Friday Fictioneers – The Wall

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 on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

PHOTO PROMPT © Anne Higa

The Wall

Ralph coughed and spat brown phlegm. How the hell was he supposed to climb a brick wall? His vision swam as he looked around. What the hell was a bucket doing here anyway?

One foot in the bucket and…

It swivelled from under his feet.

He fell, awkwardly. Hell, that hurt.

Something to take away the pain. Quickly. He swigged. Belched. Acid reflux filled his mouth.

Safe behind the armoured glass of an adjacent window, bargain-hunting shoppers barged through tinselled aisles.

Ralph beat on the glass, then slid to the ground.

The shoppers neither saw him nor heard him.

Inlinkz – click here to join the fun!

47 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – The Wall

    • Thank you for your interesting comment, CE. Although I feature elements of the photo prompt, that’s not how I justify my take on it. What I saw in the picture above everything else was the absolute barrier between inside and outside; and that’s what the story’s about.

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    • Thank you for your encouraging comment, Larry. Ralph was a homeless guy with a substance abuse problem. I deliberately don’t spell this out because – if done properly, and I’m not claiming to have succeeded – it makes the story more interesting if the reader has to do some of the work.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Now this is full of mystery to keep me wondering.
    You really communicate Ralph’s predicament and pain and although he doesn’t immediately come across as an attractive character, neither do the shoppers, too busy about their business to see somebody’s pain.
    I really like this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for such an encouraging and insightful comment. No, Ralph is not attractive, and neither are the shoppers – but I have often stood in the shoppers’ place, and any one of us could find ourselves in Ralph’s position if we were unlucky. I’m so glad you liked the story.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind comment, Linda. Although I feature elements of the photo prompt – the bucket, and the brick wall – that’s not my take on the prompt. What I saw in the picture more than anything else was the absolute barrier between inside and outside; and that’s what the story’s about. Ralph is homeless and in thrall to substance abuse; the shoppers are focussed on finding the right Christmas gifts. The whole story is a metaphor.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Didn’t see or didn’t want to see? How many staggering drunk people do we pass by in the streets without wanting to see… could just as well be a brick wall between us. Great story, Penny.

    Liked by 1 person

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