Friday Fictioneers – the Line

PHOTO PROMPT © Na’ama Yehuda

It might, of course, have been pure chance—a group who happened to be standing one behind the other. But I didn’t think so. This looked purposeful. These people were waiting for something. I joined the back of the line.

Leaning forward, I caught hints from the conversation of those ahead of me.

“Well, that one’s no better than she ought to be ….”

“Five-nil. What a  ….”

It started raining.  Some raised umbrellas but nobody left the queue. This must be important.

I rejoiced I’d chosen the right line, as water streamed down my face.


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

74 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – the Line

  1. I think someone might be setting themselves up for a disappointment.
    Your story raises the issue of human curiosity, herd mentality and blind belief and trust in others.
    I hope they are queuing to see my latest presentation on my recently published book. How’s that for a plug?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Neil. You remind me of a story from my youth. One day a couple of friends and I decoded to hatch a psychology experiment. We stood just inside the room where our high school band would practice during inclement weather and stared at “something” on the wall. The premise was to make folks so curious they had to look. Out of 120 some fellow band members we got several to take the bait. It sounds as if the main character here would rest in the “I looked” column.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like the mix of the known (herd mentality) with the unknown (what’s the line for.) I’m not sure I understand how the water streaming down their face confirmed it was the right line, except maybe anything could be taken as a sign it was the right choice?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. A queue is only one solution to the problem of waiting. For example, in Cuba, when you arrive at a bus stop you ask “who was last?”. When you’ve identified that person, you got on the bus immediately after them, You’re free to wander around until the bus comes. No queue is necessary


      2. That is an information. Is it possible that Cuba is reasonably prosperous, homogeneous and less populated? Just curious to know such admirable trait.


      3. The average wage in Cuba, an ethnically mixed island of 11 million people is about US$19. The non-queuing habit is cultural. It’s not explainable by economy or demography


  4. That says something about blindly following a crowd, even when we don’t know why we’re with them or why we’re not! True sign of our times, Neil, and you placed it at the heart of your flash fiction rather effortlessly. Well crafted story!


    Liked by 1 person

  5. To queue or not to queue, that’s the question my friend. 🙂

    We live in the times of FOMO, and this ain’t surprising at all. Hope this is worth his salt.

    Nicely done, Neil.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A funny story, Neil. I read a good one once about two men digging a hole in India. Several itinerant businesses stopped to attract customers. A small crowd gathered. Finally, the men filled the hole and left. Everyone then moved on. 😀 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

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