Friday Fictioneers – The Secret

PHOTO PROMPT © Krista Strutz

There is a part of me that is different. I am not like the rest of you. But you can’t see it—I can pass. The dogs can’t smell me—I smell like you. The men with callipers will find no difference in my skull, or the shape of the nose, or the thickness of the lips. They’ll never make me wear a star. So, I walk among you, and hear how you talk about us. I live twice: once as myself, and again as one of you.


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

47 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – The Secret

  1. This is such a strong feeling of a piece. I wonder who your narrator is, but I love that it doesn’t matter for the purposes of the story. This is one of my favourites of yours, especially the last line.

    Perhaps extra much so, because when I saw the picture I saw 2 men. So your character ‘passed’ for me too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Neil this sounds like the life cycle of an extraterrestrial but maybe I’m reading too much into it. The star could be one to mark the damned in a genocide-like situation, or the star could be a real star with the ETs. Good mysterious atmosphere and an appropriate title for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I always wonder at dogs growling and barking at what appears to me nothing at all. In this case I expect the guard dogs are useless.
    I am not sure if this is a ghost story or a SciFi creature–shape shifter sort.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a thought provoking story. There are several groups of people who might fit the description of your narrator, but their specific identity isn’t really important. The story is telling me that humans are far too keen to label people as different.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Deep! Deeper! Deepest! That writing speaks so many depths. Sometimes it is much safer to hide your real self in public, ain’t it so? I remember my Gr. Grandpa telling me only to speak our language at home, and never to let the world know who we really were. And, that was here in America. It wasn’t until the late 80’s that it felt safe to be the Native that I am… and now, that cycle has once again reversed. The same goes for religion.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Neil,
    I loved this ruminative monologue of a soul that has learned to “blend in” protectively despite being otherwise labeled “different” by those who would pin labels (or stars) on others. You convey beautifully the sadness of having to live two lives.

    Liked by 1 person

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