Planning and Timing


© Ronda Del Baccio

“Wheatgrass might even kill cancer cells. You should try it.” Jack Murphy proudly displayed his small window box garden to his friend Martin Katz.

“I appreciate your support, but…”

“But nothing. Couldn’t hurt.”

“What do you do with it?”

“I’ll show you how to…”

“Oops. Got an oncologist appointment. Be back soon.”

“Good luck.”


Martin stepped outside and walked the two blocks to Telegraph Avenue. Dashing across the street toward the bus stop, he didn’t see the speeding driver running a red light. Martin didn’t make it to his doctor’s appointment.

“Man plans, God laughs.” -Yiddish Proverb

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields flash fiction challenge. The idea is to use the image at the top as the prompt for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 98 (including the proverb).

I know this one is a little dark, but while it is prudent to plan for the future and to take all reasonable steps, ultimately, we don’t control the universe.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit

58 thoughts on “Planning and Timing

  1. I love the “helpful” friend. The world of autism is full of such concoctions and “cures.” Im glad he was skeptical of the water from the fountain of youth, and went about his business, even if that meant meeting his maker a little earlier than planned. Love that proverb!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What an unexpected turn of events. We have the present. We don’t know what the future holds. Some people get up and head out, not knowing that they will not make it home that day. As some have commented, we don’t know when our time’s up. Every time we live to see another day, we ought to be thankful. Life is short and it’s precious. Well done story, James.


    • It is true that we don’t control near as much about our lives as we think we do, but to hedge our bets, we still contribute to our retirement funds and save for next summer’s vacation. Thanks.


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