Friday Fiction #11

As usual, this week’s inspiration came from Madison’s picture below. You can find Madison’s blog, and links to lots of other postcard fiction inspired by the picture, here: http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/flash-fiction/the-western-sky-100-words/ I do recommend you take a look, there are some great writers hiding out there on the blogosphere and you might find your next favourite. For me… well, you’ll see what I came up with. Comments and critiques always welcome (see my previous post “Write Better” to learn in detail how much I love crits!)

Sunset in the East

From horizon to horizon, the light shone like the sunset: heartbreaking at the end of the day, but faithful in its promise of dawn tomorrow. The last leaves of autumn clung to the trees which stood in crisp silhouette against its brilliant glow.

In that moment, there was neither sound nor smoke. Microseconds later the cloud began to rise, foretold by expanding rings of brightness, climbing into the sky and leaving the mushroom stalk in its wake.

Seconds of silence.

The earth shook. A deafening roar swept through the valley. Sunset in the East brought the night and the winter.

28 Comments

Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

28 responses to “Friday Fiction #11

  1. Beautiful and evocative, thank you.

  2. Definitely the most acopalyptic piece I’ve read. A real horror tale, wrapped in pretty words. Good writing!
    Here’s mine: http://bridgesareforburning.wordpress.com/

  3. Kaboom! Nice description and use of the photo prompt. Love the last line which to me evoked the image of ash falling like snow!

    • Thanks for your comment, Susie! I could have gone on about the ash as snow and the blast knocking those final leaves from the trees, but with only 100 words I had to hope people would see it for themselves. I’m so glad you did!

  4. I love how you include the silence as counterpoint to the final blast. This is everyone’s worst nightmare, and you express it well. Love the last line!

    Here is mine:
    http://writetuit.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/friday-fictioneers-feb-03-2012/

    • Thank you, Judee! I agonised long and hard over that last line, so I’m delighted you enjoyed it. And the silence too. I watched a video of a bomb explosion to check my description and that disconnect between seeing and hearing/feeling the blast was what struck me most. Terrifying!

  5. I must say, the best I read this friday! 🙂

  6. Well done, Elmo! I loved the nuclear “sunset” and the repercussions of its deployment. Great story. 🙂

  7. Funny…I wrote on Madison’s blog that the sunset brought night with no promise of tomorrow. In your story, there will be no tomorrow! (except for the cockroaches and Little Tikes play houses…)

    • Dawn and Spring always come in the end, don’t they? Well I hope they do anyway, but maybe in a very different guise from the last time we saw them. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts.

  8. Sunset in the east. I love it! A brilliant image of “Winter’s” dawn. Reading your story makes your kind assessment of my writing that much more meaningful!

  9. Great story, Jen. With your opening, I just knew it couldn’t end well, but I love the way you paced the sensory cues from visible to audible.

    • Thanks Cara. For once I avoided the temptation to give a twist in the tail and set up the problem from the start. And I’m grateful for your comment on the pacing. I watched a video of an atomic bomb exploding to get the details and what struck me was the silence while you watch the explosion and then the sudden gush of sound and shaking. Terrifying.

  10. Definitely liked this. The impact is even greater because you’ve maintained control of the writing. Not so easy with a subject like this.
    Here’s mine: http://wp.me/p1Tjpv-8P

  11. Madison Woods

    What a beautiful depiction of a terrible and violent end. Loved how you built the suspense by dropping tense words in a little at a time until I was fully engaged.

    • I couldn’t be more touched, Madison – beautiful is what I was looking for, but I am so glad you think i achieved it! Thank you for another inspiring picture – I hope it was “just” a sunset when you shot it, not all the forest fires and armageddons we fictioneers have made it into!

  12. With every word so carefully crafted I hesitate to bring this up, feeling it’s my baggage as a reader but thought you’d like to know. I stumbled on the word faithful. Eventually I accepted it after figuring out it was a foretelling, Don’t know it took so long to go there. Enjoyed, Robin

    • Thanks so much for the comment, Robin. As I’ve said before, I always welcome all comments. I’ll have to think whether there could be a better word for the infinite reliability of the dawn…

  13. Your first sentence was spectacular, and the rest of the piece did not disappoint. Haunting and beautiful at the same time. I held my breath as I read.

  14. Very impressive. The story flows naturally, in all its tragic beauty.

  15. Pingback: Friday Fiction – Islandspeak | elmowrites

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