The Contender

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

“He’s coming for you,” Tammy whispered. She fell back on the bed, giggling.

Linda got up from her own twin bed and padded to the window. She lifted one corner of the blind.

He was halfway up the block, heading toward the club, just like he did every day this week. Her eyes traced the swells of his sculpted arms. “They say he’s going to fight this weekend.”

Ma would’ve said he was no kind of man for her, but she was one to talk. No, Linda was getting out of this overcrowded flat, and soon. “I’m going downstairs,” she said.

100 words

This has been an edition of Friday Fietioneers. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting this party and to J. Hardy Carroll for this week’s photo.

To read more stories inspired by the prompt, click here.

61 Comments

  1. Lovely, female banter, what the sisters (?) are saying between them, what Mom would think, or at least what she would admit to. Love the sense of yearning you’ve conveyed, the way he embodies not just her physical desire but her desire to get out of her current situation. I hope she knows what she’s doing. Loved it Karen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I loved your comment so very much. It really made my day! Thanks, Lynn.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I loved you story – my favourite of the week. Just loved those girls, their ‘itchy feet’ need to move on. Rang very true to me, being a small town girl through my teens, having those same needs to escape. Great writing

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Good girls like bad boys.

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    1. Maybe, maybe not. I’m not sure who’s the good one yet. Thanks for reading, James.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Karen,

    Oh I sense so much more story in Linda’s yearning to get outta that place. And the line that Ma has no room to talk speaks volumes. Love the down to earth dialogue. His description is enticing. (Still have Jack Palance on my mind. 😉 ) Thanks for swinging by for the early shift. Well written…as I’ve come to expect.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Rochelle! Linda does have many yearnings, but now that you’ve reintroduced the Jack Palance visual, I’m not sure I want to think of them. Suddenly I see Jack Palance pushing aside my guy to do one arm push ups.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Splendid story craft here, Karen. The characters are vivid and real. I like the lingering look at the boxer, too. Sexy stuff 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was inspired 😉

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  5. You’ve made us feel the emotions of these girls, especially Linda, who reflect every girl’s desire to do something just a little bit outside the box–or maybe a lot outside the box. The excitement is addictive 🙂

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    1. What a lovely comment! Thanks so much for reading granonine.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved the juxtasposition between the romance genre and the hard-nosed calculation. I smelled the sweat. I also loved the throwaway line about mother’s choices

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    1. 🙂 Thanks so much for reading and commenting Neil!

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  7. The opening sentence of your story felt ominous. “He’s coming for you.” However, you then tell us, subtly and by implication, of the sexual attraction Linda feels for the boxer (incidentally, I like the double meaning of your title – a contender for boxing honours, or a contender for Linda’s heart).
    You’re an excellent writer, making every word count, so I think that ominous start was intentional. If Linda makes out with ‘The Contender’, it’s not going to end well.
    Or maybe it’s just my prejudice against boxing and violent men that’s showing…
    With best wishes
    Penny

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Penny, I am always delighted (and often enlightened) by your careful reading and astute interpretation. I had written this pretty quickly and hadn’t intended that twinge of ominous. But you’re totally right! I like the way you’ve interpreted and it makes me realize to go to the meaning I had originally intended, I should change it to “Here he comes,” to convey excitement and anticipation. But turns out I like your interpretation better.

      You are amazing.

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      1. No! Don’t change that first line, it says volumes about the sister’s lives, their communication, and feelings about one another. And also has a drop of foreshadowing. It’s a gem.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. OK, I’m convinced! Thanks so much for your insight and feedback!

