DICTATOR

He felt old. He felt tired.

Forty years leading his people, the Father of the Nation. Now they wanted rid of him.

How could they be so ungrateful?

He freed them from oppression. Didn’t they remember?

Resign, they cried. Perhaps he should.

Father Time was catching up with him.

The clock ticked relentlessly.

No. There was still much to be done.

He locked the clock away in the closet. Back to work.

***

They watched the old man shuffle across his cell. He banged his fist into his palm. He started addressing an imaginary audience.

No one listened anymore.


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Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

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THE BURNING MONK

Sayadaw Ashin Nanda bowed his head. A steady stream of vehicles passed by. Drivers stared at the monk. Fingering his prayer beads, he asked for answers.

The noise of the city faded into the background. He tried to recall what the scene would have looked like fifty years ago.

***

Thích Quảng Đức, the Vietnamese Buddhist Monk, walked into the middle of the intersection on Phan Đình Phùng Boulevard.

He sat cross-legged. Five gallons of petrol were poured over him. He prayed, holding his beads. Then he struck a match.

The flames enveloped him, burning his flesh. He did not move, he did not scream.

The crowd watched. Placards decried the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government. Some screamed, some prayed, some watched silently.

Press photographers took pictures.

***

Ashin Nanda opened his eyes. He thought of Myanmar, his homeland. He saw the flaming villages of the Rohingya Muslims in his country, set alight by Buddhist militants. He saw the fleeing women and children. He saw the bodies of the slain.

No-one answered his prayers.


Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story in around 150 words, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

More information about the self-immolation protest of Thích Quảng Đức in Saigon in 1963 here: Wikipedia.

More information on the current plight of the Rohingya Muslims at the hands of the Myanmar military and police here: Wikipedia.

Glossary:
Sayadaw – a Burmese/Myanmar Buddhist senior monk or abbot.
Thích – surname taken by all Vietnamese monks.

 

ROBBERY

The headlights on the van flicked off as it drove along the dark street. The van carried on driving for a another block. Without indicating it turned into a narrow alleyway. The driver cut the engine and let the van drift quietly until it came to a rest.

‘Anyone see us?’ the driver asked the two men sitting alongside him in the front.

‘Not a soul on the street,’ the younger man replied.

‘Okay, let’s go.’ The driver opened his door and slipped out. The other two men exited from the passenger side. They circled round and met at the rear of the vehicle. The driver unlocked the rear doors and opened them.

The woman inside the van looked up. The driver nodded.

‘Good,’ she said. She tucked her handgun into the waistband of her pants. ‘Keep an eye on him.’ On the floor of the van lay another man, tied up by his wrists and ankles and a black bag covering his head.

Putting a baseball cap on, the woman jumped down and walked to the end of the alley. She peered round the corner. The street remained empty.  She waved back to the van, signalling the others to follow her. Continue reading “ROBBERY”

ANOTHER DAY AT CABLE NEWS NETWORK

Fred Casey looked over the Columbus Circle intersection at the Trump International Hotel. Shuffling his feet to generate some warmth against the autumnal chill, he finished his coffee before heading inside.

As he walked through the entrance he saw Sam Jones running across the reception, almost colliding with unaware workers.

‘What’s happening?’ he shouted.

‘Another statue,’ Sam called back before entering the revolving door.

Where now? After Charlottesville it was only a matter of time before there was another flashpoint. It would be the lead on the evening news.

He got back to the office and found Jack Collins waiting for him.

‘Who are they removing this time?’ Fred asked.

‘Not removing,’ Collins smiled. ‘They’re protesting against a statue being erected.’

Fred gave his old colleague a puzzled look. ‘A statue of who?’

‘Our current President.’ Collins pointed out the window.

Fred saw the small crowd gathering outside Trump International Hotel. He could see Sam Jones directing her cameraman to get shots of the protesters.

‘He’s going to call this fake news again,’ Fred sighed.


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Copyright Jade M. Wong

Stating the obvious, but just to avoid any confusion, this is a work of fiction and not meant to represent the real CNN, other than the geographical relation between their New York offices in Columbus Circle and their proximity to the Trump International Hotel – and the strained relations between the two.

Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story in around 150 words, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

DEFIANCE

They sat by the sea watching children play on the beach.

‘Alright?’ he put his arm around her shoulder.

The tears slowly running down her face gave him his answer.

It had taken her twenty years to return. Years of pain and guilt. She had been their teacher. They had trusted in her. She was supposed to protect them.

A school outing before the summer holiday began. A visit to the local museum for a bit of history and then a trip to the beach. It wasn’t her fault the terrorists had come that day.

The images still haunted her. They would never leave her. The panic, the terror, the fear in those young faces. The blood. The dead.

Governments fought aimless wars and encouraged segregation and hate. Religions tried to absolve themselves of blame. Terrorists continued to kill with no purpose, never furthering their cause.

She was beyond all this. She had only her memories and sorrow. She wouldn’t let them count her as their victim. She was here. She had not let them win.

This was her defiance.


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Copyright The Storyteller’s Abode

Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story in around 150 words, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

Influenced by events in Manchester this week, my thoughts are with all involved, especially those children and parents affected by this devastating and abhorrent act.