Friday Fictioneers – Witness

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story, based on a photoprompt, with a beginning, middle and end, in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz (the blue frog) on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

FF - Fire trucks - Witness 171115

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Genre: Horror

Word count: 99

Witness

“Now, Billy, tell the officer what you saw.”

“The room was dark. There were just some flickering candles. There was a man chanting, and another one drawing something on the floor around a big table.

I saw a woman lying on the table. The man who’d been drawing picked up a knife.”

The boy licked his dry lips.

“I was scared. I ran. I’d just got outside when…”

Billy swallowed hard.

“Yes?”

“There was an enormous flash of lightning.”

“Sonny, there was no storm.”

A fireman strode up. His face was white.

“Officer. We’ve found something in the basement.”

76 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Witness

      • Your story has left me no peace. So the firefighter found remains of fire accelerators in the basement. The boy laid the fire, he invented the story. The fireman is shocked at the boy’s bold lie and desperate because he has a boy of the same age.
        It is, as others have noted here, words that influence our thoughts and guide them in one direction. Depending on who the words come from, we accept them without any skepticism. Dangerous and lazy to form your own opinion.
        Since I find it hard to think of bad things anyway, I have chosen a different path, which is not necessarily less bad, but fits quite well with the situation … I think.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Anie
      I’m so sorry to have robbed you of peace. Your version of the ending is very plausible, and well thought out. You are much to be praised for adopting a sceptical approach to what you read!
      It’s lovely to know somebody who finds it hard to think of bad things – most of us are only too quick to imagine the worst.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

      • thanks Penny. I’m not really very skeptical. This is a mistake and I have to train my skepticism a bit, but it also allows me to go through life more “fleet-footed”.
        I certainly have a lot of imagination and the creativity can also be a bit “biting” when I’m upset, but the absolute horror so far does not haunt me …; )

        Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Keith
      Thank you for reading and commenting.
      You may be amused to hear that I was less concerned with evoking horror in the basement, than with establishing the credibility of my young witness!
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Like

  1. What a horrifying sight the fireman must have encountered! Your mention of the dry lips and the white face made the story so vivid. The lightning strike without a storm added to the horror and intrigue. Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Magarisa
      Thank you for reading and commenting. The lightning strike was originally just going to be something that started the fire, but then I wondered why it would strike between two much taller buildings…
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Moon
      Thank you for reading and commenting. You’re very kind to praise the story so much, but I’m all too aware of how much I need to grow as a writer to reach a professional standard.
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Linda
      Thank you for reading and commenting.
      “All sorts of evil crowd the imagination.” Yes, I’m afraid they do, which is one reason why I normally shun the horror genre, both writing and reading.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Alice
      Thank you for reading and commenting.
      I’m very conflicted about writing more for this story. I don’t read horror, or watch it, so it was rather strange that I decided to write a story in the genre. It just seemed to fit the prompt so well.
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A suspenseful cliffhanger! I am most curious about the flash of lightning – was the boy spinning a yarn or was it something supernatural? I cannot help but think aliens come to save the woman on the table! You have certainly managed to pique our interest Penny 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dahlia
      Thank you for reading and commenting. Now, the flash of lightning. As you know, I feel that readers are entitled to interpret my stories as they choose, so the flash could be natural, supernatural or the boy could be spinning a yarn. But I would say that the building has been on fire, and the fire must have started somehow…
      I guess an alien spaceship could start a fire, too…
      I love your creative response to my story!
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s