Friday Fictioneers – The Fan

Photo Prompt © Dale Rogerson

The man behind the municipal desk looked municipal. Stanley knew the look—bored, unimpressed, implacable.

“Leave this with me,” the man said. “I’ll put it before the Council.”

He meant he’d shove it in a drawer and have a cup of tea.

“Listen,” Stanley pleaded, “it’s important. My giant fan will blow the miasma away. The city will be safe.”

The official straightened his cravat and nodded.

“Or we can all choke to death, I suppose,” Stanley added. Bitterness filled his mouth.

The man shuffled his papers and looked over Stanley’s shoulder at the next in line.


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


83 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – The Fan

  1. Lovely story, Neil! Your opening had me cackling with laughter! You convey the frustration of Stanley and the municipal employee with each other really well. You make Stanley’s frustration explicit, but, cleverly you reveal the attendant’s by his actions, fiddling with his cravat, and looking beyond Stanley to the next person in the queue. Beautifully written!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Even the word “malaria” is wrong. They used what they could observe, the fact people got sick when they left their windows open at night. It could only be miasmatic gasses emitted from the noxious earth, they said. It is amazing the destruction wrought by a widely-adopted erroneous idea. The vaccine/autism paper and George Kinnan’s domino theory come to mind. Well done.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Poor Stanley. No wonder he’s so frustrated. I would be too dealing with someone as callous and uncaring as that man. I liked how you said he looked “municipal”.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice combination of unyielding bureaucracy and bone-headed ideas. The connotations and history of the concept of miasma, that J Hardy Carroll referred to, make me think, the guy’s solution is just as cockamamie as the functionary’s attitude. But maybe it is a real problem and he has a real solution, in which case, the town is in for real trouble!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Stanley needs to speak their language. Fill in the appropriate forms, tick the appropriate boxes. That’s all they know. Sad. I fear for us all. Brilliantly represented in your story, Neil.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a stark contrast between the municipal clerk’s indifference and Stanley’s determination and frustration. Unfortunately, there are so many who end up like the municipal worker… it’s an epidemic of sorts. Love the dry humour here: “He meant he’d shove it in a drawer and have a cup of tea.” A creative take on the prompt!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. At least poor Stanley was trying to solve the problem, even if his idea was fanciful. Sometimes I feel we need a giant fan in Bristol, to blow all the fumes away. Well depicted scene Neil

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s