Friday Fictioneers – Steel Town

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!


Steel Town

When I was a kid, there were eight taverns in our town – nine, if you counted the Temperance. There’s only one now, and that’s closing soon – put out of business by the discount liquor store.

The houses used to be neat, lawns and white-painted picket fences. Now, every third house has broken windows. You can tell someone’s doing well if they have a working pick-up on the driveway; doesn’t matter if it’s a rust-bucket, just as long as it runs.

Bethlehem Steel closed and it knocked the heart out of the town.

I’m glad I got out when I did.

Inlinkz – click here to join the fun!

25 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Steel Town

  1. Sure, economies change. Now we survive largely by selling each other hamburgers and insurance policies. But there has to be a better way of supporting communities going through these changes. A grim picture well painted, Penny

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very vivid description of the dire situation shown by the state of the houses and the community. Towns were created around industries and once these go, the towns are left on their own. I see that here, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Gabi. I’m glad you found the description vivid. I’ve seen a number of such closures during my career, and the derelict factories and damaged communities are melancholy. But some of them pull through and re-invent themselves, and that’s great!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. There are so many places just like this in the Rust Belt of the US. Bruce Springsteen has written several songs about it. Good yet very sad story about the reality of so many small towns these days 😦

    Liked by 1 person

      • It’s like the overlords are siphoning the energy right out of the laborers. They live the high life and we often subsist from paycheck to paycheck. Taxes never seem to go toward keeping infrastructure maintained. You are welcome, Penny.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your insightful comments. Industrial policy is very difficult. I think we probably need a different set of ethics to guide companies in their commercial operation. Once upon a time, all a firm needed to do was abide by the letter of the law and maximise returns for the owner. The bar is set a little higher nowadays, and most medium to large companies make at least a nod in the direction of social responsibility. It’s not enough, but it’s going the right way.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. As has been said, many true stories are reflected in this. Mine was the coal mining industry in PA following a disaster. In many ways it was never the same. With the exodus, economic downturn, and immigration of many leaving worse places, recovery is only a dream, in most cases. A sad blight to see. Well done.


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