Home > Fiction > FF – First World Problems

FF – First World Problems

Here is my story for Friday Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle. This week’s photo was contributed by Sarah Potter.

I came up blank this week. I don’t do well when there’s nothing hilarious in the photo. So here’s a story which makes some sort of statement. Or whatever.

Copyright Sarah Potter

Copyright Sarah Potter

 

Snowflakes fluttered down through the darkness, silent, gentle, already a centimetre deep. The people of England were beginning to panic.

“How will I get to work?”

“The kids’ school is half a mile away! What will we do?”

“What if we run out of food?”

“This is a DISASTER!”

 

Half a world away Amira dodged through an underpass to avoid the roving gangs, bread clutched to her chest. Gunfire sounded, but a few streets over. She took a chance and raced across the square into her half-collapsed bedsit.

Home safe, food for the babies. Today had been a good day.

 

  1. February 22, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    Quite a statement made here… a powerful statement, indeed! Great Write!

    Like

    • February 23, 2017 at 8:05 am

      Thanks 🙂 I’m glad you liked it.

      Like

  2. February 22, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    All about perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. February 22, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    One person’s one centimetre of snow is another’s fight for survival…

    Like

  4. February 22, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    Great contrast. I saw two very different scenarios yet also the connection between them. Well written.

    Like

  5. February 22, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    Nice take and well said!

    Like

  6. February 22, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    The contrast presented was stunning.

    Like

  7. February 22, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    Well done! I agree, powerful statement!

    Like

  8. February 22, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    A great statement, and one I often shout at the news on television more bluntly when the top story is how bad weather has made travel difficult for Londoners to get to work! 🙂

    Like

  9. February 22, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    I agree

    Like

  10. February 23, 2017 at 12:40 am

    Oh, I so totally agree!

    Like

  11. Lyn
    February 23, 2017 at 8:54 am

    Excellent! We really have no idea about what it means to go without :/

    Like

    • February 23, 2017 at 12:44 pm

      Thanks! For me, “without” means the internet went down and I can’t watch Netflix. Not really life-threatening.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lyn
        February 23, 2017 at 10:53 pm

        For some (like the elevator scene in the movie You’ve Got Mail) it’s a broken fingernail :/

        Liked by 1 person

  12. February 23, 2017 at 9:39 am

    I, too, live in a world where a centimeter of snow leads to chaos. I love the contrast, you set our privileged drama into perspective. Great stuff.

    Like

  13. February 23, 2017 at 10:13 am

    [Curmudgeonly voice]Now let me tell you something, Amira…. back in MY DAY, we had to duck into underpasses, avoid gangs and gunfire, AND do it all while trudging through 50 centimetres of snow just to bring the bread home for the young whippernsappers! And we didn’t complain about it, ya hear? Now, did you remember to pick up my fiber suppliment, or are you gonna have to go back out into the mean streets and get it for your poor decrepit Grandpa?[/Curmudgeonly voice]

    Like

    • February 23, 2017 at 12:46 pm

      [whiny voice]Aw Grandpa, I’m only 6 years old and someone did just let off a nuke next door[/whiny voice]

      Like

  14. February 23, 2017 at 10:41 am

    Dear Ali,

    The mere threat of snow throws Kansas City into a panic. Bread and milk fly off the grocery shelves as if we’re going to be snowed in for a month. Your story puts everything into perspective. Very well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

    • February 23, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      Dear Rochelle,
      It’s been several years since we had snow down here, but I go into a panic regarding driving and so on. I keep thinking “a few more weeks and we’ll be safe for another year…”
      I’m glad you liked my story!
      Ali

      Liked by 1 person

      • February 23, 2017 at 12:53 pm

        No snow to speak of this year here either. It has been more like spring this week. However, when I was working and driving 50 miles a day, I would be chief among the panicked. I thought when I retired I’d stand at my window and revel in not having to drive in it. So far there’s been no reason to revel.

        Like

      • February 23, 2017 at 12:55 pm

        Cornwall is very hilly – I’m not sure I’d even make it off my quite steep driveway!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. February 23, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    It certainly does make a statement! Great story!

    Like

  16. February 23, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Very powerful and sadly very true. Fantastic work!

    Like

  17. February 23, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    I think you captured the idea quite well. A nice change of pace for you. Great as always, Ali.

    Like

    • February 23, 2017 at 3:18 pm

      Thanks. I did think of a comedy later on but it was nearly bedtime 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. February 23, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    This reminds me of “snow days” while I lived in the south of the United States. I watched people panic about snow that wasn’t even sticking to the ground. It was quite strange… often humorous… and to many times, dangerous… since it seemed that everyone forgot how to drive.

