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April 27, 2012

This is the photo prompt from Madison Woods Friday Fictioneers

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


“Then, one morning,” continued 92 year-old Ruth Eberoth, as Ross jotted notes in his reporter’s pad, “seeing a brightly winged bird perching on the barbed-wire, I became that  bird, and becoming it, I suddenly realized here was something no one could take from me, ever. Here was my true freedom.”

Ross shivered hearing Ruth’s words, thin streams of light, pin-pricking the immense darkness of hatred.  “And you survived. “

“Something one ponders.”

At a loss for words, Ross covered Ruth’s fragile hands with his own and started to say the only thoughts that came to mind.  But she was gone.

32 Comments leave one →
  1. April 27, 2012 1:42 am

    I love the escape! You xan feel her bitterness and triumph!
    Here’s mine

  2. EmmaMc permalink
    April 27, 2012 2:00 am

    Beautiful yet so sad. Really great job.

  3. Lora permalink
    April 27, 2012 2:55 am

    Ruth’s age and brief story is a clue that this is a holocaust story. I didn’t quite get the line “Something one ponders”… perhaps it means she survived bodily but not mentally? Yet, she slips away from Ross and poof…disappears. Wonderful and thought provoking take on the prompt. Here’s mine:

    • April 27, 2012 4:36 pm

      Ross tells her, “And you survived” and she answers “Something one ponders.” It has to do with survivor’s guilt–why she was spared while others were not. By having her say this, I wanted to show how even now she’s never stopped pondering this mystery, and by insinuation, has not stopped weighing how she’s spent her life.

      Thanks for commenting.

  4. April 27, 2012 4:05 am

    this one takes a second to sink it – but then it does so beautifully.

  5. April 27, 2012 4:20 am

    Hmmm… mysterious, but clearly sad and beautiful, and a comment on the cruelty and fragility of life. You’ve got me thinking, and that’sthe point, I think..

  6. April 27, 2012 4:27 am

    The tale of a POW it seems to me, ending on a sad note…though she seems to pass away in sincere peace.

    Mine’s here:

  7. April 27, 2012 5:34 am

    Ghostly. Poetic. Nicely done.

    Here’s mine:

  8. TheOthers1 permalink
    April 27, 2012 5:49 am

    This made me think of a holocaust survivor telling her story. I loved the line talking about light pricking the darkness of hate. Just a great story.

    My attempt:

  9. April 27, 2012 7:47 am

    This is a powerful story of survival and overcoming – well done. The ending pulled me up a little, as I wondered what Ross said and how she was “gone” so quickly – dead? asleep? or was she a ghost and I read it completely wrong the first time? You have some gorgeous lines here, like others I liked the light/darkness one especially, and the image of the bird is just perfect.
    I’m over here:

    • April 27, 2012 5:00 pm

      Well, I figured given her age it would be credible that she simply passes, but I try not to tie things up too neatly. I always find readers like to interpret things. “But she was gone” is open enough to allow other meanings beside death. Thank you for your thoughts.

  10. siobhanmuir permalink
    April 27, 2012 9:24 am

    Like TheOthers I saw a Holocaust survivor and her realization that she wasn’t as caged as she’d thought. Nicely done.

    Here’s mine:


  11. April 27, 2012 10:33 am

    Ahh yes, I have heard that a lot of survivors of the camps and other prisons, escaped into their minds, into the past and into their dreams – and kept themselves from losing their humanity and their very lives. We need freedom, even if it is only in our minds…

  12. Caerlynn Nash permalink
    April 27, 2012 11:51 am

    Mysterious and thought-provoking. Nice job! I like the flow of your words in this piece.

  13. April 27, 2012 12:02 pm

    I had to read this one twice – I had science fiction on the brain for the first read-through then I had my ah-ha moment and found it very moving indeed.

    Here’s mine:

  14. Madison Woods permalink
    April 27, 2012 12:14 pm

    I think my interpretation of the story is what Lindaura said. She ‘became’ the bird by living vicariously through it and perhaps she became something else as she died.

    • April 27, 2012 5:11 pm

      One of the joys of such short pieces is they are open to many interpretations. And when that happens, as in this case, what’s written then belongs to the reader. How cool is that?

  15. April 27, 2012 4:14 pm

    I’m so glad that Ruth’s rays had a chance to pierce the darkness one last time. This was nearly perfectly written. Thanks for sharing : )


  16. April 28, 2012 11:02 pm

    Lovely story–reminds me of “The Life of Miss Jane Pittman.” Since I’m bringing up the tail on comments–I’ll just add that I agree with those ahead of me. Nicely done–I enjoyed it.

    Thanks for visiting and commenting on mine.

    • April 29, 2012 5:10 am

      Thanks for the compliment, and the comparison which is something to continue to strive for.

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