Home » Friday Fictioneers » Cut To Perfection – Friday Fictioneers

Cut To Perfection – Friday Fictioneers

It is officially Thursday as of 18 minutes ago.  Hey, what’s a girl to do when she works a 12+ hour shift and gets home at 11 pm?  I had been thinking of this wonderful picture by J.Hardy Carroll and trying to come up with something.  I dunno why, but my drive home gave me an a-ha moment so, voilà.

Thank you to Rochelle for hosting our weekly gathering of fellow fiction writers.  I so love how it challenges me to try to come up with something original.  Sometimes I succeed, sometimes, not so much.  However, we keep coming back week after week, don’t we?  Oh?  You don’t yet?  Well, what are you waiting for?  100 words, beginning, middle and end.  Full story.  It’s a challenge, that’s for sure!  If you do want to try, just click on the blue frog below and add your link to your blog.  Easy-peasy.  Not sure what else needs to be done?  Just click on Rochelle‘s name and follow the rules and regs!

©J.Hardy Carroll


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Cut to Perfection

Bit by bit you cut away at me.  I don’t really notice it at first:  a chisel here, a cut there, nothing significant.  I’m flattered you care enough to better me.  Over time, more cuts, more changes, all in the name of making me perfect, you say. I protest.  You dismiss my concerns as nonsense.

You say I have a great base to work with as my frame is good but just needs some improvements to make the whole me that much prettier.  “Just think beautiful cut-out objets d’art!”

Outside, I look good.  All that was me has been discarded.






125 thoughts on “Cut To Perfection – Friday Fictioneers

  1. Q,

    This is quite deep! The pushing and prodding in order to ‘craft’ his object of beauty. Into a wholly different version of her true self. She, an abject possession, rather than his love. But she loves him so much, that the idea of pleasing him and ‘becoming’ that thing which exists in his mind’s eye drives her. She feels the best parts of herself are being cast away by this attempt to be what he wants rather than who she is.
    Sorry, but I HAD to talk this one out seeing as how the first time I read it, I had two different interpretations- one was that this was a woman, and the other was that this was in reference to the clock itself.
    I was going with the woman, and when I read it the second time I was convinced of it. I did read it a third time, seeing as how that IS the proverbial charm.
    As I told you right from the get of this now rambling comment. This is DEEP! But it does ring true to life, sadly.

    I might read this a fourth time!

    And I do so enjoy when you have an ‘aha’ moment . . very much.

    Your maniacal follower,


    • B,
      I thank you for your ramble. I didn’t originally intend for this to be possibly interpreted more than one way but I love that it can be. And that you were able to see both.
      Yes, my intention was that she was being molded to his specs, so to speak, I think she is too naive and unsure of herself to protest until it is too late. And she has lost her essence to his whims.
      Then again, I am looking forward to reading other’s interpretations. This FF stuff is addictive!
      Lotsa love

      • That’s the great thing about this kind of story, it can be interpreted in different ways. And unlike some other platforms, you get instant feedback on what those other ways might look like inside the readers minds.
        Yes, it is sad that such a dynamic has been happening since Wilma was a MILF in Bedrock. It brought to mind Uma Thurman. Yes . . THAT Uma. Who changed up her looks and ceased to be Uma! For what? To remain on the A list? Screw the A list!

        • Indeed! Love that you think so!
          Wilma the MILF! Love it.
          And yes, Uma, and many others, such as Jennifer Grey (biggest mistake EVER in fixing that nose… she became exactly like everyone else and unrecognizable…)
          I so wish these women would just stop…

  2. I forgot Jennifer Grey! Yes . . . WHY?! Evidently, someone did put Baby in a corner . . .
    Me too. Artificial reconstruction is a soulless venture as far as I’m concerned.

    • How can you forget her? Easy. She lost the part of her that was unique. Could you imagine Babs getting a nose job? Oy!!
      It is totally. I shall keep my… ummm… original me in all it’s no longer as glorious glory!