    Like

    • February 23, 2017 at 3:19 pm

      That’s a bit like here. We only get snow which actually sticks about once a decade. I dread the thought of driving in the stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. February 23, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    That was darkly funny, because that is how the Brits often carry on! One leaf on a rail track and all the trains are cancelled. That photo was taken from my front garden. You can see how hilly it is. People start trying to drive their cars at the first sight of snow and end up skidding all over the place, unable to get up the hill again after they’ve been out shopping, stocking up for the siege. It always gives me a huge laugh. You would think that they’d never heard of snow boots and rucksacks and walking to fetch the things they really need.

    That being said, I think that in Amira’s situation, they would alter their focus and survive because they had to.

    You have done admirably, contrasting the two, despite saying that you came up a blank.

    Like

    • February 23, 2017 at 4:08 pm

      I worry about driving in snow myself – I’d still have to get to work nearly 20 miles away. Fortunately it hasn’t snowed here since 2010 or whenever that “big freeze” was in the UK.

      I’m glad you enjoyed my story! I did have trouble thinking of something this week, though it’s a very pretty photo 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • February 24, 2017 at 2:40 pm

        Yes, driving to work can be a nightmare. I remember many years ago when my quickest route to work was over the South Downs, via Devil’s Dyke. Sometimes in the winter, it was a bit like going on a switchback ride in a dodgem car! I am lucky now, as any work I do is from home.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. michael1148humphris
    February 23, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    I flew home to England and dire warnings of a severe storm, your story is so apt. Well done

    Like

    • February 23, 2017 at 4:24 pm

      Thanks! No snow here, just a lot of wind.

      Like

  21. February 23, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    I love this Ali! The shift is so powerfully done. Us Brits have it easy.

    Like

  22. February 23, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    Why we worry about a little bit of snow I don’t know. Celebrate it, build a snowman. If you are struck by a snowball just think how you lucky you are that’s all it is.

    Click for my Friday Fiction

    Like

    • February 24, 2017 at 8:06 am

      True, it could be something so much worse. Anything which interrupts our cosy little lives gets blown out of all proportion sometimes.

      Like

  23. February 23, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    We have food, we have shelter. It’s indeed a good day. We forget that too often.

    Like

  24. February 23, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    Other people’s troubles should put our own into perspective more often – excellently done.

    Like

    • February 24, 2017 at 8:06 am

      Thanks. We should remember how lucky we are.

      Like

  25. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover
    February 23, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Nicely done. I love the contrast and the reminder.

    Like

    • February 24, 2017 at 8:07 am

      Thanks, I’m glad you liked it!

      Like

  26. February 23, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    Puts everything in perspective.

    DJ

    Like

  27. February 23, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    This is what you call drawing a blank? It’s fantastic!

    Like

    • February 24, 2017 at 8:07 am

      Thanks, I’m glad you liked it! I wanted to write a comedy, though. I like to make myself laugh 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • February 24, 2017 at 4:37 pm

        There’s always next time. You cannot be funny ALL the time, you know. 😉

        Like

      • February 24, 2017 at 4:38 pm

        🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  28. February 24, 2017 at 4:04 am

    Ah yes. In this world there are wars, bullets flying, bombs exploding, violent roving gangs — and inconvenient weather. I really like your take on the prompt.

    Like

    • February 24, 2017 at 8:08 am

      Darn that inconvenient weather. I’m glad you liked my story!

      Liked by 1 person

      • February 24, 2017 at 12:54 pm

        Yeah. If it’s making my life miserable right now that’s what really counts, right?

        Liked by 1 person

  29. February 24, 2017 at 4:24 am

    Contrasts. I like it! We can cry and moan about our circumstances only to realize others can have it tougher. Good job, Ali!

    Like

    • February 24, 2017 at 8:08 am

      Thanks, we’re very lucky indeed.

      Like

  30. February 24, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Great write! A really apt comparison. Of course we know which one is really the disaster.

    Like

  31. February 24, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    A good day… yes for some it means to survive… for others the smallest nuisance is a disaster.

    Like

    • February 25, 2017 at 5:42 pm

      Some people need to get some perspective.

      Like

  32. February 24, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    a change of perspective will go a long way. well done.

    Like

  33. February 27, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    The stark contrast drives the point home well.

    Like

    • February 27, 2017 at 3:20 pm

      Thanks, I’m glad you liked it!

      Like

  34. February 27, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Very nicely put.

    Like

  35. February 28, 2017 at 12:40 am

    Good to keep us humble.

    Like

  36. March 2, 2017 at 7:56 am

    Wow, that really hits home. We in the ‘west’ have things so easy compared to some parts of the world. As for England and snow- we do make a terrible fuss, even though many parts of the country rarely see a snowflake! A great job out of a prompt that didn’t inspire you. 😀

    Like

    • March 2, 2017 at 9:37 am

      I’m glad you liked it! We need a bit of perspective sometimes 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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