Sarah Ann Hall

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

#FridayFictioneers – 25/01/13 – To the beach – Memoir

with 28 comments

Every Wednesday Rochelle Wisoff-Fields publishes a photo to stimulate and inspire writers to write 100-words of flash fiction or poetry. Every Friday the Friday Fictioneers post their 100-word stories.

Visit Rochelle’s site for the rules on how to join in and check out the other stories by clicking on the blue guy.

Copyright-Renee Homan Heath

Copyright-Renee Homan Heath

To the beach (100 words)

It’s cool and dark. Vines as thick as my wrist hang like spaghetti. Our feet follow a leaf-littered path. A sprinkling of sand suggests the beach is this way, somewhere.

Each turn gives way to a new discovery – trees tall and strong that captivate with their carbuncles and air roots.

After an hour the wail of abandoned baby is too distressing. Where is it? Where is its mother?

The path becomes sand-strewn wooden slats; the trees begin to thin. We emerge at last onto rock-scattered beach. A route marker points back the way we’ve come: ‘Forest Walk. 10-20 minutes.’


I couldn’t come up with any concrete thoughts about this week’s photo so asked my other half for his thoughts. He came up with a walk we did with a friend through part of Noosa National Park. I’ve included a couple of photos of the trees that inspired this piece and a link to an explanation of the wailing baby.




Written by Sarah Ann

January 25, 2013 at 5:28 pm

28 Responses

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  1. That’s really a very spooky story! Lovely descriptive writing, too. 🙂

  2. Well it works and it fits. Well written.


    January 25, 2013 at 6:37 pm

  3. Gosh, you’ve fitted a lot into these 100 words, I’m glad you explained the baby. I’m a little confused as to whether it’s in fact a spooky trip where the sign is deceptive or just a spooky way of describing a short walk in the woods. If I’m right and it’s the latter, I think the reveal. could be a bit stronger, but either way I like the atmosphere you generate in the description.


    January 25, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    • You’re right and I wasn’t happy with the ending – it sort of falls flat.
      The walk was supposed to take ten minutes, but there was so much to see, and so many boards to read, that we took a while longer.

      Sarah Ann

      January 27, 2013 at 8:18 pm

  4. well then it’s a concrete thought about a walk you took. good enough then.


    January 26, 2013 at 12:01 am

    • Is that damning with faint (as in weak of spirit) or feigned (mock) praise?

      Sarah Ann

      January 27, 2013 at 8:20 pm

  5. I’m so glad for the explanation of the wailing baby! I was trying to fit that in with that walk and not doing so well. I wasn’t sure about the last line and the sign. Did they just take the wrong path so it took them longer, the right path that was a long walk through the woods, or is there an uncanny explanation? I love the pictures of the trees you saw. It must have been a fascinating walk.



    January 26, 2013 at 3:27 am

    • No, there was no wrong path. There was just so much to see for a couple of Brits on their first trip to Australia. We had a local 12-year old tagging along, swinging on vines, and trying to hurry us up.

      Sarah Ann

      January 27, 2013 at 8:28 pm

  6. Nicely done, something a bit different. Loved the pictures and the clip.


    January 26, 2013 at 10:21 am

  7. Nicely written, Sarah. I, too, am glad you included the link to the clip so the wailing baby makes sense. Atmospheric.


    January 26, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    • I looked up catbirds on wikpedia and the entry insisted they sound like cats mewling. The one(s) we heard definitely sounded like crying babies. It was quite discomforting.

      Sarah Ann

      January 27, 2013 at 8:23 pm

  8. This is really good descriptive writing! I enjoyed it.


    January 26, 2013 at 5:36 pm

  9. Reminds me of a very muddy walk we did in the Everglades a couple of weeks ago

    Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

    January 26, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    • I’m looking forward to the stories your walk will inspire, and the photos. 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      January 27, 2013 at 8:30 pm

  10. Hi Sarah Ann,
    Thanks for the explanation of the wailing baby. Now it all makes sense and I feel like you’ve taken me on a walk with you in an exotic place. Ron


    January 27, 2013 at 12:29 am

    • Thanks, Ron. I’m really pleased you were able to walk with me.

      Sarah Ann

      January 27, 2013 at 8:29 pm

  11. “trees tall and strong that captivate with their carbuncles and air roots.”–love this image and you captured it perfectly in words. The photos were just icing on an already rich cake!


    January 27, 2013 at 1:00 am

    • I’m glad you picked out that line. I wasn’t sure the carbuncles worked without the photos – especially as one definition described a carbuncle as a ‘cabochon garnet’.
      Thank you for your lovely comments.

      Sarah Ann

      January 27, 2013 at 8:34 pm

  12. What a cool story! Thanks for the link to the ‘wailing baby’… I was wondering, and thinking ‘what a cliffhanger’. I thought that was a cannonball tree when I first saw it. A great walk and a great idea from the second half. I liked your description of the vines… drew me right into the Forrest.


    January 27, 2013 at 5:39 pm

  13. Thanks, Ted. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’ll let the other half know you approve.

    Sarah Ann

    January 27, 2013 at 8:36 pm

  14. Nice descriptive language, Sarah. And, I’ll agree with some of the comments, a little spooky. I know you weren’t altogether pleased with how it tied together, but I think there are lot of fascinating elements here. And, the those trees are amazing. I can see how they would have inspired you to write a story about it. Nice!

    The Bumble Files

    January 28, 2013 at 9:51 pm

  15. When I first read this, it was eerie. After reading the comments (and ignoring the crying baby), I felt it was a nice description of a walk in the woods–go figure.


    January 28, 2013 at 11:50 pm

  16. This is really eerie, with the crying baby (even though you explain what really made the sound) and the “10-20 minute” trail that lasts at least an hour, not to mention your descriptions of the strange trees. I felt as if they had wandered out of our world for a while before finding their way back to the beach path. Good job!


    January 30, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    • Thank you for your comments, Sharon. I love the idea of wandering out of our world.

      Sarah Ann

      February 1, 2013 at 11:27 am

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