Posted: May 21, 2014 in dark, fiction, poetry, writing
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

FFF Prompt  FENCE copyright-erin-leary-2

Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for all her work and organization. You can visit her site and read through the other Flash Fiction postings at:


For those who are new, Rochelle shares a photo prompt to which several #FridayFictioneers compose a 100-word flash of fiction. Come, join us, we are wide awake, and dreaming.

Here’s my contribution:

If Only It Were A Dream

My fever had lifted. At first light I left the coolness of my sheets to venture outdoors thinking fresh air would revive my soul. The scent of damp earth, the chortle of morning birds, dewy grasses licking my ankles, tickling sunlight upon my cheeks, all sensations of joy and living, yet all were unattainable.

Today there stood a fence, foreign to me, extending beyond my sight and which was certainly designed to contain. But what? I glanced down. In one hand was a can, the other a thick dripping brush, and it was clotted red.

From above a blackbird mocked.


  1. Dani Karns says:

    Purgatory seems a nasty place!!! Get painting Tom Sawyer

  2. Helena Hann-Basquiat says:

    This one has me scratching my head, but in a good way. It’s very intriguing — there are hints that this person has expired, or else something has happened while they were sick…. it’s a clever story, and I’ll have to let you know when I figure it out.

    • JKBradley says:

      Sometimes these stories are very literal, other times more symbolic or written with poetic license, and sometimes they’re written just to reach out and tickle.

      Thanks, Helena!

  3. Oh first of all.. I got thinking about Tom Sawyer as well.. but there are so many hints that seem to fit together — if only you hadn’t forced me to look on it with a kaleidoscope… hmm (sometimes I don’t really understand what I write myself… but usually someone else come up with an explanation)…

    • JKBradley says:

      It’s an adventure into the unreal, or near real, where dream and fantasy meld with the tangible. A place where imagination runs unrestrained and is wicked and beautiful and terrible and sensual, if you allow.

      Thanks, Bjorn!

  4. It is a BEAUTIFUL story … haunting, mysterious, laden with exquisite sensory details. Thank you!

  5. I was thinking more confined to a mental institution.

  6. wmqcolby says:

    Killer story. Absolutely “killer.” 🙂

  7. The Manoj Arora says:

    Fantastic!! I’m gonna be thinking about this the rest of the day. Excellent. Keep it up. I’m a fan. By the way…

    I write too. Please do read mine (short story) when u have the time:


  8. Pretty dang good. Loved the final blackbird line.

  9. Jan Brown says:

    Very intriguing. There are a number of possible interpretations, each of which gives the story meaning and depth. He may be painting a perfect reality in which he is forbidden to participate. That would be a heartbreaking form of punishment for his earthly deeds !

  10. I went from thinking what a lovely scene, to “creepy”, to Tom Sawyer, yet a bucket of red in FF brings blood instantly to mind (whatever mind I have left.) Intriguingly open, JK.


  11. I enjoy how a serene place holds nothing serene. Excellent imagery.

  12. An interesting take on the prompt. Fevered, yet soothing, topped with sensual smells, sounds and feelings. Nice.

  13. unspywriter says:

    Beautiful imagery and, as always, a spectacular twist.

    Here’s mine: http://unexpectedpaths.com/friday-fictioneers/through-a-glass-darkly/

  14. helenmidgley says:

    Intriguing and a little creepy, fab 🙂

  15. Dear JK,

    I see by the comments that purgatory was your intention. It seemed like a possible febrile dream. At any rate, some well written imagery and atmosphere.



  16. I too was a bit perplexed. The story is lovely. The Tom Sawyer idea was me grasping at straws. Alice painted the roses red. Maybe this is Wonderland taken to the depths of hell?

  17. Bradley, There was truly a lot of atmosphere in this. It’s like a type of layered dream inside a dream or like a Dali painting. Very interesting. Well done. 🙂 —Susan

  18. Lucy says:

    Very intriguing. I was drawn in by the imagery. Very well written. Was this a fever dream? It doesn’t seem like Hell but the fence is containing him. I want to read more. Great. Lucy

    • JKBradley says:

      My thoughts while writing were caught between a twisted dream and a surreal death resulting in a journey into purgatory.

      I’m happy you enjoyed. Much appreciated!

  19. Sarah Ann says:

    I read this assuming the fene has been built to keep your narrator in, although he’s not sure why – too much fever perhaps. Beautiful descriptions of his waking.

  20. I like the character’s uncertainty in contrast to the solid images of the sheets and the fence. Lovely atmosphere too

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