Podunk, Arizona – 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 very busy photo prompt by Jean L. Hays gives us a million options to write about.
I went for the obvious one.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on the picture, below.

© Jean L. Hays

© Jean L. Hays

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

Podunk, Arizona

That was the last place I ever saw her.
Two kids, pretending we were in love, living the American Dream.
Driving across the USA, laughing, fighting, making up, almost every day.
Then that last argument.
She thought she won it.
I wanted to visit Grand Canyon, she said stick to the route.
So we followed the song.
I guess I was sulking.
She was making herself pretty, said she was going to have some fun.
They came out of nowhere, started ripping her clothes.
I heard her screams as they kicked me into blessed unconsciousness.
Never heard of her since.

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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99 Responses to Podunk, Arizona – Friday Fictioneers

  1. That’s certainly something no one would ever forget. Poor girl. We’re not told if she had a family. Many run away from home and are never heard from again. Sad but often true. Good writing as always, C.E. —- Suzanne

    Like

  2. ellenbest24 says:

    How powerful ! You write was enhanced by your voice. Not all of us sound as authentic on record, but you nailled the prompt and your story still rings in my ears. Excellent.😇

    Like

  3. CE, not sure how you do it: write with such chilling detachment and horror, and then comment as the sweet heart you seem to be… but it chills me. Wonderfully done!

    Like

  4. ibarora says:

    pretending to be in love, well that said everything, feel said for her

    http://obliqview.blogspot.in/2016/11/the-trading-post-prompt-jean-l-hays.html

    Like

  5. His uncaring demeanor adds to the horror of this.
    Creepy story.
    I know you will take that as a compliment😉

    Like

  6. subroto says:

    Violent story but narrated in such a matter of fact tone. Makes the horrors stand out.

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  7. nicely told, and his distress at being unable to help comes across very clearly.
    Sounds like he literally got his kicks on route 66!

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  8. mandibelle16 says:

    Poor woman. And he couldn’t help her.

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  9. Michael Wynn says:

    Very vivid indeed. Great twist, you truly get the sense of him being beaten unable to stop the atrocity over well

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  10. athling2001 says:

    Can’t tell if the narrator is happy or sad about what happens. Great story.

    Like

  11. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover says:

    I found this a shocking story and I think it was because of his blasé attitude to what happened to his girlfriend. A good story elicits an emotional response and this good story really did.

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      I am happy that my story elicited such a strong response, but I am not clear why you think my narrator’s attitude is blasé.
      In 100 words much is left to the reader, so I am genuinely curious about this.

      Like

      • Life Lessons of a Dog Lover says:

        I went back and read your story again. I think it is the rhythm in the sentences. I thought this was on purpose and I like it in contrast to the traumatic end. In retrospect it may be more of a numbness rather than blaséness.

        Like

        • ceayr says:

          Thank you, ma’am, or sir, for taking the time to read again and explain your thoughts.
          I read it again myself, trying to be objective, and I think I understand why you thought what you did.
          When we write a story, as I am sure you know, it sometimes takes on a life of its own, and is not always interpreted as intended.
          This, I believe, can be a good thing, in that it teaches us to review what we write as though through the eyes of another.
          Not easy, but worthwhile.
          Thank you again.

          Like

          • Life Lessons of a Dog Lover says:

            It’s ma’am, Cindy actually. It is the curse of the written word that it leaves itself open to interpretation. It is also it’s blessing in that it allows the reader to go places the writer may not have foreseen. That is why I love reading vs seeing a movie. When I read I see in my mind what I want, when watching a movie I am limited by what the director wants me to see.
            I find FF interesting in the way different people interpret the pictures and in reading the comments in the different way they interpreted the stories.

            Like

  12. helenmidgley says:

    Very vivid, great pace🙂

    Like

  13. Terrifying! My imagination has conjured up awful visions of who ‘they’ are!

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  14. rgayer55 says:

    Note to self: Do NOT go on a road trip with C.E.
    How about next week, the boyfriend gets killed and the girl could care less?

