FF – The Thirty-Five Steps

Happy New Year to you, dear Readers. I must apologise for my absence over the ‘holidays’; it was a lovely couple of weeks with my little family, but didn’t afford much chance for writing and posting.

Melanie Greenwood‘s picture is our first prompt of the year, and Rochelle leads us all into 2016. I hope it’s a good one all round. I won’t be joining the concirt subgroup this week as I can’t guarantee time to offer to others, but I do welcome your feedback, good and bad, on my story.


The Thirty-Five Steps

Thirty-five yards, he estimated, and he’d be at the base of the staircase. Thirty-five steps, give or take, between him and freedom.
Because once he was on that plane, they wouldn’t follow: he was sure of that. Nobody cares about the little guy, not once he’s in the wind. Literally and metaphorically, he caught himself smiling, pulled down the corners of his mouth and the peak of his cap simultaneously.
Thirty-four, thirty-three … and finally one. He could almost reach out and touch the glistening handrail. An impulse made him stop, turn and look back, but only for a moment.


Filed under Friday Fiction

20 responses to “FF – The Thirty-Five Steps

  1. Dear Jennifer,

    This one leaves me in the air. I suppose his looking back could go either way since it was only for a moment. You leave a lot to the imagination. As PT Barnum is quoted as saying, “Always leave ’em wanting more.” Well done.



  2. Dale

    Yes indeed, this does leave things wide open: where is leaving from, where is he headed, why did he look back and what did he see… Good stuff!

  3. Agree with Rohelle- Well done buildup that leaves me wanting more.

  4. I think the lingering here makes the story. I love the title too. I don’t know if you meant this or not, but it reminds me of an old Hitchcock film titled The Thirty-Nine Steps, and that context fills a lot of the negative space with the kind of intrigue that makes a story like this work.

    All my best,

    • I did think of the book/movie when I came up with the title, actually. I can’t remember the storyline and therefore whether it could be at all relevant, but I decided to keep it anyway. Glad you liked it.

  5. I thought about the thirty nine steps immediately when I read.. the last lingering could be either triumph or despair… but I like the tension, so the end make less importance to me.

  6. gahlearner

    You have me on the edge on my seat. And then? Very mysterious, could go so many different ways.

  7. An apt picture of the moment of decision. We usually can’t move ahead into a new phase of life without looking back and wondering. It’s good that his moment is brief and he pursues his goal. I just wonder if I should be cheering him on or not – it depends what this ‘little guy’ is running from. Very intriguing.

  8. You and I were on the same wavelength this week.
    I like your story!

  9. Great story! He looked back just to be sure, but not too long and he’s free. More we don’t need to know.

  10. Always so tempting to look back – hadn’t he read the story of Orpheus?

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