Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Smoke Screen - A story in 100 words

Here's my story based on the photo prompt for Friday Fictioneers.



SMOKE SCREEN


PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll
Sunlight reflected off dust motes as he picked his way along the ripped pavements, searching for clues.

Every night he stifled under the lazy scuff-scuff of a ceiling fan. In this country of gritty realism his own reality seemed nebulous.

Another day, another week. He trailed from embassy to police station. Empty promises. Empty platitudes. Yet, childlike, he grasped at their assurances.
Bewildered, he asked again and again: how can someone vanish so completely?

Ineffectual and trapped by grief, he remained in limbo, waiting for the city to lift its smoke screen and yield the secret of her disappearance.


I hope you enjoyed reading this and look forward to reading your comments.


If you would like to read more stories from Friday Fictioneer contributors click HERE


p.s. a quick plea to Wordpress bloggers whose settings require people to log in to their Wordpress account in order to leave a comment - this prevents Blogger users like me from leaving comments on your stories.



58 comments:

  1. I feel his desperation, Susan - a brilliant take on the prompt. You've beaten me to it - I've only just looked at the photo!

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  2. Thanks, Liz. I checked the photo this morning and was astonished that there were already so many stories posted! But at least it spurred me on - and I decided to go for what I hope is a different angle. :)

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  3. A tangible sense of loss and confusion. I wonder what the mystery is behind her disappearance?

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    1. Some things remain a mystery in the world of missing persons.

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  4. Great atmosphere of desperation, and I like the interpretation of the prompt.

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    1. Thanks, Iain. This is exactly what I was trying to achieve.

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  5. You've taken us right into the mind of your subject. Excellent Susan.

    Click to read my FriFic!

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  6. Oh, I love you writing here. Such an evocative description of his helplessness, his yearning for answers. Beautifully done

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  7. Dear Susan,

    Wonderfully written. Full of metaphor and tension. Great descriptions.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

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    1. Thanks, Rochelle - appreciate your comments.

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  8. I'm completely immersed in his frustration!

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  9. Yes, he's in an impossible situation.

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  10. Hope he gets his answers, though I fear it won't be the answers he wants. Really captures his plight.

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    1. Thanks, Karen. I based the original version of this story on a real incident.

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  11. I felt his despair. Nicely done.

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  12. Loved the way you've written about his helplessness. Takes you and makes you feel for the character. Hope he gets some clues.
    Thanks, Norma.

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  13. You describe beautifully the significant small details about the location that accentuate and exemplify your protagonist's sense of dislocation. The whole piece is perfectly paced. Excellent writing.

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  14. Thank you for your kind comments, Penny.

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  15. Yes, I hope that smoke screen gets lifted. Unanswered is a whole hell of its own.

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  16. What Rochelle said. What Penny said. (They have a way with words about your way with words.)

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    1. (They have a way with words about your way with words.)

      He he - that made me smile... and thanks for your comment.

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  17. Super writing, Susan. I read it before I saw the picture... which it really didn't need for added impact.
    Well done!
    (By the way, it might be an idea for the website to be checked for 'mobile friendliness'; the beginning of the piece ran in a very narrow column down the side of the image.)

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    1. Thanks, Helen, and thanks for the heads up about how it looks on a mobile! I only use my laptop for my blog, so had no idea. :)

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  18. I don't have high hopes of him getting answers. If the police can't solve it in a day or two it goes on the back burner. After that, if they find her it's purely coincidental.

    You did a great job conveying his emotions and frustration. I especially liked, "childlike, he grasped at their assurances." - Russell

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    1. Thanks, Russell. I think grasping at assurances like we did as children is something we all do in the face of authority. :)

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  19. Superb story, I enjoyed it so much.

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  20. That's great to know, Lore. Thank you.

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  21. This has a real literary feel to it. Well done!

    I'm with you on the Wordpress.com only thing. I use Wordpress on a platform I pay for. I still have my old Wordpress.com account, but it's not even a pass-through at this stage. Those settings mess me up, too. Thank you for offering the "name, URL" option so I can comment here.

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    1. You're welcome, Alice. I discovered 'blog signatures' when I joined in the A-Z Challenge a couple of years ago and I've stuck with it ever since so that people can find me easily... if they wish to. :)

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  22. I would borrow Rochelle's " wonderfully written" for your tale.
    I feel for him. May he achieve a sense of closure and regain his lost peace.

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    1. I'm glad you liked it. Thank you for leaving a comment.

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  23. You've created wonderful atmosphere here. Intriguing.

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  24. What a good take on the prompt and you painted such vivid pictures you put us right in the scene.

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  25. Thank you, Irene. The minute I saw the photo I knew there would be lots of 'fire' stories so I deliberately chose a different angle.

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  26. I like the mystery in this. And the line: the lazy scuff-scuff of the ceiling fan. Wonderful

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  27. Thanks, Claire. I've experienced quite a few 'scuffing' fans in my travels. :)

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  28. It has to be hell trying to find a loved one in a city like that... I see all kind of stories behind, but I'm leaning towards drug addiction.

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  29. I can feel his despair... poor guy. Nice take on the prompt!

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  30. Thanks for your comment, Lavanya.

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  31. I love the description in this piece. Such a heart-breaking tale.

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  32. Thanks, Clare. I learnt about descriptive writing when I was regularly writing travel articles.

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  33. Great story. Very emotional and sadly believable too.

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  34. Thanks, Patsy. Yes, people go missing all the time. The not knowing must be awful.

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  35. Awful! But in a very good way :) :)

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  36. He he - had to read your comment twice! :)

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  37. So poignant and atmospheric. Really enjoyed reading this.

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  38. Forgot to enter my name and URL in my previous comment – oops. I wanted to add that I loved this line: "In this country of gritty realism his own reality seemed nebulous."

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    1. Hi, Magarisa - I replied to your first post before I read this one. Glad you're no longer 'unknown' and thank you for commenting.

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