New Beginnings (A Friday Fictioneers post)

Flash Fiction based on a photograph prompt?  An inspired idea.  Here is my attempt for this week based on the photo below.

Fire on the Mountain Sunset

New Beginnings

Bob rocked the chair gently on his rickety old porch watching and waiting.  He knew it would come.  It always came.  He lifted the whisky to his old cracked lips and sipped slowly, hot liqueur burning a sticky trail down his throat, a warm glow lingering in its wake.  His creased hand shook softly as he lowered it to his lap, the first beginnings of old disease creeping into his worn-down shell.  The body that had served him so well for so many years would not have to serve him much longer.  He watched the flickering glow creep silently onto the mountain.  It was time. 

[Photograph writing prompt taken from:  http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/flash-fiction/the-western-sky-100-words/]

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49 Responses to New Beginnings (A Friday Fictioneers post)

  1. Hareem says:

    Loved it! So meaningful!

  2. I like your description of the whisky going down.

    • loustar02 says:

      I guess you don’t see that so much in tearooms!

      • Very true, and perhaps just as well. I used to frequent a wonderful old place called the Scotch Malt Whisky Society in Edinburgh and your post reminded me of happy times spent sitting on a leather sofa sipping drams in front of their roaring log fire.

  3. dmmacilroy says:

    At the end of each night’s observing here on the summit of Mauna Kea I watch the best dawns rise up out of the Pacific to call a halt to our work. The one thing I say to my compatriots is that no matter how bad the night is going, or how well, the one thing you can count on is that the sun will rise.

    Your imagery was spot on and the tone well set. I got the sense that your protagonist was simply watching the dawn and reflecting on the inexorable passage of time. Have to hand it to him, he’s an early drinker.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    • Really great imagery, and a sense of, hmm, not quite sadness, not quite acceptance, but somewhere in that neighbourhood. If in fact those two feeling live anywhere near each other. The “cracked lips” part made it real for me.

      • loustar02 says:

        Thanks for the great comments, Craig. I know what you mean, that is pretty much where he is. After last week I deliberately wanted to try being more descriptive so I’m pleased that seeemed to come across.

    • loustar02 says:

      Thanks for the great comments, Doug. I like your interpretation. Sunrise certainly adds certainty to a world full of the unexpected.

  4. Jan Morrill says:

    This is very poignant and full of sensory imagery that made me see and feel what the old-timer experienced. Very nice!

  5. Maxi Malone says:

    The fire in the sky matched the fire in his belly…

    Blessings – Maxi

  6. Judee says:

    Evocative description of the old man, having his last quiet drink. He seemed accepting of what was to come, ready for it. Perhaps more resigned, but ready nonetheless.

  7. kbnelson says:

    I liked how the description of the whiskey mirrored the photo prompt/sunset. Great job!

    • loustar02 says:

      Thanks – it sort of grew out of the picture, if you know what I mean. Pleased you enjoyed it. Thanks for taking time to read and comment.

  8. Loved the description of the whiskey sipping. Is this from experience? Ha! Weirdly, I almost wrote a story about an old man on a front porch with a fire threatening, so we may be channeling the same muse. But I went a different direction. Seriously, this is seriously good writing with the hints to the story just subtle enough. I like it very much.
    Here’s mine: http://bridgesareforburning.wordpress.com/

    • loustar02 says:

      Thank you for the great comments, Ron. Sounds like we have similar minds…at least for this prompt! I could picture it all so clearly. Perhaps not the whisky, but a glas of Baileys liqueur instead.

  9. elmowrites says:

    Some fantastic description here! i keep meaning to focus on description in one of my pieces and then I get carried away with story instead. You’ve managed to balance them both here, for which I salute you.

    • loustar02 says:

      Thanks so much for the wonderful comments – it means a lot. I usually do the same and try to pack in the action at the expense of description but forced myself to try something different. Once I started it seemed to flow so I might try it again!

  10. Siobhan Muir says:

    Nicely done. The end is coming and he doesn’t seem too concerned. Not quite acceptance, not quite resignation, but more of a expectation. I’d hope we can all face it so well. 🙂

  11. Very well told and described. Your words were perfectly chosen and never failed to add to the warmth combined with the decrepitude of this old gentleman.

  12. Madison Woods says:

    I got the sense that he planned to die soon, if not that night, and that the idea of it was nearly welcome. Great story !

  13. 1smiles says:

    Very descriptive. You painted a picture in my mind.

    • loustar02 says:

      Thanks, pleased you managed to create the picture from the descriptions. I thought I would try a different approach with this one and seems it paid off.

  14. Very wistful look at the end of a life, very nicely told. This is nonsense, but should liqueur be liquor or is it Southern Comfort (and that’s why it’s sticky?). Once again, very nice.

  15. This reminds me of Harry Randall Truman…the man who refused to leave when Mount St. Helen erupted in May of 1980. I’ve often wondered what went through his mind in those last moments.

    ~Susan (here is mine: http://www.susanwenzel.com/)

  16. I liked the relaxed atmosphere you set with the leisurely sentences and word choices–sticky trail, worn-down shell, creep silently–down to the final subtle, It was time. Good stuff.

    Here’s mine: http://wp.me/p1Tjpv-8P

  17. Mike says:

    Great story and wonderful imagery.
    Heartwarming in many ways, here was someone who knew the end was close and was ready.

    Here’s mine, albeit a day late!
    http://mjshorts.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/the-end-is-nigh-100-words-for-friday-fictioneers/

  18. Robin Hawke says:

    Love the aura of patience and lack of urgency. Robin

  19. Nicely done. My first impression (analytical mind always racing) was that the whisky was the last bit he had left and that the fire that “always came” was from the destruction of his still by the revenuers, thus creating the need for “New Beginnings.” LOL!

    Here’s my story: http://wp.me/p24aJS-2l

  20. parul says:

    Very intriguing! Makes me want to read more! Great choice of words!

    • loustar02 says:

      Thanks – that is a great complement. I must think about taking some of these forward but never quite seem to be able to decide where they should go next. Perhaps I should challenge myself!

  21. Quill Shiv says:

    How wonderful. In so many ways, this passage reminds me of Steinbeck. So real. There are just so many people in that situation. Who are getting to the point where they need that jigger of whiskey to get the bones moving in the morning. I loved this.

    These are the links to my drabbles this week: http://quillshiv.wordpress.com/2012/02/05/ellipsis/
    http://quillshiv.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/within-the-inglenook/

  22. The Lime says:

    You do such a fantastic job building the tension. I can absolutely feel the old man’s presence.

    I had a busy weekend that prevented me from getting around to the stories as soon as I would have liked, but I’m glad I made it here and thanks for reading mine, too!

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