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      You haven’t been invited, Russell.
      Although if you bring your charming lady wife, I guess you can carry the bags.
      And the poor laddie is distraught here, you are a big meanie to think otherwise.

      Like

  15. Indira says:

    Second but last line is the saving grace for him, otherwise it would have become too cruel. Nicely done as usual. But these thing frighten me very much murder is better than this.

    Like

  16. plaridel says:

    that was some sad ending for her. i don’t know about him, though

    Like

  17. YIKES …. powerful ending.
    I listen to you read the story first. Then, I read it myself.
    I was still stunned with the ending. My kind of story. Loved it ….
    Have a happy weekend.
    Isadora 😎

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      Now I find it interesting that you listen before you read, I suspect that is not usually the case.
      And I am happy to stun you, in the nicest possible way.
      Glad you enjoyed it so much.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m an audio/visual learner. I understand things best in that way. I discovered that as an adult. 😉
        I was wondering what accent you had. When I popped over to Elephant and heard his accent/brogue, I connected the two. 😄
        I had a friend (he’s passed on) who was Scottish. He belonged to a Scottish club. He had kilts and swords and spoke of his heritage to me – no, he wouldn’t let me see what was under the kilt – haha … Anyway, I went to an Octoberfest in my town last week, they had a drum and fife band dressed in traditional Scottish clothing. The music was outstanding. The powerful notes rambled through you. It was very intoxicating to lsiten to. I videotaped it and took some photos. I don’t know the history of it all but I was quite enjoyable. AND … yes, the beer was flowing. It’s a shame I’m not a beer drinker. 🍻 But, a bit of scotch would fit me well. 😁
        Cheers ..
        Isadora 😎

        Like

  18. That took a very dark turn. I didn’t see it coming.

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  19. draliman says:

    Wow, dark ending. I love the short snappy sentences.

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  20. liz young says:

    Ye gods! What a memory to have to live with. MAde me shiver.

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  21. Why you gotta be like that? Totally fell for this sucker punch. I usually see it coming but not today.
    Uffff,
    Tracey

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  22. gahlearner says:

    And you called my story bleak? Ha. This has a brilliant, horrible twist.

    Like

  23. Terrifying–nice job with this–it really gave me chills.

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  24. wmqcolby says:

    Super narrative, C.E. Makes the “ran out of gas” stories of being late obsolete. 😀

    Five out of five blessed unconsciousnesses. 😉

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  25. pretending we were in love – Mmmm. Perhaps that’s why he can be so blasé about the situation.

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  26. Iain Kelly says:

    At least he survived I suppose… Definitely reminiscent of a movie scene or two. Good one.

    Like

  27. I didn’t see that coming – nor did he! Nice one.

    My silly story!

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  28. Very poignant. You are a weaver of words. Brilliant.

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  29. Sandra says:

    Beautifully done. Just the right air of detachment that I think the narrator might have had to cultivate after such an experience. It came at me out of the blue, and chilled me to the bone. Well done.

    Like

  30. Lynn Love says:

    That turned nasty than I expected. What am I saying?🙂 Great story and in so few words – strong build and a nasty, brutal end to their road trip. Powerfully done C

    Like

  31. I love it. I’ve recently learned to both write and appreciate horror. Brilliant.

    Like

  32. Dale says:

    Not the kicks they were looking for…

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  33. I would say that is a end that you don’t want… have seen only bits of Route 66… but there are places where anything can happen.

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  34. I agree with Neil, your laconic style adds so much horror. Nice.

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  35. michael1148humphris says:

    This story is enough to put one off traveling Route 66. Well done.

    Like

  36. Just goes to show you: lock the doors. The kicks on Route 66 might be to your head.

    Like

  37. Dear CE,

    This one is graphic and heart wrenching. Vivid descriptions and emotions. Such a tragic ending. Some of your best writing and, as always, I love to hear you read.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

  38. neilmacdon says:

    Now that’s scary. In 100 words. Brilliantly done in your usual laconic style

    Like

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