Friday Fictioneers – Orchid

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Thin winter sunlight flooded the apartment and there was a cheery crackle. Mikhail rose from his armchair by the fireplace and crossed to the window, with the spray bottle in his hand. With care he misted the orchid on the windowsill. The flower was so delicate, white as the snowdrift in the street far below.

Another crackle, closer, and shouts. He looked down at the street and saw running figures. A shrill whistle and then the corner of the apartment block opposite bloomed flying masonry and bodies. Mikhail misted the second orchid, all the beauty that was left to him.


Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here.

Fancy sharpening your skill with writing exercises? The Scrivener’s Forge offers a new exercise every month to hone one aspect of your craft. Take a look at this month’s exercise on character, desire and plot here.

76 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Orchid

  1. I like the juxtaposition of the violence and the lilies. Best part is, I could actually see the man doing it, kind of a mild-mannered, maybe older gentlemen, spraying the lily. There’s a scene in a movie like that, although, I can’t remember it right off the bat. It was a guy who had a flower and he kept it up during war time because it represented beauty in a war-torn place.

    Bravo, Neil!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. And there’s nothing he can do…and he knows it. The “fight or flight” instinct has died, so he takes one last look at beauty before the BOOM. You’ve shown us a lot in a few words.


  2. Lovely sparse writing – just the right amount of description in the set up and then the boom. And we know what kind of kife he’s led, the kind of suffering he’s been through. Such a lot in so few words


  3. Completely beautiful. I could see myself reacting in the same way (may have to the way things are going here!)

    You also have a very impressively designed blog. xx


  4. I especially liked the two crackles, wood fire and gun fire. It also made me wonder what it must have been like during the bombing raids of the blitzkrieg. You never know where the next one will hit.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We think of the bombing but not of the experience of those above it. You just created what might be part of the whole picture, Neil. What a wonderful contrast between beauty and the ugliness of conflict. Great writing as always, —- Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

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