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New Dawn

It time for Friday Fictioneers, the 100-ish word photo prompt flash fiction challenge thing hosted by Rochelle. This week’s photo was contributed by long-serving Fictioneerer Sandra Crook.

It’s a great photo – I’d quite like to be there in person – but weirdly my story this week is rather, well, depressing 😦

Warning – this blog has suffered a (temporary) humour-ectomy!

To read the other stories, click on the little blue froggy.

frost-on-a-stump-sandra-crook

Copyright Sandra Crook

 

Julio sat and stared numbly at the vodka and pills. How had it come to this? He didn’t even really care any more. He felt empty inside, like a frost had worked its way into his soul.

He wasn’t sure he wanted to die. He was sure he no longer wanted to live like this – if one could call this living. He flipped the top off the pill bottle.

Through the window the rising sun illuminated the trees in shades of gold, and seeing it he felt a tiny glimmer of warmth deep inside.

Hope?

Dropping the bottle, he reached for the phone.

 

  1. March 11, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    That’s a positive ending. There’s always hope.

    Like

  2. March 11, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    Love it – complements the picture nicely! Hope: it’s always just a stone’s throw away, if we will but see it.

    Like

    • March 12, 2015 at 8:04 am

      We just have to be open to the possibility that things can get better.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. March 11, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    Dear Drailman,

    Best ending in the world. Loved his lucid interpretation of natural events. The sun always rises…hope springs eternal. Very well done.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    Like

    • March 12, 2015 at 8:06 am

      Dear Doug,
      I’m glad you liked it. It took a lot of editing to get it deliver the message properly.
      Ali

      Like

  4. March 11, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    I have no hope today. Good timing or just coincidence you posted this?

    Like

    • March 12, 2015 at 8:07 am

      Possibly coincidence, but I had read your post earlier in the day, so maybe I was subconsciously influenced?

      Like

      • March 12, 2015 at 11:43 am

        Maybe so. Either way, I am glad that I stumbled upon it when I did. 🙂

        Like

      • March 12, 2015 at 1:17 pm

        🙂 I’m glad if it helped in some little way.

        Like

      • March 12, 2015 at 1:27 pm

        It did…the timing was uncanny. I saw your post on Facebook and clicked it. So…thanks DM. 🙂

        Like

      • March 12, 2015 at 4:43 pm

        🙂

        Like

  5. March 11, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    I’m so glad you ended it like you did. Last week a boy in our town, a young man, I should say, 28 years old put a shot gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. I can not imagine the depth of despair to make someone do that. There is so much sadness in the world sometimes it is hard to see the glimmer. thanks for showing it.

    Like

    • March 12, 2015 at 8:08 am

      That’s terrible, to be feeling so lost that this became an option.
      I’m glad you liked my story and the hopeful ending.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. March 11, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    I’m sorry, I was laughing until the end; it is uncommonly depressing. But yeah, hope. Positive ending.

    Like

    • March 12, 2015 at 8:09 am

      Tut tut, laughing at the poor chap. I did put a warning that it was depressing at the top 🙂

      Like

  7. March 11, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    Love ❤

    Like

  8. March 11, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    Two lines were AWESOME!
    ” He felt empty inside, like a frost had worked its way into his soul.” and

    He wasn’t sure he wanted to die. He was sure he no longer wanted to live like this – if one could call this living. ”

    Passionately spoken and felt.

    I was glad of the nicer ending!

    Great job!

    Like

    • March 12, 2015 at 8:14 am

      Thank you! The picture said “hope”, “new start” and things of that nature to me the moment I saw it.
      I’m glad you liked those two lines. I wanted to bring in the frost of the photo and as for the second line, well, “write what you know” (or “once knew” in my case), they say.

      Liked by 1 person

      • March 12, 2015 at 9:17 am

        You accomplished your task !

        Like

  9. March 12, 2015 at 3:33 am

    I didn’t find this depressing, not at all. It’s good!

