Friday Fictioneers – Wasteland 2

Photo Prompt © J Hardy Carroll

This photo stumped me. So I’m going to repost a story I wrote a year and a half ago, also in response to a similar picture by Joshua.


Grandpa scratched his thin beard, the turkey wattle flapping on his neck.  “Dammit, we used to make things, we were somebody.”

I didn’t know why he’d brought me to this derelict building, or what he wanted to teach me. Grandpa was just an old man, to be humoured.

“Can’t see how you’re ever going to amount to anything, Josh.” A sad shake of his head. “You can’t make a world out of selling each other insurance policies and burgers.”

Now, fifteen years on, with the DNA price crashing, Grandpa’s message makes sense.  I stare bleakly at my own wasteland.


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 reveals.


58 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Wasteland 2

    1. I like the sense of times changing here. Was also confused by DNA trader – thought I should know. Probably need to relax into reading a bit more. Particularly liked the ‘selling each other’ – as in how futile an activity is that.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m going to own up and say I don’t know what ‘DNA price’ means. I think I’ve seen it before and asked before but don’t remember what I learned. So I’d be grateful if you’d enlighten me and I’ll try to do better this time. Still, that didn’t interfere with my enjoyment of your story. That could have been my father speaking, come to think of it. Good one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good repost. I think the picture you’re referring to was taken in Jerome, Arizona. A ruin on a hill, I think, where they took out the mining equipment when they shut the town down.

    This one was of back of the decrepit Red Apple Rest on the road to the Catskills. I sent Rochelle some of the photos and a link to information about the place because I thought she’d be interested in the history.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. It wasn’t so much the photo but 100 word count limit I found challenging. The photo would probably pull a different story out of me each week or month depending on what I had on my mind at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This really tugged at my heart. A moment in the past where Grandpa might have had something to offer but Josh doesn’t want to know. In the emptiness of the present, there is such desolation in Josh, not only about his ‘wasteland’ but in the wasted opportunity of that time with Grandpa. Such powerful writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. At least Josh listened to and remembered Grandpa’s words, which is more than some youngsters would do. This story was very real. I’m pretty sure I hadn’t read it before, so thank you for putting it up again.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A lot of truth here. So much manufacturing has went overseas, I sometimes wonder what we make too. Not many durable goods, that’s for sure. I must have missed this one the first time. Great post, Neil.

    Liked by 1 person

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