Friday Fictioneers – Cycle of Life

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

It has always been thus. We sow the land and plant the seed. The sun shines, the rain falls, the crop grows. Nourished by the virtuous soil, our harvest finds a ready market. Bakeries fragrant with yeasty smells form it into bread. The brewer’s alchemy spins flax into gold. Coin changes hands, glasses clink, and the laughter of good neighbours warms and comforts. This is how life was.

Today, scorching sun parches the cracked soil, leached by winter deluges. How can we live now? All we can do is venture north in little boats and hope for refuge.

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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

63 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Cycle of Life

  1. All that glistens is not gold …. for the follies and the tears we will shed. Impactful ending. Sadly, a reality. Lots of delicious lines in this piece – definitely a reminder to be humble and grateful for the abundance of what we do have, right now.

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      1. I believe I’m on the fence about it – like most things, it depends on place/location/intention/situation etc. But like the notion that a life not examined is not worth living – which may or not be true, because too much scrutiny can be equally devastating/damaging – I think that things have to be considered in a fuller context. Choosing to “amend” the past mistakes or faults by a tear down while refusing to understand that on many levels, it’s just not one person or icon that is the root of all “bad” or inequalities etc. etc. but rather a collective community acceptance is a bit like idolizing, say Gandhi or Mandela, without considering they, like all of us, walk with both light and dark within us. So I think, it’s not that I’m adverse to the change, but there seems to be an awful lot of mass destruction in broad, sweeping, grand gestures, that just seem like it’s about catching the current wave of whatever is “in”. If this makes any sense. And I hope this hasn’t hijacked your post/comments.

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    1. Yes and no. Yes climate has always changed (usually in response to long-term trends) and people have moved. No, the climate is changing rapidly now because of what we’ve done

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    2. The climate changes, and people move – good observation.
      We work with farmers in Australia. Yes, they’re out to make a living (profit) and provide food for the world – but they’re also very conscious and active in sustainability and renewal.
      My first reaction on reading Neil’s story was ‘oh no, not another farmer basher’ – but of course he hasn’t bashed farmers. That was my bias entering the picture. 🙂

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  2. What a story of two halves, Neil. The pastoral at the start is lovely, I enjoyed the brewers line in particular. Then you smack us between the eyes with the conclusion and I’m left wondering who will take those boats in. Well done.

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  3. Very timely. Watching the cycle of the earth shift… as it has done before. Self sustaining… like the traditional rotation of crops and the fallow field which keeps the land fertile… both practices modern farming seems to have forgotten. And the result is… parched, unproductive soil.

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  4. I like the way you give this a French slant, with phrases like ‘virtuous soil’ and ‘Bakeries fragrant with yeasty smells’. You’ve almost made the story feel like the start of an epic – pretty impressive for flash fiction!

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