Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not; practising flash fiction.

#FridayFictioneers – 19/10/12 – The Bus

with 21 comments

Madison Wood’s last photo prompt for the Friday Fictioneers. Next week Rochelle Wisoff-Fields will be posting the photo prompt for writers to create 100-words of poetry or prose.

Look at the other Fictioneers’ stories here:

bus loading

photo copyright Ron Pruitt

The Bus

‘Joe, look at the queue.’
‘It’ll be fine.’
Lorna tried to hide under the huge sky, a burning sun. Her feet shuffled: chest tight, head bursting.
‘There’ll be space.’
Time interminable. Shuffle, rustle, cheery goodbye.
She reached the steps and climbed. Squeezed between Joe and the window, she allowed herself to breathe.

The driver’s voice floated from above. ‘We’ll be leaving in five minutes.’

‘We don’t have five-’

‘Lorna, it’ll be fine.’

Couldn’t he say anything else?

Engine rumbling, air brakes hissing, her relief started to flow. And then, out of the corner of her eye, her father’s car.


(100 words).


I’m not sure about this at all. I was thinking of calling it The Elopement but thought that was a bit too obvious. Please tell me what you think. I’m internet-free this weekend, but will respond to all comments (and will be reading and commenting) at the beginning of next week – thanks for your patience.

Written by Sarah Ann

October 19, 2012 at 8:10 am

21 Responses

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  1. There was a good sense of urgency about this – that’s not easy to do in 100 words. You made the words count. Nice one.


    October 19, 2012 at 9:29 am

    • Thank you. I’m glad the urgency and tension came across. You’re right, that it wasn’t easy to get that and the story down in 100 words.

      Sarah Ann

      October 23, 2012 at 4:05 pm

  2. I could feel Lorna’s tension. Good use of the prompt.


    October 19, 2012 at 10:08 am

  3. I agree that there’s a very effective build-up of tension, urgency, anxiety. You kept us waiting till the last line for the reveal. Well done!

    Jan Brown

    October 19, 2012 at 10:15 am

  4. I agree with previous comments – the build up of tension was really well done. And ‘The Bus’ is fine as a title, I think you would have given too much away otherwise.


    October 19, 2012 at 10:21 am

  5. You didn’t need the alternate title, your story said it for you. That’s always the paradox of the title–will it give to much away or enhance.


    October 19, 2012 at 12:19 pm

  6. Nicely done!


    October 19, 2012 at 12:41 pm

  7. Hi Sarah Ann,
    You did a great job of building tension and not resolving the reason for it until the final line. Well done! Ron


    October 19, 2012 at 4:20 pm

  8. I felt like I was watching a movie. I could see the car screeching into the parking area…


    October 19, 2012 at 8:31 pm

  9. Great buildup of tension. Whew, I was nervous with her, counting down the minutes. She may be running off to elope but it seems much more serious than that. I think she is escaping from an abusive, (emotionally, physically, sexually) controlling father. I love how her friend/lover/partner comforts her by remaining calm.


    October 20, 2012 at 2:46 am

    • Thanks Lora. It’s really interesting to know how you interpreted the story. I hadn’t imagined the father as abusive, or Joe as comforting. I had Lorna down as getting annoyed by his too laid back attitude.

      Sarah Ann

      October 23, 2012 at 3:53 pm

  10. always like trying to predict what’s happening before i get to the last sentence. i was off this time. well done.


    October 20, 2012 at 3:36 am

    • Well, that makes two of us then. I didn’t see where yours was going either. Well done yourself!

      Sarah Ann

      October 23, 2012 at 3:59 pm

  11. You definitely can’t call it The Elopement, that gives the whole game away. It could be ‘Leaving’ or something, but generally when the punchline is at the end, you don’t want to telegraph it at the beginning. I would only use ‘Elopement’ if the story was written in such a way that you needed to know they were eloping at the start of the story. In that scenario the title becomes almost the first sentence, and thus allows a few sneaky extra words that don’t have to make sense as a sentence! Well done, enjoyed it.


    October 20, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    • Thank you. Enjoyed yours too. I’m going to think more carefully about getting on buses in future. There have been a lot of strange goings-on this week.

      Sarah Ann

      October 23, 2012 at 4:15 pm

  12. Trying to hide under the sky — brilliant!

    Kathy McClure

    October 21, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    • Thank you – I wasn’t sure that line worked at all, or said very much at any rate.

      Sarah Ann

      October 23, 2012 at 4:03 pm

  13. Dear Sarah,

    This was a great story. Simple, heartfelt and true. I could feel the youth of the narrator and the fear as her father’s car pulled into the lot. Well done.




    October 22, 2012 at 12:12 pm

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