Friday Fiction – Soul Memories

Madison apologised for the photo this week, but it’s one of my favourites. The minute I saw it, I had so many ideas, it was hard to narrow them down. So instead, I decided to include them all. When you read this piece, you’re probably have your own opinions about what’s happening, and that’s great. I’d love to hear them in the comments! But the truth is, there’s no right answer – I had a lot of ideas about it myself and I still haven’t settled on one. Take a look at the tags if you want to know some of the things I think might be happening.

As ever comments, critique and outright criticism are welcome. Enjoy!

It pulls me up short, like a shot in the chest. Innocent here, but still arresting.

The sun’s just beginning to rise and I’m just beginning to settle into my run. Then it’s there, a roll of barbed wire, casually slung over a post. No doubt it’s waiting for some farmhand to use.

But my soul recognises it and screams. Once upon a time there was a fence, and barbed wire. Once upon a time there were even sunrises, and the person who was me watched each one with a little bit of gratitude and a little bit of despair.



Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

63 responses to “Friday Fiction – Soul Memories

  1. Lora Mitchell

    Your soul screams with the memory of once upon a time and once upon a time, there were sunrises…etc… Beautifully written and powerful in so few words. Well done. Here’s mine:

  2. Beautifully written, didn’t need to look at the tags to get the drift. Well done.


  3. Loved “the person who was me.” My mind goes straight for the narrator being held captive at some point in his or her life but there’s enough ambiguity that I really want to know more about the story!

    • Yeah, i wanted to throw in more hints about reincarnation – that it’s the soul remembering rather than necessarily the person – but in the end I decided to let that go and leave it to your imagination to make the decision. It works either way (I think).

  4. Enjoyed very much. She is certainly enjoying better days.

    Here’s mine:

    • As dark as I get, I rarely manage to obliterate the light at the end of the tunnel. in this case, we’re out the other side and looking back from a place of safety.

  5. TheOthers1

    Oh. That would be an overwhelming, frightening thing to experience. Reincarnation isn’t something I believe in, but your telling was great. Gripping.

    My attempt:

    • Thank you! If you prefer to see it as a straight memory, that’s fine too. I’m not sure I believe in reincarnation in this way, but it’s an interesting idea.

  6. I’m interested to know why they’re so terrified. I bet that would be just as interesting. MORE! Give us more.

  7. I like this story a lot. Regardless of your intents as the author, I saw so many ways to interpret this story on either a literal or figurative level. So, job done as far as entertaining and engaging your reader.

  8. Haunted by memories from another life. Very engaging.

    Here’s mine:

  9. You write as though you are in my head. It left me wondering what and why and I love a guessing game.

    • ooh, what a fascinating idea. Am I in your head? What am I doing there? Is it good or evil?! I’m glad you like a guessing game because that’s all you’re gonna get this week!

  10. A little bit of gratitude and a little bit of despair… intriguing!
    Looks like the lead of your story has a dark past she(something tells me she’s a girl) is trying hard to forget and has for the most part. But sometimes it returns rushing at the sight of some items that have a prior context. Like the barbed wire? I liked this post!


    • There’s definitely a dark past there, Parul.
      SPOILER ALERT: I personally thought she was a reincarnated soul (for example from a holocaust camp) and the terror was part of her soul’s memories rather than her own. That last line was supposed to convey the human reaction of hope at living to see another sunrise and the very natural reaction of despair at living in such terrible conditions. I hope it gave some hints towards that, anyway.

  11. Oh, that feels so sad, like something has changed for the worst and it makes me feel that the protagonist is an animal of some sort, a fox perhaps. Really well done.

    Here’s mine all:

    • Hi Linda,
      I’m loving that you saw an animal in this piece. One of my strong impressions from the picture was how it would look to an animal trapped behidn the fence. In the end, I didn’t feel like it was going that way, but I’m delighted you did!

