Sarah Ann Hall

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

#FridayFictioneers – 2/6/17 – Retrospective

with 24 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.

On seeing this week’s photo I knew immediately what I was going to write about, as the below stems from something that happened to a close friend. Unfortunately, work and travel have meant it’s taken me a while to get it down.

With thanks to Rochelle for hosting and Karuna for the photo.


© Karuna


(Genre: general fiction; 100-words)

I thought I’d outsmarted him.

Forty years on, I can’t remember why he did it.

I can feel my impotence, anger, sadness at watching my young life’s possessions go up in smoke. I stood rooted, fists clenched, chest tight, tears falling. In my head I asked why over and over, but said nothing. Father had explained the misdemeanour that caused my toys’ destruction. My psyche forgets.

Digging the foundations for a new extension, we unearthed the precious things I’d buried to keep from him. The past flooded back to taint the future.

But I will not let him win again.




Written by Sarah Ann

June 2, 2017 at 7:10 pm

24 Responses

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  1. Brilliant.


    June 3, 2017 at 2:14 am

  2. I liked this from a lot of angles, particularly that she can’t even remember why her father considered punishing her in this way.

    Michael Wynn

    June 3, 2017 at 11:18 am

    • Thank you. I felt the reason why was less important than the act and the feelings around it. I imagine it was something as mundane as not having tided a bedroom.

      Sarah Ann

      June 5, 2017 at 12:50 pm

  3. Dear Sarah Ann,

    I’m so sorry this story is based on an actual event. A cruel act the child will never forget. Well done.




    June 3, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    • Hi Rochelle,
      The actual event was a friend’s dad burning all her toys. She doesn’t seem to have been overly affected and still gets on with her dad. She’s made of stronger stuff than me as I would have found it quite traumatic.

      Sarah Ann

      June 5, 2017 at 12:29 pm

  4. How one can be so cruel? Nicely written.


    June 3, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    • Thank you for your comment. I think the dad had reached the end of his tether in this case and didn’t necessarily deal with things the right way!

      Sarah Ann

      June 5, 2017 at 12:30 pm

  5. We remember what we need to (and sometimes more than we want.) Sad event for a child to have to live with. Even worse, that it’s not entirely fiction.


    June 3, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    • As a child we remember the flash-bulb moments, those out of the ordinary events and this was definitely one of those.

      Sarah Ann

      June 5, 2017 at 12:32 pm

  6. Yes, it is a very sad story…. but I’m so glad your friend eventually got back some of the things she had buried to keep them away from her father.

    Karuna Poole

    June 3, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    • Getting things back was the fiction in this. My friend had all her toys burned by her dad. I’m not sure what survived. Thank you for the thought provoking photo.

      Sarah Ann

      June 5, 2017 at 12:52 pm

  7. Simple and elegant. Great write as usual.


    June 3, 2017 at 3:45 pm

  8. Ok. The worst I’ve ever done Is threaten to give my eldest boys toys away to someone more deserving. He had been very naughty in that instance. Burning toys however has no come back. Sounds like a properly harsh dad. Well told and well written


    June 5, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    • Thank you. I’m going to have to speak to my friend to see if she can remember what she and her brother had done to deserve their toys burning. They might have been unbearable children after all.

      Sarah Ann

      June 5, 2017 at 1:33 pm

  9. That this is based on truth makes it even more tragic…


    June 5, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    • I’m going to have to speak to my friend and get to the facts of the matter now I’ve caused concern and upset to my readers 🙂 She doesn’t remember it half as badly as I painted it.

      Sarah Ann

      June 5, 2017 at 8:06 pm

      • Funny how our brains work. My sisters remember stuff that is totally gone from my memory banks!


        June 5, 2017 at 8:08 pm

  10. My mother gave away my teddy bear, because she thought I had “gotten too big for it.” I was angry and hurt over that for a few decades. At least she didn’t burn him at the stake. That would have cruel. That’s no way to teach a child a lesson.


    June 5, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    • No, burning is no way to teach anyone anything. Fire is so destructive, so final.
      Did you chase down the child your mom gave your bear to and take him/ her back home again?

      Sarah Ann

      June 5, 2017 at 8:05 pm

      • Nah, it was a young niece (my brother is 17 years older than me). I did vow never to do such a thing to my children, and I haven’t.


        June 5, 2017 at 8:32 pm

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