,
    Your tale had a great backstory that put the whole thing in context and made me hopeful that Lucas and Claire have finally found their calling. The title was just right. Ron

  12. September 21, 2013 1:09 pm

    when we were kids, we would go up and root around in grandma’s attic — this story had the feel of my youthful wonder.

  13. September 22, 2013 1:42 pm

    That was very imaginative… a lot of good things that can also read as metaphors.

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