      • Oh, I’m so pleased that what I felt was some of what you intended, I’ve re-read it again and noticed that it’s two small sections that make me think ‘animal’ – the ‘settling into my run’ and the bit about the soul screaming, a human would just accept it.

  12. Lovely – that first line especially.

    • Thanks Craig. There was originally a second line, that focussed on the word “arresting” but I had to lose it in the edit. Maybe for the best though, I’m glad you still liked it as it stood because the whole line was a candidate for deletion for a while and I’d have been sad to lose it.

  13. Very thought provoking, and isn’t that what a writer wants most, to give a reader pause? Wow.

  14. Russell

    Wow! this is my favorite so far. I love your choice of action verbs in this piece. Thanks for the comments on mine. Perhaps Madison will read them and I’ll get the clown photo 🙂

    • I’m flattered, thanks Russell! You’ve got yourself a hard challenge giving us humour every week and I just skulk about in the shadows. I think you’d secretly be bored with clowns!

  15. siobhanmuir

    This says reincarnation to me, a chance to see things once again, perhaps from the other side of the fence. Nicely done, Elmo.

    Here’s mine:


    • Glad that’s what came out for you, Siobhan. The reincarnation thing was one I struggled to get in clearly but subtly. Hopefully she is not so much the other side of the fence this time as the fence not existing at all!

  16. This is why I try to avoid running. But seriously, a nice image of an image that triggers a potent memory. Nicely done, like a dream.

  17. I just thought this was a sweet bit of memory and a very poetic little vignette.

  18. Very well written. Like others have said, the language you used was unique put together well, like poetry.
    I like that her soul recognizes it and screams. It’s unique, and if it were her literally screaming it would’ve been over-dramatic.
    Also, I’d like you to know that I looked, but I couldn’t find anything that could be significantly improved. Well done : )

    • Thanks Robert! I like to think that the soul screaming is more a feeling than an action for the character – a sort of deep rooted panic – and this was the best way I could come up with to explain it!

  19. Cara Michaels

    Wow, that’s a powerful set of memories to hang on to from one life to the next. Well done, Jen.

  20. love past life stuff!! v’cool 🙂

  21. Madison Woods

    Wow, yes. This one could be taken on different levels. I see it as memories of reincarnation. Loved it, very evocative story.

    • I’m glad that’s what you got, Madison. It’s where I was going, but I couldn’t find a way to signpost it more obviously without spoiling the flow. Thanks for your comment

  22. Very good! Fluent and effective – the last line is particularly well-constructed.

  23. I think your piece speaks for itself. A very well written, thought provoking take on the idea of reincarnation, souls resonating through time, negative energies now transitioning into the positive… but what a horrible flash of another’s life to have thrust upon you. Just imagine… sheesh. Great stuff. 🙂

    • Thanks Andy. I agree, imagine having all those fears suddenly imported into your “normal” modern life. Even if you were a strong believer in reincarnation and had felt things like this before, it would be quite a shock

  24. The last line is especially lovely. That’s one powerful set of memories.

  25. yes definitely reincarnation, and the power of a sunrise in such horrible circumstances, nicely written, however your last sentence of the second paragraph makes it sound as though the barbed wire will be using the farmhand, which took me on a whole other story….and never knock the rambly!

    • Haha, I never noticed that the farmhand line could be read like that! Thanks for point it out, if I take this piece anywhere else I will definitely fix it. I wouldn’t knock the rambly, but there isn’t room for it in the these little flashes!

  26. Very ominous…you illustrated living a nightmare quite well. The suffering…I can’t imagine.


  27. Poetic and beautiful–“The person who was me.” Well done!


  28. You did a good job of turning an ordinary image into something surreal and ominous. Interesting. Sounds like this person’s been around for a while.

  29. I liked this. Nice flashback to incarceration, benign or otherwise, and it is very poetically pulled off. Nice work 🙂 sunrises and darkness, and wire.

    My entry for the prompt is over here:

  30. I enjoy very much the sing-songy poetic element you’ve included in this piece.

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