Friday, January 18, 2013

Five Sentence Fiction Challenge - Forgotten



This week's writing challenge from Five Sentence Fiction ( Lillie McFerrin Writes ) is based upon the prompt "Forgotten."

When I first started writing for this prompt there was no picture posted, so I chose my own. In the picture, the man seems to be looking over his shoulder, and it was as close as I could find to what would match the story.




Forgotten


Image "Man And His Dog In The Snow" courtesy of Tina Phillips at www.freedigitalphotos.net


He was an old man now, and so tired, so very, very tired, but there was no time for rest. Every stranger in the marketplace, every glance that seemed a bit too long, was suspicious. He was always on guard against that one mistake, that one simple slip of the tongue, where he might give himself away — like answering to his own name, his real name, that he had not dared speak for over forty years. They were still after him, those that would persecute him for what he’d done in the name of God and country, and there were times when he wished for his own death to end the madness. But more than anything, he wished to be forgotten.



Image "Man And His Dog In The Snow" courtesy of Tina Phillips FreeDigitalPhotos.net


© 2012-2013 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

12 comments:

  1. A daunting tale... one imagines the recluse, haunted by his crimes... Powerful writing :)

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    1. Thanks! When re-reading this before posting, I was thinking this could be the beginning of a longer story. I might have to think about continuing the tale sometime.

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  2. People have such secrets, I wonder about his... more so as they haunt him so much! You've put real tension into this tale.

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    1. And you have to wonder - are they really after him or is he just paranoid? And who are they? I keep looking back at this and thinking I may have to use this as the basis for a longer story.

      Anyway, thanks for reading!

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  3. Its good to see that he seems to have some guilt or regret for previous actions and I wonder how with hindsight would he repeat them. Intriguing tale.

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    1. An interesting thought... I saw him as having a conflict between doing what he thought was right and how the rest of the world perceived what he did. That's probably the direction I would take the story if I went further - the character trying to rationalize his actions or to come to terms with them.

      I appreciate your time and your comments! Thanks!

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  4. The internal conflict is what intrigued me with this piece. Obviously he was following orders at the time, or was at least dedicated to a cause, now he seems humbled and unsure, any joy in life has been replaced with caution and concern. This story has realdepth, I liked it very much.

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    1. What can I add to a comment that's probably better written than my story?

      Thanks!

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  5. I read this fellow as one not on the brink of insanity or even suicide, though both are at near the surface. He does not seem to carry regret, only the exhaustion of being found out. He doesn't seem to regret his actions. Although he talks of ending the madness, one gets the feeling he is going to play it out, like he has been for forty years- no longer a perpetrator but also not really a victim. Very interesting story.

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    1. Thanks for coming by to read. Poets are always welcome! And poetry works for Five Sentence Fiction, too.

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  6. Love this, especially with how it reflects the real world truth behind this and the whole 'war criminals' thing. How for him the war is not over, it has just changed and he is now the hunted, the enemy. Conveyed the emotions really well. Good piece.

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    1. We can't tell if what he did was wrong or simply not in favor with the winners, but that's true, his war is not over - it's always there, just beneath the surface.

      Thanks for reading!

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