Friday Fictioneers – January 31

Every Friday writers from around the world contribute 100 word stories prompted by a photograph supplied by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields to Friday Fictioneers. Everyone is welcome to contribute and we love comments on our stories.

copyright Claire Fuller

copyright Claire Fuller

No Smoking in Workshop

Ted was the first through when the police dismantled the road block. He drove past blackened stumps like burned arms raised for help in a sea of ash.

He pulled up in front of a scorched brick wall, rubble of embers and fallen bricks, a chimney still smoking. When he looked through the glassless window into her workshop he saw tree skeletons silhouetted against a smoke sky.

Her red sedan, now shock white, was in the yard. Sheets of blistered tin lay across the windscreen as if, in a last desperate panic, her roof had tried to shield her.

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40 Responses to Friday Fictioneers – January 31

  1. There are reasons for not smoking

  2. Very descriptive, Karen, and so sad.


  3. Diana Threlfo says:

    Karen, this piece reveals so much to the reader without an explicit word about what has occurred. And as a fairly new devotee of the open ending, I applaud the one you’ve left us with here. Bravo!

  4. Excellent story Karen and very powerful in your descriptions. I did like the ending of the roof iron trying to shield her. Well done.

  5. anne says:

    ‘Stumps’ image particularly horrific. Then, the shock white car, the roof – oh, dear.
    Well done, Karen. Evoked so much.

  6. Completely descriptive. Sad story.

  7. I remember your class on better descriptions of colours and this is a perfect example – shock white – wow! A description of a colour that has maybe never been used before but tells the reader so much. Also I LOVE how you left ‘her’ to the very last word. I didn’t feel it was open ended; I took that to mean very clearly that the girl he cares so much about has died. Sadness wrapped up in one word: her. Well done!

    • Thanks, Jessie. While the writing clearly indicates she died, it’s not stated definitely. Is that an open ending? Perhaps an optimist could still hope she survived. You’ve raised an interesting question.

  8. Sandra says:

    Some excellent imagery here, ‘burned arms raised for help’, ‘tree skeletons’, ‘shock white’. Nice piece of writing – well done.

  9. This story creates a sad, vivid picture in my mind as the reader. No further explanation is needed in the story..

  10. Dear Karen,

    Vividly and wonderfully descriptive. I could almost smell the smoke and ash.



  11. mscwhite says:

    Some lovely imagery. Your reference to “tree skeletons” was a subtle hint at “her” likely fate.

  12. kz says:

    wow, wonderful job with the descriptions. very vivid.:)

  13. This is so devastating. The last line brought tears to my eyes. Very well done

  14. anne says:

    When you say ‘the roof tried to protect her’ it seems clear she died. It was a gentle caring image/ending in contrast to the earlier disturbing images. For me, the story had a life after the reading. It reminded me of the terrible 1994 bushfires when I lived in the mountains and some months later, we went for a walk at Evans Head and those arms you speak about were there!

    • anne says:

      Anne says when I say a gentle/caring image I mean in intent not in its imagery. My comment does read a little ambiguously.
      Karen, this is such powerful writing. Can we have some more? Is there a back or forward story to this?

  15. You describe this horrific scene well enough for me to visualize it.

  16. Sandra, your descriptive scene is really well written. I could see this place, smell the smoke. Great job; this is wonderful.

  17. Nan Falkner says:

    Good story, sad ending though.

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