Friday Fictioneers – The Historian

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

FF - The Historian 191211

Photo prompt © Mikhael Sublett

The Historian

The final aftershock took out the floor. The Historian, swathed in cerements and looped with cable from the ceiling, clung to the remaining piece of wall. He assessed the drop to the ground, then jumped, landed jarringly but intact.

He sighed. What difference did survival make? Everyone had fled the hospital. There would be no rescuers. The struggle for life was too bitter for altruism.

A painting on the wall caught his eye. It was beautiful. The artist had thought it worth creating despite the crisis.

The Historian took out his notebook and started to write.

“The Apocalypse was self-inflicted.”

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33 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – The Historian

    • Dear Siobhan
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m glad you liked the Historian. I’m very wary of writing about archetypes, and signalling such by using upper case for their title. In this case, I felt that to do so would emphasize the scale of the catastrophe – the Historian may, indeed, be the last historian alive. It’s also the briefest way I could think of to summarise that history was what defines him (in the same way, for example, that writing fiction defines me).
      Of course, if the Historian survives against all the odds, perhaps he will refer to himself as “The Historian”, and then maybe you’ll read more about him!
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

  1. History. The record of man’s inhumanity to man; also the record of man’s creativity, altruism, and occasionally heroism. The Historian, if he survives, will have quite a tale to tell. Let’s hope he has an audience. Good one, Penny.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Linda
      Thank you for reading and commenting. While it would be nice if the Historian had an audience, he himself has decided that the audience doesn’t matter. He is a historian. He analyses and records human actions. That’s what he does and who he is, and it transcends everything else.
      Mind you, I agree that he will have quite a tale to tell to any audience who may read his words!
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Tannille
      Thank you for reading and for your supportive comment. I hadn’t thought of writing a book around the Historian; I’m glad he came across strongly enough to suggest he could be the ‘hero’ of a longer story.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Francine
      Thank you for reading and for your thoughtful comment. That sense of the Historian’s compulsion to follow his vocation despite the end of his world is precisely what I hoped to convey.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Nobbinmaug
      Thank you for reading and commenting. As you say, we’re not good at learning from our mistakes. Sometimes, being a historian must feel like being Cassandra, a prophetess whose prophesies were always true and never believed…
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

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