Friday Fictioneers: To sleep through the end of the world

PHOTO PROMPT Copyright-Sandra Crook

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook




‘What’s happening? Why are they doing that?’ Jesse’s pale as his shirt, hands pressed to the dashboard.

I could tell him everything, but the truth would make him argumentative, make him cling harder to this dying planet.

‘It’s okay,’ I lie. ‘Something spooked them.’

He makes the cough-laugh he does when he’s nervous and trying to hide it. ‘Maybe they know something we don’t.’ He peers into the car seat. ‘How can she doze through all that?’

As I restart the engine, I pray our baby sleeps through all that’s to come.

I wish we could.


Written for Rochelle Wissoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the pic and write a story of 100 words or fewer. Good clean fun had by all.

53 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers: To sleep through the end of the world

  1. The tension really comes through in this one; especially like the cough-laugh. But after this many dark and dystopic stories, I challenge you to write something happy and uplifting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! Not qute sure I’m capable, Joy 🙂 Which is odd, as I’m actually quite a cheerful person with a glass half full attitude. Maybe the dark imagination is why I’m so cheerful – it funnels my dark side into positive outlets! Thanks for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Chris! What a lovely thing to say. I do enjoy flash. In fact it’s becoming harder and harder to drag myself away and write something longer … Many thanks for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You could argue we’ve been ruining the planet for longer – since the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, since men stopped hunter gathering and began manipulating the world to their own ends.
        But I think you’re right – we’ve got a while longer yet. At least until our AmPrime subscription runs out 🙂
        Just wondering whether to buy Penny Dreadful on there – have you seen it?


  2. Dear Lynn,

    The tension is tangible and it doesn’t sound like there will be much to sleep through for long. One bit of crit. I believe you’re miss a word in the first line. Aside from that, good job on the story.



    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Rochelle. Thanks very much for reading. Could you tell me which word you think is missing? Have taken a look and not sure what you mean, though it’s so hard spotting mistakes in your own work, isn’t it? Thanks so much 🙂


      1. Not at all! It’s good when people point out typos – so easy to miss these things yourself. Don’t ever be afraid to point out any mistakes you might see in my work, Rochelle – I’m always aiming to improve and having experienced eyes read my writing is always helpful. Best wishes


  3. Great characterization, tension, dialogue, a perfect flash. Now go and write something longer, Lynne, I want to read it. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! Yes, very good point, Gabi. MUST wean myself off this blog – it’s gorgeous being here, but blogging won’t translate into being a professional writer! Thanks so much for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nonono, that’s not what I meant. Blogging, or writing flash fiction, means training the imagination muscle. Writing the novel is more like the cadio-vascular workout. You’d want both, no? 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Very realistic. Even without the danger being a dying planet, I’d say trying to get through a herd of sheep with a child in the back would be tension enough!

    Amazing how you write the dark stuff with the opposite type of personality. 😀 I think it really depends on what we see and how we put it together. My story lines are usually drawn from life experiences, mine or someone else’s (a lot of times someone else’s because they’re just too good to pass up!). You ever write anything about yours? Maybe a happy story will come out after all and impress the heck out of Joy. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do like your stories – all of those quirky, interesting people you know or know of!
      Some of my extended family tales are non too happy – adoptive families, identity crises, broken families, alcohol, mild violence. Reads like a soap opera! I always wrote dark stories even as a child – something in the DNA?
      Thanks for reading and the feedback , very much appreciated 🙂


  5. All the better to read you, my dear. 😀 If you ever have a happy ending, you should remember what Jimmy Stewart said about Frank Capra’s films. “You really had to PAY for those happy endings.” Remember It’s A Wonderful Life? Great example.

    As my screenwriting professor, Lew Hunter, always says, “Write on!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a Wonderful Life! One of my favourite films ever – so many fantastic moments. I really would like to live in Bedford Falls, have the Bailey’s as neighbours, pop round to theirs on Christmas Eve for a sing song round the piano and an eggnog … I’m not averse to happy endings and when I’m writing longer pieces I quite often have them, whereas the flash is a snapshot only, often a part of the story where the action is building. A Satisfying ending is the most important thing, isn’t it – happy or sad.
      And yes, let us write on 🙂


  6. I’m sure the Bailey’s would have enjoyed having you as a neighbor. They seemed like nice folks. Interesting how you see endings as depending on the length of the piece. Very interesting. Mine always seem to dictate according to subject matter. Of course, then again, the subject matter could have split in two directions. It’s like sculpting a tree trunk. You always cut where the wood takes you. Not that I ever did that, but sculptors tell me that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And I would have loved them as neighbours, though they’d be noisy ones with all those children and hordes of friends!
      I suppose for the flash I tend to write one of the dramatic highpoints of a bigger story and as we know our characters need conflict to prove themselves, moments of tension and conflict often crop up. It’s also true that I tend towards spec fictio which is chocka with action and danger. Though generally, I like to see happy endings for my characters (or at least notes of hope) in the long run – I’m a bit old fashioned like that.
      I like your sculpture analogy – didn’t Michelangelo say something similar, that he didn’t impose a design on the stone, he just revealed what was already there? As you say, interesting 🙂


      1. Hmmm. Probably Michelangelo. There’s an old saying about how to carve a wooden Indian Chief statue is to cut away the part that doesn’t look like the Indian Chief.
        Like you, I enjoy speculative fiction (I loved The Twilight Zone) and I DO happen to like happy endings. I’m also sure the Baileys would have really loved your accent, too. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha! Would they loe my accent as I’m hammering on the party wall, screaming at them to stop singing Auld Lang Syne and why do they have to have so many children? 🙂
        Oh, the Twilight Zone was great. Why don’t they make shows like that anymore? 🙂


      3. Oh, they’ve tried too make them, but shows like that needs to be well-conceived as well as well-written.
        You’d probably be at the Bailey’s party anyway and having a great time!
        Tell me, what kinds of stuff are you writing other than this?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Maybe the Twilight Zone thing is just fashion – today it’s Game of Thrones and Penny Dreadful, tomorrow perhaps we’ll return to individual stories under a common thread.
        And I’d love to go to the Bailey’s Christmas party, though I hope they don’t have such high drama every year – not sure my nerves could take it 🙂
        I’ve written a handful of novels so far (all unpublished of course) the most complete is a YA time travel novel that has to be redrafted before being sent out to more literary agents. The new project is a supernatural mystery – all ghosts and demons and an unsolved murder but with plenty of humour this time. And definitely for adults 🙂
        How about yourself?


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