Sunday Writing “It’s all in the title” – Eliza Happenstance


Image: Almacon @Deviant Art

Choose one or more titles and construct a poem or story around it

Voices in Brimstone
The Dissonant Heart
Wraiths at the Window
Secrets Only Children Know
The Automaton Who Became Self-Aware
The Perils of a Guilty Conscious
The Virtue of Silence
The Crying River
Death of Desire
Eliza Happenstance

Mr and Mrs Happenstance lived a life that was curiously a series of coincidences. Such events appeared to go hand in hand with their name.

Their first child, Rupert, was born on the 1st of April, their second Monica, on the 2nd of April and their third, Ralph on the 3rd April.

So it became clear to the Happenstances that their fourth child would be born on the 4th April. Everyone held their collective breath as the day approached. They held it even more so when the day past and the child did not appear. The child, Eliza, did appear on the 6th April and the Happenstances were not sure as to what to do about it.

Where the other children were all orderly, well behaved and predictable, Eliza was none of those things. She cried a lot as a baby when the colic grabbed her, she refused to eat, she was an unhappy child, and the parents blamed themselves, as it was clear the coincidence of having a child out of sequence was having an effect on them.

Eliza’s siblings had little time for a child who in their opinion failed to toe the family line. So Eliza was left to her own devices, confined to a playpen with hand me down toys and clothes.

So Eliza grew up in an atmosphere of neglect and isolation. Where her brothers and sister went on to professional careers, Eliza’s parents were not at all sure what Eliza might amount to.

After a school career that could best be described as forgettable Eliza’s father sat her down to discuss her future. Eliza wasn’t interested in a life that required further study; she was, as it turned out a girl who expressed herself best through art.

Her father being basically a wise man suggested she pursue her interest in art and so began a very unconventional life as an artist.

Her parents set up a studio in the back of their house, and Eliza set to work. Her work was exhibited, she also engaged in galleries across the land and to her father’s surprise did learn about the many facets of art, the making and the selling.

As time went on it became clear the there was little if any sense of coincidence about Eliza, which in hindsight all members of the family came to embrace. They liked the notion of coincidence being replaced by random choice, as that allowed them to move into the arbitrary as after a lifetime of coincidence the thought of the unexpected was a breath of fresh air.


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6 Responses to Sunday Writing “It’s all in the title” – Eliza Happenstance

  1. Sadje says:

    A story with a lesson to it. Really good.

  2. crimsonprose says:

    Viva the random and unexpected in our lives. Yay! 🙂

  3. I loved it Michael! I had a notion you’d pick this particular title and you did such justice bringing out this delightful character =)

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