Mash-up, Pt 2

Yeah, I’m going to try this again.

Partially due to an excessively busy, stroke-avoiding week. And partially because I feel that the two prompts fit so nicely together, they should almost get married and have kids or something.

So, for my second-ever writing prompt Mash-up, I give you my 100 word entry for both Friday Fictioneers and 100 Word Song. I hope you give them both a shot, and as always, I hope you enjoy:


Copyright ~ Janet Webb

You could tell that for the better part of his days, Life had been slowly tearing at Earl’s hide. Fracturing his soul, bit by painful bit. Still, he wouldn’t back down.

He stood before us now, a mere shell of the man he once was. Slightly leaning, but still standing proud.

I asked him, “How’d you pull through? What kept you going?”

His response was telling, “Listen, eventually I’ll be gone. Worm food. I got just one life to make a mark – I’ll be goddamned if I don’t do just that.”

With that, he ambled off, his mark being made.


This week’s song was chosen by one of my favorite 100 Word co-conspirators, Deb with: “I Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty.

37 thoughts on “Mash-up, Pt 2

  1. Love it. Makes me think of the plaster-cast impressions of fossilized dinosaur footprints we get so excited about now (at least, at my house). Just a mark in the sand, or a word on the page, or a throwaway phrase that got stuck. Resonant, that. :-)

    • Thanks so much Desi – and yeah, that “footprint” idea was what I was going for – showing through even after all the vegetation of time and life has tried to grow over it.

  2. I like the way you pulled the image of the barn into your description of him, especially in the second paragraph, without using an actual comparison. Good for Earl!

    Have a straight-up good weekend,


  3. Gosh… I’m blushing…. one of your favorites? OK. Focus. The opening? OMG. Amazing. Love it. “Life had been slowly tearing at Earl’s hide. Fracturing his soul, bit by painful bit. ” is pure perfection.

  4. I love your writing, and Earl is a character I hope to see more of. Just the brief conversation with him in this short story said so much about who he is, and it gave me a strong visual to relax into.

    I am a bit confused though t~ I read it three times, read the responses, and now I am a little bit embarrassed to say that I don’t have a clue what his “mark” was. Will you please tell me.

    • Thank you k~, I truly appreciate your appreciation, and I apologize if my writing was muddled on that last point. I was basically trying to express the idea that Earl impressed upon the (much younger) narrator that they had to make this life count, as it was the only one they’ll ever liable to get. Make sense?

  5. i used to have a whole ranty blog post about that song and how much i admire Tom Petty. have you seen the documentary about him? even if you aren’t a huge fan, i really think you should watch it. SO inspiring, truly! i think i’m gonna watch it again. it’s long too, an investment at like 3 hours, but SO worth it.

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