Sarah Ann Hall

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

#FridayFictioneers – 24/3/17 – Providence Hall

with 29 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.

When I first saw today’s prompt I thought of escape, then saw gates as security, and wrote something unrelated to either. This is my first Friday Fictioneers in a very long time and I’m rusty, but that’s no excuse to be gentle with me. The below doesn’t work for me, but I’m posting anyway – criticise away.


With thanks to Rochelle for hosting and J Hardy Carroll for this week’s photo.


PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

© J Hardy Carroll


Providence Hall

(Genre: general fiction; 100-words)

As the gates clanged shut, Stan gazed towards the house. It pervaded timelessness, hewn from the ground on which it stood. Hospital, asylum, workhouse, barracks, hotel. Whatever its function the building’s grey facade suffused all who approached with desolation.

The site had closed, following its recent failure as a luxury spa, and was to be redeveloped as a school. The developers had made no provision for external decoration. Still, Stan had requisitioned vats of masonry paint. It had to be better for prospective pupils to be blinded by whitewash, than their expectant souls crushed by the weight of inky despondency.



Written by Sarah Ann

March 24, 2017 at 4:02 pm

29 Responses

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  1. Great descriptions! I reckon “inky despondency” is about right for a school 🙂


    March 24, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    • I tried the thesaurus for grey but it didn’t come up with much so tried black instead. I thought inky worked with the school idea. Glad you liked it. 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      March 24, 2017 at 8:03 pm

  2. Glad I don’t have to go to school there. I am not sure even the whitewash would help. Nicely done.


    March 24, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    • Thank you. I’m not sure the whitewash will work either, but Stan’s a committed optimist.

      Sarah Ann

      March 24, 2017 at 8:17 pm

  3. Glad Stan is doing his part for the children’s school. He seems like a good soul.


    March 24, 2017 at 9:34 pm

  4. Dear Sarah Ann,

    Welcome back! Wonderful descriptions. Perhaps they should tear the building down and start over. At the very least, Stan could use color. 😉 Nicely done.




    March 24, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    • Maybe pulling the building down would be the best option. Thanks, Rochelle.

      Sarah Ann

      March 26, 2017 at 12:56 pm

  5. You needn’t feel bad about this one… it is wonderfully described!


    March 25, 2017 at 4:24 am

  6. Welcome back. Enjoyed the description and the take.


    March 25, 2017 at 3:16 pm

  7. Nice – you made good use of the limited word count to conjure a vivid microcosm…

    Martin Cororan

    March 26, 2017 at 12:44 pm

  8. Loved the descriptions


    March 26, 2017 at 3:42 pm

  9. Nervous for those students, despite the whitewash! Loved your history of this place.

    Emily Livingstone

    March 26, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    • Thank you. Yes, they will be nervous approaching such an imposing edifice.

      Sarah Ann

      March 27, 2017 at 10:32 am

  10. Love to have you back at FF Sarah… loved the language in this, and hopefully a school will be a great comeback for the old building… hopefully the asylum doesn’t linger in its walls.

    • Thank you Björn. Hopefully being full of children is just what the building needs, but I imagine there might be a few ghosts lingering…

      Sarah Ann

      March 27, 2017 at 10:33 am

  11. Whitewashed walls are always good. I think children’s laughter and liveliness will brighten up the building. Who wouldn’t want to explore the basement and attics of such a house. There could be great adventure. On the other hand, if it is a strict school–maybe not. I like your story.


    March 26, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    • Thank you for your comment. I imagine inquisitive children exploring, and hopefully not getting in to too much trouble. Let’s hope for a cheerful and nurturing regime, for the children and the building.

      Sarah Ann

      March 27, 2017 at 10:36 am

  12. i liked the use of the word “whitewash.” very appropriate under the situation.


    March 26, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    • Thank you. I hadn’t thought of the dual meaning of whitewash. You’re right, it does seem very appropriate. Thanks for reading and seeing what I’d missed.

      Sarah Ann

      March 27, 2017 at 10:37 am

  13. Hopefully, the school will last.


    March 27, 2017 at 10:01 pm

  14. That was a cracker of a last line, Sarah Ann. Loved it. I studied the phrase ‘it pervaded timelessness’ – rather considering that timelessness should pervade the house. Still thinking about that one. But good to see you back again.


    March 28, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    • Thank you, Sandra, for pointing out the good bit and the iffy. With the timelessness, I was trying to work in about the house being made from the stones it stood on, formed out of the earth almost. But that’s the thing with 100-words, one idea has to predominate.

      Sarah Ann

      March 28, 2017 at 4:16 pm

  15. It’s nice to have you back Sarah Ann. I can’t even remember what color the exterior of my school was. My attention tended to be focused on the cute girls. 🙂 A coat of paint never hurt anything.


    March 28, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    • Thank you, Russell. I can imagine your attention being focused on more important things than the state of a building. ☺

      Sarah Ann

      March 29, 2017 at 8:52 pm

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