The Unspeakable

Oscar Wilde lifted his heavy head from the pillow.  With one hand he straightened his abundant Neronian curls, while with the other he stroked Bosie’s cheek that still rested on his ample chest.  Gazing across the room of the Albermarle Hotel, his eyes lit on the hunting scene that was framed in pride of place.

“It’s strange,” Oscar opined (he rarely merely spoke when he could opine or soliloquise and one day he’d have to stop thinking of himself in prose that was quite so purple).

“Strange?” Bosie yawned.

“Strange indeed what people insist on viewing as unspeakable, or not.”


This piece of flash fiction was written for Friday Fictioneers: a story in 100 words prompted by a picture that Rochelle Wisoff-Fields posts every Wednesday. Here’s the link to the stories and this week’s picture is below, copyright Jan Wayne Fields.


29 thoughts on “The Unspeakable

    • Absolutely. Perhaps Queensbury’s note is already waiting for him at his club… It must’ve been especially galling for Wilde to be ruined by such an illiterate, yobbish little man.

    • Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed it. And yes, the story does take quite a lot for granted in terms of understanding the relationship and its meaning. But with 100 words you have to be succinct and, of course, there’s always Google 🙂

      • Oh the odd pesky typo gives a blog a nice, homely appearance, I think – makes it look chatty and informal. And anyone who posts regularly understands entirely 😀

    • Thanks. I’d been in a bit of a Smiths phase lately, as we chatted about on one of your posts. And this led me back to thinking about the wit and wisdom, and unwise decisions, of OW.

    • There’s a picture of Wilde in a biography by Richard Ellman in which he’s described as sporting Neronian curls, so I seem to have had that phrase at the back of my mind for a decade or more 🙂

      I must admit I pretty much ignored the fact that most people probably wouldn’t instantly know who Bosie was – but you enjoy a bit of researching anyway, hey 😉 Meanwhile someone else commented that they loved the language and had no idea what the story was about, so that’s cool too.

      • That’s a great compliment – that they can still enjoy the story and the language without entirely understanding the background. But … the levels that opened up after research … very nice. 🙂

        Quite a complicated and interesting pair … will have to revisit them in the future.

  1. Sue, When I wrote my story, I didn’t bring the fox hunting picture into it, but some have. It’s indeed a cruel sport, but some don’t think of it in that way. It’s the same with bull fighting. It’s strange what some consider as cruel and some don’t. I suppose it has to do with early conditioning. Well written. —Susan

    • Very true. I think everyone likes to assume that their own world-view is rational and justified, without wanting to look too deeply into how much of it is simply inherited from the society around us and the upbringing that was accidentally foisted on us.

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