The Route of Life

Photo Copyright: Jean L Hays

Photo Copyright: Jean L Hays

Janet noted the changing of the seasons, she noticed her customers getting older. She saw business prosper and fade. She watched her own body changing, but Franks steel blue eyes never changed. His desire for her just grew stronger. Children and grandchildren came and left. Life just moved forward until the day she saw the black Ford V-8 Sedan, its two occupants flashed guns and told her to hand over her cash.

History does not note the passage of Bonnie and Clyde though this town. Yet Frank blamed the pair for Janet’s death, as the life left her eyes the very same day.

Footnote: Bonnie Parker wrote two rather interesting poems. Had she not become a criminal, might she have gone on to become a great writer and poet?

This Post Has 52 Comments

  1. neilmacdon

    Inventive piece Michael. Just one query. We start off in Janet’s point of view and finish in Frank’s. Is that intentional?

    1. Michael Humphris

      Sorry Neil It occurred without me thinking about it. Writing to fast perhaps.

      1. rochellewisoff

        Interjecting here. Michael, if you were to put a wide space between the lines where the POV changes it would make sense. Starting the new paragraph with ‘History…’ will make it clearer. After all Janet was killed. So the last couple of lines can’t be from her POV. I hope that makes sense.



        1. Michael Humphris

          Thank you Rochelle, I really appreciate this advise. Mike

  2. rochellewisoff

    Dear Michael,

    I like the way you wove Bonnie and Clyde into this. Inventive. We always ponder the what if’s, don’t we?



    1. Michael Humphris

      There are so many what if’s thoughout history. Thank you for taking the time to give feed back. Mike

  3. ceayr

    Clever piece, Michael, enjoyed it.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you so much, i love listening to your telling of your flash fiction. I must learn how to do that. Mike

  4. Snow's Fissures and Fractures

    Nicely done, Michael.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you, the prompt picture was kind to me. Mike

  5. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

    Like how you picked up Bonnie and Clyde… took a bit of the gangster romance out of the picture… at the end it was just murder wasn’t it?

    1. Michael Humphris

      Hi Bjorn, in this case it was just old age, and a stoke. Good to get your feedback. Thanks Mike

  6. Sandra

    Great take on the prompt Michael. I’m not sure whether you intended the reader to construe that she never got over the shock of being robbed and just faded away after the experience, or in fact she died at their hands. Either way, I didn’t notice the POV change, it felt appropriate under the circumstances.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Sandra. In my mind as the author she had a stoke and died, but it was due to her old age. It is interesting to know how others read my stories. Mike

  7. Dale

    Loved your take on this picture. And I liked the changing of the POV. It made sense to me. Maybe just put an apostrophe in Frank’s?

    1. Michael Humphris

      Dale. These apostrophes they really fox me at the present time, I am going to have to work on them. Thank you I do appreciate your feed back. Mike

      1. Dale

        They can be a pain in the butt!!

  8. neelwritesblog

    Very well woven. Hits you, like slow wine. I liked the brevity, too.

    1. Michael Humphris

      That’s great feed back, very much appreciated. Thanks you Mike

  9. Keith's Ramblings

    There’s something going on between the lines in this tale! Interesting, intriguing.

    My silly story!

    1. Michael Humphris

      You are so right, a hidden tale maybe, of love perhaps. By the way I loved the way you painted your tale. Mike

  10. Iain Kelly

    Great work Michael. Liked Bonnie and Clyde being woven in to the prompt and a great opening paragraph. The change in pov didn’t bother me at all.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Iain, for your feedback it really does help me. Mike

  11. aliciajamtaas

    Great piece. I love Bonnie and Clyde gliding through, malevolent or not.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you so much, I found it interesting to research material for this story. mike

  12. wmqcolby

    Yes, the Bonnie and Clyde motif is great. They came through Kansas when my dad was a boy. Years later, he got to see their car. It hadn’t been cleaned up, either. Blood and bits of brains on it. UGH!

    Great story, Mike!

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you so much for comments, I was surprised when I was researching this story to read that the car had survived. mike

    2. Michael Humphris

      Thank you so much for comments, I was surprised when I was researching this story to read that the car had survived. mike

  13. Emily Livingstone

    Interesting story! How sad, and very true that an event like that can scar a person and even change her (or his) personality. I enjoyed the footnote, too–who knows?

    1. Michael Humphris

      Emily, I was pleased to hear how you saw this story, and its footnote. Thank you, Mike


    Interesting tale of history. I like it Michael.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Tracey, It was good to have your view on this tale. mike

  15. J.A. Prentice

    Great story! I love the inclusion of history and the way it feels as if her life is suddenly cut off.

    1. Michael Humphris

      It was great to get your feedback, thank you, mike

  16. Clare Hempstead

    The expression ‘life left her eyes’ is fantastic – everything else could be motionless and the person still be alive, but the eyes show the truth.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Clare,

  17. helenmidgley

    Liking the Bonnie and Clyde link 🙂

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thanks Helen.

  18. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover

    I to liked the idea of Bonnie and Clyde breezing through the story. I like how you told the love story.

  19. athling2001

    How sad and yet I don’t get the sense that he is overwhelmed with grief, more resigned to whatever comes. Great take.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you, he was a strong chap, but will fade quickly now

  20. Michael Wynn

    I thought this was great Michael, the build up, it’s content and sentiment are worthy of longer piece.

    1. Michael Humphris

      That’s kind, thank you. Mike

  21. gahlearner

    That’s marvellous on so many levels. The history, Jane’s reflection, then the famous gangsters who may or may not have been like history describes them, and a grieving husband. Great writing, Michael, apostrophes or not. 😀

  22. rgayer55

    Poor Frank. You really communicated his love for Jane well, and the heartbreak he must have felt.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you so much, I am glad that came across

  23. plaridel

    in his grief, he could blame anybody for her death.

    1. Michael Humphris

      That is true, when the reaper calls, she calls.

  24. lingeringvisions by Dawn

    Sad story.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Dawn. The prompt images indicated to me the need for a sad story. I thank you for taking the time to comment. Mike

  25. patriciaruthsusan

    Good fictional story based on reality, Michael. I thought it sounded like Janet didn’t die physically at first but gradually from the shock of the robbery. I’m still not sure. Good writing though. 🙂 — Suzanne

    1. Michael Humphris

      In my mind she had a deadly stoke soon after the visit by bonnie and clyde, but I left it open for the reader. Thank you for your comments I do appreciate them. Mike

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