The Woods – 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, the standard, and the prompt photo.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on the picture below, which this week is supplied by Liz Young.

© Liz Young

Click here to hear the author read his words:

The Woods

I gaze at the live images on my screen.
I am surprised at the pang of nostalgia.
I thought I had long ago forgotten such feelings.
But I haven’t been in these woods since I was a boy, a decade ago.
And I still recognise certain spots where we once played at soldiers.
The zoom feature even allows me to identify some old friends.
I see Chester, Andy and Noddy, all working together.
I shake my head, smile sadly.
Then the voice in my headset speaks.
I sigh.
I adjust my controls and press the button.
The rockets cause carnage.

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67 Responses to The Woods – Friday Fictioneers

  1. Wonderfully unstated and chilling, too bad about nostalgia.

    Like

  2. oneta hayes says:

    Aww. Sad but I assume necessary? That’s a matter of opinion I’m sure.

    Like

  3. James McEwan says:

    He once played as soldiers and now he is a Drone jockey. You capture his cold detached emotions despite his nostalgia, but then again he has achieved his boyhood ambition albeit from behind the safety of a his control screen.
    This makes me consider if the younger generation, so absorbed in cyber space that they are detected from the reality of their surroundings!

    Like

  4. Nobbinmaug says:

    It’s hard to keep friends that way.

    Like

  5. athling2001 says:

    Chilling story. For a moment, I thought he might have real feelings.

    Like

  6. GHLearner says:

    What is he whining about, his soldier-playing friends are just collateral damage, aren’t they? Cold technical terms for cold technical killing without even getting close to danger oneself. Excellent story, very well crafted.

    Like

  7. Chilling. You brought to light a complicated issue masterfully, C.E.

    Like

  8. ahtdoucette says:

    Oh wow, I did not see that end coming! Harsh. Well written, but harsh.

    Like

  9. Powerful images cloaked in innocent memories! Cheers!

    Like

  10. draliman says:

    Yikes. Well, nostalgia and old friends is all very well but war is war…

    Like

  11. pennygadd51 says:

    That’s a very concise argument against bearing arms. Ever. Well done.

    Like

  12. plaridel says:

    it looks like he has lost it including his humanity. for what or for whom?

    Like

  13. Dora says:

    When you can kill from afar with a button, friendship, much less humanity, counts for nothing, One of the many evils of modern drone warfare.

    Like

  14. Nostalgia is overrated. After all, yours is a friendship to die for.

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  15. jenne49 says:

    What a stark portrayal of how a person is desensitised by war and learns to override human emotions. At what price? .Great story.

    Like

  16. msjadeli says:

    Orson Scott Card wrote about drone pilots in, “Enders War.” He recruited them before they had time to develop human bonds. It works best that way.

    Like

  17. Iain Kelly says:

    Armchair warfare. The very definition of ‘fire and forget’.

    Like

  18. Please, not Noddy. I just hope Big Ears isn’t there too.

    Like

  19. Liz Young says:

    I guess obedience to orders would depend on what horrors were lurking there now.

    Like

  20. granonine says:

    It doesn’t seem to me that this Person? Robot? AI thing? has any choices, but must do as programmed. He has a surprising pang of nostalgia that passes quickly. Automated. Just doing his job.

    Like

  21. elmowrites says:

    I’m a rule-follower, but I think I’d baulk at those orders. Your protagonist seems to have found a way to detach himself though. I wonder how permanently.

    Like

  22. elmowrites says:

    I’m a rule-follower, but I think I’d baulk at those orders. Your protagonist seems to have found a way to detach himself though. I wonder how permanently.

    Like

  23. Tannille says:

    Hmm he needs therapy. Great use of voice, very detached. Wonder how he got that way?

    Like

  24. Bear says:

    What a piece with unfathomable depth. I half expected it to be a story where he’s seeing the ghosts of his brother’s in arms, killed in combat, and he the only survivor. Almost brought tears to my eyes.

    Like

  25. Sandra says:

    He sounds very cool and determined. I hope his composure is still with him when he goes to bed at night.

    Like

  26. michael says:

    Rockets returned to sender. 🙂😉

    Like

  27. Dear CE,

    Orders are orders. I’m not sure I’d want to follow them.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  28. Anita says:

    Oh! So sad that he has to operate those rockets- those WMD- that will blow up his friends & lovely woods…
    Though the feelings & nostalgia is alive, he is a prey to instructions…

    Like

  29. neilmacdon says:

    Still playing at soldiers. I wonder how many would comply and how many would desert

    Like

  30. Corine Gouy says:

    Cette histoire commence comme un joli souvenir pour finir dans un carnage tu m’as encore eu !

    Like

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