Sarah Ann Hall

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

#FridayFictioneers – 22/3/13 – Sensory Disturbance

with 40 comments

Every Wednesday Rochelle Wisoff-Fields publishes a photo prompt to stimulate and inspire writers to write 100-words of flash fiction or poetry. Every Friday (or before) 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.



It’s not obvious how I ended up with my story from this week’s gorgeous photo from Doug MacIlroy. It stems from the biting. The horse I see is holding the hose but my head went with biting, biting tongues…. If the story doesn’t make sense, there’s a link at the end. (I’ve no idea on genre this week.)


Copyright -Douglas M. MacIlroy

Copyright -Douglas M. MacIlroy


Sensory Disturbance (100 words)

She wet the bed long after her brothers and sisters.

Aged 11, she had a label and a bracelet.

As a teenager there were mood swings, bad behaviour, and her driving licence was confiscated.

Years of drug taking followed, before she reached equilibrium.

When her mind rebelled she would try new substances, adjust, tinker, enter a spiral of pain and despair, until balance was regained.

As the menopause arrived, her head went haywire. Too late she decided it was time to live. A journey to distant relatives wore her out completely, and her brain showed its displeasure one last time.



Didn’t get it – click here.

Written by Sarah Ann

March 22, 2013 at 8:52 pm

40 Responses

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  1. Man, that was depressing. Cleanly written, but depressing


    March 23, 2013 at 3:17 am

    • Sorry and thanks. I won’t make it worse by saying it was based in truth then.

      Sarah Ann

      March 23, 2013 at 9:52 pm

  2. How appallingly sad. I’d gone in quite another direction until I followed the link. It must be awful to live your life with that threat hanging over you. Well done Sarah Ann.


    March 23, 2013 at 8:57 am

    • Where did you go? I was naughty with the drugs – version 3 had, ‘She took drugs for years…’ The ‘Years of drug taking…’ line was there to point away from the obvious. Unfortunately, I lost a friend to epilepsy last year and the fear did blight her life.

      Sarah Ann

      March 23, 2013 at 9:56 pm

  3. Dear Sarah,
    You skillfully captured the spiral of mental illness. Seems to me in the last sentence it should be “one last time” instead of “once last time.”

    Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

    March 23, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    • Dear Rochelle,
      Yes, one not once – I’m always doing that. Thank you for all your comments, Sarah

      Sarah Ann

      March 23, 2013 at 9:51 pm

  4. I don’t know how you got there and your narrator doesn’t know how she did, either. But you did a good job of conveying the entirety of a sad and depressing life of mental issues in your few words.



    March 23, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    • Hi Janet, It wasn’t a direct route from picture to story this week. Thank you, as always, for your encouraging comments.

      Sarah Ann

      March 25, 2013 at 8:01 pm

      • The picture’s only a jumping-off point anyway, so…

        It’s almost Wednesday again, time for another round. Never a dull moment or week! Hope it’s off to a good start.



        March 25, 2013 at 8:08 pm

      • I know it’s almost Wednesday again and I’ve still not finished with my reading from last week. Where can I sign up for more hours in the day?

        Sarah Ann

        March 25, 2013 at 8:12 pm

      • I don’t know but if you find out, please email me first!


        March 25, 2013 at 8:45 pm

  5. Hi Sarah
    This was a fascinating story – and shows the hardship sufferers face trying to get the balance right. Also, kudos for not going with the obvious – this was truly thinking outside the box!


    March 23, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    • Thank you EL. I’m not sure my head wasn’t taped inside the box unable to see what was in front of me. You didn’t go with the obvious either, just the very funny.

      Sarah Ann

      March 25, 2013 at 8:06 pm

  6. Mental health issues. Sad but well done. Love the line: “Too late she decided to live.”

    Beth Carter

    March 23, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    • I just clicked on the link and see it’s about epilepsy which isn’t a mental illness.

      Beth Carter

      March 23, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    • Thank you. I’m pleased you liked that line. I wasn’t sure it wasn’t too obvious in foreshadowing what was to come.

      Sarah Ann

      March 25, 2013 at 8:07 pm

  7. wow


    March 23, 2013 at 5:01 pm

  8. Hi Sarah Ann,
    You’ve traced the arc of a life here, amazing in so few words. You created a sympathetic and complex character. Good job! Ron


    March 24, 2013 at 1:08 am

    • Hi Ron, Thank you so much for your kind words. They make me see the story in a different light, which is really good.

      Sarah Ann

      March 25, 2013 at 8:08 pm

  9. very different take on this photo Sarah. when one does not understand an epilepsy attack it is frightening. i can see how you related the hose with the attacks. lesson to learn…about misuse of drugs. well done.


    March 24, 2013 at 6:45 am

  10. Dear Sarah,

    I like that you let the prompt take you far afield. Nothing wrong with that in the least. Your story was very sad and probably true for a percentage of us. Better late than never, i suppose.



    Douglas MacIlroy

    March 24, 2013 at 8:13 am

    • Dear Doug,
      Thank you for the photos and your tales of Mystic. I did wander a little far from the prompt. I have no idea why, but maybe it helps to be reminded that life is short, and much too short for some. Late has to be better than never.

      Sarah Ann

      March 25, 2013 at 8:35 pm

  11. I love how you got this part of someone’s whole life over in such a short space – that’s some achievement. I just wasn’t sure about suddenly bringing in ‘distant relatives’ right at the end – it seemed to open it up rather than bring it to a conclusion.


    March 24, 2013 at 11:47 am

    • Hi Claire, Thanks for the comment. The distant relatives arose because I was borrowing from life. I can see that introducing characters like that could open up the story, so maybe it would have been better to send her off on her dream holiday instead? The travel and its effects was the important bit, which I hope came across.

      Sarah Ann

      March 25, 2013 at 7:52 pm

  12. That was a very touching piece and a very different take on the picture. I like the line: “Too late she decided it was time to live.” That’s the sad fact a lot of time.

    David Stewart

    March 24, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    • Thank you. I think too many of us put off doing and living hoping for better tomorrows.

      Sarah Ann

      March 25, 2013 at 7:53 pm

  13. A very differerent and strong take… not a small task to capture a life in 100 words…

  14. these words were rich and powerful — and sad. Thank you for sharing them.


    March 24, 2013 at 11:26 pm

  15. Interesting take on this prompt. Enjoyed it.

    Shirley McCann

    March 25, 2013 at 3:11 am

  16. Thanks for the link.


    March 25, 2013 at 3:31 pm

  17. We have no idea what others have to go through in their daily lives. While we groan about slight discomforts others find each day a struggle to survive.

    Joe Owens

    March 25, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    • Thanks for your comment Joe. I think you summed it up better than I could.

      Sarah Ann

      March 25, 2013 at 7:55 pm

  18. Brilliant!
    Loved it!


    March 28, 2013 at 3:55 pm

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