Reading what I have just written, I now believe that I’m a coward.
‘Let them shoot me,’ I thought as they marched me in, ‘I will not talk.’ But as soon as they showed me the knives, I crumbled. All my bravery evaporated like the breath of winter. One piece of paper, five names: the price of freedom. For the rest of my life, I’ll have to live with what I’ve done. With what I’ve done to them.
Coward or not, as I walk beyond the compound walls, I know exactly where I’m headed. The border guards shoot to kill: an easy out. I will not have to risk their knives attempting to cross over. And if I make it, though it will not save the friends I’ve just betrayed, I’ll make damn sure the whole world knows our story.
Written for dVerse poetry, where Lillian is hosting and has given us the challenge of writing a short prose piece (not more than 144 words) incorporating the following lines from Louise Gluck’s poem ‘Afterword:’
“Reading what I have just written, I now believe.” I didn’t read the poem until after I’d written this, as I wanted to give free rein to my imagination. This story was inspired by a nightmare I had last night!
Powerful ending to this tale. This made me think of Senator John McCain and the 6? years he spent as a prisoner of war. He elected to stay there when he was offered the opportunity to go home. He did not want to desert his men. A true hero and a gentle and honest man as well. How the Senate misses him.
Thankfully I have never been in such a situation in real life! It must take real strength not to bend under such pressure.
Ingrid, you had me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen. Sounds like it was a real nightmare for you. Glad you dispersed it in your story!
I shouldn’t watch late night movies after eating cheese 😅
I fear that I would also chose to betray rather than being tortured… if only people know the torture of surviving being a traitor… a shot in the back sounds acceptable way to end it.
A dystopian take and very apt for our times. ‘All my bravery evaporated like the breath of winter’ I like especially. Let’s hope our choices to come are straightforward. Well done.
gripping fiction Ingrid, we all got sucked in!
Wow-what a vivid nightmare you had. I’m sure that just the threat of torture would make me crumble. This was very powerful.
Oo, I have has this experience reading my journal entries. Seeing my story down on the written page I have thought I am a coward. Not wanting to be a coward in ink has prompted me to find more courage.
Love that I connected with this prose piece personally! The writing is strong.
Nice one !!!
Thank you Gillena! So sorry I can’t comment on your post as I’m not logged in to Google. But I did love it, especially
‘A heart that loves feels longing,
But is never lonely.’❤️
It’s one of those questions we hope we are never asked. You dig the knife into the wound and twist it.
Yes, I have been watching too many violent movies of late 😬
Our story is a violent one altogether.
A very chilling story! We never know what we will do under pressure of pain and suffering!
Yes, I hope I wouldn’t really be a coward, but it’s impossible to know and I hope I never have to find out!
This one gave me goosebumps! I have been having nightmares too lately .. but I love that you are letting it flow through your creative juices! Write on 💝
Yes, sometimes the best way is to let it out, and move on!
Good one. This is a prompt to keep. Makes one think.
Good heavens, what a nightmare. You must’ve eaten chocolate at bedtime or some other terrible thing to occasion such a nightmare!
Haha, no I think it was cheese 😅
The opening is a real hook, Ingrid; not many stories begin with an honest confession. I think I would crumble when threatened with knives – I’m scared of washing up our big chopping knife and I won’t use it either. What a great sentence: ‘All my bravery evaporated like the breath of winter.’ The ending is powerful.
Thanks Kim! I don’t know how I would really behave in this situation and I hope I never have to find out!
The opening is a real hook, not many stories begin with an honest confession, and not many characters admit to being cowards. I think I would crumble when threatened with knives – I’m scared of washing up our big chopping knife and I won’t use it either. What a great sentence: ‘All my bravery evaporated like the breath of winter.’ The ending is powerful.
Excellent and clever piece, part Tom Stoppard, part Hemingway. Like any trauma, we cannot guess our response to a fire in your home, being mugged, or burglarized. My only parallel personally is living 30 years with a chronic progressive disability, and I chose to accommodate to it.
Wow, that’s praise indeed, very kind words, Glenn. I have no idea how I would really behave. I have quite a high pain threshold but this would be another level. If you can adapt to such challenges you are obviously a strong person.
Riveting tale, Ingrid! Full realization, succinctly told. Salute.
Thank you so much!
Powerful writing! Superbly crafted. You nailed it!
Thank you so much 😊
Oh help. What an ending! It is amazing what cheese can do. I ought to post my cheesey story now lol
And to think people have suffered this way. I’m pretty sure I would be a coward.
I have no idea. I’m just lucky I don’t have to go through it, at least for the time being!
Yes, and never I hope
Your balance is ace here, Ingrid xo
Thank you kindly!
Wow thst was a real nightmare provoking quite a story. Great job capturing your audiece right off the bat Ingrid! 👏👏👏
Thank you Cindy 😊❤️
You’re so welcome Ingrid! ❤️
I think we’ve all wondered what we would do in these circumstances. I would probably crumble too. I like the resolve at the end to try to salvage some good from the evil. (K)
Yes, no one should be judged for the choices they make in such circumstances. Aren’t we lucky we aren’t faced with them?
We are indeed.
This is another fine piece of flash fiction from you, Ingrid! Compelling, real, genuine-seeming.
Thank you, Carolyn, I’m pleased you enjoyed.
I loved the ending in particular, Ingrid. A slight taste of redemption.
Powerful storytelling indeed!
Thank you so much!
What a dark and powerful ending.
Thank you 🖤
Wow, what a nightmare! But how many talk bravery until face to face with consequences.
Wow, Ingrid! That was quite the nightmare but such a great story! You had me on the edge of my seat.
I’m pleased you enjoyed it – if that’s the right word? 😳
Yes. Because it was a wonderful write with a scary subject! 🙂