Flash Friday Fiction


Picture courtesy of Erin Leary   

This picture is of one of my favorite spots in the world. I was just there yesterday, marveling at the spring activity – birds, babies, bounty. I have been absent from the group for the past month; thank you to Rochelle for drawing me gently back in with this memory of beauty.

UPDATE: Congratulations to Rochelle and all the Friday Fictioneers for the mention by WordPress as one of the best writing communities for bloggers!  We are at 110 entries this week as a result.  If you missed the article, it is here.  

Word count: 100

Off the Rails

Standing at the fence line, Jake looked down its length as far as the eye could see. All his land; all his problem. When the creek dries up this summer, his fields will wither. Without the harvest, he will lose it all.

As a young man, he’d stood along the railroad tracks and thought about escaping into the unknown. Jump on board – leave it all behind, the chattering wheels seemed to say. He chose to stay and try. Controlling the weather was something he would never master.

Ever elusive, freedom. Always beyond the vanishing point, a shadow in the mist.

© Erin Leary

To see other Friday Fictioneers, please visit here.

56 thoughts on “Flash Friday Fiction

  1. Excellent story. It would be hard to leave behind land that was likely passed down through many generations. Like this man, many would stay and tough it out, trying to make it work.

  2. If he does learn to control the weather, let me know! (We’re on holiday next week and it’s supposed to rain all week, this past week, however, has been glorious – the law of sod!). Lovely story, lovely picture 🙂

  3. Fine image, it was one of the reasons to make my first attempt at Friday Fictioneers. thanks for capturing it.

  4. Dear Erin,
    I very much enjoyed the beautiful photo and the inspiration it sparked to do a story on an uncontented cow. I’m living on the land that my great-grandfather homesteaded over a century ago. My ancestors were able to make a living (barely) off the farm, but those days are long gone–fading into the mist. Loved your story.

    • Thank you for reading!! It was taken along the banks of the Sammamish slough here is Washington. I walk along that path many times a week while walking my dog. It is a lovely spot.

  5. your character sounds like a winner despite the hardships in his life. great story and very beautiful photograph. i love the pastel misty colors in the horizon. thank you.

  6. Glad to have you back,Erin, and playing along. This is a breathtaking picture by the way, and you’ve written and great story to match–the ruminations of a farmer who might have been something else had he ever taken that train to the next town. One wonders at the ties to the land that seem to run in the blood line.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

  7. Dear Erin, I love the picture – thank you so much for sharing it with FFF! Welcome back, and now there are more of us! I love the picture – could be just about any place but is beautiful, soothing scenery! Lucky you to be able to go there! Thanks, Nan 🙂

  8. Dear Erin
    I feel that he will stay and endure, whatever the weather throws at him.
    It is good to see you back here, I always enjoy your writing.
    Thank you for sharing your photo with us, it looks a quiet peaceful spot and yet has provoked so many different moods this week.

  9. A very nice job of letting us see that “what if ….” or “maybe I still could …” thought lurking in the back of his mind still yet — but letting us see his courage and commitment in the face of it.

  10. Oh that last line – freedom elusive in the mist – so plaintive. After he’s stayed and tried so hard, his soul is almost broken. Damn the blasted weather. You portray his potential loss so strongly.

    • I’m so glad it’s appreciated. It was taken with a low res Blackberry camera on Thanksgiving morning last year. It had to be just the right light or moment. Both pictures I took that morning turned out well.

  11. Dear Erin,

    Thank you for being so generous with your favorite spot. As you see it has inspired many good ones this week.
    Despite the hardships the farmer anticipates, I think he’s tied to this piece of land for better or worse. It’s his and he owns his responsibility. Well done. Welcome back.



    • I stood near that same tree yesterday and it looks vastly different in this season. Leaves on the tree block most of what is best in that view, which only proves that it is in the absence of some things that best is revealed, much like our imposed word count. Thank you for doing what you do. It is appreciated.

  12. Dear Erin,

    Thanks for the picture this week. From it came a story that was very nice. Climate is what you want and weather is what you get. Good job.



  13. Erin, Welcome back and thanks for the beautiful photo. That was a lovely story. I hope the farmer makes it through. It’s such a heartbreak when people lose land that’s been in their family for several generations. Well done. 🙂 —Susan

  14. First, thanks for this week’s picture. Second – wonderful story about responsibility, things out of one’s control and longing. How many of us long for the things we gave up for “the good of the cause?”

  15. Pingback: The Trials Of Tess (Part Four) | A Mixed Bag

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