Sarah Ann Hall

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

#FridayFictioneers – 15/6/18 – Freedom

with 37 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 looked at this week’s prompt I immediately imagined someone trapped in a cellar, seeing a bird outside, and longing to be free. Then I read Bjorn’s prompt for Haibun Monday on d’Verse and took a different path.

With thanks to Rochelle for hosting, Jean for this week’s photo, and Björn for a useful nudge.


© Jean L. Hays



(Genre: general fiction; 100-words)

I’ve been locked in here for weeks now, watching the days shorten through a tiny skylight. No one will be looking for me. I led an independent life and won’t be missed.

My kidnapper keeps me fed and watered, and life is easy not having to make choices about what to eat, how to fit in shopping, what to wear each day to look my best. Not being able to pee whenever the need arises is the only inconvenience.

She hasn’t told me why I was taken, and I have ceased to wonder. Having no control has become weirdly liberating.




Written by Sarah Ann

June 15, 2018 at 10:12 am

37 Responses

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  1. An interesting switch on the normal kidnap story. I often wonder about low-security prisons – everything done for you, no need to worry about money or food, all that time to sit and read and write…!

    Iain Kelly

    June 15, 2018 at 10:37 am

    • You’re selling an open prison to me. That way I might finish some of the umpteen novels I have started. 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      June 15, 2018 at 10:44 am

  2. Such an interesting take on what it is like to be a kidnap victim. I’ve never considered that it could be liberating in a weird sort of way! Like this story very much.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Susan A Eames

    June 15, 2018 at 11:14 am

    • Thank you. I think being looked after in this way might pall after a long time, but in the short term it’s a bit of a break.

      Sarah Ann

      June 19, 2018 at 12:00 pm

  3. Dear Sarah Ann,

    This is a rather odd perspective. In a good way. You left me with so many questions. Who’s the kidnapper? What are her motives? Where is the captive being held? Oh I think there’s a larger story that can be told here. Very well done.




    June 15, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    • Definitely a different perspective. I didn’t allow myself to wonder into the who and why of the kidnapper, as I would have never stuck to 100-words. Perhaps these are questions I can answer with future prompts? 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      June 19, 2018 at 12:02 pm

  4. This is a great one. I love the perspective, the twist! Thanks


    June 15, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    • Thank you for reading and your comment. This was a fun one to write, to come at things from the unusual perspective.

      Sarah Ann

      June 19, 2018 at 12:05 pm

  5. Stockholm Syndrome. Interesting take, Sarah


    June 15, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    • Thank you. I think my protagonist is having a welcome break from life. I feel she will rebel and fight her way out in time.

      Sarah Ann

      June 19, 2018 at 12:04 pm

  6. An interesting concept. A bit like Stockholm Syndrome, only with regard to the situation rather than the kidnapper (unless it covers that too!).


    June 15, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    • 100-words doesn’t give me enough to examine how she feels about the kidnapper. I think she’s interested to know who she is, but she’ll get to that once the novelty of being free of responsibility wears off. And who knows what might happen then?

      Sarah Ann

      June 19, 2018 at 12:29 pm

  7. i like her positive attitude. i’m afraid it would be a different story once the novelty wears off.


    June 15, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    • I agree with you. Time will tell how long she is happy to be cooped up and helpless.

      Sarah Ann

      June 19, 2018 at 12:25 pm

  8. Yes! A wonderful take on the prompt. Fed, watered, but not being able to pee when one wants. And the fact it’s a man who is the prisoner. Nicely done.

    Alicia Jamtaas

    June 15, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    • Thank you. 🙂 It is fun to invert things sometimes and see what falls out.

      Sarah Ann

      June 19, 2018 at 12:24 pm

  9. Chilling.


    June 16, 2018 at 1:17 am

    • I’m wondering what thoughts this has provoked, as you’re finding my story more scary than I did. 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      June 19, 2018 at 12:24 pm

      • I find it very chilling indeed when someone becomes so comfortable in captivity. Her only complaint is not being able to pee whenever she needs to. And her kidnapper gives her no explanation for removing her from her normal life. The whole scenario just made me shiver!


        June 19, 2018 at 12:27 pm

  10. A fascinating variation on a kidnapping story.


    June 16, 2018 at 8:47 am

    • Thank you. It can be useful to see things from the other side, especially when I’m struggling to come up with something to write for a prompt.

      Sarah Ann

      June 19, 2018 at 12:23 pm

  11. I’m guessing she had such a busy and too-full life, she is enjoying the lack of obligations – for now. There is indeed way more story in there! Good job, Sarah Ann


    June 16, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    • You’ve hit the nail on the head. She is making the most of the rest, however it came to be. Whether she’ll be able to stay the course though remains to be seen.

      Sarah Ann

      June 19, 2018 at 12:19 pm

  12. A psychological word picture of the victim. A captivating read.


    June 16, 2018 at 4:04 pm

  13. I love how you turned the bird in a cage scenario upside down. I see the beginning of the Stockholm syndrome. First the circumstances aren’t so bad, then s/he starts to be thankful to his/her captor, then …


    June 16, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    • Ah yes, then. I think this captive is going to get fed up with her situation. Her need to know why will take over…. unless she’s had such a busy existence up until now that she’s due a long holiday. 🙂

      Sarah Ann

      June 19, 2018 at 12:16 pm

  14. This is exactly what I wanted from the haibun prompt, and I love how you weaved those questions into your story…the liberating freedom of not having to make all those choices…. and you cannot lock the mind inside.

    • I would dearly love some days to not have to make choices, but then I know I’d be kicking off about a lack of control after not too long. It’s true you can never lock up a mind, however much you sometimes wish it would be quiet… just for a moment.

      Sarah Ann

      June 19, 2018 at 12:15 pm

  15. Hmm. Thought provoking. Made me think of those who are imprisoned by circumstance. The bed-ridden. Carers. Children in care. Those suffering from agoraphobia. Excellent take on the prompt.


    June 16, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    • Thank you. I hadn’t thought of all those others who are confined. The issues of choice and ability to change things were playing through my mind, as they would in the situations you bring to mind.

      Sarah Ann

      June 19, 2018 at 12:13 pm

  16. I’ve felt liberated since being walked out the door on my last job. You’d think they’d at least supply a chamber pot. Interesting tale, Sarah Ann.

    Russell Gayer

    June 16, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    • Thanks Russell. Toileting is always an issue when one is confined. Maybe the kidnapper will move the hostage to a basement with an en suite, depending on how long she intends to keep her locked up.

      Sarah Ann

      June 19, 2018 at 12:11 pm

  17. Scary thoughts. I hope she is able to escape soon.

    Laurie Bell

    June 17, 2018 at 9:45 pm

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