Sarah Ann Hall

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

#FridayFictioneers – 30/8/13 – Desert Stopover

with 23 comments

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

Visit Rochelle’s site for more detail on how to join in. Read other stories inspired by the prompt by clicking on the blue guy.


Copyright - Dawn M. Miller

Copyright – Dawn M. Miller


Desert Stopover (100 words; Genre (because I could pigeon-hole myself this week): Apocalyptic)

Hot and exhausted. Sand inside my clothes, rubbing the bits that used to be moist. No moisture now. No fluid. No water anywhere.

This used to be an oasis, before developers built the shopping centre to attract the camel safaris.

No one around, but I can hear a generator. The air con will be running. It would be sweet relief to have cool air kiss my cracked skin. But it be would be short-lived. Soon I’d be feverish, coughing up blood, dead. Better to take my chances in the oven-heat: a slow-bake preferable to treatment-resistant Legionnaires’.


Friday Fictioneers

Written by Sarah Ann

August 30, 2013 at 8:28 pm

23 Responses

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  1. That poor person doesn’t have a chance huh? I think I would take the heat too. Interesting take on the photo though. 🙂


    August 30, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    • Thanks Jackie. Not knowing where the photo was, I went with my first impressions of it being a shopping mall. I’m not sure where the desert came from though.

      Sarah Ann

      September 1, 2013 at 8:34 pm

  2. I love the phrase, “have the cool air kiss my cracked skin”
    Sad story. Too much stagnant water I suppose.


    August 30, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    • I hadn’t thought of stagnant water. But I think the character needs one of those filters that can turn sea-water into drinking water, just in case he stumbles across a puddle. Thanks for reading.

      Sarah Ann

      September 1, 2013 at 8:35 pm

  3. In this bleak future, I think I would risk Legionnaires…

    Lindaura Glamoura

    August 30, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    • I’m not sure what I would do. I think I might risk it too, better a cool coughing death than a hot dry one, although neither sounds pleasant. 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      September 1, 2013 at 8:36 pm

  4. very sad indeed. This photo has somehow inspired many sad tales


    August 31, 2013 at 3:24 am

    • Thanks for reading. I’m behind on my reading so haven’t caught up with many sad or happy tales yet. That’s tomorrow’s job!

      Sarah Ann

      September 1, 2013 at 8:38 pm

  5. Dear Sarah,

    Yikes. That was definitely post apocalyptic. And very well done. I want out of there now.




    August 31, 2013 at 9:40 am

    • Good luck getting away. 🙂 Thank you for the encouraging comment.

      Sarah Ann

      September 1, 2013 at 8:41 pm

  6. Legionnaires that too resistant variety – sad but must salute you for this piece. Excellent.


    August 31, 2013 at 9:47 am

    • Thank you for the great comment, Aesop. I’m beginning to wonder if dark and sad is my forte.

      Sarah Ann

      September 1, 2013 at 8:42 pm

  7. Very realistic, I felt like diving for a bottle of moisturiser…. 🙂 Well done.


    August 31, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    • Thanks for letting me know it came across as realistic. Hopefully none of us will ever face this situation but, now you’ve put the idea in my mind, I’m adding moisturiser to the list of things to have in my post-apocalypse emergency bag. 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      September 1, 2013 at 8:45 pm

  8. very sad. very dark. don’t wanna be in his shoes.. well done.


    August 31, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    • Thanks for reading, kz. And thank you for recognising he was a he.

      Sarah Ann

      September 1, 2013 at 8:47 pm

  9. Hi Sarah Ann,
    Grim and dark and your character is faced with terrible choices. Finding an oasis is getting harder and harder. Ron


    August 31, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    • HI Ron,
      Too many people are attracted to the beauty of oases, only to ruin the very thing they appreciated. Thank you for reading.

      Sarah Ann

      September 1, 2013 at 8:49 pm

  10. A ruined oasis … the price of misplaced development….

    Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

    September 1, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    • Definitely misplaced in this case – spoiling what was once valued in the race for cash.

      Sarah Ann

      September 2, 2013 at 7:19 pm

  11. Dear Sarah Ann,

    As Joni Mitchell wrote, “you paved paradise, put up a parking lot.” A well-written, albeit, arid piece. I’m going to the kitchen for a tall, cold glass of water now.




    September 2, 2013 at 11:24 am

    • Hi Rochelle, My original reply seems to have disappeared. I hope the glass of water worked. Thank you for giving me a new ear-worm – Joni is singing along in my head now. 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      September 4, 2013 at 7:52 pm

  12. great story for the photo…my imagination never went out to the desert on this one. good one!


    September 5, 2013 at 12:06 pm

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