The Cage – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by the wonderful, if somewhat somnolent, Rochelle, the undisputed master of what I call Sound Bite Fiction.
She sets the weekly challenge, and the standard.
Today’s rather belated prompt (okay, that is my last one!), an intriguing shot courtesy of Peter Abbey, left me perplexed.
I was unsure what I was looking at.
Then I decided it was irrelevant, and wrote this story.
You can, if you are warped enough, read it as a sequel to last week’s story, The Bomb.
Or not.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on the picture, below.

© Peter Abbey

© Peter Abbey

Click here to hear me read my 1-minute story: The Cage

I stare hopelessly through the wire mesh.
We are up to our knees in mud, the rainfall relentless.
Our accommodation consists of a few ragged tents.
They protect us from neither wet nor cold.
Enemy soldiers in waterproof huts laugh at us from behind machine guns.
It seems the war is lost, our country occupied.
Escape looks impossible.
Several courageous if rash souls have already died trying.
Even I am struggling to come up with a plan that is not suicidal.
Cheer up, says Phil, things could be worse.
How, exactly, I ask.
He grins.
That bomb could have exploded.

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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49 Responses to The Cage – Friday Fictioneers

  1. Wonderful pacing and tension here, CE. The sense of foreboding and heaviness is palpable. Hearing you read it is a distinct bonus! Love that!

    Like

  2. mandibelle16 says:

    Sounds like a gruesome and difficult situation to be in. Enemy soldiers, what choice do you have honestly, but to defend your homeland. The bomb, well hopefully, it doesn’t go off, could be much worse for the world. Great write CE. Hugs

    Like

  3. Well done! Great visual and sad times. I am sure there was a time this story was very real to someone…🙂

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  4. Michael Wynn says:

    Always look on the bright side of life as the song goes and glad the bomb didn’t go off

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  5. Jade M. Wong says:

    Wow…this is so poignant to read. Yes, things could always be worse…

    Like

  6. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover says:

    Very moving piece. I feel for these men. How it must have hurt that the enemy was laughing at them.

    Like

  7. Dale says:

    I love this and, maybe because it is yours, I remember last week’s quite well. So very glad the bomb did not go off… ‘course they are not out of the woods yet, are they?

    Like

  8. gahlearner says:

    I’m so glad that bomb didn’t go off. Phil is a great character, always the optimist. BTW, the writing is good, too.😉

    Like

  9. rgayer55 says:

    I like Phil’s optimism. Or, he could just be slightly insane.
    I assume these prisoners are mimes inside an invisible cage. They deserve it, by God.

    Like

  10. I needed to go back to read last week’s story and the last line still makes me grin. This is the perfect sequel. So glad “he” and Phil are still alive.

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  11. Have read the prior story but this one was great as is. Well done!

    Like

  12. MythRider says:

    Optimism saves the day—might even save the war.

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  13. I’ve had too hectic a schedule to have a chance to do FF the past several weeks, so I didn’t have the benefit of reading last week’s story, but I do like this one very much. Of course I come from years of enjoying hearing my dad tell his WWII stories over and over. You’ve managed to portray great authenticity in just 100 words.

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      Thank you, Sandra, this started as a stand-alone story, but morphed into a sequel somewhere along the way.
      I always intend that my stories can stand alone, so your comments are gratefully received.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Iain Kelly says:

    Good sequel, still not convinced they will make it out of the trench in the end though.

    Like

  15. Lynn Love says:

    Love that as a sequel to the bomb. The boys are out of a frying pan, into another frying pan🙂 Glad they survived, if perhaps only to hear a few more of Phil’s jokes. Loving it, C

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      This surprised me too, I thought their goose was cooked in the first frying pan.
      But when the Muse leads, we can but follow.
      Happy you enjoyed, Lynn.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lynn Love says:

        I’m sure there must many similar stories from every war. I’ve just read about a chap in the trenches of WWI who no one wanted to accompany on patrol as he seemed to survive everything thrown at him – while his companions didn’t. It must be easy to see patterns, to believe spiritual forces are at work – to believe in Fate – when you’re in such a position of life and death. And you just let that Muse take you where she wants you to go – she knows what she’s doing🙂

        Like

        • ceayr says:

          Two of the best books I have ever read are about what is stupidly referred to as The Great War. Birdsong, by Sebastian Faulks is a masterpiece by a superb author. Sunset Song, by Lewis Grassic Gibbon, has been voted the greatest Scottish novel ever. From the land of Scott, Stevenson and Conan Doyle, plus the more recent Gray, Banks, Rankin, Welsh and Spark, to name but a few, this is no small accolade.
          As for the Muse, I have no control over her, or any other lady I have ever met!

          Liked by 1 person

  16. A great sequel. And always good to hear you read.

    Like

  17. Moving piece and even more so when read out by yourself.

    Like

  18. michael1148humphris says:

    I enjoyed the follow up, and felt their hopelessness

    Like

  19. Dear CE,

    I had similar sequel thoughts. Yawn. Stretch. I found your descriptions vivid and disturbing. I almost felt the damp cold in my bones.

    Of course you would’ve been well within your rights to post your 100 word “comment.” Two stories in a few short hours. I doff my chapeau to you.

    Shalom,

    Sleepy Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Sandra says:

    Phil sounds like the kind of guy you want to have around when the chips are down. Grimly good and a fitting sequel to last week’s story. Well done, CE.

    Like

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