#fridayfictioneers via rochelle – 1/04

Every Wednesday Rorschach Wisoff-Fields posts a picture prompt to challenge writers to create a 100-word story or poem or anything that works for you.  After you post your work on your blog,  go back to her site and post a link to your blog entry on her Friday Fictioneers post.  Place.  Page.

I’m going to try to keep up with this, as should you.  Give it a shot.  I prefer to stick to 100 words, but she doesn’t mind either way.  Not everyone has the time to sit and write, revise, edit, revise, edit, etc. until getting it down to 100 and telling everything you want to tell.


Rocket’s Red Glare

Colorful booms, screams, blasts, overwhelmed their senses.  Frightened eyes wide, wider.  Nervous hands reached for something, anything to stop it.  But others were transfixed, frozen by the flashes, blasts, howls.  He regained awareness.  Clumsy hands covered awkward ears.  Shaking, panicking, remembering emergency procedures.  “Nobody else sees this danger?  They’re attacking!”   Others on board – motionless, awestruck.  Not him.  So small but climbing into the control chair as others stared blankly.  He pressed buttons.  Engines humming.    Turbines spinning.  Lasers charging.  Cylinders opening.

Baby Jessica gazed skyward at new lights, booms.  Then cries.  Alien craft, just now visible, began firing back at Earth.


I had a busy few days and didn’t get to this until very late Thursday.  I don’t feel as strongly about this as other weeks.  oh well, can’t win ’em all.

100 words

85 thoughts on “#fridayfictioneers via rochelle – 1/04

  1. I’m not entirely sure what’s going on, but your pacing is great and I’m thinking being a tad confused is appropriate to the situation – whatever the situation is. I liked “Not him. So small but climbing into the control chair.” Most intriguing…

  2. I like the imagery, but I agree the pacing is a bit off; and I’m not certain how Baby Jessica fits in. But, those clever aliens, disguising their invasion amid the fireworks. Again, wonderful imagery, and I didn’t do mine until late Thursday as well. I suspect you’ll have much the same criticism of it.

    Here ’tis: http://unexpectedpaths.com/indulgences/

  3. Didn’t get it until I read your explanation, and I think it was possible to make sure people get it, with just a bit more time on it. Great idea though. Enjoyed it.

  4. Dear Mitch,
    While I loved the imagery in this and the feel of this I truthfully had not a clue what was happening. Thanks for explaining it. If you revise it I’ll come back and read it.

  5. I agree with good bones but I, too, found it confusing in the specifics. I got the overall picture and you conveyed the confusion and rushing to responses well. I missed the significance of the last paragraph, even though firing “back” at Earth should have clued me in.

  6. I had to read it a couple times or so to grasp the plot and characters’ roles in it. A little bit like a Star Wars episode off in the future somewhere destroying earth, with one little guy trying to save them all? And baby Jessica mesmerized by it all while everyone else stares in shock? Did I get any of that right, Rich? That’s what I see. 🙂 Maybe we are not too far behind another Star Wars reality. Maybe we have less to fear from aliens from other planets, than the real monsters on this planet. 🙂

  7. the kid part was a strong image and it was powerful, so much so that it jumped out at me and made me think of my teenage son taking the controls like a big video game. It’s a great premise.

  8. OK – I am going to agree that a little more context would have helped, but you still have the right approach – spare prose with lots of action, leading the reader to feel the urgency of the situation. Baby Jessica led me down a well, but I think I found my way back out.

  9. Good story, Rich. I like it. The telling moment for me was, “Nobody else sees this danger? They’re attacking!” That was just enough. At first I thought it was some kind of post-traumatic experience. I feel the same way about mine this week. Oh, well! Yours is good. Happy New Year! I missed you.

  10. Hi Rich,
    Out of the mouths (and eyes) or babes! I thought this was a tough photo prompt. I struggled with it for a while and, having read about 2/3 of the stories so far, I think I’m not the only one. Ron

    • i struggled too – obviously – but i also didn’t devote enough time to revising. it looks like it shouldn’t have been a tough one, but turns out it was. go figure.

  11. Your 9:23 a.m. explanation makes it all clear.

    i kinda-sorta had it figured out after 3 readings, but was still pretty confused.

    I think the problem isn’t pacing but PoV, which jumps erratically. “He” has no antecedent, so it’s hard to know what the narrative is referring to. Then baby Jess just comes out of nowhere.

    I like the idea of the two kids being the only ones to figure things out, but I guess it’s hard to fit this into 100 words. Come to think of it, the kid on the ship has it all wrong, too.


  12. Rich,
    I tell you what I like about this, the rush can be felt. The pace fits.I had to think about the line “hands covered awkward ears”. I pictured both the monkey with it’s hand over it ears and big freakish elf ears. The piece fits your state of mind (Being in a hurry) and the ending has a real nice drum roll like feel to it. Awkward ears sounds nice on the ears but confuses images in my mind.


  13. It’s good 🙂 I like mixture of imagery and symbolism. The star spangled banner, fireworks, the chaos of war, the innocence of youth, with a twist of sci-fi. What more do you think you could have done?

  14. I read it wholly differently.

    For me, this was a metaphor about new-born babies first experiencing the Brave New World into which they have been born. The only aliens are the “alien” experiences they encounter. For example, “colorful booms, screams, blasts” are sounds of the outside world that truly overwhelm their senses. In time, these experiences are so intense that to Baby Jessica it seems like an actual alien attack into her formerly tranquil world, an attack that she and the boy baby feel must be repelled.

    I think the piece totally works that way, and I like it very much.

  15. A lot of fast paced action here, Rich. I must confess, much of it flew over my head (which is not unusual). I did find Perry’s interpretation very interesting.

  16. I think this is a really strong premise Rich – the aliens think the Earth is attacking them, right? It did take the comments though to help me figure it out. Sure you would have got there with more work, but there isn’t always time for that.

    • yes, aliens think the earth is attacking but it’s just fireworks. but i didn’t give it enough time and care. thanks for reading and trudging through it.

  17. What imagery with all those shots firing. But sorry I cheated, I read your version of the story in the comment and then re-read the piece. It made perfect sense and all fit so well.

  18. That was a well shot scene! And you said you didn’t feel too good about this week? That’s being too hard on yourself.
    This was very different and quite nice.

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