Friday Fictioneers on Saturday – After

Another Friday Fictioneers story, inspired by the picture below. Make sure you check out all the other stories based on this picture, over on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ site!


She stares at the frayed decorations put up for the fiesta, before. The half-full bag in her hand droops.

“Where is she?” An irritated voice.

“I’ll go look. Again.” The woman who comes out of the dark doorway might be older, or just more worried. It’s hard to tell.

“Come and help,” the worried woman snaps.

“I was thinking.”

“Fill that bag while you think.”

The daydreamer sighs. “We’re looters, aren’t we? I mean, this stuff belongs to somebody else. Used to.”

“And they’re gone and I’m hungry.”

“Yes.” She follows the worrier into the abandoned store. “I wonder how long before the city falls down.”

25 responses to “Friday Fictioneers on Saturday – After

  1. To be a looter can never seem easy for some.. hunger is an heavy, but so is guilt.. I guess that either way it’s a burden to bear for some.

  2. Dystopian in the nicest possible way. 🙂


  3. I like the direction the photo took you, very clever Sharon!

  4. Dear Sharon,

    It’s great to see you back here. The story’s a little disturbing in its possibility. Well done.



    • Thanks, Rochelle – I hope I can stay back this time!

      When I was trying to develop a story, I kept circling back to wondering why nobody took the decorations down before they got so badly frayed, and then I found myself thinking about what it might be like in a town that’s in the process of being abandoned because something terrible happened… Yes, it kind of disturbed me.

  5. Wow! That was brilliant!! I loved it! 🙂

    Smile, it makes (y)our day!

  6. i felt the tension in your characters, especially the worrier. 🙂

    • Thank you! She’s kind of the hinge of the story, I think. The daydreamer is trying to go on behaving the way she would have before the disaster, and the unseen person who stays inside the store has decided to just focus on surviving. But the worrier is trying to combine survival and a bit of concern for others – or maybe she’s decided that she has a better chance of surviving herself if she can keep the whole group working together. Or both.

  7. I do not like looters at all, however, if a horrible accident happened, I wonder what i would do if my family was in need of water and no way to get it other than steal it or leave an noncollectable I.O.U. Thanks, Nan 🙂

    • I suspect many people would help themselves, maybe leaving an IOU, if the official owner was gone and it was steal or die (or steal or let your children die). I was sort of exploring – as much as you can in a hundred words – how people might act if they’re caught in a disaster with no hope of help from outside.

      Especially people like us who have always lived in a world where the outside world was going to send help as soon as it could reach them. That’s not going to happen in this story.

  8. Well it’s now Monday – And we never know what we would do in any given situation until we are faced with it.

    • I think you just summed up the whole problem these characters have! They’re in a terrible situation, and they aren’t sure how civilized they can be and have a chance to survive.

  9. Looting! It happens. One day it could be me. The real culprits are invading armies: the Allied forces did it as did the Russians and the Germans in WW@ and as did the forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. You’ll get looting when society is fractured. Your story illustrates this well. I love the angle of the worrier; the one who feels something may just be wrong.

    • Thank you! Their society has been shattered – I’m being deliberately vague about exactly what went wrong, but it may be broken beyond repair. At best, they’re in a desperate situation – they don’t even have the support of being surrounded by fellow armed, trained soldiers, since my characters are civilians. Will they survive? I just don’t know.

  10. Actually, I think this type of looting is different than what is usually thought of as looting. This is survival at its most basic. There’s no one coming back there to reclaim anything. It’s not wrong to steal if you’re starving and have no other way to survive. Good story and very realistic. I hope neither I nor any of my family members are ever in that situation..

    • Thank you (for the praise and for your interesting thoughts), and I hope nobody I know is ever faced with this. (I’d say I hope nobody at all is faced with it, but that’s not realistic, alas.) As for whether it’s looting or not – well, they are in desperate need. Is anyone coming back? Really, no, but it’s too soon for them to be sure of that. “Daydreamer” is still trying to convince herself that sooner or later things will be normal again; her two friends aren’t letting themselves think farther ahead – or behind – than the current day.

  11. A terrible place and situation to be in-no good person feels happy to be forced to steal or loot but sometimes it is unavoidable specially when lives are at stake!Loved this unique take on the prompt:-)

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