Short story: French Kiss


Professor Rex Blackwell had a reputation. Ingrid knew it; everyone knew it. He was witty, erudite and charming, and when he focused his attention on a student – admittedly always the pretty ones – for a while they would bask in the full warm light of his regard. But Ingrid, who could have had her choice of any number of her fellow male undergrads, and probably female, didn’t want to wait for Rex Blackwell to come knocking.

Midnight on the final night of the French trip saw only Ingrid and Rex in the bar. And when all their talk of dead poets and writers had ended, she kissed him.


This picture, supplied by the very talented Sandra Crook for this week’s Friday Fictioneers writing group, provided instant inspiration. My problem was cutting down all I wanted to say. The last two lines are too short for my liking, but I’m already seven words over. Friday Fictioneers is where writers from all over the world write about 100 words using a photo as inspiration. Click here to read other people’s and to join in. And please comment below with any suggestions for improvement on mine.

24 thoughts on “Short story: French Kiss

  1. I liked the bit about the female undergrads, and especially the ‘full warm light of his regard’. Nicely done. I think I’d like Ingrid too, but not in that kind of way. I stopped to consider the punctuation at ‘fellow male, and probably, female, undergrads’. My first thought was that I’d tend to miss out the comma after female, but having thought about it some more I’m not so sure now. Just seemed like a lot of commas one after another. Maybe my first reaction would have been to say ‘fellow male and, probably, female undergrads. Still thinking though…


    • Thanks Sandra. I agree – too many commas. But I’m not sure what to do about it, because I like having ‘and probably female,’ as a clause on its own, because it suggests an after-thought to the main idea. Hmm, not sure what to do about it.


  2. Love a girl who goes for what she wants. I agree with Sandra I tripped up on the commas around male and female undergrads. I would probably write it -But Ingrid, who could have had her choice of any number of her fellow male and probably female undergrads, didn’t want to wait for Rex Blackwell to come knocking. But there are many options here. Great story.


    • I agree that’s much clearer, but the sense is very slightly altered. A comma after male suggests to me that the female undergrads is an after-thought to the main text, and therefore adds emphasis. (I love these kind of discussions.)


      • That is what I liked about the way you had it- that female was an after-thought. So perhaps leave it be. Let us, the reader, trip up and self correct.

        Or what about simply moving undergrad. ” her fellow male undergrads, and probably female, didn’t want to wait”


  3. Dear Claire,

    Viva the strong woman. I like Ingrid. She sounds like the kind of woman who’ll be able to put the professor in his place. I enjoyed this well-written story. Thanks for a good read.




  4. Dear Claire,

    Oh, this story is one of my favorite ever in the seamy world of Friday Fictioneers. Among all of the perfectly wrought gems you served up, the almost as an aside mention of Ingrid probable success with even the female undergrads shone especially bright. The best part of your story takes place at about word number three hundred, and, thanks to your stellar writing, I’m up to about five hundred and going strong despite your having stopped at one hundred. Ingrid is on my mind. So very well done.




    • Hah! Your comment made me laugh. I’d be very interested to read your version of words 101 to 500! I’m really pleased you enjoyed it – as I did yours. ‘See’ you again on Wednesday or Thursday.


  5. I enjoyed yours and would have liked a little more in the second paragraph, too. It was a great set up for what was to come. I like when what I read leaves me wanting more – perhaps you could work this into a short story. I made a comment to Doug that I felt was appropriate here: “Sometimes 100 words feels like a straight jacket, other times it is a beautiful corset that forces things into shape.”


  6. Claire, let me start by saying good job on the title. Secondly, I like the commas where you have them because the put the pause right where I would put it. You could have also used parentheses for the same effect. And Rex Blackwell is the perfect name for a man of this type. 🙂 Wonderfully written gem.



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