Home > Fiction > Sabotage!


Friday Fictioneers is a weekly photo prompt-inspired flash fiction challenge hosted by the talented Rochelle. This week’s photo was supplied by Marie Gail Stratford, and close to 100 of us write somewhere around 100 words on a weekly basis!

To read the other stories for this week, click on the blue froggie fellow below. Why not give it a go yourself?

My first thought when I saw this week’s photo was “nuclear rods in a reactor”.


Copyright Marie Gail Stratford

Jed trembled as he approached the reactor, the words of the resistance leader echoing in his mind.

“Pull the pink rods. The reactor will reset and drop the security grid. We don’t have a radiation suit for you. I’m sorry.”

He carefully slid the rods from the reactor core. The nuclear glare, brighter than the sun, melted his eyeballs. His insides liquefied as the radiation bombarded his body, the remains of his organs dribbling through every orifice, his brain trickling…

“Jed, where’s that bloody wine, we’re gasping!”

His imaginings interrupted, Jed returned to the dinner party, a bottle of Pinot Grigio Rosé in each hand.

  1. NotAPunkRocker
    September 24, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    Can’t blame him. I’m not much for dinner party chit-chat, I would rather have faced the first scenario 🙂


    • September 24, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      Dinner party, nuclear meltdown. Dinner party, nuclear meltdown.

      Nuclear meltdown, please!


  2. September 24, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Ali, I think Jed has as big an imagination as you do. 😀 I was very relieved that Jed didn’t actually melt. If he drinks enough he may feel as though he has however. Funny and well written. 🙂 —Susan


    • September 24, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      He’ll certainly need to watch the wine if he doesn’t want a meltdown going on in his head tomorrow 🙂


  3. September 24, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Thank you. I’m glad no one died horribly today. I appreciate it. I hope the wine didn’t go bad!


    • September 24, 2014 at 7:54 pm

      You’re welcome! Jed seemed liked a nice enough fellow, I didn’t have the heart to liquefy his 🙂
      I’m sure the wine was delicious.


  4. September 24, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    LOL I had to laugh, because this would be me! I would rather write a story in my head, then have a dinner party. 🙂


    • September 25, 2014 at 7:17 am

      I think many of us would 🙂


  5. September 24, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    I agree that it looks like a nuclear reactor… I wonder if this was not the 10th bottle Jed fetched though.. 🙂


    • September 25, 2014 at 7:17 am

      It does sound like he’s starting to “drift”, doesn’t it? I wonder if it’s “one bottle for Jed, one for the party”!


  6. September 24, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    Delightful end. Although you had me worried for Jed. Sounds like he, too, has a wonderful imagination.


    • September 25, 2014 at 7:18 am

      It did look a bit rough for a second there. I expect the more he drinks, the more outrageous his stories will become 🙂


  7. September 24, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Very enjoyable Ali, you completely threw me with your opening comment, so I really wasn’t expecting the daydreaming. Clever use of the prompt. 🙂


    • September 25, 2014 at 7:19 am

      Thanks! The photo reminded me a bit of that reactor in one of the James Bond films, it was in a submarine I think.


  8. September 24, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    HAHAHA! If I had to go to a dinner party I’d want to go with Jed. 😀


    • September 25, 2014 at 7:20 am

      Forget charades, he’ll keep us occupied with fun tales 🙂


  9. Lyn
    September 25, 2014 at 12:38 am

    LOL I think you must have had a Pinot Grigio Rosé in each hand when you thought this one up. Well done, your imagination really went into meltdown with this one 😀


    • September 25, 2014 at 7:23 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! Jed and I are peas in a pod 🙂


  10. September 25, 2014 at 2:47 am

    Whether wine-fueled or not, he had quite an imagination and so do you. This was lots of fun.



    • September 25, 2014 at 7:24 am

      I’m glad you liked it! I hope he can keep his mind on the dinner party while he’s actually up there. I expect they’re all wondering why he keeps volunteering to get the wine 🙂


  11. September 25, 2014 at 7:02 am

    Grief! That was some imaginary scenario. Time to give up the booze, I’d think.


    • September 25, 2014 at 7:25 am

      Judging by the fact that he’s started killing himself off, I think he’s definitely had a couple of glasses too many!


  12. September 25, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    Tee hee. A great twist.


    • September 26, 2014 at 6:54 am

      Thanks! I thought actually melting him horribly away was a little bit too much 🙂


  13. September 25, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    i think he already had too much to drink. 🙂


    • September 26, 2014 at 6:54 am

      I think he’s consuming most of the wine before he even gets it back upstairs 🙂


  14. September 26, 2014 at 2:45 am

    Great story, sort of. Two story’s in a row that I don’t agree with comments. First saving spiders and now dinner parties. I love a great dinner party. Mine are probably a bit rustic but I have a blast. Great stories, good food and big laughs. Someone always drinks to much and acts stupid, always a wife/husband getting upset and lusty jokes. Love them.


