flash friday · science fiction · Writing

Friday Flash: Welcome Storm

This week’s Friday flash (or Friday drabble, as it were) is based on this photo. Truthfully, I am not sure if the image or the idea came first. I wanted to write a desert scene and went looking for desert photos.

He huddled on the sand. His tattered clothes provided little protection. The hot desert sun beat down on his back. It burned, but he welcomed the pain. Windblown sand drove into his skin like tiny, splinter-sized knives. Eyes shielded by his fingers, he saw a sandstorm in the distance like the promise of freedom. A thick smudge on the horizon, fleeting, leaving behind a wreckage of hearts. A fist of sand slammed into him. It set his ears to ringing, but he sat up and ripped off his clothes. He welcomed the sandstorm with open arms and a joyful heart.

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39 thoughts on “Friday Flash: Welcome Storm

  1. though I’ve never visited one, I love deserts. For writers they are so rich and redolent with imagery and association and you give a good rendering of that

    marc nash

  2. Powerful imagery, though I’m a bit confused. At first he’s avoiding the sand, and then he welcomes it. Maybe he’s gone mad?

    Lovely language throughout.

  3. I thought this was well paced and believable. If I may be presumptious enough to suggest an improvement (and I always am), I think the tone and pace of the piece with respect to the POV character would benefit from NOT having the phrase, “leaving behind a wreckage of hearts.” Very tight flash; enjoyed it.

  4. I think you captured the cruel hard element of the desert and along with that the pain of the character. I loved this line “Windblown sand drove into his skin like tiny, splinter-sized knives. “

  5. My favourite line was: A fist of sand slammed into him. Had a brilliant image of it. Liked that he just accepted his fate at the end and just went with it.

    We don’t have many deserts in the UK but sometimes I want to do that in the rain rather than tense up and shelter with a newspaper.

  6. Sandstorms are deadly and he is obviously seeking it out. Very hard to breath in a sandstorm. I like that he confronts it nude, an offering to death.

  7. Vividly portrayed Sonia.

    The nature of a desert is both pure, and savage, I sense that this character is going to experience all that the sands have to offer.

  8. Intriguing. I didn’t see him as quite as unstable. I like the desert for the raw sparseness of it and the way it distills the problem. I imagine sandstorms blot out the sun, so I thought some of his enjoyment was the shade the beating was going to provide him.

  9. Yep, that fellah has some emotional issues, I think. But if you want to do yourself in, I suppose a desert sandstorm would do the trick and be nice, warm and dry in the process! Nice work!

  10. Very beautiful, very evocative piece. I want to know why he’s welcoming the pain, though it’s fun to imagine. I recall a time when I took an ill-advised walk in a thunderstorm in March because I was pining over some boy (silly, yes, but I got a good poem out of it!).

    I also love how the desert becomes a character and leaves “a wreckage of hearts”, as if it’s a stand-in for relationships that have dried up and become barren.

  11. For me the story went on beyond what had been written. He was sand blasted from skin to sinew to bone to dust and long after the sand had won, he grieved the loss.

    Yeah, that’s it. Thanks.

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