Shards – Friday Fictioneers

I seem to be getting later every week with my Friday Fictioneers contribution. I almost left it until tomorrow, but decided against the idea. So, here it is. The challenge is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff Fields and is open to anyone who would like to join in. Just follow the link above for details. The challenge involves writing a story in no more than 100 words from the photo prompt provided by Rochelle.

Here is this week’s photo . . .

crystals

Copyright: Marie Gail Stratford

And this is my story . . .

Sounds of shattering glass disturb my troubled sleep. Silvery-red shards shoot across the confined space, shimmering in the glow from the neon light in the street beyond. Sharp spikes strike my face and arms, piercing my exposed skin. I scream and cover my face as specks of blood pattern my arms.

Not my eyes! Leave me my eyes!

I struggle to understand why I suffer thus, and inΒ the silence, I waken.

The hospital ward is peaceful now. I clutch at the dressings around my eyes and remember…

Shards of shimmering glass shoot out from my shattered windscreen…

Word Count: 100

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About milliethom

I am a reader and writer of historical fiction with a keen interest in the Earth's history and all it involves, both physically and socially. I like nothing better than to be outdoors, especially in faraway places, and baking is something I do when my eyes need respite from my computer screen.
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70 Responses to Shards – Friday Fictioneers

  1. maddmombetty says:

    Good story! I could tell the person was having flashbacks of some kind. And even when he awakens, he is still in “shards.”

    • milliethom says:

      Thanks Betty. It’s definitely a shardy kind of story! The only thing that entered my head when i saw the prompt was splinters of glass, so the story just came from that. It is kind of obvious there are flashbacks of some kind. πŸ™‚

      • maddmombetty says:

        It reminded me in a way of my dad, how he would tremble under the covers when hit with a bout of malaria….left over from WWII. I didn’t see all the flashbacks he had. I was too little to realize what was going on.

      • milliethom says:

        I imagine that flashbacks can be quite frightening – and malaria is a dreadful disease anyway. I hope he recovered well. Thank you for sharing that, Betty.

    • I have been waiting for you to submit your story to FFforAW. Is everything okay?

      • milliethom says:

        I’m fine, PJ – just so much to do this week. I’ll be doing the FFforAW asap! The Shards thing was the first flash fiction I’ve done this week. The story was in my head, so I just had to write it out. Sorry to keep you waiting. Bookstore next stop! πŸ™‚

      • I’m looking forward to reading your story! Please don’t feel like you have to submit one though because I know you have been extremely busy!

      • milliethom says:

        I’d like very much to participate in this. It’s just that this week’s been a week for several ‘other’ types of posts for me to do besides flash fiction. I always try to cover traditions – and since last Saturday we’ve has Valentine’s Day and Pancake Day very close together this year. Then I had that Love in Four Words post to do. Then, lo and behold, I suddenly realised that yesterday was the first day of my ‘5 free days’ on Amazon: another post. I’d had it in mind that it wasn’t until next Tuesday. And I just had to do the Friday Fictioneers while it was in my head. All-in-all, a lot more posts than I can really fit in. Anyway, I ‘m almost done for this week. I might even manage to write some of my book tomorrow. I’m not moaning really. I love doing these posts.
        Better get back to what I was doing! πŸ™‚

      • I am sorry that you are feeling a bit overwhelmed. I know that feeling and it isn’t pleasant. I am going to remind you of the advice you gave me. πŸ˜€ My feelings won’t be hurt if you choose not to post a story on FFfAW because I completely understand. I know you will post one when you have more time. I do understand.

      • milliethom says:

        I’ll be fine for next week. No traditions to do, no posts about my book. I’ll look forward to your next prompt and see if I can make a few useful comments here and there. I’ll probably have a few on mine, too – which is what it’s all about. I really do think it’s an excellent idea to have this challenge, so be assured of that. πŸ™‚

      • As a friend, I am glad you have decided to wait until next week. πŸ™‚

      • milliethom says:

        I’ve got this week’s ready to post! I’m just sorting out all the link-up details and reading your instructions. πŸ™‚

      • Ok, that’s wonderful! I look forward to reading it. πŸ™‚

  2. For a minute I thought it was going to be a torture in the mind of the narrator, but it harkened back to a real incident. It is always a great surprise to read the final line in your Friday fiction. It often changes everything! Great work, and entertaining.

