Friday Fictioneers 12/17/2021

The Mistress of Friday Fictioneers, Rochelle, has posted a photo prompt. I (we) must write a complete story in fewer than 101 words and post it here.

Click the prompt photo for teleportation to Rochelle’s blog where you can get all the rules and join the fun.

Here’s today’s picture and my micro-fiction story (titles and backstories do not count against the 100-word limit).

Click on the PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields to to to her blog page.

Genre: Historical Fiction
Title: Dead Mollys
Word count: 100

They hung them Molly Maguires, Jimmy. That Pinkerton spy said they was murderers.

Jesus, Paddy. They was coal miners and union men, just like us, not Mollys. Pinkertons lie. It’s the coal barons, Paddy. They want us dead. One man was Ukrainian, not Irish, not even Catholic.

Augh, Jimmy. Then the whole feckin’ government’s paid off. What can we do?

All the power’s higher up. If we fight, we die. We got the numbers. We need to make unions work. Let’s talk to that John L. Lewis kid. He’s on our side.

Okay. But let’s fill these growlers. I’m thirsty.

Look both ways, even in the worst of times.
Mind the gaps and find your tribe.


Click on Sean Connery to see other stories or to link yours.


The Molly Maguires was an Irish (Catholic) secret society active in northeastern Pennsylvania (circa late 1800s), where I grew up. After a series of often violent conflicts, twenty suspected members of the Molly Maguires were convicted of murder and other crimes and were hanged.

John L. Lewis was president of the Mine Workers Union from 1920 to 1960.

The Molly Maguires is a 1970 historical drama movie (Richard Harris and Sean Connery) based on the 1964 book, Lament for the Molly Maguires by Arthur H. Lewis.

58 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers 12/17/2021

  1. Am I reading right that the Molly Maguires were trying to form unions and so were killed? I wonder who the original Molly Maguire was? Good story with good dialogue about another shameful bit of American history.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lisa. In Ireland and England, MMs were there and could be a problem for some.
      There seems to be no agreement of their actual existence in the NEPA coal fields. It was a “secret” society. I first heard of them (along with others) from my father. I need to watch the movie (again) and put the book on my TBR list. But yes, unions were dangerous business back then for sure. An interesting and convoluted history.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this, Bill. I suspect Rochelle, the queen of the historical FF, will, too 😉
    Makes me want to watch the movie and read the book (I like to do it in that order).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Glad you liked it, Dale.
      I have had movies clarify things in books and I would read them again with better insight. Especially true with older books and current movies—“Carol” (aka ‘the price of salt’) by Patricia Highsmith, for example. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do.
        I have realised, over time, that I am never disappointed by either book or movie is I see the movie first. When you read a book, you have expectations when it comes to the movie and cannot help but compare. When you watch the movie, you enjoy it for what it is. Reading the book after gives you so much more – plus, you know how to pronounce names! Think Harry Potter’s Hermione… or various names in Game of Thrones. Good gawd… 😉
        Carol was an excellent movie – are you saying The Price of Salt is worth the read? (Like the girl needs more books to read… 🙄

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It depends. My TBR list is too long, but as we’ve been chatting I moved “Carol” to my desk for a 3rd read.
        It depends on how one feels about romantic obsessions (forbidden love), and cult classics. The ten books I have ‘in process’ just gave me a dirty look. If you decide to read it, I want to know your thoughts. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well now… third read? I cannot say any one book has merited more than two so far.
        I love reading books of all sorts. TEN IN PROCESS? I thought my three was overdoing it… and one of them is an audio book – listened to solely when I walk…
        Should I happen to bet my hands on it, I shall adivse 😉


      4. “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” (Oscar Wilde)
        But that was before blogging. 🙂
        I forgot to mention the three new books that arrived this week. Surely, I’ve lost my mind.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. You know. I can really see that. However, there are so many books to read. And stupid work to do (for now) and boy… blogging is such a time whore!
        Well… I received one last week and another is on its way so, my mind is as lost as yours.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I agree with you. So many wonderful books, and so little time for them all.
        My addiction to Viet Nam war memoirs is the worst. 30+ now and I can’t seem to shake them. I want to finish several other books so I can talk of them at a meeting on the 5th Saturday in January. Deep sigh. Busy is good, right? I may back off on the blogging deal a little. And email? Holy shit!


  3. As a Catholic of Irish ethnic background, with ties to northeastern Pennsylvania, I like to defend as much as possible, Irish Catholics, PA, and Unions. Are you saying that the Molly Maguires . were framed by the big $?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading, Larry.
      I only know what I’ve read about the MMs. The actions of secret societies, especially those that may not have existed at all, are hard to pin down historically. But I have little doubt that union activists were accused of many things, including secret society membership. The murderous actions of official and unofficial law enforcement people at the time seems well documented. So, the best I can do is say possibly/probably framed. I’ll never know the truth.
      The character in my FF story is definitely saying that.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for the history lesson, Bill. I had heard the name Molly Macquire growing up, but never knew exactly the context. My Daddy, from southeast Kentucky used to say the name with a certain ‘tone’ to his voice. Great story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, Bear.
      There are many parts of history we’ll never know. When I look at this, I can hear the first three stanzas of the song “For what it’s Worth.” And especially the line, “Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong.” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, Na’ama, now there is a description I shall not soon forget. Every time I read it, I start laughing. You should put that in a poem sometime. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Great story, Bill. I’ve got to get hold of the movie and maybe read the book. I hear you and Dale on things to read. I do read my favorite books over and over though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Glad you liked it. I, and others, have been unable to find the movie. The book seems to be out of print, but it has poor reviews (and few) anyway. 🙂


  6. Great story, with a great point. Not to add to your TBR list, but Jess Montgomery has a series about the first female sheriff in Ohio in 1925 (based on a real woman). The first volume, “The Widows” is about the battles to unionize the coal mines in Appalachian Ohio, including nasty Pinks and dynamite. It filled in a lot that I never heard of growing up in Ohio.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Bill,

    As Dale said, I love a good history lesson. I’m going to have to put the movie on my list. 😉 Possibly the book on my reading list, although lately I’m having enough of a challenge getting around to reading FF. The dialogue sets the tone and tells the story. Bravo!



    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mistress Rochelle,

      I can’t find the movie The book is out of print and has weak reviews. I have too many TBR books now. If I find the movie, I’ll watch it, but not gunna bother with the book.




  8. I’m going to have to look into the book and movie. My grandfather was a die-hard Irish union man. He was a mover in San Francisco, but inherent or learned, he was for the union through and through.

    Liked by 1 person

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