Sarah Ann Hall

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

#FridayFictioneers – 29/3/13 – 2027

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.


Time has run away from me this week. I had the idea early enough, but it hasn’t been buffed and polished.



Copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields


2027 (100 words. General fiction)

From the middle of the 20th century doomsayers began predicting the end of power generated from fossil fuels. When the day came, few were prepared.

‘Put that light out.’

‘But –‘

‘We don’t know how long the paraffin will have to last. Two lights are wasteful.’

‘How am I supposed to read by one?’

‘Get the large print version.’


‘It won’t be for too long. They’ll be converting carbon dioxide to methanol any day now.’

‘They’ve been saying that since 2013. Direct conversion of solar energy was supposed to prevent the blackout.’

‘So? Alchemy never was an exact science.’


Written by Sarah Ann

March 29, 2013 at 11:56 pm

40 Responses

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  1. Good story for the photo prompt. Progress has gone a little backwards. 🙂


    March 30, 2013 at 1:41 am

    • Thanks, Kim. However much we claim to dislike some forms of progress, most of us seem to come to rely on it.

      Sarah Ann

      April 1, 2013 at 11:42 am

  2. Love the last line in particular! And the fact that, even in such a dire situation, the biggest concern is still being able to read. 🙂

    Jacey Faye

    March 30, 2013 at 2:23 am

  3. Let’s start saving the environment else this fiction piece will become a reality 🙂 nice story


    March 30, 2013 at 9:22 am

    • Hopefully developing low energy products and new technologies will keep the lights on. We just need to be more aware.

      Sarah Ann

      April 2, 2013 at 7:49 pm

  4. Haha. A very funny tale. Loved the two lines: “…Two lights are wasteful.” And “…Get the large print version.” Great job.

    Beth Carter

    March 30, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    • Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it. ‘…the large print version’ was a gift of the muse – I wasn’t thinking along those lines when I started writing.

      Sarah Ann

      April 2, 2013 at 7:50 pm

  5. creative..nice thinking:)


    March 30, 2013 at 3:14 pm

  6. Really love the end on Alchemy. great story Sarah.

    • Thank you, Björn. That last line was a desperate attempt to get to the word limit, so I’m glad you liked it.

      Sarah Ann

      April 1, 2013 at 11:48 am

  7. Neatly written tale.
    (But in Scotland we have wind power!)


    March 31, 2013 at 10:07 am

  8. Funny line about putting the light out, reminds of when I was a kid and my grandparents told me to turn the light out after leaving a room — and now I tell my kids the same thing! So people echo this same comment, and for very good reason!


    March 31, 2013 at 11:12 am

    • Your comment reminded me that we used to have stickers on the switches when I was a kid saying ‘Put that light out.’ And others, ‘Have you switched it off?’ I think they were (local?) government issue, trying to make us responsible citizens during the oil crisis – but I’m too young to remember really. ‘Were you born in a barn?’ was (and still is) a favourite of my mother’s when we’d leave doors open. 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      April 1, 2013 at 11:56 am

  9. If it ever gets too dark to read, may it be long after I’m gone!! I vote for hamster power and hooking up treakmills. Then we could walk/run to create energy and everyone would be slim and trim. 🙂



    March 31, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    • Yes to hamster power. Are dog-walking treadmills cruel? There’s definitely an argument for self-generation of power so exercise bikes wired to dynamos in every house and sleek nations everywhere. Well, we can dream.

      Sarah Ann

      April 1, 2013 at 12:20 pm

  10. Hi Sarah Ann,
    Great comment on how we waste our resources and are not very environmentallly prepared for the future. It took millions of years to produce the fossil fuels we’re going to use up in little more than a century. Great premise. Ron


    March 31, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    • Thanks, Ron. I don’t suppose we’ll do anything sensible until we start having blackouts. I suspect the premise of your story is truer to life – we need to make sure all our utilities aren’t in one basket.

      Sarah Ann

      April 1, 2013 at 5:06 pm

  11. Converting carbon dioxide to methanol does sound like alchemy. Hopefully this isn’t a view of events to come, although maybe some day.

    David Stewart

    April 1, 2013 at 12:54 am

  12. quite frightening. i hope this remains to be fiction ^^ great job on the prompt. amazing what two lamps and imagination can create


    April 1, 2013 at 3:12 am

    • Thanks, kz. You’re right. It is amazing what two lamps can do, and no genie in sight.

      Sarah Ann

      April 2, 2013 at 10:50 pm

  13. Great take on the prompt. Nicely done.


    April 1, 2013 at 7:48 am

  14. Dear Sarah Ann,
    I wonder what we’ll do in an event such as this one. We’ve become so dependent on our technology (as I type this comment on my computer from who knows how many miles away) a massive power outage would paralyze the world. Nice…well not nice…well told story. 😉

    Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

    April 1, 2013 at 11:02 am

    • Dear Rochelle,
      We have become so dependent without necessarily realising it. Computers control the natural gas and some water supplies. A complete electricity failure really would be scary.

      Sarah Ann

      April 2, 2013 at 10:49 pm

  15. Deep statement here! Good thought to consider. BTW, I often read by just one of these style lamps. We have two. Hubs uses one, I the other. Saves on electric, and adds a little heat in the winter. Typing by the light of one right now, in fact.


    April 1, 2013 at 11:12 am

    • Our first boat had no electricity so we used to read by oil lamps or candlelight. An optician suggested we used 2 candles instead of only 1 to save our sight. I’m happy to report no problems yet.

      Sarah Ann

      April 2, 2013 at 7:44 pm

  16. Alchemy indeed. You have created a very real apocolypse here!


    April 1, 2013 at 4:36 pm

  17. Hi Sarah Ann
    This made me smile – and I love the idea that the alchemists come back into popularity and save us from the blackout!


    April 1, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    • I’m pleased it made you smile. When I started I was going for deadly serious, but just couldn’t keep it straight without getting depressing.

      Sarah Ann

      April 2, 2013 at 11:53 am

  18. Funny…like Pavlov’s dog, I’m still turning the lights off…even though I don’t pay for utilities.

    Lora Mitchell

    April 1, 2013 at 10:33 pm

  19. Us humans, always getting ahead of ourselves. Fun story.


    April 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm

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