Reading Between the Lines

Friday Fictioneers
PHOTO PROMPT submitted by Courtney Wright. Photographer prefers to remain anonymous

Reading Between the Lines
By T. Delaplain

Dear Trace,
I cain’t get away this summer for a visit. Fox says the price of gas is gonna keep climbing. Ol’ Doc King gave me a new heart medicine, expensive, but I guess I need it. They opened a new Wally World in Bozeman. It’s the damnedest thing, you can buy a month’s worth of canned chili for a couple of bucks. Sure glad duct tape was on sale. I been needing a few repairs.

I’ve enclosed a hundred for the boys to split, I know Pat needs it more for that fancy college but it ain’t fair to only give one grandson money.



Write us a 100 word letter at Friday Fictioneers, the duct tape is optional.

Is duct tape an American thing? Just curious. There’s nothing that can’t be fixed with duct tape and determination.

I rarely write directly from the photo prompt or explain my fiction but here’s my thought process.

I’m sure I once saw these boots next to my Dad’s garden. His voice was clearly in my head. I was recently de-cluttering and found a few letters from my Dad written on scraps of paper, which inspired this imaginary composite of those letters.

Hunger has a solution.

Knowing my father, he would have bought 10 cans of chili and left 5 at the Senior Center. He grew a garden and fished for trout all summer but rarely ate any of it. His neighbors were blessed with his generosity.

If you feel inspired by reading between the lines please consider making a donation to a local food bank because there are good people everywhere who can’t even afford a week’s worth of canned chili.

55 thoughts on “Reading Between the Lines

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  1. We have duct tape too. I always make sure to have some in the house, just in case 🙂
    I love the letter format. And I’d like to know where I can buy that cheap chilli!


    1. My dad would give me a hundred dollars when I’d come home from college and it was sometimes the only thing between me and eating dollar chili for weeks. He transferred that giving to my sons when they went to college even though my sons were never in any danger of starvation. My dad had an 8th grade education but understood the value of college.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved the epilogue as much as the story, Tracey. Several of the stories this week have reminded me of my own dad. These people were recycling, reusing, and repurposing before those words were ever coined.

    I have also found (from personal experience and observation) that those with the least are often the most generous. God Bless them every one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your father sounds like a wonderful, generous person. Your story is lovely, reminding us that there are many who don’t have enough and those who struggle to make it on what they have. But he gave anyway, from what little he had. For the duct tape, my dad (in Ohio) has always said, “All ‘ya need is a roll of duct tape, you can fix anything.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the generosity of your grandmother. Fair all the way around even if her heart medicine is costly.

    We have what is called The Giving Box near our cluster mailboxes. People leave non-perishables, and those in need come take them. We also have a community cupboard filled with all kinds of food and cleaning supplies, diapers, shampoo and … It’s “manned” once a week and anyone in the community can come get what they need, no questions asked. Super cool idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A beautiful story about your father, and yes, people who have little are the ones who often share freely. With riches comes greed, I think. We do have duck tape here, but it’s not a common household item and rather expensive (the metallic, stick to everything kind). We have all kinds of tapes for different purposes that are more common but usually less sticky.

    Liked by 1 person

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