        Like

  8. While many of you have sided with the girls in the story, I’m going to side with Ma. So easy to fall for the bad boy with the good looks and muscles, but perhaps they should learn from Ma and heed a bit of caution. Not sure whether Ma is the shot gun type or might just kick him in the knee caps. Or, if she was a really bad mother, perhaps she could throw herself at him and steal him away from the daughter. Stranger things have happened..
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooh, you make some great points. I’m guessing you might be a mom, like me? Thanks for reading and commenting, Rowena.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, Karen. I have a 14 year old son and a 12 year old daughter. The parent can an example of what to do and also paths to avoid. They don’t usually mention that in parenting courses.
        BTW these days I send to connect with the Mum in the story, rather than the kid. Clearly, I have grown up.
        xx Rowena

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Great take, the determined Linda will get her man – for once he won’t know what’s hit him 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehe, great comment Iain. Exactly so! Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Great writing! I really enjoyed your story. You have described Linda so vividly through her thoughts, her words and her actions. She is an “I see, I want, I will” girl! Good luck to her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She is indeed. Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment Edith 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Heavily nuanced tale, layers within layers.
    Interesting that, except perhaps from Tammy, there is no suggestion of affection anywhere, just need.
    Great piece of writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your kind words! No, there is not much evidence of affection in that girl, is there? Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, ceayr.

      Like

  12. Dale

    I loved your story and all the comments that followed! Always a good sign when it sparks such a discussion!
    Many layers to this indeed. Need to get out, love doesn’t necessarily matter, might be making the same choices as Ma, and youthful lust. What woman doesn’t admire a nice set of biceps?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There might be a woman who doesn’t admire a nice set of biceps, but she’s not me 😉 Thanks for reading. Your comment made me grin and then laugh out loud.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dale

        She ain’t me either 😉 Like me some nice strong arms.
        Glad you laughed out loud!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Good for her. She saw what she wanted and she was willing to go out and get him. I wish her luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She might need it! Thanks so much for reading and commenting 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I am so excited for Linda.🙂 She reminds me of some driven friends from my teenage years.
    Loved your story, Karen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I knew a few myself! Thanks for reading and for your kind words, Moon.

      Like

  15. I see so much in this, both that attraction to a bad(?) boy and a wish to escape her mother… so well captured with just a dialogue. Love it

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Bjorn–glad you liked it!

      Like

  16. Very realistic sister talk. I love how one detail of the man defined him. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Sascha!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  17. I like the last paragraph, where Linda breaks free from her mother’s restrictive world view. “but she was one to talk”.

    Like

    1. 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting James!

      Like

  18. Great dialogue and an intriguing family back story there too. Truely a many layered story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, I’m glad you liked it.

      Like

  19. You’ve described the excitement of young love so beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, very kind of you to say that. Thanks so much for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Hitching her wagon to the next hopeful in the hopes of escaping her current life. A bit mercenary, but I guess the “sculpted arms” are a nice bonus 🙂
    (I read it from the POV of them never having actually met face to face.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehe, what a great comment, you made me laugh out loud! Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

      Like

  21. I enjoyed both the story and the comments. I hope you expand this into a longer piece. This is the best use of 100 words I’ve seen in a long time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, thank you so much for your very kind words. You just made my day!

      Like

  22. I could just see those sisters, especially as my two girls are together this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, how sweet. Thanks for reading and commenting Liz 🙂

      Like

  23. I guess if I was her parent I wouldn’t want him for my girl either. Good story Karen 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting 🙂

      Like

  24. I am hoping that Mom’s example wins out. Maybe the girls will learn from her and steer clear of muscle-man.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope so. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Lish.

      Like

  25. Great dialogue though I wonder if she will regret her choice later in life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The impulsiveness of youth is often regretted, for sure. Thanks for reading and for your kind words.

      Like

  26. even the chosen title has many stories to tell. well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. As others have noted, you draw the characters very well and hint at more than just those sculpted arms making Linda want to leave. The suggestion of Ma’s past was a masterstroke.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your very kind words. Thanks so much for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  28. […] In the Ring. It was inspired by a story I wrote back in February for Friday Fictioneers called The Contender. As any of the Fictioneers will tell you, sometimes the story is so much more than the 100-word […]

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