Friday Fictioneers – Betrayal

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 - Betrayal 181212

Copyright – Douglas M. MacIlroy

Betrayal

After the betrayal Samuel had hidden in the garage and turned to Facebook for consolation.

“In life, we never lose friends, we only learn who the true ones are.”

The truism had hit him like a bullet.

The one person – the one person he had entrusted with his secret, had told the world. Now everybody knew that Samuel was gay. Now he had no friends at all.

The daintily typeset words on the screen mocked him as his feet kicked and the noose tightened around his neck.

72 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Betrayal

    • Dear Neil
      Thank you for reading and commenting. When you’re a teenager, peer group pressure is very strong – and you don’t necessarily stop to think before saying something unkind. I don’t think that literally all his friends turned against him – it was more that his closest friend had betrayed him.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Dear Penny,

    How sad that Samuel found his friends to be not friends. I’ve been thinking a lot of my friend Bobby from years ago who was murdered. The police didn’t do much in the way of finding the killer. After all, he was gay. So who cares? He was my friend. I miss him something fierce. In fact I’m basing a character in my current novel on him. Someone should remember him. As you can see your story dredged a few strong feelings here. Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 2 people

  2. ohh, horrible, entrusted secrets should be a treasure that you do not tell anybody…althoughI wonder if it is only his imagination, that friends will abandone him or even that there was a betrayal. Fear creates the most horrible stories!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear anie
      How lovely to hear from you again! You have read the story with great insight. He hasn’t literally been abandoned by all his friends. His best friend betrayed his secret and a handful of others were thoughtless and unkind. There’s a whole heap of backstory, of course…
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dear Penny, it is always a pleasure to read your stories, when I have some time left. And like always it is a pity to be reduced on around 100 words, so that there is no possibility to get known the backgroundstories…thank you and have a nice day!

        Like

    • Dear Keith
      Thank you for reading and commenting. While some countries now tolerate gay people, even in those societies there are plenty of people who regard it as sinful. If you’re brought up that way, you feel a great deal of guilt, especially as a teenager. Under those circumstances it only takes a nudge – like betrayal by one’s best friend, and the resulting social media nastiness – and life can feel unbearable.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Kelley
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m afraid you’re right; gays are often still stigmatised and made to feel guilt, and teenagers can be very cruel on social media. And betrayal by your best friend hurts whatever age you are.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Sascha
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I couldn’t agree more about striving for tolerance. Respecting each other and caring for each other is literally the only thing that can save the human race from imminent extinction.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A difficult topic handled with sensitivity to provoke thought.
    Almost two decades into the 21st century and this is still a major problem.
    Here in Europe we have racism in soccer, referred to as ‘The Beautiful Game’, as our current bête noire.
    Isn’t civilisation wonderful?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear CE
      Thank you for reading and for your thoughtful comment. As a ‘glass-half-full’ girl, I actually believe that civilisation is pretty wonderful. Our global social organisations endorse many good, positive ideals, and condemn activities such as genocide and slavery. That’s a step forward even from the nineteenth century. It’s worth struggling to extend those ideals, isn’t it?
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

  4. Oy! So sad, so all-too-often true! A nine year old girl killed herself the other day, following bullying. Too many are lost to cruelty and the deliberate loneliness it creates. Alas these are realities that need writing about, for so many still do not take them seriously. 😦 Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, there’s a long way still, and it is not helped by the realities of normalizing unacceptable and uncouth behavior by leadership that glorifies brutality as ‘strength’ or ‘winning’ … But, yes, more schools are taking bullying seriously than used to, and that’s encouraging. Na’ama

        Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Kalpana
      Thank you for reading and commenting. You’re right, of course, that he need not take his own life. But gays are often still stigmatised and made to feel guilt, and teenagers can be very cruel on social media. And betrayal by your best friend hurts whatever age you are. Teaching our children (and grandchildren) to be loving, compassionate people is perhaps our most important task.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear EagleAye
      Thank you for reading and commenting. To embrace it and make new friends would have been a good strategy, but not everyone is strong enough and positive enough to do that. I saw Samuel as a boy who had learned from his parents that it was a sin to be gay, and carried a burden of guilt as a result. When you carry guilt, you often also have low self-esteem, and people don’t make friends with you. To lose the few friends you have through betrayal is devastating.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Dale
      Thank you for reading and commenting.
      You are quite right, I’m sure, about the tendency of social media to amplify trends. I can quite easily imagine that a group of teenagers would be very unpleasant when someone was ‘outed’ as gay, through the force of peer pressure – join in with the mockery, or get abused as gay yourself…
      Combating bullying of all sorts is a key priority for teachers.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

