Friday Fictioneers – Escape

NaNoWriMo is over for this year, and I’m delighted to have succeeded in writing 50,000 words of a novel in the month. I’m now trying to continue at the same pace until the first draft is finished.

However, this week the siren voice of Friday Fictioneers has lured me into the shoals of flash fiction, especially as Rochelle has picked such an evocative photoprompt from Dawn. Thank you to both of you!

Friday Fictioneers - Escape 181206

PHOTO PROMPT © Dawn M. Miller

Escape

If Saaburah had looked back, she would have seen a smudge of smoke on the horizon where her house had once stood, but she didn’t look back.

If she had listened to her memories, she would have heard gunfire, screams, and the roar of fire as her family and friends were slaughtered, but she didn’t listen to her memories.

With her baby swaddled against her breast, she had walked towards the border, at first alone, then with a few others, then with a multitude.

Filthy, exhausted, frightened, they streamed across the railway bridge into Bangladesh, homeless, stateless.

Alive.

55 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Escape

    • Dear Sandra
      Thank you for reading and for the helpful comment. Working intensively on my novel has sharpened my appreciation of structure, I think! I’m glad you enjoyed the story.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

  1. I am in awe of the strength she must have needed to put everything aside except for the will to keep putting one foot in front of the other, until she and her baby could find someplace she thought was safe. May her hope for safety and peace not be in vain.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Kestril
      Thank you for reading and commenting.
      It’s astonishing how refugees, especially those with children, find the will and the strength escape to safety. It’s to the shame of the rest of us that we allow such things to happen in our world. As you say, “May her hope for safety and peace not be in vain.”
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Brenda
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I agree that it’s sad there are so many stories like this in reality. We must all do what we can to change the injustice and violence that leads to people having to flee from their homes.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jilly
      Thank you for reading and for your very astute and helpful comment. I agree that “Telling the story by showing us her defiance in the face of her memories.” is exactly why the story is powerful – but I hasn’t realised that before! So I’m really grateful for the comment!
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re very welcome, Penny. I personally find FF’s way of electronic workshopping is very helpful and does open up aspects that we’ve applied instinctively and not maybe instantly recognised ourselves. Best of wishes, Jilly.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Dear James
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m sorry that my story made you feel morbid.
      The partition of India caused appalling suffering that cannot be condoned, but that had more to do with long-standing religious and ethnic tensions than with partition itself. The end result has been the foundation of three democracies that appear to function successfully, which I think reflects great credit on the people who live in those countries. I have great admiration for India who seem (by and large) to be successfully holding together a huge nation with huge diversity. Hope for the future perhaps?
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a timely story…

    At that moment, I can’t blame Saaburah for not listening to her memories–misery can be exhausting when someone is running for her life. Later, when things are a bit better, she can bring those back, make sure her child doesn’t forget. Hope she gets the chance.

    Love the alliteration in the end. Very effective.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You show us her absolute determination to start a new life by her refusal to look back. Powerful, vivid writing.
    Congratulations on reaching the 50k word count last month! All the best as you continue writing your novel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Violet
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m glad you enjoyed it, but I’m not thinking of extending it. I currently have a novel on the go, and there are months of work needed before it’s ready for me to offer to agents.
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Like

  4. Dear Russell
    Thank you for reading and commenting. I think perhaps that single-mindedness is what enables some to survive such dreadful atrocities. The matter of fact style was intended to reflect the numbness of spirit that comes when you’ve been so terrified and traumatised that you just stop feeling.
    With very best wishes
    Penny

    Like

  5. Congratulations on your NaNoWriMo writings! She is a brave mother walking away from everything she has known for her child. I think there is always a risk when you are in her situation. I hope she and her child find safety! Great story.

    Like

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