The Kindness of Strangers

© Piya Singh
© Piya Singh

The day the strangers rode up to my door, I welcomed them. When they asked for water, I offered them all they could drink from the small stream that ran in front of my humble home. When they asked for food, I fed them from my stores. When they asked for wine, I broke out my last bottle. When they drew their swords and demanded money, I relinquished my last coin.

When they began coughing blood from the poison I’d slipped in the wine, I smiled. When they begged for mercy, I let them know I was fresh out.

Word Count: 99

[This is my entry into this weeks Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Use the photo prompt to create a short story in 100 words or less.]


47 thoughts on “The Kindness of Strangers

    1. Trust is just so hard to come by. And it seems with good reason. I think they should have accepted the water and gone on their way. Such a hard lesson to learn.

      Thanks, PJ! 🙂


  1. I can’t decide if this qualifies as a flash fiction or a piece of fantastic prose poetry. The rhythm in the lines and the way the piece flows has almost a lyrical quality to it when one reads the piece. I love the buildup as well. We expect that there’s going to a punchline, we expect a twist and there’s always a risk in making that expectation obvious from the beginning because it lessens the impact when the twist finally happens, but not here! When you deliver those last two lines, it’s a satisfying BOOM. Well done Chris!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Jade. I actually wanted to have that poetic tempo from the onset and I think it worked. This was one of those stories that just popped out of my head and was complete before I even realized it (if that makes any sense).

      As always, I look forward to your wonderful comments. (You’re terribly good for my ego and I love that. 😉 )

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That does make sense, sometimes the story writes itself.
        And haha! I speak the truth 😉 Your stories are terribly great inspiration for my muse 😀


  2. Oh, I do love your dark little tales and this is an absolute cracker! What a brilliantly constructed story. You had me shaking my head (‘daft man, so gullible’) then the poison and that last line – perfection. A very good story 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mandibelle16

    I get the feeling he was suspecting these people were not good guys all along, otherwise I don’t think he would have poisoned them. But once he figured out they were thugs, well then he had no qualms about poisoning them. Nice write!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good story, Chris. If a rumor of that gets around, he shouldn’t be bothered again. If he hides the bodies well, he’s committed the perfect crime. If it’s the early western U.S., no one will give a darn saying, “They needed killing”. Well written. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Suzanne. I suspect law enforcement isn’t as strict there as it is here so punishment for the crime is probably not his biggest worry. But I assume he disposed of the bodies well, just in case. 🙂

      I appreciate the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

Speak and Be Heard! (or write and be seen, actually)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s