    • milliethom says:

      Torture in the narrator’s mind would make a great story, Amanda. You could have a go at that yourself. I bet you’d do an excellent FF. Thanks for the nice comment! πŸ™‚

      • I am hopeless at flash fiction. Too verbose!!!!

      • milliethom says:

        So am I! But flash fiction’s a great way to practise being more concise. I can talk for England but, with writing, knowing you have a word limit helps you to think before you speak – or write, as the case may be. Then you edit. It’s been good for me because I needed to get my head away from the iking world for a while. Perhaps you feel it’s not for you, which is fine. It was just a passing thought on my behalf! πŸ™‚

      • Well, your comment makes me think I just might give it a try. Anything that helps me be more concise, is worth a ‘go’

      • milliethom says:

        The Friday Fictioneers is good. It’s a 100 word challenge. Rather tight for a story, but really good practice. I’ve also just joined in one earlier today called Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. This asks for a story of 100-150 words. Most of the participants will not be experienced writers. Priceless Joy (PJ) asked me to be one of the mentors, which is very flattering. I’m sure PJ will welcome a few more entrants. She’ll be posting her next prompt on Wednesday. You could always have a look . . (I bet you’re coming out with you best Viking curses at me, right now!)
        Seriously htough, please don’t think I’m pushing you! I know you already do a lot of posts every week. Just have a think. Have fun! πŸ™‚

      • I will check out priceless joy. You will do a great job of being a mentor!!!!

      • milliethom says:

        Well, I’m hoping to be able to offer little bits of advice, wherever possible. We all need it along the way – even experienced writers aren’t perfect all the tilme. And these short pieces can be quite a test of many skills. It’s all about moving the story on in the most concise way as possible. I really think PJ’s challenge would be a good one for you. You can find the link to her instructions on my entry this week. (it’s the first week of this challenge, anyway.) See what you think. πŸ™‚

  3. Millie, that was excellent – chilling, but realistic. I could “almost” feel those shards in my body and my eyes.

    • milliethom says:

      Thanks, PJ. I was intending to do something happier this week, but that picture just filled my head with splinters of glass! πŸ™‚

      • I think your take on the photo is awesome. Once you said shards of glass, I thought, “That fits this photo so well!”

      • milliethom says:

        I’m so glad you could see that. I know they were crystals – I’ve grown enough of them in science labs – but shards of glass was what I saw. πŸ™‚

      • Oh! That is why so many people were writing about crystals. I have never seen crystals grown before. I thought they were pieces of metal.

      • milliethom says:

        You can grow crystals from all sorts of chemicals – like copper sulphate (blue crystals). We usually do those and salt crystals at school. Very pretty they are. The ones in the prompt are possibly something like magnesium sulphate – which are sort of silvery-white. I think the red colouring is just from the background, but it’s hard to tell. They can all grow quite long if left long enough.

      • I wish we would have done that when I was in school, but we didn’t. Sounds very interesting to see grow.

  4. Not something that I ever want to experience. Ouch. So scary

  5. priyanka says:

    Very imaginative . I can actually picture those words and scenes in front my eyes , quite edgy and very beautiful . Glad to have found your blog .

  6. plaridel says:

    the way you told it i could sense the sight and sound of shattering glass and the terror that followed it. well done.

  7. Amy Reese says:

    I bet accidents do make you feel disoriented about time and space. Luckily, I’ve never had to endure that. I sense it’s a car accident, but what it is doesn’t really matter. I got the emotion beyond what happened and a real sense of the trauma. Well done, Millie. It’s so great to see you doing these.

    • milliethom says:

      I’ve never been in a car accident either, Amy. My husband has, and the idea of having one has terrified me since. He was left partially diabled. He was well compensated for it because it wasn’t his fault. Sorry for rambling . . .! The shattering of glass was just my imagination. And I have a dreadful fear of losing my eyesight. Thank you for liking the story – I’m really enjoying doing these little pieces. πŸ™‚

      • Amy Reese says:

        I’m so sorry to hear about your husband having an accident and being partially disable. Oh, that’s terrible. Glass has that effect, I think. It is worrisome, especially around the eyes. It seems to cause such permanent damage. Oh, it all sounds so painful.

