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Life’s a Stage

Here’s a cynical look at humanity to thrill and depress you for this week’s Mondays Finish the Story, a weekly 150 word photo/opening sentence challenge hosted by Barbara Beacham. The opening sentence, in bold in my story, doesn’t count towards our word count.

Click on the blue froggy to read this week’s other stories.

2015-03-23-bw-beacham1

 

When the team heard the dam explode, they knew they had limited time to make it to safety.

Barry glanced behind at the raging wall of water as they desperately tried to steer towards the shore. He saw figures on the river bank.

“Help!” he screamed.

The figures were holding up phones. Were they calling for help? He could hear snatches of their excited shouts.

“Awesome… stats through the roof… YouTube sensation…”

A wave struck and he fell from the boat, smashing his head on a rock. Nigel was next, flying into the torrent, water filling his lungs.

There were more figures on the bank now, all holding up phones. Sebastian was thrown from the front of the boat, impaled and twitching on a tree branch.

Whoops of excitement issued from the bank. Finally the boat capsized to cries of “awesome!” and “mega!”

The onlookers didn’t see the final wall of water as it smashed their bodies to pulp. Fortunately, their final footage was already uploading to the cloud for the guilty pleasure of the masses.

 

  1. NotAPunkRocker
    March 23, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    I am trying to imagine the amount of water pressure that would take to smash everyone.

    Too true, unfortunately, about how a situation like that would go down on social media.

    Like

    • March 23, 2015 at 9:09 pm

      Just recently there was a suicide or something and the police spent all their time trying to stop people taking pictures. Then they issued a formal statement asking people not to post footage online.
      I think water from a big enough broken dam might crush people.

      Like

      • NotAPunkRocker
        March 23, 2015 at 9:19 pm

        It’s so very sad that people have to be reminded of something like that.

        Like

      • March 24, 2015 at 8:13 am

        Yes 😦

        Like

  2. March 23, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    What a world we live in.

    Like

  3. March 23, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    Thrilled, depressed and feeling somewhat cynical…

    Like

  4. March 23, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    OMG Now I need therapy! No, no, nevermind. You do! LOL!! It will take a while to get these images out of head.

    Like

    • March 24, 2015 at 8:12 am

      But if I had therapy all my stories might be happy-clappy 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • March 24, 2015 at 11:09 am

        LOL! Haha! I hadn’t thought of that. I guess it would be boring only to write happy clappy stories.

        Like

  5. March 23, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    Terror-iffic 🙂 I thought I was watching reality TV

    Like

    • March 24, 2015 at 8:14 am

      The watchers probably did too. I think these days people sometimes get confused between what’s real and what isn’t.
      I’m glad you liked it!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. March 23, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    That reminds me a bit of one of the Black Mirror episodes… Good writing 🙂

    Like

    • March 24, 2015 at 8:17 am

      I’ve never seen it but having just looked it up it sounds like my kind of thing. Maybe it’s showing on 4OD, I’ll have to check.
      Glad you liked my story!

      Liked by 1 person

      • March 24, 2015 at 12:30 pm

        The episode I’ve referred to is called ‘White Bear’. There’s quite a twist at the end of it, so I won’t tell you anything about it… But I think it’s worth watching, especially if it’s still on 4oD.

        Like

      • March 24, 2015 at 1:02 pm

        Thanks!

        Like

  7. March 24, 2015 at 12:24 am

    How sad is it… This really could happen….I want my old world back before everyone had a chance to be a YouTube sensation.

    Like

    • March 24, 2015 at 8:17 am

      Everything felt simpler, safer and more private back then.

      Like

  8. March 24, 2015 at 12:41 am

    Well done Draliman! I loved adding in the folks standing on the shore taking photos and ignoring the threat! Well done! Thank you for participating again, and I hope that you return for the next challenge… Be well… ^..^

    Like

  9. March 24, 2015 at 1:50 am

    Y’know … that’s pretty much reality these days. People in trouble post it on Facebook before dialing 911. Some of them have never dialed a phone call. “You mean, I can make telephone calls on this? Wow!”

    Like

    • March 24, 2015 at 8:19 am

      Posting your emergency on Facebook means you can keep all your “friends” updated as the situation unfolds.

      Like

  10. March 24, 2015 at 2:16 am

    Well, in their defense, given the rough water and lack of time, I believe that party was doomed anyway. So may as well send them out with a viral bang! Man, am I evil or what? 😉

    Like

    • March 24, 2015 at 8:21 am

      Well, “evil” is in your name 🙂
      They were definitely doomed anyway. At least this way millions of people can watch their final horrible moments.