    • September 26, 2014 at 6:57 am

      I’m with them, I’m afraid. Probably. I’m trying to remember if I’ve ever been to an actual dinner party.


      • September 27, 2014 at 1:50 am

        Dinner parties are the best if you are the sober one. Drunks can be so entertaining, I don’t drink much if at all.


        • September 27, 2014 at 7:04 am

          There is that. I don’t drink at all and it can be fun watching other people’s drunken antics.


  15. September 26, 2014 at 4:19 am

    I think that guy’s been reading too many of your short stories! What an imagination he has! 😉

    BTW, my first thought when I saw that picture was that it looked like a Lite Brite set. I don’t know if you had them in the UK or not, but look them up on Google and you’ll see where that visual came from!


    • September 26, 2014 at 6:59 am

      I looked it up – it could be one of those! I also thought they could be flashing on and off, like that light show they tried to use to communicate with the aliens in “Independence Day”.


  16. September 26, 2014 at 5:58 am

    What kind of a party would push one to dream about the nuclear meltdown? Nicely put together.


    • September 26, 2014 at 7:00 am

      Thanks! Possibly the conversation is a bit boring, though it must be very bad to dream about liquefying 🙂


  17. September 26, 2014 at 6:42 am

    I attended a party with 26 attendees, and 27 wine bottles gave their all. Where’s a good reactor when you really need one?
    Well presented – but it’s all fiction – right? 😆


    • September 26, 2014 at 7:01 am

      Of course it’s all fiction 😉
      Glad you enjoyed it!


  18. September 26, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Dear Ali

    Surely you’re familiar with The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. If not, you should be. Great imagination this guy has as does the writer of this story. You made me laugh.




    • September 26, 2014 at 10:41 am

      Dear Rochelle,
      I’ve heard of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty but haven’t seen it – maybe I should!
      I’m glad you enjoyed my story 🙂


  19. September 26, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Dear Draliman,

    Had me going right from the start. Good switch at the end.




    • September 26, 2014 at 10:42 am

      Dear Doug,
      Thank you! I like little switches and surprise endings.


  20. September 26, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Great story. Have you used some of it before? It rings a bell.


    • September 26, 2014 at 10:43 am

      Thanks! Obviously many of my characters have received hideous deaths 🙂 I did do a story a while ago which implied that the action was actually happening but it turned out to be on the TV – that may be what you are remembering.


  21. September 26, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    perhaps Jed is a writer 🙂 gross descriptions! (and by that, i mean well done) 🙂


    • September 26, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      If he is a writer I hope he’s not too drunk to remember his great ideas the next day!
      I thought you’d appreciate the gross descriptions 🙂


  22. September 26, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    Don’t you just hate interruptions when your in the middle of an enticing daydream?
    Loved it! Your descriptions are so real, almost like one can reach out and feeeeelll the creepiness!


    • September 26, 2014 at 3:55 pm

      It really interrupted his chain of thought there!
      I tried to make it as creepily real as possible, I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  23. September 27, 2014 at 3:16 am

    Yes, I’m with Rochelle – Walter Mitty rides again. I’m so glad Jed was rescued before he really got sucked into a horrible death. There’s something to be said for the pull of reality, in this case a table full of thirsty guests. Good story.


    • September 27, 2014 at 7:11 am

      Quite why he was imagining his own horrible demise I don’t know but as you say, saved by reality!


  24. September 27, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    Wow, he has quite an imagination. I’m glad he could return to a comforting glass of wine. Well written. You certainly had me believing it. 🙂


    • September 28, 2014 at 9:04 am

      I bet he’s glad too, considering what was happening to him 🙂
      I’m glad you enjoyed it!


  25. September 28, 2014 at 5:29 am

    “We don’t have a radiation suit for you. I’m sorry.”…Now that was funny, doc! That’s some wild imagination going on there:)


    • September 28, 2014 at 9:06 am

      If it had been me I definitely would have imagined a radiation suit for myself 🙂


  26. September 28, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Dear Draliman, Please donate your brain to science – you have an unbelievable imagination and it’s awesome! I started laughing when I realized it was a “time-out” day dream. You really did a bang up job on this one! Excellent!!! Nan 🙂


    • September 28, 2014 at 9:07 am

      Maybe I’ll donate my brain, but only once I’ve finished with it 🙂
      I’m glad you enjoyed it, and thank you for such a lovely comment!


  27. September 28, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    This. WAS AWESOME! My favorite story I’ve read so far this week. I know a guy quite like him…maybe next time his friends won’t send him after the wine. Well done!


    • September 29, 2014 at 7:15 am

      Thanks very much!
      When you need wine, you need wine, and this guy seems to get distracted all too easily 🙂


      • September 29, 2014 at 5:50 pm

        You’re welcome!
        Indeed. Or maybe this guy had just had a little too much wine already…


  28. September 29, 2014 at 12:48 am

    Dear Draliman,
    This was so fun and clever!


  29. September 30, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Even your daydreams are gross, 😉 great job 🙂


    • September 30, 2014 at 3:35 pm

      We aim to please 🙂


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