Waiting – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by the wonderful Rochelle, the undisputed master of what I call Sound Bite Fiction.
She sets the weekly challenge, and the standard.
Today’s photo by J Hardy Carrol is a gift to the imagination, prompting tales of far greater length than she permits.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on the picture, below.

Copyright J Hardy Carroll

Copyright J Hardy Carroll

Waiting

I see no sign of a threat.
I look at the guy opposite me.
He shifts slightly, avoids my eye.
I smile at the pretty lady beside him.
She turns her head away, nervously.
I run a practiced eye over the others.
Nothing.
They are the usual mixture of humanity to be found in any waiting room.
A doctor’s surgery, a train station or airport, a public service office, the hard uncomfortable seats are ubiquitous.
I try to relax, but something is nagging at my mind.
Now the questions start to surface.
Where am I?
What am I waiting for?

About ceayr

A Scot who has discovered Paradise in a small town he calls Medville on the Côte d'Azur, C.E. Ayr has spent a large part of his life in the West of Scotland and a large part elsewhere. His first job was selling programmes at his local football club and he has since tried 73 other career paths, the longest being in IT, with varying degrees of success. He is somewhat nomadic, fairly irresponsible and, according to his darling daughter, a bit random.
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47 Responses to Waiting – Friday Fictioneers

  1. There seem to be many people who don’t know where they’re going or why. Well done, C.E. 🙂 — Suzanne

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  2. Margaret says:

    Great atmosphere and a wonderfully ambiguous situation for the narrator. I like how it’s not till the end that his general speculation about waiting rooms shifts to the realisation that he doesn’t know where he is. Most engaging.

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  3. mjlstories says:

    I love the shift of perspectives within this – is the narrator trouble, troubled, in trouble? And how the appearance of realism changes subtly to something more sinister.

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  4. Amy Reese says:

    What a nightmare. I just hope he’s not waiting for a number so he can be called to wait in another room. To wait in a line, for another room….etc. That would be hell to me.

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  5. Great Twilight Zone – type ending with meditation on waiting rooms seeming to be going anyplace but where it does go. Nice.

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  6. Dale says:

    Why are those damned seats always so uncomfortable anyway. I love the atmosphere you created here. So many questions raised, so many possibilities. Great job, as per usual!

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  7. The story of my life! Why, what, where, who?Life is but an eternal waiting room. Blimey, listen to me!!!
    Visit Keith’s Ramblings

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  8. mickwynn2013 says:

    There’s a great uneasy feeling running through this and Isn’t that so often the case in public places. Why does no one talk in lifts for example?

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    • ceayr says:

      Glad, you picked up on the atmosphere, Mick.
      In some places, such as the small town in the south of France where I live, people exchange small talk at every opportunity.
      I know this is not the case in most cities.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Having just spent time in NYC, on the subway, I could really relate to the shifting views here, CE. Like others, I love the “the ubiquitous seats,” but the mysteriousness of all the shifty characters held me.

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  10. The end made me smile but also made me go back and wonder why the people around the narrator were uncomfortable with him/her. Was it something about him/her or just that they were unused to other people attempting to connect with them? Such is the mystery of brief encounters with passing strangers. Well told.

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  11. J. says:

    Isn’t it funny…unlike the previous commentor, it wasn’t “him” that gave me pause. It was the others…the man and the woman, avoiding eye contact. Avoiding connection. I was immediately suspicious of them. Perhaps it’s because I live in Southern California, just about 20 miles from where terrorists reeked havoc in the San Bernardino in December of last year. It was a husband and wife team. Well done, you. A story within a story…depending on the reader. Signs of a mighty fine writer.

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    • ceayr says:

      Interesting comment, and I am always excited when someone reads a whole different meaning into my writing.
      My intention was to provoke thought as to why they considered him with unease, but your view is equally valid.
      Or perhaps, dear lady, you just have a suspicious mind?
      I glow at your praise.

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  12. d3athlily says:

    I loved the words you used here! Especially ubiquitous seats! That is so spot-on! It’s a great analogy on life. We are always waiting, but what for?

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  13. wmqcolby says:

    That atmosphere really came through. I could see it playing out in my imagination. Amazing work, C.E., as always.

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  14. helenmidgley says:

    Intriguing 🙂

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  15. elmowrites says:

    Particularly enjoyed the ubiquitous seats. Aren’t they just?

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  16. mandibelle16 says:

    Very fascinating story. I wonder too what he waits for? Does he have Alzheimer’s or memory loss from something. Did someone else, cause him to lose part of his memory? Is he waiting at a doctors office? A train station? Or something that symbolically is a waiting room of some kind? Is he even alive or is he between life and death? Well written Caeyr to evoke such questions.

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  17. paulmclem says:

    Lol. This gave me a good chuckle. Great ending.

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  18. I am very intrigued by your story. As usual, I see aliens, I see so many different things…this is my way of saying I loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I love how your story turned from the concrete observation of waiting to something that’s almost like an allegory instead. Got me thinking about Borges and other authors of his stature.

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    • ceayr says:

      I am glad that you picked up on the shift from reality to….
      Well, that is the question, isn’t it?
      And I am beyond flattered at your comparison.

      Like

  20. Good comment on life!

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  21. Dear CE,

    We spend a good percentage of our lives waiting for something, don’t we? You’ve captured that feeling well with uncomfortable ubiquitous seats. Waiting room, anywhere. Well done. I’m still waiting to find out what he’s waiting for. 😉

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

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  22. neilmacdon says:

    I like the similarity between your story idea and mine – the exploration of the state of waiting. Well rendered!

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  23. Sandra says:

    You’ve captured that sense of confusion beautifully, and there’s just the hint that his demeanour is slightly troubling to his companions. I can identify with that, but fortunately not so often that it becomes a major problem. 😉 For me, anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

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