The Mess – Friday Fictioneers Flash Fiction

The Friday Fictioneers is a writing challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The task of the challenge is to write a story in 100 words or less. You can find all the Fictioneers’ stories when you click on the little frog. Reciprocation is the life of this challenge!

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The Mess

“All done, Emma would be proud,” Mr. Cratchett wiped his forehead. He had raked the leaves, stacked the firewood, removed piles of twigs, and made everything neat and tidy.

“Wrong!” A tiny figure appeared in front of him and scowled. “Why are you kicking your friends out?”


“Shuddup. As your garden-elf I must help you.”


“Shuddup. Emma planted roses and hawthorn for the birds and the bees, left apples and twigs for the hedgehogs, leaves on the ground… She was smart, not like you!”

“Will you help me be like her?”

“You promise no poison?”


“Alright then.”

(100 words)

This is a topic dear to my heart. We have a messy garden and are an oasis of life in a sea of spotless lawns and sterile forsythia and cherry laurel hedges. In summer, our garden is humming, warbling and buzzing with activity. We’re not using any pesticides. Beneficial insects, birds, worms, lizards, hedgehogs and other small critters, and our soil, thank us for it. We have a small pond with frogs and newts and the occasional harmless snake. It’s a great place to sit next to in summer, enjoy a cooling breeze, and tip our toes in.

I had to cut this down from over 200 words, no idea if it still works.

49 thoughts on “The Mess – Friday Fictioneers Flash Fiction

    1. Thank you. That may be true for a workplace, but where in nature do you see neat and tidy? Well organized, interlinked, communicating, productive, interdependent… but never tidy. 🙂
      Leave the workbench, enjoy the garden.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Too neat and tidy makes me uncomfortable 😉
    All jokes aside, I am in envy of a fellow blogger who had a chaos garden – a bunch of seeds that she knew not what they were, were basically tossed and left to grow. How cool is that? She had all sorts of things growing helter skelter. I’m thinking of doing that. I bet your garden elf would love that!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, we have a huge garden club with a wonderful facility.
        I am just not into all of that.
        The freeze last February killed almost everything around the house and every potted plant I could not get inside. Big losses.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, depends on what you want. Natural succession is powerful and before you know it, depending on the area, you have a forest. (I know what I’m talking about 😉 ). A minimum of nudging is always required in a garden or field. The first few years you have lovely flowers, then the brush takes over.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. When the elves are happy, your garden is happy. I know you don’t like the creepy-crawlies, so maybe you and the elves can find a compromise. 😀
      Thank you for your kind words. I always have ideas, lots and lots of them. They are enough for microfiction. But as soon as I try to develop one of these ideas into something longer, I get stuck.


  2. One of my favorite gardens belongs to a friend who allows nature to take its course. It’s maybe an acre of wildflowers of all sorts, never sprayed, never forced into orderly rows. It’s wonderful, and lasts from early spring to after the first frost.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Saw your woodpile on Keith’s blog. Am remembering the good old days when hubby split wood and we had a pile:) –
    not this high though! when we lived in the mountains of North California.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fascinating….and such a coincidence that minutes before reading this was riding my bike past a house where this guy was blowing his leaves out of the garden with some kind of loud blower. I remember thinking what a way to spend an afternoon, the leaves looked beautiful, golden on the grass…winter is coming, who needs perfectly green trimmed lawns?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Raking them off when it’s a very thick layer could be better for the lawn, but some remaining certainly doesn’t hurt. And I hate leaf blowers. They do a lot of harm to the wildlife.
      Thank you.


  5. Lovely story, and well told. You put across the concept of a wilderness garden very persuasively.
    My back garden is something like that, with lavender and pieris attracting myriad bees, buddleia bringing the butterflies, apple trees where we leave most of the windfalls on the ground, a small pond with a few fish and an artificial waterfall which attracts birds who wash in it – and we even squeeze in a few fruit bushes, and runner beans (lovely flowers as well as the beans). All this in a garden about 10 x 10 metres.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I look forward to winter when the droning of lawn mowers is brought down
    to a minimum. I wouldn’t want to have a forest with critters sonce I’d be jumping
    at every movement. I do like the idea of a peaceful place to dip my toe.
    Wonderful take on the prompt.
    Have a good week … Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

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