Sarah Ann Hall

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

#FridayFictioneers – 14/11/14 – The Morning After

with 33 comments

Every Wednesday Rochelle Wisoff-Fields publishes a photo prompt to inspire writers to write 100-words of flash fiction or poetry.

At any point during the following week, the Friday Fictioneers post their 100-word tales. Read the other stories by clicking below.


The cars just didn’t do it for my muse last week. I tried to coerce her, but my thoughts and hers would not entwine. She’s a little more cooperative this week, but not much, hence my lateness. And I’m not sure this piece ends, although it has a beginning and a (too long?) middle.

Thank you twice to Rochelle this week – once for hosting and once for her photo below.


Copyright - Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields


The Morning After

(General fiction; 100-words)

I wake in the gutter, alone. I don’t remember my name.

Helluva night.

I feel about – fingers and face intact; wallet in pocket.

Helluva good night. Apart from the name thing. And not knowing where I am.

I walk to a main street, scan up, down. Nothing familiar, but the air smells right – warm and salty.

I turn left, because I must choose. Meandering, looking about, no one stares back.

The babble of voices floats past, an odd word catching my ear.

I taste baking seaweed on the breeze and know home is here. Words and names will come later.


Friday Fictioneers




Written by Sarah Ann

November 15, 2014 at 3:32 pm

33 Responses

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  1. I like how the narrator’s senses have decided that he/she’s in the right place – home – even if the memory has yet to return.


    November 16, 2014 at 9:45 am

    • Thanks, that was the effect I was trying for, so glad if came across.

      Sarah Ann

      November 17, 2014 at 5:50 pm

  2. I really liked this. I didn’t understand whether ‘baked seaweed’ had any significance other than just the kind of smell seaweed has, but it was an atmospheric piece. I liked the almost ‘dreamlike’ quality of it.


    November 16, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    • Thanks Sandra. The baked seaweed was just the smell, when it’s left on the beach as the sea recedes. I think the dreamlike quality might come from the character’s thick head 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      November 17, 2014 at 5:52 pm

  3. I really enjoyed this story. You’ve captured that amnesia-like sense of time, after one of those nights…


    November 16, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    • Thank you. I started this thinking I’d concentrate on the alone aspect of the situation, it seems my character had other ideas, but I’m glad I created a sense of otherness.

      Sarah Ann

      November 17, 2014 at 8:24 pm

  4. A survivor! A lovely response to the prompt.


    November 16, 2014 at 7:47 pm

  5. This is perfect – beginning, middle and end. The dream state is well done. Glad your muse cooperated.


    November 16, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    • When she stops cooperating, I’m never sure of my work when she starts again. My readers view this piece as stronger than I do. Now I need to identify why that is. Thanks for the read and encouraging comment 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      November 17, 2014 at 5:54 pm

  6. That’s quite a fascinating story. I know what she means about smell being linked more to memory than anything else. At least that’s the way it is with me.

    David Stewart

    November 16, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    • Smell memory was exactly what I was going for. I was given some chrysanthemums at the weekend and they took me back to Wales and putting flowers on my grandfather’s grave, which we did most holidays until I was 12. And they always do that.

      Sarah Ann

      November 17, 2014 at 5:56 pm

  7. I really love this one, Sarah! This is great! I love her turning left because she must choose, and tasting the salt and sea on her lips, the baking seaweed on the breeze. This is really brilliant. I want to know more.

    Amy Reese

    November 17, 2014 at 5:08 am

    • Thanks Amy. Yes s/he has to choose – at least wandering aimlessly won’t get her home, but she doesn’t know which was to go really. Glad you liked the tastes and smells. As for more, you’ll have to fill in the blanks because my mind is as clueless as the character’s. 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      November 17, 2014 at 5:58 pm

  8. Dear Sarah Ann,

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. This is lovely. You had me in the moment, feeling somewhat fearful. And your last line was picture perfect. That sense of everything’s going to be all right after all. I enjoyed this.




    November 17, 2014 at 11:39 am

    • Thank you Rochelle. Being hard is good – it garners lots of encouraging comments – but sometimes, although I work over and over on something, it still feels a bit ‘woolly’ and out of reach. Maybe I was reflecting too much of my character’s inner turmoil this week. Happy to hear you enjoyed it and the sense of ‘it’ll be all right’ came across.

      Sarah Ann

      November 17, 2014 at 6:00 pm

  9. I thought it was a Helluva Good Story.


    November 17, 2014 at 12:41 pm

  10. Sarah Ann, He’s really fortunate his wallet is still there. He’s probably in such a sad state no one thought he had anything worth stealing. I just hope his memory comes back. Great description. Good and well-written story. 🙂 — Susan

    Suzanne Joshi

    November 17, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    • Thank you for those thoughts. I’d imagined him sleeping it off in a quiet side street, but maybe you’re right and he looks too awful to bother to rob. And the memory will return, slowly.

      Sarah Ann

      November 19, 2014 at 1:44 pm

  11. Really well written, I can picture the person’s confusion (not quite fear?) until they get a sense of direction. Might help that I recall some similar mornings (ahhhh University Life :)).


    November 18, 2014 at 5:15 am

    • University life can be tough. 🙂 I’m glad you got confusion not fear, that was the balance I was trying to strike.

      Sarah Ann

      November 19, 2014 at 1:48 pm

  12. I liked this – had to chuckle at the ‘good’ night after finding the wallet in the pocket… yep, could’ve been worse, I suppose 🙂


    November 18, 2014 at 7:14 am

    • Thanks Janna. Glad the good made you chuckle – it’s those small things (the wallet still being there) that sometimes make the difference as to how events are interpreted. 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      November 19, 2014 at 1:51 pm

  13. I liked this, captured that scene of waking up after a drunken night out really well.


    November 18, 2014 at 8:31 pm

  14. Ha.. that was good night.. I wonder if waking up in Stockholm in November would make you feel less at home..

    Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

    November 18, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    • I imagine it’s cold in Stockholm in November, hopefully not too cold to worry about waking up at all, but probably not homely. What does Stockholm smell of?

      Sarah Ann

      November 19, 2014 at 2:03 pm

  15. Dear Sarah Ann, Wonderful story – and hell of a story! He had a good night – too good. Nan 🙂

    Nan Falkner

    November 19, 2014 at 5:12 am

  16. I seem to have read this story in a sadder, more desperate light than the other readers – it ends with “Words and names will come later” but we only have the narrator’s word for that and, frankly, I don’t trust that guy’s judgement 😉

    But you managed the disorientating effect very well. I’m surprised you didn’t think the story was “strong”, though it can be hard to judge what you’ve written sometimes.


    November 19, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    • It’s good to know you read this differently – with so few words it’s easy to miss the ambiguity of some phrases. I can see why you wouldn’t want to trust his last words, although he trusts them totally.
      As for not seeing my work as strong – the pieces I flag as weak often receive better comments than the ones I feel are strong. So do I solicit bolstering comments (no knowingly, or am I a completely useless at judging the strengths and weaknesses in my work? (Very probably.)

      Sarah Ann

      November 20, 2014 at 3:41 pm

  17. I love this vignette! missed reading it before. But I am glad I traced back and read this post. The scene is vivid with the right amount of details.


    November 20, 2014 at 9:17 pm

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