  5. Brutal! It’s so sad that a person’s sexuality is still an issue today in most parts of the world. In India, our Supreme Court just recently decriminalized homosexuality…in 2018. Imagine! And the SC had to step in because no political party had the guts to vote for a law that would have said that we are all equal, and free to do whatever we please in our private lives.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Anurag
      Thank you for reading and commenting.
      At least India’s SC has now moved things forward. Some parts of the world are going backwards – one thinks of Iran and Uganda…
      Liberal and tolerant ideals will always be under threat. We must all stand ready to defend them with every ounce of our strength.
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It is not a sin or a crime to be gay. But it should be Samuel’s decision to inform the world. No one should sneek in behind his back. Samuel has all the right reason to feel betrayed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Abhijit
      Thank you for reading and commenting. Yes, poor Samuel was betrayed, and the consequences of that betrayal went far beyond anything the betrayer intended as a result of the bullying that his revelation prompted.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Sandra
      Thank you for reading and commenting. Although we have a more open society, which helps more people be included and is a very good thing – we still, alas, have bullying. I don’t suppose for one moment that those who mocked Samuel intended such drastic consequences, but they happen.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Alicia
      Thank you for reading and commenting. You’re very kind to praise my story.
      How sad that your librarian suffered negativity on Facebook. You say he’s an older and very strong man – that, to me, rings warning bells; apparent strength often masks deep hurt. I hope he’s okay and happy.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Bjorn
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I agree that Samuel’s fate is tragic. Social media in general can sometimes be overwhelmingly negative (although I must say that my personal experience has been very positive for many years).
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear D Avery
      Thank you for reading and commenting.
      I fear this can’t yet be labelled as historical fiction. Cyber bullying has recently cost lives in the UK and the USA. Gays have been murdered in 2018 in the USA. And the political climate in both our countries is fast becoming more polarised and less tolerant. We liberals still have a mountain to climb.
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Violet
      Thank you for reading and commenting.
      Unfortunately being gay has led to the murder of at least 4 men this year in the USA. There is still huge prejudice, which is formalised and promoted by many churches, and prejudice of that sort meads to powerful guilt feelings in young people. And that’s in two of the most liberal countries in the world! Gays and trans people are murdered in hundreds every year around the world.
      So, no – I’m afraid this is not historic. We still need to be pressing for tolerance as robustly as we possibly can.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Andi
      Thank you for reading and commenting. You have read with insight and empathy and given me an honest response, which I appreciate.
      I’m afraid that teenagers do take their own lives, and those who are bullied are significantly more likely to do so. The story is certainly about bullying, and in particular the way social media can amplify that. However, when I chose the secret that was betrayed as Samuel being gay, I did so deliberately. There are still many people in the UK and the USA who believe and teach that it is a sin to be gay. This makes kids conceal their true nature and feel immense guilt. Guilt, betrayal and bullying can be a lethal cocktail.
      So I’d agree with you that I have portrayed Samuel’s death brutally, but that’s with the purpose of highlighting bullying and guilt as causes of suicide – because, even in this day and age, some kids feel they have no way out.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Those so-called friends were clearly not his real friends especially whoever outed him before he was ready to say he was gay himself to more people. At this moment he might feel really down but in the future he’ll find a man and a bunch of friends who will love him for exactly who he is. Maybe some of these people may learn to be better people and apologise. Hearts can change. But that’s their issue, not his. Great write.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Francine
      Thank you for reading and commenting so kindly.
      Unfortunately being gay is far from totally accepted. In western countries, many evangelical churches preach that it’s a sin, which heaps guilt onto young people who are gay. In many other countries it is illegal, and in at least two countries it carries the death penalty.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Magarisa
      Thank you for reading and commenting. Social media can bring great benefits – it’s how I keep up-to-date with my grandchildren living in Malaysia, for example – but it can lead to horrible consequences when people abuse it and use it for hate speech.
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

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