Friday Fictioneers: Silver Lining

I pledgeTime for the Friday Fictioneers with another prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

The task is to write a story: beginning, middle, and end, in 100 words or less. You can find all the Fictioneers’ stories when you click on the Froggy. Please read, comment, and if you like, join the fun. Everyone is welcome.

This week had me staring at the picture but nothing would come. What I finally came up with isn’t the most original drabble I’ve ever written, but my mind seems to be in tunnel view and can’t seem to see anything else right now. I don’t even know what genre this is. I tentatively call it scifi because it somewhat fits into my series of future history* stories. (*The term is stolen from R.A. Heinlein.)

trg3
Image © The Reclining Gentleman

Silver Lining

Cars go rushing by with horns honking; their headlights blinding me. People flee, leaving the city like rats leaving a sinking ship. Why?

Nearby, someone’s set off a dirty bomb. Dirty bomb… as if there were any clean ones…

Now they all run. They fear disease and death.

I don’t run. I’m dead anyway. To them, my life is worthless. They don’t want to see me.

But I see them, and what they leave behind, unguarded. Today I’ll find food in the fridges, and houses to sleep in. For a while I’ll be rich. Every cloud has a silver lining.

(100 words)


ISS-34_Stratocumulus_cloudsFeatured image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AISS-34_Stratocumulus_clouds.jpg
By ISS Expedition 34 Crew Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons — On Jan. 4 a large presence of stratocumulus clouds was the central focus of camera lenses which remained aimed at the clouds as the Expedition 34 crew members aboard the International Space Station flew above the northwestern Pacific Ocean about 460 miles east of northern Honshu, Japan. This is a descending pass with a panoramic view looking southeast in late afternoon light with the terminator (upper left). The cloud pattern is typical for this part of the world. The low clouds carry cold air over a warmer sea with no discernable storm pattern.

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59 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers: Silver Lining

    1. Thank you. I was initially writing ‘I’m an outcast’ — but decided to leave it a bit more vague. The area will be contaminated, depending on how close the explosion was, wind direction and all that.

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    1. Yes, I’ve read about Chernobyl, apparently people nearby are less affected than was feared. But in the immediate area, there was a lot of radiation-induced disease. I remember many articles about children with cancer years after the explosion. Thank you.

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  1. I read a book about a woman who refused to leave her home and was buried alive as no one knew she was there… some make crazy choices!
    By the way… should it be headlights instead of headlines?

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  2. I think your MC will do just fine. He/she is a survivor – thinking logically and having a strategy, rather than just running. Well built character, and good structure. I like how you achieve a complete story without your storyline seeming chopped about.

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    1. Thank you, Margaret. I’m very glad you think it’s not chopped about, I’m always a bit reluctant to continue with my backstory because of that. Standalone becomes difficult when things develop. I find the ‘GRR Martin method’ of using many characters’ pov helpful in that regard.

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    1. Unfortunately, the future history is not my invention. 🙂 We are a destructive species, aren’t we? Barely acting beyond the instinctual: my mate, my tribe, my food, my cave… And still, we always seem to muddle through. I’m hopeful. Thank you!

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    1. Heinlein’s future history is a compilation of many of his early stories that all seem to take place in the same universe. They are not 100% consistent, but I don’t think the fans mind. Later works were consciously placed into that universe.
      I’m glad you like the story, thank you.
      In evolutionary terms, survival of the fittest usually means survival of the ones capable of adapting to new situations and environments. That’s why highly specialized species are the first to go extinct when there’s change. That’s why so many species disappear when seemingly small habitats are destroyed or climatic conditions change, like right now. There, lecturing again… 🙂

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  3. This made me think of what used to be Vozrozhdeniya Island in the Aral Sea (before it dried up). That was where the former USSR used to develop bioweapons. Scary stuff, and great take on the prompt.

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      1. I had never heard that word before and thought it meant something like “drivel” so I looked it up. And, of course, you are right: “A drabble is a short work of fiction of around one hundred words in length, not necessarily including the title. The purpose of the drabble is brevity, testing the author’s ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in a confined space.” And what great drabble you have written. Thank you! 🙂

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  4. You were able to depict this outcast character ( homeless person) very well. And I can imagine what a messed up world this is with dirty bombs and homeless people. Maybe not so far from reality. I like that the outcast will benefit from the abandoned houses.

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