      • Babs ain’t Babs any other way. Her turn in “A Star is Born” is so freaking sexy . . I just feel for Lady Gaga- who I dig- because there ain’t no sexy cover to THAT kind of original.
        You gots plenty of glorious glory, don’t you be dissing yourself, girl.

  3. This was very, very deep and made me think. I’ve always been more conscious of women doing this to men, starting as a seven-year-old, watching an uncle being reshaped by his new wife into someone far less likeable. Thank you for chipping away at my sexism!

  4. Thought provoking indeed! A new shape is created / released by getting rid of unnecessary mass. It can be argued everything is needed. But creator has the final say.

  5. Dear Dale,

    This one cuts to the heart of a dysfunctional relationship. It says a lot of about the controlling partner, doesn’t it? Beautifully written my friend, and at the same time unnerving. Nothing like an AHA moment to sweeten the late night drive home and the rest of us benefit from it.



    • Dear Rochelle,

      Thank you for this wonderful comment. Dysfunction indeed. So very glad you saw it as unnerving.
      AHA’s can happen at any time…😉

      Lotsa love,


  6. Oh–well done, Dale! I’m afraid this tale happens far too often.
    I just went back to read it–we all assume it’s a man doing this to a woman, but you do not actually use those pronouns. That makes it even more universal and compelling.

  7. Terrific take on the prompt, Dale, really imaginative and appropriate. The top level of your story is fluent and compelling; the next layer takes a little more thought, to identify the abuse that’s taking place, and that leads irresistibly onwards to identifying the societal pressures that make such abuse so hard to resist.
    Well written, my friend. Brava!

    • Wow! I thank you for such a great and reflective comment, Penny. Sometimes we write something and are not sure how it will be perceived. I love this group so much.

  8. Mankind is like that. People always have a tendency to try to change others under the guise of supposed improvement. That’s one of the reasons I’ve always been so obsessively interested in theology and philosophy. Your story even works quite well as simple personification too.

  9. There is majestic here, Dale, and modesty. The inside is so important, the outside is only a shell. And inside our insides, that’s where we find our everlasting souls. Or so I think. Lovely deep read. A huge hug for you, if you don’t mind.

  10. So thats what the wood thinks and feels. Interesting as no one thinks of it that way. A piece of wood is whole and beautiful in itself, pity we don’t think so and keep ontrying to make it more beautiful. BTW, a baby is beautiful but raw, and we teach her how to learn to be accepted into the society thus taking away a precious part of her.

  11. Love how you transform the literal act of the clock being carved into a metaphor for a person’s identity being manipulated by another, against their own natural, and perhaps more healthy and genuine, inclinations.

    This piece really hit home. It describes the state of so many relationships, man and wife, mentor and student, commercial interests and models or actors or musicians, even law schools and the students who attend them.

    Not that all people in these relationships experience this creator/created dynamic. But many do, in one setting or another, and most especially women.

    Well done!

    • Thank you so much, Andrea. Exactly what I was trying to portray… one of the reason’s I don’t have any pronouns because it can (and does) apply to anyone,

      So glad you enjoyed.

  12. So many things can be molded, individuals like Hitler mold nations, parents mold children, but I saw this story as a plastic surgeon moulding his wife, until she had lost her personal identity

  13. Perfect expression of a woman who is being molded into something she really doesn’t want to be … or does she??? Insecurity popping its little creepy head, perhaps? Well done, mi amiga, Your took this into a powerful intoxicating realm. Bravo !!!
    Isadora 😎
    ps … you should drive more before your FF writes.
    Have a grand weekend !!!

  14. The overbearing Patriarch power vs. the helpless woman. It’s everywhere. And we are seeing so much of what has been hidden for too long. Sounds like someone needs to be carved down a peg or twenty. Nice contrast. Interesting.

