Friday Fictioneers – Breathing

Photo Prompt © J Hardy Carroll

She lay beside him, sleeping. The respirator of her chest rattled as it rose and fell, the breath rasping alien through sunken tubes. In terror, he believed he heard a mechanical hum and then a click at the end of every in-breath.

Beyond the fevered bedroom, the church clock struck thirteen.


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 point of view.


63 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Breathing

    1. True, but it would be expressed “Oh thirteen hours” rather than “the clock struck thirteen.”

      I was imagining the man believing his wife was an actual alien or robot.

      Toward the end of my Dad’s life when he was quite ill, my Mom would periodically awaken throughout the night to make sure she could hear him breathing.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. It must be terrifying when you start to imagine such things about those close to you. I hope he realised in time that he needed medical help with his hallucinations. You used auditory hallucinations brilliantly, and what a clever use of the clock striking thirteen. It didn’t, of course – clocks don’t – so he must be hallucinating. Lovely, skilful, succinct writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Neil, I really like this. Although it’s got a real horror feel to it, the reader or perhaps I should say, this reader tried to hand out to a plausible, rational version of events, they’re in a hospital, she’s been in intensive care recently etc. Anyway looking forward to more psychosis

    Liked by 1 person

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