Friday Fictioneers – Bringing Her Back

Every Friday, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields gives us, Friday Fictioneers, a prompt and we have roughly a 100 words to write the best story possible using this prompt. This week’s photo is below:

Bringing Her Back

“I used to live here?”

“Yes, darling. This is where your house used to be.”

“But…but..there’s nothing here”.

For the first time since the Tsunami in 2004, Joy was back in Sri Lanka. My wife and I had argued about whether our 18-year old was ready to visit her birthplace.

“It’s going to break her! You’re going to break her!”, she had protested as I confirmed our tickets.

As Joy looked at the nothingness in front of her and, then, back at me, there was a look in her eyes I had never seen before. I feared my wife was right.

“Thank you for bringing me here, dad”, she smiled and held my hand. All I could do was smile back; it was the first time she had called me dad.

What could’ve broken her, fixed a part of my daughter, gave her closure.


Went a bit above and beyond the 100 word limit (at 143) this week but I believed the story deserved a little more detail. For those that aren’t aware of the Tsunami that hit the Indian Ocean 11 years ago, here is the Wikipedia page.

To check out some of the other entries, click the blue frog!

Special thanks to Dale Rogerson for an excellent photo prompt.

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21 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Bringing Her Back”

  1. A beautiful story. I think the girl was too young to remember much of her old home, so it didn’t break her. My father was heartbroken when he returned to the place that was his home after twenty years. He left as a young adult and found almost nothing that made ‘home’ in his memory.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I cannot comprehend what your father must have gone through. However, I recently visited the house I had spent my first 18 years of life in, and even though it is in the same city, the place felt alien to me – it was as if all indication that I had ever lived there had disappeared.
      Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Childhood memories associated with a birthplace are priceless. I can assume the pain and grief of Joy and then her feelings of elation to visit her birth place.
    I love reading this poignant tale and can’t resist giving my feedback here.
    My suggestion:
    The conversation in the beginning can be cut down. It seems redundant here and for me the blunt start from the passage
    For the first time since…
    is powerful.
    Please take it as my two cents 🙂
    Thank you Akash, for writing this piece and I must confess that I like the softness of your tone here 🙂

    Regards

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your suggestion and your kind words, Madeeha. Yes, I could’ve easily taken out the first three lines of the piece; I see it now. I probably would’ve taken it out if I had spent a little time editing/proof-reading it. However, even before I started writing, every word of this story came to me and I just couldn’t let go of it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually, it’s really very hard to criticize one’s own piece of writing. I can understand it really well that how strong a picture arises in our mind and how powerful each word appears to us.
        I guess, we are here to support and encourage each other.So,I’m glad that my suggestion was helpful for you 🙂

        Best Regards

        Like

  3. I have never experienced a flood like this thank goodness. Do you think it does help to go back and see what’s left? Here we have fires and earthquakes. Or in other parts of the country tornadoes or hurricanes. I think it is very hard for people to go back and see their house and belongings in ruins. Or find just a few scraps.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting on my story, Deborah. I appreciate it 🙂
      I believe it depends entirely on the person. I know there are some people that have been through minor (thankfully, never major) disasters and didn’t feel comfortable until they read every article and report on the reasons for that disaster. They needed to make sure whatever happened was an accident and couldn’t have been avoided.
      I know I am someone who finds it easier to occupy myself even life gets difficult, and any mention of the problem (or disaster) disrupts my functioning.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Touching story! I’d like to echo Rochelle’s advice, though, and encourage you to challenge yourself further to get down to 100 words. My first drafts almost always start out around 140-170 words. The process of re-examining and deciding what absolutely needs to be said, and how to most concisely say it, has been a huge learning experience for me. Every time I struggle to pick just the right word or phrase for one story, it’s that much easier to do it for the next one.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for commenting, Joy! I agree that cutting short a story, trimming the excess and leaving only the soul of the story behind makes you a better writer. Next week, I’ll definitely stay within the boundary 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, Rochelle. I could easily snip off the first three lines of the story and chip out a few extra words here and there. Next week, I won’t skip past the limit, I can guarantee you that. I could picture every word of this story even before I wrote it, so I put it up as is. Thank you for reading and commenting!

      Like

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