      • milliethom says:

        The damage wasn’t his eyes, or anywhere above the shouders. It was mainly the pelvis, which was displaced. Now, one leg is over an inch shorter than the other, so he limps a lot, He also live permanently on strong painkillers. But, at least, his brain was undamaged and he still leads a happy life. πŸ™‚
        Thank you so much for you kind thoughts and words on this, Amy. I don’t know what made me go rabbiting on about that! Just thinking about car accidents, I suppose. I really must do something happy next week! πŸ™‚

      • Amy Reese says:

        It’s wonderful to hear his mental faculties are still in check. I’ve had a few scares on the road. Accidents happen so fast. I guess we just thank our lucky stars today, Millie. That said, your husband is lucky, too. It could have been so much worse.

        Be well! Be good to yourself. Yes, do something that makes you happy. Me, too. I need that, too. πŸ™‚

      • milliethom says:

        Lovely to chat to you, Amy. πŸ™‚

      • Amy Reese says:

        Likewise! πŸ™‚

  8. Sonya says:

    This is quite tense at first. I’m really with the narrator when she fears for her eyes. I like the subtle hint in the beginning – troubled sleep – that it’s a memory rather than happening at that moment. Great stuff!

  9. draliman says:

    Very good, using the present tense was definitely the right choice here. It made it all more “immediate” in my mind.

  10. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Millie, I could almost feel the shards of glass cutting into my flesh. Wow! Good story. Nan πŸ™‚

  11. Terrifying! Definitely some ambiguity here–I wonder why this attack occurred! Nice work.

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you, Emily. I’m glad you felt it to be terrifying. I was hoping to create that feeling as he/she relived the moment of the crash – and all the flying glass. πŸ™‚

  12. I, too, thought of torture which always makes my skin crawl – in a good way if done well – so was surprised by your ending – in a good way.

    • milliethom says:

      I’m glad you thought of the story in a good way at the end. πŸ™‚ I hadn’t thought of torture, as such, other than a mind tortured by horrendous memories/dreams of a car crash. Many of these flash fiction pieces are open to interpretation, so it’s always interesting to hear what people felt. Thank you so much for commenting. πŸ™‚

  13. Dear Millie,

    I’m not sure at this point if this is a flashback of a car accident or the accident as it’s happening. It’s graphic and vivid nonetheless. I also found myself hoping her eyes were spared.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    • milliethom says:

      The opening section is intended as a dream/flashback to a car accident that actually happened. On waking, the person still has the scene playing in his/her head. I left the question of damaged eyesight open to interpretation. Perhaps I should have rephrased the ending to say that he/she could still see. Thanks for commenting on that, Rochelle. πŸ™‚

  14. I of July says:

    only you can make a story exciting and complete in a 100 words… and had I that photo for a prompt I’d have been blank πŸ™‚

    • milliethom says:

      You wouldn’t have been. Your mind never goes blank when it comes to writing! Your imagination knows no bounds. Thank you for saying such nice things about mine, though. πŸ™‚

  15. Nice story! I loved how vivid you described every single detail of it and made living as the character in the story ❀

    • milliethom says:

      It wasn’t a pleasant experience for that person, I know. Dreams and flashbacks to traumatic experiences must be really frightening. Thank you for liking it, Khloe. πŸ™‚

      • I’m sure it wasn’t a pleasure experience, but I’m like one of those people who would like to be a character of a movie or story for a day even it’s not a pleasure one. You’re most welcome Millie ❀

  16. To live in the horror of such devastating history is for sure highly disturbing… πŸ™‚

  17. scribbley14 says:

    That was an interesting take on the prompt! I enjoyed it, thanks for sharing ☺

  18. storydivamg says:

    Millie,
    Good work. Those pointy bits in the picture do bring thoughts of a traumatic event.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

  19. Beautiful story dear! Very touching… πŸ™‚
    Those shards remind me of The Iron Throne of GOT… I guess it’s a sign for me to begin ASOIAF’s re-read… lol!

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