    Like

    • March 12, 2015 at 8:14 am

      I wanted to end on a hopeful note. It’s just a lot more depressing than the “comedy kick” I’ve been on for the past few months. I’m glad you liked it!

      Like

  10. March 12, 2015 at 5:00 am

    I love the ending, so positive and hopeful. Hope this person works everything out for themselves!

    Like

    • March 12, 2015 at 8:15 am

      I think the phone call will be the start of his recovery.

      Like

  11. March 12, 2015 at 8:03 am

    Luckily he didn’t live in England or he’d be long gone by now. A lovely optimistic vignette.

    Like

    • March 12, 2015 at 1:17 pm

      The photo said “optimism”, “hope” and whatnot to me. It’s just the kind of scene I love.

      Like

  12. March 12, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Good story, Ali. If not a happy ending. it was at least a hopeful ending. Well done. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Like

  13. March 12, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    You used the prompt so well in so many ways! Thanks for the hopeful ending.

    Like

    • March 12, 2015 at 4:46 pm

      Thanks! I’m glad you liked my interpretation of the photo, and the hopeful ending. He has a long way to go but he’s making the first step.

      Like

  14. March 12, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    So pleased you gave him (and us) a glimmer of hope at the end.
    Claire

    Like

    • March 12, 2015 at 4:52 pm

      I decided I definitely wanted to end on a hopeful note, especially given the sun illuminating the trees in the photo.

      Like

  15. March 12, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    I had to laugh at Sandra’s comment because I was just thinking, the sun brought him hope, something we all need after a long cold winter. Great story with a great ending!

    Like

    • March 12, 2015 at 8:08 pm

      His winter’s been longer than most, I think, so the sun was very welcome. I’m glad you liked it!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. March 12, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    a positive twist. hopefully, somebody would answer the phone.

    Like

  17. March 12, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    You’ve got to let a little bit of sun in every now and again. I like your light pieces just as much as your dark ones 🙂

    Like

  18. March 13, 2015 at 1:29 am

    Good ending if Hope still has the same phone number.
    I’ve been a little short in the waiting for hope to happen category.

    Like

    • March 13, 2015 at 9:24 am

      I think he’s either phoning a good friend or a hotline so I reckon he’ll be okay.
      I hope that hope visits you soon.

      Like

  19. Lyn
    March 13, 2015 at 4:19 am

    Despair giving way to hope — instead of the other way around as it so often is. Really enjoyed this D-man 🙂

    Like

    • March 13, 2015 at 9:24 am

      The photo said to me that there should be “hope” at the end of my story 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  20. March 13, 2015 at 4:20 am

    I’ll never forget the day I called a suicide hotline only to wind up counseling the person on the other end. I hope it goes differently for your character, and I’ve often wondered why on earth I had that particular experience. Does it happen often? Clearly, the man I spoke with was bad at his job.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

    Like

    • March 13, 2015 at 9:25 am

      That sounds like a weird situation. Unless it was some sort of trick to get you talking.
      I’m sure my character will be fine!
      Ali

      Like

      • March 13, 2015 at 4:23 pm

        Yeah, it was weird. It pretty much backfired, but I survived, which is the good part.

        Like

  21. March 13, 2015 at 4:26 am

    I can see why you went a little gloomy on this one. It definitely has that feel to it. I like this line “like a frost had worked its way into his soul.” I’m glad he reached for the phone. Nice work, Ali.

    Like

    • March 13, 2015 at 9:26 am

      I’m glad you liked that line. This story took a lot more editing than my usual stories.
      I’m happy you liked my story!

      Like

  22. March 13, 2015 at 5:38 am

    Your writing is always many dimensional and not at all depressing, in fact quite hopeful.
    Is hope the opposite to despair? I think it is. Sometimes it’s hard to be a person but hope helps us keep going. ( and friends) 😀

    Like

    • March 13, 2015 at 9:27 am

      I think it is too. In the words of Red Dwarf (episode “Back to Reality”) – “Hope defeats despair”.
      Hope and friends is all you need 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  23. March 13, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Dear Ali,

    Phew! So glad he made the right decision. I had a therapist that was fond of reminding me that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. I look back now and see the truth in those words.

