A Trader all his life: 99 Word Flash Fiction

“I’ll trade your undefeated conker for my cats eye marble.” Winking at his mates Farman turned to Edwin. Reluctantly Edwin agreed and handed over the well hardened horse chestnut.


“I’ll trade your signed copy of Sgt Peppers for my King of the Road. Farman held out his record knowing that Edwin would pass over his. All his life he’d traded with him, now would be no different.


“I’ll trade your place for those tatty photo albums of mine.” Edwin hesitated then nodded his head.

As the dust settled, Edwin smiled. “I knew one day the trader wouldn’t diddle me.”

In response to Charli’s prompt where she asks:

May 11, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about trading. It can be the profession of old or of modern day traders on Wall Street. It can be trading places or lunches at school. What is traded? Is it a fair deal or a dupe? Trade away and go where the prompt leads you.

Respond by May 16, 2017 to be included in the compilation (published May 17). Rules are here. All writers are welcome!


About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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17 Responses to A Trader all his life: 99 Word Flash Fiction

  1. Holy cow! That’s an amazing trio of flashes, if I interpreted them correctly – especially the last one. Brilliant, Irene, absolutely brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you interpreted them correctly. Two boys growing up, growing older, working together. Farman (name means travelling merchant) throughout their lives traded goods of lesser value for Edwin’s (rich in friendship) higher valued items. Edwin always handed them over (if sometimes reluctantly as he knew he was getting the short end of the straw.) The final trade Farman knew it would be his life for Edwins (hence giving him the photos of their early life) but his friendship for Edwin was strong and he took the very real risk and was killed. Edwin’s last line showed that he knew that Farman had taken death for him. If that is what you got out of it then yes you got it. If it isn’t you still liked it anyway and your interpretation was obviously from your comment a powerful one too. Glad you enjoyed it Sharon.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Ruchira Khanna says:

    Loved your take on various instances, Irene

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Literal dust? Uh-oh. 😮 Did Farman go the way of the fisherman and his son?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Kalpana solsi says:

    As the dust settled…….. This line gave away the final sacrifice. A fine piece of writing.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. What a fantastic bit of flash – love the subtlety and the layers here. Strong message.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Charli Mills says:

    Well crafted in tight sequences to show the lifelong evolution of their trade. He who was last finished first, it seems.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Trading Stories « Carrot Ranch Communications

  8. Norah says:

    All throughout life we trade one thing for another. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. Sometimes it’s our choice to take that loss. Thank you for adding the explanatory notes to your story. Great take on the prompt, Irene.

    Liked by 1 person

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