FF – The Lane

Still trying to catch up with last week’s FF, but somehow it’s Wednesday again. I am beginning to think I should back off Friday Fiction (and indeed blogging) for a bit, but it’s the healthiest addiction I can find, and I’m worried once I stop I would find it hard to start again. Thank you for bearing with me while I struggle to reply to comments (I promise I still read and appreciate them all) and to read many other stories.

This week’s picture is from Amy Reese. I wanted to do something novel with it, but I’m not sure I managed that. I hope you enjoy my story anyway.


The Lane

The lane at the back of the school wasn’t new, Lauren knew that. People had been walking dogs and sharing needles, bottles or bodily fluids here for decades, centuries even. Lauren herself had walked down it hundreds of times before. It was the quickest way from Mrs McCormac’s French class to McDonalds’ French fries last year, and it was where she’d tried her first cigarette.

But now she couldn’t get there. Every step closer was a mile, with leaden legs, through treacle thoughts.
The lane was still just a lane, but Lauren was no longer just a girl.


Filed under Friday Fiction

19 responses to “FF – The Lane

  1. Jen, your last middle paragraph really made me feel a slowing down, a struggle to get to what? At first I felt as thought it was a sci-fi time warp sort of thing. Then I wasn’t sure if she were still a girl or a grown-up, reliving some experience and unable to concentrate because? Once again, I was left hanging. Is she having a mental breakdown or a physical one or both? Or is it something else entirely?

    You set up the feeling, then let us figure out our own ending and I’m OK with that. 🙂


  2. This is sad, I get the feeling she was raped or robbed on those stairs.
    Great story and lovely to see you again.

  3. Dear Jennifer,

    Mrs. McCormac’s French class to McDonald’s French fries…great line.

    You do leave the reader wondering what has happened to her. I can only imagine. Well done.



    PS Whenever you have the time FF is here. 😉

  4. A great story Jennifer. Loved the intrigue you created that has made the lane a menacing place for Lauren. You’re right not to tell us what it is – you’ve given me enough for my own imagination to fill in the gaps. Thought the sentence,”It was the quickest way from Mrs McCormac’s French class to McDonalds’ French fries last year” was very clever, (though I did wonder if the words ‘last year’ were necessary?)
    Also the line – “Every step closer was a mile, with leaden legs, through treacle thoughts.” – confused me a little. Maybe ‘Every step seemed like a mile …’?
    I thought the last line was a great ending.

  5. I’m going to comment before I read anyone else’s reply so I’m certain my reply is coming just from your story as it.
    The imagery of description for the lane is so detailed…and Lauren’s use of it too. You’ve juxtaposed the very unsavory with the innocent walking of Lauren. The ending….slowing…leaden legs…every step a mile…and Lauren no longer “just a girl.” Somehow, I feel that the unsavory caught up with this sweet young girl — perhaps she was raped? Taken advantage of?
    You may not have meant that…..and that’s ok. I think sometimes the power of a story is the leap that the reader makes because of your words. So, actually, don’t think I’ll read the other responses. I like leaving where I’m at with it.
    A big like from me.

  6. bykimberlylynne

    I tried not to read the other comments – Feels to me like something happened to her along that lane… thanks for leaving it a mystery. The “last year” solidified the notion of time passage.

  7. Without even mentioning it you made it clear. Beautiful writing.

  8. gahlearner

    Excellent description and build-up. The reader freezes with her, and I like how you don’t tell us what exactly happened. I was wondering: shame? abuse? both? But I think it can only mean abuse, the way you wrote it.

  9. I liked the first cigarette – she’s real, not a goody goody. Then something happened that crossed a line.
    Good story.

  10. Oh dear – something really bad happened there.

  11. I wonder if that cigarette has anything to do with the change in her.

    Great story! I hope you’ll read mine here.

  12. I believe there was a shirt cut like this in every school district. It’s not much of a stretch to believe that it could be a place where a young girl might be forever changed. I’ve been down those steps and imagined those events in my own youth.

  13. Greetings!
    I imagine this conjured memories of some location near a school for everyone where kids went to hang out and get in trouble! The story and it’s open-ended question of what happened work well. There are several sentences early on seemed to drag, slowing the pace. When reading it a second time, I also wondered how it would work if the line ending with the first cigarette was a bit more vague. For me, it was a rapid transition from what seemed a nostalgic memory to reluctance to head down that path. Overall, an intriguing story. And I loved the line about French class and French fries.
    Happy trails. 🙂

  14. I see the ‘no longer just a girl’ ending as well as her fear of returning to the place as clues that she had been raped in the place. It’s a very sad, yet very well written story!

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