    Well written as always.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

    • March 13, 2015 at 9:28 am

      Dear Rochelle,
      It was close but I think he’ll be okay now. That therapist put it in a very good no-nonsense way.
      I’m glad you liked it!
      Ali

      Like

  24. March 13, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Nature is always the answer! Why is it that frost has made so many people think of murder and dying this week? I think frost is beautiful! 🙂

    Like

    • March 13, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      I think it’s beautiful too, but it was the contrast of the frost and shadow with the golden light on the trees that brought me my story 🙂

      Like

  25. March 13, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    That is a wonderful take draliman.

    Like

  26. March 13, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    Love this. a positive end makes me smile…

    Like

  27. March 13, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    Yes, just a glimpse of sun can do this. It’s amazing how it lifts the spirits. Wonderfully shown here. It rings true.

    Like

    • March 14, 2015 at 6:29 am

      I always feel happier on a sunny morning. I’m glad you liked my story!

      Like

  28. March 13, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    This is the best ending. I’m sure many of us have lost family, friends, or acquaintances through suicide, and I can only wish that they would have come to the conclusion ‘I do not want to live like this’ instead of ‘I do not want to live.’ Your story is full of hope and change, that’s wonderful.

    Like

    • March 14, 2015 at 6:36 am

      I’m glad Julio made the choice to live and reached for the phone. Many don’t.
      I’m happy you liked my story and that it spoke to you in some way. Many moons ago I made the same choice as my character 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  29. March 14, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Very moving. A hopeful ending, and a great thing that he knew who to call. Whether it be a friend, organization or doctor, even when he felt most helpless, he somehow knew help was available. So many people have trouble reaching out and asking for help.

    Like

    • March 14, 2015 at 4:33 pm

      I imagine he’s known there’s help out there for a while, but it needed him to get to this point before he’s been willing to call. He’s one of the lucky ones, I hope.

      Like

  30. March 14, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Not so depressing…at least it ended on a ray of hope! I’m glad Julio isn’t quite ready to give up.

    Like

  31. March 14, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    Good for him. As I’m sure you can tell, I like hopeful endings. Although I do like you sense of humor. ;0)

    Like

    • March 15, 2015 at 8:47 am

      I’m sure my sense of humour will be back soon 🙂

      Like

      • March 16, 2015 at 1:55 pm

        Ha! I’m most positive. ;0)

        Like

  32. March 15, 2015 at 12:58 am

    Based on your prelude, I wasn’t expecting the ending. I’m glad he found some hope! Definitely rooting for him in his dark moment.

    Like

    • March 15, 2015 at 8:48 am

      Now he’s made the first step I reckon he’ll be okay.

      Like

  33. March 15, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    He must have been suffering from SADD. Glad he’s reaching for help.

    janet

    Like

    • March 16, 2015 at 8:26 am

      That’s very possible. Now he’s taken the first step.

      Like

  34. March 15, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    Your essay made me want to reach out to your character. I felt a call to action. That’s no small feat in 100 words. Well done, Tracey

    Like

    • March 16, 2015 at 8:27 am

      Thanks, I’m glad my story spoke to you.

      Like

  35. March 15, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Good for you Julio.
    Randy

    Like

  36. March 16, 2015 at 5:10 am

    Always like it when someone suicidal “sees the light” so to speak. Liked the hope at the end and also when you clarified dying vs not living like he was.:)

    Like

    • March 16, 2015 at 8:28 am

      Thanks, I wanted to end of a hopeful note. The feeling of being alive but not living is a terrible one.

      Liked by 1 person

  37. March 17, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    It’s definitely darker than most of your stories I’ve read but I like it. I love the hopeful ending. 🙂

    Like

    • March 18, 2015 at 7:44 am

      I’ve been on a humour kick recently for whatever reason. I still managed to pop some hope into this darker tale, though. Glad you liked it!

      Liked by 1 person

  38. March 19, 2015 at 2:00 am

    Not dark, after all.

    Like

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