Fancy Free #DealMeIn2018 #StoryADay 14

I continue to attempt to maintain participation in both Story A Day May and the Deal Me In short story reading challenge.

The short story my cards dealt me this week was again designated to be from Daily Science Fiction. The story on the day I drew that card was “Loopholes in Light” by Sean Williams. The plot is deceptively simple: just a conversation between two old acquaintances, seeing one another in their usual official relationship after decades apart. The relationship is both benign and adversarial, each hoping to convince the other of opposing positions. It’s flash fiction, so I can’t go into more detail without spoiling the well-crafted effect, but it’s well worth your reading. An intelligent and moving story, and one that speaks to me strongly. “Yes!” I said, when I finished it. “Why isn’t this A Thing? That’s perfect!” Ah, well.

Also: Story A Day.

Story A Day

Fancy Free

by Marian Allen

It isn’t a crime to have no imagination, of course, but it is a pity. Well, actually, no imagination is better than a little but not enough.

Take Monica, for an example.

All the years Monica was working, pushing papers, as they say (which irritated her after he office went to computers and the descriptive became almost purely metaphorical), she dreamed of retirement. It was the one fancy that charmed her. She would get away from it all.

So she retired, sold her house, and bought a camper. She drove away from her life with no regrets and no nostalgia, leaving nothing behind but pesty neighbors. Now she would have no more children asking her to buy things for their schools or civic organizations. She would have no more paper mail to toss in the recycle bin. Best of all, the last of her dreams had been realized and could be discarded.

She pulled into the campground she’d chosen for her first stop and backed into her reserved space.

She was still hooking up to the utilities when three couples and seven children converged on her, offering help, welcoming her to the campground, advising her on the nearby sights and activities she “wouldn’t want to miss.” They babbled around her as she worked (gracefully turning them down and tuning them out) and ended by inviting one another (and Monica) to a group cook-out in the campground’s picnic area.

Monica begged off, honestly pleading the need for an early start in the morning. She had planned on staying at this facility for a week, but this was worse than forty years in the same house!

She rose at dawn, unhooked her camper, and drove away. An internet search the evening before had turned up another place, three hours’ drive west, that promised seclusion and restfulness, which its reviews had complained meant nothing to do around there.

Monica imagined that meant peace and quiet. If only her imagination had stretched to considering that secluded people with nothing to do are forced to fall back on their own resources. Like playing music. Forming impromptu bands. Group singing. Parties.

Sadly, Monica imagined none of these things, and drove toward her next destination, footloose and fancy free.


MY PROMPTS TODAY: Travel, imagination and failure of same.

If YOU need a short story to read, I have free ones here on my Free Reads page. I also have four collections for 99 cents each linked from my Short Stories page.

If you liked this story, you might like my other stories and my novels. Support an author: buy a book and leave an Amazon review. I thank you, and my cats thank you.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Fancy Free #DealMeIn2018 #StoryADay 14

  1. pmlaberge

    May 15, 2018 at 4:10am

    You might want to look at Carolyn’s RV life on Youtube. Mail never goes away!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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