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Broken Man

February 10, 2012

This is the photo prompt from Madison Woods 100-word Flash Friday Fictioneers:

Come up with a story, 100 words, more or less, based on the above picture.

Broken Man

It was broken, then.  He felt no fear, no pain, only remorse stemming from being on the ground in these deep woods. Ahead in the distance the crackle of breaking twigs, and a man, himself, walking away. How? He felt his memory fading, his body sink.

“So there you are,” she said when he stepped out into the clearing.

“You waited?”

“But I’m still not talking to you.”

Beside her now, remembering how he liked to tease her about the little scar near her eyebrow.

“Can’t just start over?”

She kept walking.

“Another chance,” he said. “That’s all.”

44 Comments leave one →
  1. February 10, 2012 3:11 am

    Your writing continues to impress; very nicely done. A metaphysical twist in the tale, but mostly a mood and a feeling of disassociation, literally and figuratively.

  2. February 10, 2012 3:14 am

    Oh dear, I was lost in this one. I really could not get a grip on it. I read it twice and it still did not get a sense of what was happening. I mean I got a sense of gloom and disassociation, but not a sense of the story.


    • February 10, 2012 2:49 pm

      I can understand that happening. I went with more suggestion than concrete story here. Another hundred words might clear some things up.

      Thanks for your comments.

  3. February 10, 2012 4:20 am

    I think I understand, but maybe understanding isn’t necessary to enjoy it.

    This right here is gold, no matter what:

    “You waited?”

    “But I’m still not talking to you.”

    • February 10, 2012 2:53 pm

      I’m glad you liked that. I was hoping it would capture a glimpse of their relationship.
      Thanks for your comments.

  4. February 10, 2012 4:24 am

    Lots of mystery in that first paragraph, and I agree with Craig. Understanding is not necessary to enjoy it. Part of the pleasure is in the interpretation.

    Here’s mine:

    • February 10, 2012 3:02 pm

      That’s true about understanding, especially with only 100 words to work with. I like to aim for loose and open to interpretation, rather then spelling it all out. Thanks for commenting.

  5. February 10, 2012 6:26 am

    Nice use of the metaphor “broken.” Mentioning the scar was a great reminder that he accepted her for all of her imperfections, but she still walked away…..nice.

  6. February 10, 2012 6:31 am

    Wow, I think you did a great job with this. The dialogue is excellent and so economical. Thank you for sharing!

    Here’s mine:

  7. Madison Woods permalink
    February 10, 2012 6:34 am

    So many ways this story could be interpreted but my mind drifted toward the possibility that this man had just killed himself and when he crossed over found his dead wife waiting for him. Then I thought maybe she’d been killed in the same area earlier, because of the scar. But like the others have mentioned, I think it works fine leaving it open to reader interpretation.

    • February 10, 2012 3:19 pm

      One of the really fun things about writing these 100-word stories is reading the wonderful interpretations others make, especially yours. It’s gratifying to see how one’s words can work on so many different levels.

      Thanks for commenting.

  8. February 10, 2012 7:34 am

    Don’t take this the wrong way but I thought it was really sweet. That is intended as a complement because I enjoyed this.

  9. February 10, 2012 8:24 am

    You certainly caused a lot of thinking to happen today! Here’s what I think…he’s dead or dying and watching/hearing his soul walk away to meet her (who is also dead). Murder/suicide maybe? They had a fight and one or the other decided to end it all…and, in the afterlife, the rage is gone and in its place, a mild (perhaps more realistic) irritation with each other – he begging for forgiveness and she, not quite ready to give in.

    ~Susan (Here’s mine!

    • February 10, 2012 3:26 pm

      That’s close. I don’t want to spoil all the interpretations by giving away what I had in mind when I wrote it. I’d like to work this a bit more.

      Thanks for commenting.

  10. February 10, 2012 8:27 am

    This story leaves the mind racing trying to fill in the gaps. Great play on the concept of broken, the man, the mushroom, the relationship. Great tantalizing details like the scar. Not sure I completely understand, but I think it’s meant to be mysterious and interpretive. Great story!
    My little ditty:

  11. February 10, 2012 8:57 am

    This was an excellent start to my foray through Friday’s mushroom forests.

    The thought is planted in my head that sometimes, maybe all the time, something of ourselves is left behind when spells are broken. Or we are entirely shifted and a doppelganger walks on in our place. Startlingly realistic and evocative of loss and change. Loved your story.



  12. V. L. Gregory-Pohlenz permalink
    February 10, 2012 1:48 pm

    Enjoyed your story. Ethereal! 🙂 Mine is at

  13. February 10, 2012 3:03 pm

    Along with others before me, I found your piece to be very thought provoking. I came away from reading it with a definite sense of melancholy. I also like your almost minimalist approach to the dialogue. Here’s my entry:

    • February 13, 2012 5:34 pm

      I like the 100 word limitation. It forces me to focus on what’s essential and let the reader fill in what isn’t written. I’ll be by to read yours. Thanks for stopping by.

  14. February 10, 2012 3:30 pm

    That’s pretty close. You seem to be on the right trail. I appreciate your keen eye. Thanks for commenting.

  15. February 10, 2012 3:39 pm

    This is a great entry, beautifully and effectively written. As others have said, the dialogue exquisite. My impression of the start is that he’s right at the onset of death, his material consciousness ebbing away even as his spiritual one walks on. Like Susan, I thought this was a murder-suicide, with the second act coming some time after the first. If that is the case, this guy has got an eternity of making up to do!

    Here’s my entry:

  16. February 10, 2012 4:01 pm

    Beautiful.. left me speechless…
    This is my post:

  17. February 10, 2012 6:53 pm

    Felt very steeped in meaning. I”m new to Friday Flash, here’s mine:

  18. February 10, 2012 8:14 pm

    My thoughts were about the same as what Susan said, but with the addition that a poisonous mushroom had played a part in the events. Nicely done.

    Here’s mine:

  19. February 11, 2012 3:30 am

    I like your take on the mushroom. That would tie it in nicely. Thanks for stopping by.

  20. February 11, 2012 2:59 pm

    I enjoyed this piece very much. There is a lot more t the story than what was written and that comes through in the manner in which it was written. Excellent job!

    The link to my drabble is here:

  21. February 12, 2012 6:51 am

    You should add your blog link to your gravatar for more views.
    I was just making sure that I had read your post.
    Have a great Sunday!

    • February 13, 2012 3:29 am

      Thanks for the alert, Susie,

      I did things a little differently last week by posting real early, then when I finally got around to commenting, I didn’t bother linking. I figured it would be too confusing.

      I appreciate your concern, though. That was thoughtful. Have a great day.

  22. miq permalink
    February 13, 2012 1:50 pm

    I have no idea what going on in this scene. But I liked it. And not knowing what’s going on makes me want to read more. I’m very interested in their relationship and how it got to this point and what he would do with another chance.

    Here’s my piece:

    • February 13, 2012 5:26 pm

      I appreciate your interest. I’d like to develop it, see where it goes. Thanks for stopping by. I’ll be around to read yours.

  23. February 21, 2012 9:30 am

    The dialogue pulled me into this after some initial confusion. Great dialogue. Robin

    • February 23, 2012 4:20 pm

      I’m glad you liked it. I omitted the he said/she said and hoped it wouldn’t get confusing. Thanks for the compliment.

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