Breathe! (Friday Fictioneers #3)

This flash fiction Friday event is both fun and a great writing exercise. A picture prompt, a 100-word story that links dozens of awesome writer bloggers! Thank you, Rochelle Wishoff-Fields!

Here’s my third attempt entitled “Breathe!

PHOTO PROMPT Copyright – Douglas M. MacIlroy



99 words

“No!” Mary’s cry sliced the silence of the cabin like a sharp blade.

The smeared spoon, the lighter on the table, Amy’s body slouched on the chair, the tablet idle on her lap.

Amy’s eyes cracked open. Mary braced herself for the vacant, red look of a daughter gone. It had been five years. No!

Amy stretched like a cat. “Jeez, I guess I snoozed. There was a power cut, so I heated the soup on the gas cooker.” She gave her mother a sheepish smile. “I’m a slob.”

Mary shuddered, as relief exploded in her. “Any soup left?”


When I saw this picture, impulsively I zoomed in to discern any actual drug paraphernalia. It just took me there, hence the story.

For more stories and totally different takes on this prompt click on the linky:


27 thoughts on “Breathe! (Friday Fictioneers #3)

  1. Dear MM,

    Given that the photo is of the office where I write and the slippered feet are mine, I had to laugh at your zoom sleuthing for drug paraphernalia. Your story was gripping. Good tempo, nice reveal and a look into the heart of fear and a mother’s love. Well done.



    1. Dear Doug,

      I had to look up “lanai”. I’m Greek and English is my second language. My in-laws own a house on the Aegean island of Alonissos, so I guess that’s their lanai. As for my sleuthing, the random spoon next to the lighter did it for me I’m afraid. A very relaxed office space you have there.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Kalimera! (Good morning)


      1. Dear Maria,

        Lovely writing you do. If I tried to write in Greek, well….it would be bad.

        The picture is lovely, too. I’m going to take a screen capture and put it in my file called ‘Imagine’. I use it to inspire me, so thanks for that. The spoon is for the peanut butter, one of my staples late in the night. Peanut butter and salt, mmmmmm good.



        1. I’m delighted that I can offer inspiration through my picture. And what a coincidence! My first thought was to have Amy eat peanut butter, but I needed something to account for the lighter as well, so I went for a bean soup.

  2. Wow! This was a truly unique take on the prompt and a wildly entertaining photo. From the very beginning, I braced myself for what seemed to be a chilling and depressing story, but you gave a delightful twist that softened things up a bit! Wonderful writing!

  3. Maria, Lovely story with a surpirse and happy twist at the end. I always love a happy ending. Well written. I first heard the term “lanai” from California relatives. They had a large outdoor patio and called it that. 🙂 —Susan

  4. After looking up lanai, I have to agree that the happy twist at the end made this one of my favourite pieces of flash fiction. Well done! I particularly like your verbs; “sliced the silence”, “slouched on the chair”, “Amy’s eyes cracked open”. Wonderful writing!

    If I had to change one thing, that would have been to come up with a more original simile for “stretched like a cat,” which is somewhat worn. I confess I haven’t got a better suggestion, though! 😀

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