Tuesday Tales: Writing Chain

Tuesday Tales is a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a dedicated group that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our key word is chain. My snippet is from a light paranormal set in the 1950s.

The heroine works hard to make a living in her restaurant and raise her little daughter, while awaiting the return of her husband from the Korean War. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.


Gripping the handle with both hands, she managed to lift the metal bucket only a couple of inches off the floor. It took a combination of sliding and lifting to maneuver it out the back door. She plunged the stringy mop into the water and then rung it out, propping it upside down against the wall. She kicked the bucket over onto the sand and jumped aside as some of the dirty suds streamed back toward her. Once it was empty, the outside spigot allowed for a thorough rinse, and she turned the bucket over to dry.

She rolled her shoulders. They ached pretty bad tonight. Maybe liniment would help, if she could reach the right spot with it and didn’t mind smelling like turpentine. Jeff was an angel at back massages. She missed his warm healing touch. She sank onto the bench and leaned back. The fan should dry the floor before long, and she could finally collapse into bed. Meantime, she’d close her eyes a minute.

A gravelly voice penetrated her respite. “Evening, Missus.”

Her eyes flew open. “Spur! My goodness, what are you doing back here in the dark?”

He indicated the narrow dirt road running behind the row of businesses. “Just on my evenin’ constitutional. Sorry if I startled you.”

Her lips curved in a smile. She had a soft spot for the old codger. “It’s all right. I’m waiting for the floor to dry.”

“What’s this?” He bent to pick up a trifold paper and handed it to her. “Letter from the mister?”

She took it with a sigh. “Fell out of my apron pocket I guess. No, it’s one of those idiotic chain letters. Seems to be the rage these days. This one’s from a third cousin I haven’t seen in years.”

A scowl crunched his eyebrows together. “Never heard of a chain letter. What’s it for?”

“Just stuff and nonsense. It says I have to pass on this rhyme to five people or bad luck will come. I meant to throw it away.”

“We don’t need bad luck at all, none of us, do we, Missus?”

Silence stretched over several beats. “No.”

“I’ll be on my way, Missus.” He tipped a nonexistent hat or gave a half salute, she couldn’t be sure, and ambled off.

Preoccupied, she muttered a farewell. Unfolding the paper, she reread the verse.

This comes with hope from me to you.
Five friends to seek for wishes true.
Good luck and fortune if you send you do.
Otherwise ill, and tidings blue.

Five friends. Spur was right. She didn’t need any bad luck.


I hope you enjoyed my take on chain. Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance


14 thoughts on “Tuesday Tales: Writing Chain

  1. mhsusannematthews

    Wow. This brings back memories. I remember when chain letters were common. Back then, they cost money to send. Today we get them on the Internet. Funny how I always hesitate to delete them. Still sucked in by the fear of bad luck, i guess. Great job!

    1. Flossie Benton Rogers Post author

      Thanks, Susanne! What fun old days. I remember a woman I barely knew getting furious one time at someone (who, me?) who didn’t progress the chain. The ones nowadays I most detest are via Messenger.

  2. Mae Clair

    I remember all those chain letters from days of yore. Now we get chain emails instead–which I never send, LOL. Weird too, since I’m superstitious about other things.
    Great excerpt, Flossie!

    1. Flossie Benton Rogers Post author

      Thanks, Mae! I love me some days of yore! I’m a little superstitious, too, regarding some things. I remember breaking a mirror as a child and fearfully asking if it was really 7 years bad luck.

  3. jeanjoachim

    Oooohhh, a chilling little ditty, that poem! Did you write that, too? It’s clever. But it gave me the creeps. I’ve gotten those from time to time, but not in ages. Still, if I got one that read like that, I’d probably pay attention. Love the atmosphere you painted here. Creepy but intriguing.

  4. Author

    great use of the prompt. Oh, how I used to shudder at chain letters. You also brought back memories when my washing machine broke down in the middle of the run with jeans and towels in it- soaking wet and I had to drag all that sopping stuff across the apartment complex where I lived to the laundry room to use their washer to wring them out – man, my back hurt like the dickens. Love the story and thanks for the walk down memory lane! Jillian

    1. Flossie Benton Rogers Post author

      Thank you, Jillian! Oh, that was surely a pain with your laundry half done. Just picking up a sopping wet towel to wring out hurts my back. Chain letters always gave me a feeling of doom, in case I didn’t forward them. The new ones, especially on Messenger, are just plain annoying.


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