A Good Samaritan? Friday Fictioneers, August 2016

Copyright Georgia Koch

Copyright Georgia Koch


They were long gone by the time the police responded to the Coastguard’s summons, slinking into the darkness as the glowing horizon heralded the dawn of a new day, a new life.

Or a new wave of terror, thought Tom, a few miles inland, surveying the huddle in his barn.

“Pliss…” a tiny upturned hand reached out to him.

Nothing ever changes, does it?

He could give succour; or call the authorities.

Or he could simply look the other way.

What was it to be?

It would be a long time before Tom came to terms with his response that day.

I wasn’t particularly enamoured of my last offering for this prompt, Crossing the Bar, so I decided to limber up for the new season of Friday Fictioneers by tackling a new response.  It wasn’t as hard as I thought; it’s not as good as I’d hoped.  But it’s a start. Before you ask, there is no hidden answer in the flash.  The question is for the reader.

Thank you Rochelle, for keeping up the good work in spite of your busy schedule.  Looks liked you enjoyed the OWL proceedings. 🙂 

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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64 Responses to A Good Samaritan? Friday Fictioneers, August 2016

  1. neilmacdon says:

    Oh I love that! Mysterious decisions and all-too-familiar consequences. Burning in the heart of this little tale is the human condition.


  2. You had me gripped right away, Sandra. I love it!


  3. And I’ve given it a happy ever after in my head!


  4. This is wonderful Sandra, can we ever give an answer to what’s right? Still I feel that we are required to answer these questions every day…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Al says:

    I wonder which he chose. I wonder what would have happened if he called them that caused him to have to come to terms with it. I like it. I like how you left it for the reader to decide.


  6. So much fodder for the imagination!
    Fun stuff, Sandra.


  7. I love the way you left us to decided or at least to think about over and over, Sandra. So many responses these days aren’t as clear-cut as they used to be. Somewhere in the States recently, two teen-aged boys shot and killed a man who’d just pulled their SUV out of a ditch. How do we respond the next time we see someone in that situation?



  8. Iain Kelly says:

    Very topical, and yet still mysterious. Good work.


  9. Dear Sandra,

    I’m guessing if he had to come to grips with his response…but then there’s the title to contend with. I’d rather like a happily ever after myself. Well written as always.

    I had a great time at OWL as you can see. 😉 As for the manuscript on AOMOC, it ain’t quite over.




  10. Hm, I often wonder what would prevail…a desire to help or an instinct to protect myself…you laid it down perfectly, it is an ongoing struggle.


  11. Life never leaves us with all the clues does it?
    Much like your story it perfectly leads us on and then ….
    Brilliantly done.


  12. rgayer55 says:

    What a dilemma. Sounds like the decision is going to eat at his conscience no matter which way he goes. I hate when that happens. Excellent piece, Sandra.


  13. There are no right answers these days. It’s hard to tell who to trust. Well written dilemma.


  14. draliman says:

    Ooh, I wonder what he chose to do… I reckon he looked after number one. Great piece!


  15. brainsnorts says:

    i can’t figure out the huddle in the barn. but the upturned hand makes it seem like lost waifs living there. i’m missing something. is “pliss” another word for “please”?


    • Sandra says:

      My profound apologies, Rich, for confusing you. I’ve obviously been too obscure in my interpretation of the prompt. I sometimes do that. I saw the boat and it reminded me of the current refugee crisis in Europe. This then reminded me of the dilemma facing those who encounter illegal immigrants, since it’s believed that ‘terrorists’ are using this process to infiltrate Europe, so I wove that into the story too. And yes, ‘pliss’ represents ‘please’. Sorry it didn’t work for you. I hope this has made it clearer for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Liz Young says:

    Excellent hanging line at the end – it left me wondering what my reaction would be.


  17. Ooh, I MUST know. Which decision did he make?!


  18. ceayr says:

    Beautifully crafted as ever, and painfully thought-provoking.
    Love it.


  19. Laurie Bell says:

    So well told… what a final line!


  20. Has the refugee situation triggered this?


  21. Lynn Love says:

    Love the ambiguity here, Sandra. Love the fact we don’t quite know who he might or might not save. Yes, refugees occurred to me too. As he took a while to come to terms with his decision, I wonder if it’s guilt that plagues him. A gripping tale.


  22. gahlearner says:

    Torn between compassion, fear and indifference, aren’t we all, more or less? Timely, yet timeless because nothing ever seems to change while everything changes constantly. Wonderful story, Sandra.


  23. mjlstories says:

    A potent tale about an ongoing dilemma. It certainly has the linger factor!
    We’d all like to think we’d do the right thing – but you’re tale makes it clear how unclear the right thing is.


  24. Excellent, as always.


  25. Jan Brown says:

    This is very timely, and intriguingly open-ended. Makes us all think, and what more can we ask of fiction?


  26. wmqcolby says:

    Whoa. Dilemma indeed. The ambiguity works well, especially when children are involved.

    When I was in boot camp we had a scenario where we could either take a hill and be shot down in the attempt or jump down the ravine and get killed. Either way, each had a 98% casualty rate. It was a test of character to see what soldiers would do in a situation they found they couldn’t get out of. Seems like Tom has one here.

    Great story, as usual. Nailed it!


  27. Michael Wynn says:

    Did he look the other way or worse? Tell the authorities or worse even still. Great thought provoker


  28. Amy Reese says:

    Love the mystery here and that you didn’t provide the answer. Sometimes we all think we know what we would do, but the reality could be different and not as easy to accomplish. Great story, Sandra.


  29. Dahlia says:

    Excellent piece Sandra – very nicely highlighted the dilemma of what is the ‘right’ thing. And I am not even sure what would be a happy ending…


  30. Good writing once again, Sandra. This sad story could fit into history in a number of places, especially these days. —- Suzanne


  31. Oh, I hate having to guess. And for Tom to feel as if he has to come to terms with his decision, it would have been a bad one, right? Turning them in?
    A beautiful, tautly constructed tale, Sandra!


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