Apologies for the long period of silence, enforced by a combination of illness and traveling. Thanks for your patience!
It’s been so long since I last posted, that the Friday Fictioneers are on another photo prompt from the same contributor, J Hardy Carroll. This picture reminded me of the nonsense poem, “One fine day in the middle of the night,” and the line “back to back, they faced each other.” Beyond that, my story reflects a deeper feeling I have about the way we behave as humans, but that wasn’t my original intent. Your feedback is welcome, enjoy!
The Valley of Death
There they stood. Line upon line of them; back to back like the school desks of naughty boys caught cheating. Each man could feel the warmth of another against his spine, but he could see only desperate, calculated cold in the eyes ahead.
An army, weaponised by their enemies, bent on self-destruction, this was to be their end.
What they could have done if all had moved as one, turned together and risen up against their oppressors. But here, on this field of death, they could think of only that the man opposite must die.
A distant bell chimed once.
In part 4 of my Voice Week submissions, I’ve stepped right outside my comfort zone and tried to give you something different from my normal fiction style. I’m not sure I could sustain it for a longer story, but it was definitely interesting to try for 100 words. You can see the original story and an explanation of Voice Week on monday’s post, then a couple of more normal versions of the story on Tuesday and yesterday’s posts. Please note – the various versions are not all supposed to be simultaneously true; they are different possibilities stemming out of the first story.
Thursday’s Submissions suggestions / Inspiration Mondays posts will be resumed next week.
Clearance of properties in the Region Of Redevelopment proceeds with substantial success. Most inhabitants have been dispatched according to classification.
Pockets of resistance remain. At Building 785 gunfire has been intermittent. At 20:00 hours, two individuals were seen escaping into the forest in the direction of the lake. One adult male is believed to have returned to Building 785.
A boat was observed at 21:00 hours carrying a lone elderly female away from shore. Regrettably our tracking beacons were unable to intercept the vessel, which is believed to have escaped into enemy territory.
Final clearance is anticipated within 24 hours.