Book of War – 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.
This week’s photo comes
once again from Dale Rogerson, and raised my normal level of pleasant befuddlement by a couple of degrees.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on this picture, below.

© Dale Rogerson

Click here to hear the writer read his words:

Book of War

I am writing a book.
The Book of War.
You are reading the first page.
Which I call, unsurprisingly, Page One.
It holds 100 words.
The next page, Page Two, is blank.
Empty.
Like every page after it, page upon page, wordless.
Because there are no more words.
Just white paper.
I am trying to demonstrate how meaningless it is.
All of it.
But I don’t know how.
I lack the skill, the clarity, the intelligence, the craftsmanship and the understanding.
I am no Steinbeck, no Tolstoy, no Hesse.
All I know is war.
And I know it is futile.

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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63 Responses to Book of War – Friday Fictioneers

  1. Lynn Love says:

    How very apt, though. For all that has to be said on the subject has been said before and yet we still continue to fight. Nicely put C

    Like

  2. This sounds too much like my book, entitled “All I Know About Women.”
    I’m afraid I’m going to have to sue you for copyright infringement.

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      I think I also wrote that book, Russell.
      But sue away, my sole possessions are a half-eaten Brie and a book of French stamps (unlicked).
      Wanna go fifty-fifty?

      Like

  3. It’s a great angle on the all the sayings against conflict and arguing. The central message being not to engage with it.

    Like

  4. mandibelle16 says:

    Well beautifully written despite the theme I mean ☺️👍🏻

    Like

  5. I think silence is a good answer to any call for war… excellent response….
    The winners in wars are those who loose the least.

    Like

  6. James McEwan says:

    A war with words! A writer stares at a blank page until droplets of blood appear on his forehead, I read that somewhere, occasionally it just be true.

    Like

  7. Kalpana Solsi says:

    I had watched a Hindi movie on War. The director had said that it is a war film with an anti-war message. I believe that in a war there are no winners. losers both sides. very well conveyed.

    https://ideasolsi65.blogspot.com/2019/01/door.html

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      Hi Kalpana, thank you for taking the timeto read and comment.
      The only ‘winners’ in a war are those who stay home and make money; it has sadly become Big Business.

      Like

  8. At first, because you mentioned 100 words, I thought the war was the one we have with ourselves each week to think of a response to the prompt and the empty pages were for the battles to come, but reaching the end, I see the message is far deeper than that and very well conveyed

    Like

  9. mandibelle16 says:

    Liked this very much CE. What do you say about war? Not manh words can describe it’s horrors or grasp the entirety of its meaning and tragedy. It just destroys. For me it just makes me think that,although,. some might argue there is a “just cause” for war, giving others no choice but to be in the thick of it, we all really know it’s never justified; but can’t convince everyone of that fact. There lies the problem. History repeats. So,perhaps what worth are words after page 1? Liked that your poem was the entirety of the word. Clever. Hugs CE!

    Like

  10. 4963andypop says:

    I like the way you make the reader complicit in your exercise in futility. You introduce us to the book, but we are already halfway through it. Your book operates much the same as wars do, it seems. You start with a premise, hook us, and then, nothing that follows is comprehensible.

    Like

  11. Jelli says:

    Sometimes the fewest words are the best. Love this write!

    Like

  12. Mandie Hines says:

    I had a good chuckle over the line “Which I call, unsurprisingly, Page One.” And your blank book was poignant. I felt the meaning after you said all the rest of the pages were blank as well, even before you explained your meaning. Well done.

    Like

  13. gahlearner says:

    Very powerful. This is a perfectly written book I don’t want to read.

    Like

  14. Violet Lentz says:

    Oh I think you’ll have plenty to say on page two..

    Like

  15. This is a book I’d buy.

    Like

  16. Dear CE,

    Powerful. I have no words.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  17. Varad says:

    Very powerful, CE. But won’t the blank pages allow the peruser to fill it however they like?

    Like

  18. Abhijit Ray says:

    May be in this war, everything from second page onward has died. Now is the turn for first page.

    Like

  19. This is one I like better heard than read. Excellent!

    Like

  20. page upon page, wordless.
    battle upon battle useless.
    Nicely rendered.

    Like

  21. michael1148humphris says:

    If only everyone could realise how futile creating a war is. Then more great story would fill those blank pages

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Iain Kelly says:

    Bravo, Sir, Bravo.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. A powerful piece, CE! You are certainly right, war is futile.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. granonine says:

    Your point is perfectly made. War and futility, indeed.

    Like

  25. Rowena says:

    This is brilliant CE. Perhaps, you could take this further. It deserves a mass audience and needs it.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    Like

  26. Liked the dark, brooding voice. Great take on the photo prompt.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Like

  27. Pingback: Claire Fuller | TALES FROM THE MOTHERLAND

  28. Sandra says:

    That’s a dark and broody piece, CE. I liked it. The flat, seemingly monotone rendition is apparent just through the words alone.

    Like

  29. Anita says:

    Totally agree. Words aren’t enough to convey how futile war is…
    Blank pages say it all.

    Like

  30. neilmacdon says:

    The trouble with publishing a book of blank pages is that people will just use it as a journal

    Liked by 5 people

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