The World of Henry Frick


Long considered a crank, friends of Henry Frick laughed at his wild imaginings. Even his wife, Alice, after enduring decades of conspiracy theories, turned a deaf ear to whatever fantasy enthralled him at a given moment. Homeland Security no longer took his calls nor did the local police.

Like the boy who’d called wolf once too often, Henry was ignored.

When he saw the creeping mold leaching color from the planet, no one paid attention.

Alice, fading into muted grays, told him to be quiet.

The world had become black and white and no one noticed.

No one – except Henry.

Word count: 100
Photo credit: Sandra Crook
Author’s Note: This flash fiction story is written in response to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers in which she challenged readers to create a 100 word story based on the photo above.  Rochelle’s site can be found here.

About Kate Loveton

Aspiring novelist. Avid reader of fiction. Reviewer of books. By day, my undercover identity is that of meek, mild-mannered legal assistant, Kate Loveton, working in the confines of a stuffy corporate law office; by night, however, I'm a super hero: Kate Loveton, Aspiring Novelist and Spinner of Tales. My favorite words are 'Once upon a time... ' Won't you join me on my journey as I attempt to turn a hobby into something more?
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44 Responses to The World of Henry Frick

  1. Ethereal and evocative, an in so few words too!

    Once more, I loved it! ❤

  2. Glynis Jolly says:

    The use of narrative through the piece is so creative. I enjoyed this more because of the lack of dialogue.

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Glad you enjoyed it, Glynis. With such short pieces, it often seems a tale is either all dialogue or all narrative. It’s a challenge to find a happy medium. 🙂

  3. I love American History so this really resonated. I live in NY so his house, now a museum, is down the block. He was quite something that Henry. A nice surprise.

    • Kate Loveton says:

      My using the name ‘Henry Frick’ is a coincidence. :). I chose it because Henry seemed a common name and Frick sounded funny to me. Putting them together gave me a vision of a rather odd yet mundane fellow – sort of an ‘every man’ kind of person but with a twist. I had no idea there was a famous Henry Frick until I read your note. How peculiar! I just googled him and he sounds like a fascinating fellow. Even though my Henry isn’t connected with the famous Mr. Frick, I hope you enjoyed the brief tale. Thanks for reading and commenting – I appreciate it! Also, your comment suggests to me I might try googling any future names I come up with just to make sure they aren’t connected with someone well known. Probably a good practice! 😄

  4. Adan Ramie says:

    Great job, Kate!

  5. jan says:

    Wow! Great job! I especially loved “Alice, fading into muted greys..”

  6. noelleg44 says:

    Ooo, Kate, this is brilliant. I hate when I have to stop reading what you write at 100 words. This could be a great novel!

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Hi Noelle! I am so happy you liked this one! It was fun to write – and I felt some sympathy for Henry. Although I wonder… is the world losing color or is Henry crazy? That’s up to the reader to decide. A novel, huh? Maybe something sci-fi? I’ll have to think about that… 😀

      I appreciated your remark about hating to stop reading when I write the 100 word flash fictions. I have a story that is around 1,200 or so words that I may put on my blog. I’d like some feedback on that one from readers. Maybe I’ll post it this weekend if I can find the time. It needs some polishing. Right now I am finishing up one book review, and I am in the midst of reading the latest adventures of a certain young woman with a penchant for solving murders that you and I both know… 🙂

  7. noelleg44 says:

    Ooo, Kate, this could be a novel or at least a novella. I hate it when I have to stop reading what you write at 100 words! Brilliant!

  8. macjam47 says:

    Great pairing of story and photo.

  9. Spooky when only Henry can see what the rest of the world is blind to notice. Sad to be ignored. Eerie to be alone. Love it. ❤

  10. Oh, what an awesome piece! Really eerie 😀

  11. Dear Kate,

    I enjoyed your intro as much as your story, which I really liked. Poor Henry. To see what no one else sees coming would be tough. Well done.



    • Kate Loveton says:

      I have to admit, when I first saw the photograph, I didn’t have a clue what I was going to write about… but in the end, I came up with poor old Henry. Thanks for the prompts, Rochelle, which are always interesting and challenging.

  12. A well crafted story. It’s not quite the same but close enough. Many scientists take this grey goo doomsday scenario very seriously:

    • Kate Loveton says:

      My word, Malcolm! I thought my story was scary – until I read that Wikipedia link!

      Thanks for the compliment – ‘a well crafted story’ – too bad you can’t see that I’m beaming as I say ‘thank you.’ 🙂

  13. Susan Langer says:

    I enjoyed your story. Great takeaway from that photo with only some color in the background. 🙂

  14. A perfect story for this photo prompt! Poor Henry. No one believed him. Only he believed it. It seems only he was affected. Great story!

  15. willow1945 says:

    What an imaginative take on that photo–loved it!

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Hi Willow! It’s always a treat to have you stop by. I’m glad you enjoyed the story.

      I’m missing your poetry, Willow… you have a wonderful ‘voice.’

      • willow1945 says:

        Thanks, Kate. I’m still not feeling well, below my inner “threshold” for creativity, but I’ve been reading a fair amount, most recently Frances Mayes’ Under the Tuscan Sun, giving myself a mini-vacation in Italy!

        • Kate Loveton says:

          A mini-vacation in warm Italy would be lovely… perhaps I should pick up Mayes’ book! On a more serious note, I miss you and hope you soon feel better. 🙂

  16. 1WriteWay says:

    Oh, this was deliciously scary … Poor Henry, but what a good story!

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