Give it some time

by | Jun 21, 2012 | Fiction, Flash fiction | 10 comments

Here’s the next episode in my 2012 connected flash fiction experiment.

Give It Some Time
Laura McHale Holland

Carly and Chloe sit on one side of the booth, their two straws in one chocolate soda. Chloe’s dad sits across the table from them. He pokes a garlic fry into a pool of ketchup on his plate and pops it into his mouth. Chloe eyes him with a crooked half-smile.

Fictional characters eat garlic fries“You want one?” He gestures, palm open, toward the plate of fries. Chloe glances up at her mom. “It’s okay,” Carly says. Chloe stretches her arm and leans most of her torso over the table. She grabs a handful of fries, dips her fist into the ketchup and then tries to cram all the fries into her mouth at once.

They all laugh.

Carly grabs a napkin, puts it on the table in front of Chloe, pries most of the fries from Chloe’s hand and puts them on the napkin. “One at a time, kiddo.” Carly demonstrates, taking one fry, dipping it in the ketchup and taking a bite. Chloe copies her. Carly nods, “That’s right.” Carly drums her fingers on the tabletop absentmindedly as she watches Chloe chew.

Chloe’s dad, who is also Carly’s former boyfriend, reaches over, puts his hand on hers. Carly snaps her hand away. “Not that, never that,” she says.

“I understand.” He looks away, slides his hand back along the table, puts it in his lap.

Chloe finishes one garlic fry. “More?” she asks. Carly nods. Chloe lifts another fry from the napkin.

“When can I take our girl out for the day?” Chloe’s dad asks.

Carly takes a long sip of soda. “Give it some time,” she says. “Give it some time.”


All of the episodes in this series in the order in which they were posted follow:

Back pocket wishes

Cascading to the sea

Right through the heart

Away today?

A dime a dozen

She doesn’t know them

On the seat

A pillar of the community

He needs a friend

Double rainbow

The one he always wants to hear

Give it some time

It gives my life meaning


Extenuating circumstances

 The four of us

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  1. Jerry Kohut

    think I’ll make some fries, poor Chloe has got to learn how to live all over again

  2. admin

    Yes, Chloe has gone through many changes in her short life, but I think she’s in a good place now and has a chance to have a really good life. … Enjoy your fries!

  3. Barbara Toboni

    Makes me hungry, ha. Good little scene with enough details to carry the plot further. This is a great way to experiment with your story. You make it seem easy.

  4. admin

    Thanks, Barbara. I figure when I reach what I think can be an end point, I’ll have to at least attempt to edit these episodes into a cohesive story someone could read all in one sitting. It works to a degree as little weekly snippets, but I tried putting some of them together on a few pages and reading them in one sitting, and it wasn’t at all satisfying. It’s like the forms are two distinct animals. There’s something about giving a little tidbit and letting it stew for a week and then offering another one, and then another, over a stretch of time that’s very different than presenting a story in its entirety at one time. And, if I were to create a narrative that unfolds naturally as a whole, I bet if I split it into episodes, they would be different than the ones I’ve been creating here. We’ll see.

  5. Susan

    I don’t think I’d like garlic fries, but I’m hopeful that those little things can help create a stronger life for Chloe. After the previous writings, this brings some hope for both Carly and Chloe. Cool. There’s a way to go, but it’s sounding good. Love you!!

  6. admin

    Oh, Susan, I hope you’ll try to reserve judgment on garlic fries until you’ve tried them. You don’t just throw garlic salt on French fries. You use fresh crushed garlic and parsley, and sometimes chives, and salt and maybe a little pepper, and toss the fries with that mixture when they’re nice and hot, and you’ve got a tasty treat. They’re popular here in the SF Bay Area. … And thanks for your encouraging thoughts on what is going on with Carly and Chloe. I see Carly as an amazingly strong person, very mature for her age and wise in how she is able to forgive others in order to build a good life for herself and her daughter.

  7. Nancy LaTurner

    I love how you craft these tidbits so that each can stand alone but all contribute to a longer story. Your thoughts on the differences between the two forms fascinates me — I hope you’ll share more of these insights as you continue exploring!

  8. admin

    Thanks for following this writing journey, Nancy. I appreciate your interest and support. When I finish up with this series (I keep thinking it’s going to end with the next episode, but then it doesn’t happen), I might try a limited group, say, just three stories that are connected in some way. I’ll definitely keep sharing my thoughts as I go.

  9. Eve Trout

    I’m not a fan of garlic fries either, but Chloe sure seems to like them. I want to know Chloe’s father’s name.

  10. admin

    We must be on the same wavelength about names, Eve (but not about garlic fries because I love them). It has occurred to me that I should give more key people names when I round all these episodes up and begin editing.


  1. Extenuating circumstances - [...] Give it some time [...]
  2. It gives my life meaning: flash fiction - [...] Give it some time [...]
  3. Away today? - [...] Give it some time [...]
  4. Back pocket wishes - [...] Give it some time [...]

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