  15. PWERFUL and I picked up at least three different strong takeaways – like the natural pruning that needs to happen- then the creation of art – and then the dissolution of someone that is changed so much they lost who they were –
    but I did not project ant gender issues on this – was just thinking of people making others change – although the comments revealed a possible man-woman or partner to partner thing (and I wish I could read all of the comments – )

    – and how you did this in 100 words??? – nice.

    • Thank you so much, Yvette.
      Though I didn’t consciously choose to leave it gender neutral, I’m kind of glad I did because it is not specific to one or another.
      So glad you saw so much in my attempt. 100 words. It’s a helluba challenge at times!

      • yes it sure is helluna – hah
        and like you, I love the way it sharpens and stretches –
        and I am going to take a short blog break after this weekend (a couple weeks) because my step-daughter had a little girl this month and we need to go and see her.
        anyhow, I hope I do not lose momentum,.
        but you Dale, other times I have taken breaks I usually have a fresh factor that is just as important as honed momentum phases. ya know

        • Buahahaha! Serves me right for answering with my cell.
          Nothing wrong with taking blog breaks. I have on occasion, though not with any particular intention to do so. Bravo to you, grandma! (none of this “step” shizzle!)
          You won’t. You will come back all fresh and ready to fly!

          • thanks – and I used to take summer offs – even if not in the mood and one time I came back crabby – seriously – it was weird – and well – this last two summers I just decided to let it flow – sometimes a natural break happens and that is awesome – kind of like when I miss yoga for a full week – my body maybe feels stronger – but then there is the flow of when I go regular –
            but thanks for the encouragement
            and appreciate the “no step shizzle”
            that made me smile.
            we are so excited and i will share pics at some point –
            thanks again and have a good night

          • And so what? Maybe you came back too soon 😉
            A natural break happens when it needs to, I say.
            Speaking of yoga, I want to try my hand at that. I have lost so much flexibility and my whole friggen body aches from my job.
            Glad I made you smile.
            I am so happy for you!
            And sweet dreams to you!

          • it was like five months off that time – really! haha – too long, I think – and I also lacked an overall groove – I was still finding my way as a blogger (never set out to have an interactive blog and so I have had adjustments)


          • Five months is a long time. But hey… if that’s what you needed… But, if you were lacking an overall groove, it might have been more difficult to come up with stuff!
            I honestly don’t have a groove per se, myself! But the interaction is the best part of being a blogger… lookit us, right now! 😉

          • well content is usually never ever an issue for me – part of my wiring if that makes sense.
            and I know – it really is amazing to connect – like now – or omg – the comment share with Sorryless – still makes me chuckle with the wednesday photo stuff.

            and one more side note on blog breaks.
            I think people who are losing some umph could benefit from “fasting” – because it has a way of reviving.

          • It does make sense. I have gone from rambling non-stories of my walks, to just doing FF, to mixing it up here and there. I have no rhyme nor reason like some who are scheduled and organised. I could never be so. And I’m good with that 😉
            The connections are the best! Marc (Sorryless) and I have become fast friends and our exchanges are a hoot and a half – and I’m kinda glad you are enjoying our banter!

            Yes. I think some people could benefit from fasting. I don’t know how the multi-posters do it day after day. Except for a very select few, I have dropped all those who post more than once per day. I have more than enough trouble keeping up as is!

  16. It’s terrible how people on the outside are often trying to change others to be what they want them to be. The person in this piece slowly losing what makes them them is heartbreaking. Great writing!

  17. Wow. This has the feel of a woman shaped by a man who cares nothing for her but only how she makes him look. I hope now she has realised what she has lost, she can make her escape to grow all the bits of her back again.

  18. Great story and so true in far too many cases. We cannot and should not try to change people. If he can’t love her how she is, she better find someone who does. If she still can. The constant ‘correcting’ gnaws at the self-worth.

    • What’s great about FF is how people interpret stories. This definitely could have been intended both ways and telling people what to think is just not in me 😉
      And I am glad you enjoyed, Michael!

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