Death in the Afternoon

Once more comes a time for Friday Fictioneers, 100 words more or less, be brave and jump in.


copyright - DLovering


“July 2nd, 1971.

Ernest, my dear selfish bastard,

I sit here, in the sticky summer afternoon, at the same place we shared our stories, laughs and lives so many years ago, trying to remember how different life was back then. Was it because we were young and naive, with not enough war pictures of torn limbs and wasted youth…I don’t know….It’s been 10 years from your self-imposed exit and I am sipping your favorite drink (they still know how to make it), remembering your words: “Are you a war correspondent or wife in my bed?” Guess we know the answer.



(Inspired by Martha Gellhorn and Ernest Hemingway.)

52 thoughts on “Death in the Afternoon

      • My advice is to give yourself more time…you might even try bouncing it off someone. My husband and a friend read mine before I post every week. If they don’t get it then I don’t post it. Also they proofread. I can’t say enough about how valuable this is.
        Glad you’re participating. Think of it as an exercise to improve your writing (it’s improved mine). It’s not a race.



        Liked by 1 person

  1. Sad story, yet infused with nostalgia. I hope Martha’s been able to move past this relationship. I wonder what happened to Ernest, and where he is now.

    I have to admit, I really loved that opening line!


    • Actually, this is about Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn. I imagined her penning this letter on the 10th anniversary of his suicide, contemplating the past and the present. “Death in the Afternoon” was one of his favorite drinks.

      Thank you for reading my story.


  2. Thank you for the additional info above Lore-it made the whole scene come alive!Loved the tone Martha has used in the letter:-)Great take on the prompt.


  3. Never having been one, I’m not sure I can make this statement, but it seems a war correspondent would have difficulty being a good “partner” after experiencing years of man’s cruelty toward his fellow human beings. Nice job.


  4. I like that you indicated Hemingway without stated it overtly. I’m not familiar with Martha, so that may be a starting point for me to do a bit of reading. Nice job and as Rochelle say, relax with this and don’t worry how soon you get your story out



  5. Martha’s nostalgia intrigued me. There were some sarcastic jabs to Ernest, as well as a subtle suggestion of remorse. Thankfully, it ended on a sense of closure. So many emotions in such a short note. Well done!


  6. Nicely done. I found it very helpful to read that it was about Hemingway, in the comments. There was something familiar about them, but I missed it… until I got to comments. 😉 Of course, I should have gotten it at “Dear Ernest,”! Nice job.


  7. sadly, we do know. selfish is right. well done.

    this line, “Was it because we were young and naive, with not enough war pictures of torn limbs and wasted youth…” should it have a question mark?


  8. Quite compelling. I didn’t see the movie but I can imagine the intensity considering the brilliance, madness, and in some manner pretensions of Hemingway. Don’t know much about Gellhorn except I doubt she was any Nicole Kidman lookalike but probably Hemingway’s equal in many ways. Thanks!


  9. I know of a famous Ernest that was a narcissistic and selfish bastard. Not sure if you were writing about him. But I must say your story was packed with anger and the fact that she moved on. Even though she was still bitter. I hope that Martha found love. She sounds like she was a profound and strong woman. Great story.

    Love, Renee


  10. Lore,
    I enjoyed your story and am glad I came in late enough to see the explanation about this being historical fiction about Ernest Hemmingway as I wouldn’t have caught on. His time here in Kansas City was spent both pre and post Martha.

    By the way, feel free to add a historical note or links outside of the 100 word limit any time. Several excellent writers in these halls, including our inimitable Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, do that when writing historical pieces. Those 100 words are plenty for telling the story, but inquiring minds always want the facts behind the stories.

    Great to make your acquaintance here.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail


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