Friday Fictioneers: The drumbeat to his howl

PHOTO PROMPT © Madison Woods

PHOTO PROMPT © Madison Woods

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‘Don’t like the look of the barbed wire, Tommy.’

Barn’s nervous, I can hear it in his voice – taut as piano wire.

‘That’s what the blanket’s for,’ I say. ‘Lay it over the top and it won’t hurt.’

The clouds lift a little from his shovel of a face. ‘Yeah. Don’t like being hurt.’

Guilt stabs me in the ribs. I struggle to keep my voice cheerful. ‘Come on.’

Five minutes later, I’m scratched, winded – but free.

‘Tommy?’ calls Barn through the fence. ‘My turn now?’

But I’m already running, trainers thumping tarmac – the drumbeat to his howl.

‘Tommy! Tommy!’

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Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers. See the photo, write a hundred words or less in response. See here for full details.

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49 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers: The drumbeat to his howl

    1. Ha! Yes, he is. Though I like to think there’s conflict there – a certain reluctance in his actions. I think it’s a dire situation that’s forced him to act badly. Course, I couldn’t explain all of that in 100 words … 🙂 Thanks for reading, love X

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      1. Thank you so much, Sandra! You’re very kind. I’m often tempted to take some of these flash stories and expand them, and this one would have a back story as wide as the sky! But not enough hours in the day. Thanks so much for reading and commenting 🙂

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    1. Thank you. Not sure where they were escaping from – I just know that Tommy needed Barn’s help to get out, but after that saw him as a liability. I think he acted under duress – conflicted rather than out and out bad. Thanks for reading 🙂

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    1. Ha! Yes, though I keep finding myself defending him – a man caught in difficult, desperate circumstances. I think the treachery was done with regret. Thanks so much for reading 🙂

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  1. Captivating story you wrote here Lynn, I feel Tommy didn’t intend to be a shit, but that’s what his cowardice made him so. Good job with the character dynamics.

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    1. Ah, thank you. That’s exactly what I wanted to get across! Sometimes people are forced ot awful things for their own self preservation. Maybe Tommy would be a better man under easier circumstances. Thanks so much for reading 🙂

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    1. True, we’re not all strong enough to the right thing at the right time – let’s hope Tommy can put things right another day. Thanks for reading 🙂

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      1. Ha! I’m pretty certain I would too, though of course, you always hope you’d be braver than that if it came to it. There’s probably a bit of Tommy in many of us 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Claire! Not sure I can answer all those questions, though I do know they’re in danger and Tommy knew he needed Barn’s help to escape, thoug he also sees him as a liability in the long run. Poor, trusting Barn. Let’s hope he finds his own way out – and more trustworthy friends! Thanks very much for reading and your feedback 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Neil – you’re the first person to think that way, and I agree with you. The lad does a terrible thing, but he’s driven to it through desperation – a need to survive. Poor Barn, but poor Tommy too. Thanks so much for reading and for your great feedback 🙂

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  2. This is great. It’s relatively easy to write a hero who knows what’s right and always acts on it. Tommy knows what’s right, but he runs anyway, and he’ll have to live with himself, as does poor Barn with the pain of being betrayed. Such great inner conflict.

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    1. Thank you Gabi! What great feedback! Just the impression I was hoping for -flawed humanity and you’re right, he knows what’s right but is too scare to do it. Thanks so much for reading

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    1. Ha! Could be dogs, Bjorn – certainly something awful. Yes, I think perhaps Barn should have seem this coming, knowing Tommy the way I think he does. Let’s hope he lives to learn from his mistake. Thanks very much for reading 🙂

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    1. Maybe a bit of both? Conflicted, definitely. Being in his head, I feel compassion for him – survival is a strong instinct and he doesn’t walk away without scars. Lots of guilt left behind. Thanks very much for reading 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much! And yes, I don’t think Tommy reacts lightly or without regret. But I see him as a physically small guy, unlikely to win many fights – and when the manure hits the spinning arms of fate, he has to do what he can to survive. I think Barn could fight his way out of a lot of problems, so maybe they’ll meet again. Thanks so much for reading 🙂

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    1. You may well be right – but he survives for now and I think that’s all he’s thinking of for now. I wonder if he’ll be around long enough to learn that lesson. Thanks for reading 🙂

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    1. Thank you! Poor old Barn – and poor old Tommy in a very different way. They will both have to live with the consequences of Tommy’s decision that day. Thank you so much for reading 🙂

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    1. Haha! Thank you, Rochelle. No one except me, perhaps. But then I can see into his head and know he’s conflicted about what he did, so I have a good reason to sympathise. Thanks for the great prompt – loving joining in 🙂

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