      Like

  11. March 24, 2015 at 3:59 am

    WOW! Loved the action. Very realistic. 🙂

    Like

  12. March 24, 2015 at 5:42 am

    Cynical yes, but also very entertaining (the story not the concept!) 🙂

    Like

    • March 24, 2015 at 8:21 am

      Thanks! Possibly realistic as well as cynical, if recent news stories are to be believed.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Lyn
    March 24, 2015 at 8:37 am

    it’s not cynical to think that would happen, it’s reality. These days, people are willing to upload anything if it will give them some sort of fame…or should that be notoriety?

    Like

    • March 24, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      Just today I saw yet another story about this very thing. The “observer” actually elected to video the assault rather than intervene or report it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lyn
        March 24, 2015 at 11:05 pm

        Wonder if they can be charged with obstructing justice by not reporting it, or maybe as an accessory after the fact?

        Like

      • March 25, 2015 at 9:07 am

        Not in the UK.

        Like

      • Lyn
        March 25, 2015 at 9:09 am

        Darn, what a pity. Probably wouldn’t happen here in Oz either.

        Like

  14. March 24, 2015 at 9:37 am

    GREAT AND ENTERTAINING STORY! 😀

    Like

  15. Lata Sunil
    March 24, 2015 at 9:46 am

    macabre! but a sad fact i feel. Good one.

    Like

    • March 24, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      It is a very sad fact. This is happening a lot 😦

      Like

  16. March 24, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    So true…same thing happened in a zoo, when a tiger killed a man and the world was busy with cellphones…great work.

    Like

    • March 24, 2015 at 7:51 pm

      I read about that. This sort of thing is becoming more common. What sort of person does that? This isn’t reality TV, people, this is real life.

      Like

      • March 24, 2015 at 8:46 pm

        Yes…people are more active virtually …it is a sad fact.

        Like

  17. March 24, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    This is such a true representation of the current attitude. I too saw the news article about the recent suicide where people were filming on the phones and actually shouting at the person to jump. 😦 I don’t understand the mindset of such people. They definitely got their comeuppance in your story. Great flash fic.

    Like

    • March 24, 2015 at 7:53 pm

      I couldn’t believe that story when I read it. They should all have been committed for evaluation. Very sad 😦

      I’m glad you liked my story, though 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. March 24, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    A situation like this would not surprise me! In such a short piece, you have captured this modern phenomenon of madness very well.
    It reminds me of something that I witnessed once, but instead it was a bird. Long story short, school kids caused its death and then took pictures of the poor thing while laughing…
    It makes me wonder what today’s youth will grow up to be.

    Like

    • March 24, 2015 at 8:54 pm

      That sounds awful. I worry about some people too. I hope it’s just the minority or we’re all in big trouble.

      Like

  19. March 24, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    It’s incredibly sad that some people take delight in filming such tragic events. You’ve depicted their gruesome apetites so well that finding sympathy for them at the end does not come easily. Well written, Ali. 🙂

    Like

    • March 24, 2015 at 8:55 pm

      I don’t have any sympathy for them at all. That’s why I killed them all off 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  20. March 25, 2015 at 2:28 am

    Great writing, great connection.
    Impaled on a tree beach might be a new on for you.
    The idea of you becoming Happy Clappy sent tremors through my soul.
    NO!!

    Check out on Yahoo News last week about the guy who fell out of a tree and was impaled on a fence. At the base of the tree were a dozen beer cans.

    Like

    • March 25, 2015 at 9:08 am

      Thanks! Yes, I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone twitching on a tree branch before 🙂
      Don’t worry, I won’t be going all happy clappy.

      Ouch. Never drink and climb.

      Like

  21. March 25, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Sounds like the kind of thing I’ve even seen of TV recently. You seem to have given sufficient punishment to your people. That doesn’t always happen. Even before cell phones, my dad used to tell how cars would crowd around a fire and prevent him and the other fireman and trucks from getting in quicker to put it out. You wonder what planet some people come from. Well done, Ali. — Suzanne

    Like

    • March 25, 2015 at 12:38 pm

      I’ve read a couple of stories in the last couple of weeks about this. I don’t understand these people 😦

      Like

  22. March 26, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Sheer curiousity killed the cat syndrome ~ Some thoughtless people actually do revel in the misfortunes of others ~ You dealt with these examples superbly Ali ~

    Like

    • March 26, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      Thanks! It’s becoming all too common nowadays 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      • March 26, 2015 at 3:34 pm

        Too true my friend 🙂 A great way to point out what is now a modern sick phenomenom ~

        Liked by 1 person

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