Friday Fictioneers – Taking dictation

Photo Prompt © Jan Wayne Fields

The old man is panting as he reaches the summit. The small of his back twists with ache, bending him forward as if into a wind. He stumbles, legs barely able to support him.

Hell of a place to choose for a meeting, he mutters.

An eagle soars effortless on thermals, and a breeze carries the scent of lemons. A bush bursts into flame. The prophet selects a chisel from his satchel and prepares to take dictation.

I know what you’re thinking, but you are mistaken. Just because something didn’t happen doesn’t make it untrue.


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

I’m having major connectivty problems, so please forgive me if I’m not able to comment on your post

82 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Taking dictation

  1. What a clever take and, as you hook the reader, you create a lovely sense of place. I love the almost casual reference to the burning bush. And I love the old man’s struggle. And the effortless eagle. Fabulous.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is great, Neil. Charles Bowden did a wonderful book on the Catalinas called Frog Mountain Blues in which he recounts his feelings of self-satisfaction after riding his bicycle the 26 grueling miles to the summit of Mt. Lemmon. These feelings instantly evaporated when he saw a 70-year-old man jogging up the path. He had run up the far more rugged northside trail from the valley far below.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Super story, Neil. In fact, for someone who didn’t know what to do with the prompt, it’s a hell of a story! I like the way you base your imagery on scriptural metaphors, the burning bush and the eagle’s wings. And a lovely twist, with the ‘postscript’ adding a further bauble to your confection.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a friend, who, after making a decision, waits for an eagle sighting. (We have a lot of them in our neck of the woods,) If she sees one within a week of making up her mind, she knows she’s done well. Love this take on the prompt.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The photo didn’t speak volumes to me either. At least you got a couple of stone tablets out of it. I might be reading too much into this, but for me, the last line gave the story its depth. The eagle and the old man were the human level, but the last line which is like one of those Christmas cracker mottos, rather encapsulated the old man’s exercise—sound and fury, signifying nothing.


  6. “panting as he reaches the summit”
    Ha! Reminded me of my year 7 teacher who told us this gem. “It’s a hot day. A man is climbing the mountain. When he reaches the summit, he takes off his shirt and pants”.

    I did like the little touches like the burning bush. As for the prophet, these days he’d probably use a prophet app.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “The prophet selects a chisel from his satchel and prepares to take dictation.” This made me laugh out loud. I wonder if any of today’s dictations has such an impact. Wonderful descriptive writing, brings me right into the scene.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. As I started reading I wondered if others were coming and only the fit would survive to get to the prize of the meeting. Beautiful images in your middle paragraph. Really enjoyed reading.


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