I Double Dare You – Friday Fictioneers, October 2016


Copyright C E Ayr

“Lie flat, Jess!”

Emily was crawling across the ice towards me, as men scrambled from the nearby factory, carrying ladders and ropes.

Glancing down, I saw the ice darkening around me, the splintering becoming louder.

“Hurry, Emily!”

“I’m coming. Everything will be all right.”

A crack, a shriek… a splash.  Then silence.

Seconds later a rusty ladder jabbed against my arm, and I was dragged across the ice towards safety.

But I’d be forever haunted by the memory of Emily’s face pressed up against the ice beneath me, her gaze holding mine.

And nothing would ever be right again.

Apologies for my absence – I expect to be on an even keel by this time next week and able to focus on writing again.  So this is a rather hurried attempt to keep in the swing of matters other than those associated with moving house.  The story was inspired by the headline across the factory in the background, something I didn’t see at first glance.  Great photo CE, and thanks to Rochelle for enabling my participation this week.

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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75 Responses to I Double Dare You – Friday Fictioneers, October 2016

  1. neilmacdon says:

    Drama, pathos, and a story that projects beyond the wordcount. It may have been hurried, Sandra, but it’s perfect


  2. Dear Sandra,

    It’s so good to see your face among, as Russell calls it, the Hollywood Squares.

    No one dashes off a story as effectively as you, my dear. Dark and troubling. Nothing would be the same after that. Well done.




  3. ceayr says:

    I long ago ran out of superlatives for your writing, Sandra, and this story stands with the best of what you do.
    In 100 words we care about two children, and weep for both at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful. Such a startling image – the face under the ice. I didn’t see the words on the building at all


  5. Mike says:

    A haunting piece Sandra. A great read.


  6. Indira says:

    A heart rending story. I was missing your stories dear.


  7. Great story. Reminds me a bit of a Stephen King short called The Last Rung on the Ladder.


  8. Nato says:

    Chilling story. And well written.


  9. If this is hurried, keep hurrying! I could visualize Emily’s face beneath the ice and fell Jess’ pain. Haunting indeed!


  10. Iain Kelly says:

    Terrifying image, but a great twist, just as I thought everyone was going to be saved! Great writing.


  11. Mike says:

    A haunting image.


  12. Dale says:

    Would that I could “jot off a story in a hurried attempt…” My heart broke for those two girls… beautifully done.


  13. Lynn Love says:

    What a chilling, moving tale, Sandra. What a dreadful thing, to be so close to your drowning friend and remain helpless to save them. Truly a horrific thought. A brilliant tale with not a single trace of ‘rushedness’ about it 🙂 Hope the move’s going well


  14. paulmclem says:

    Had me fooled. I thought Emily was the one coming to the rescue, not the one being rescued. Subtly done 🙂


    • Sandra says:

      Ah! Not sure how you got to that Paul. I hadn’t been able to make my mind up who died when I started the story, but in editing a different story emerged. Not to worry!


  15. You never create anything less than brilliant. Good luck with the move.


  16. Sandra, this is startling at the end. So well done.We had several young men die beneath the ice covering the lake down the street from us. I always wondered about that “looking up through the ice” thing,


  17. P.S. Glad to see you back!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. A good story stays with you! This one will be still in my mind later on when I will prepare our dinner. Great writing and great story telling.


  19. tedstrutz says:

    Another fine Crook Story. Good eye, I saw the Asian building and looked no further. And, I too, am returning after a long absence. I hope you will be off the keel and back on top, where you belong.


  20. What a haunting sadness, the image of a face beneath the ice is something that nightmares are made off… and what guilt she must have felt for Emily drowning


  21. rgayer55 says:

    I agree. Nothing will ever be the same.
    We missed you. It’s good to have you back on board.


  22. draliman says:

    Great piece, a chilling second-last line. I immediately thought of that scene in The Omen (Part 2?).


  23. jademwong says:

    Oh gosh this chilled me to the core (pun intended). Great story! Heartbreaking but well written.


  24. writelindy says:

    Haunting story Sandra. Lovely writing.


  25. A sad story, but very vivid one.


  26. Tragic but beautifully told.


  27. Horrific memory! Real tragedy etched in stark reality!


  28. plaridel says:

    the kids came to life with your expert storytelling. well done.


  29. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover says:

    A haunting story.


  30. Michael Wynn says:

    Chilling in feel and sentiment, nicely told, Sandra


  31. Sightsnbytes says:

    from someone who once fell through an icy pond, I can certainly relate to this story. Great writing!


  32. Liz Young says:

    Oh gods! What a jolt at the end, and how tragic.


  33. hafong says:

    Everybody has said it all, Sandra!



  34. Amy Reese says:

    I don’t see how that sad and disturbing image could leave anyone. I guess everything is not going to be alright. Nice one, Sandra. Hope your move isn’t too stressful!


  35. Wow, I am in awe. I too have been away, I too have moved houses across state lines, I too dashed off a quick flash of fiction – if only I could have a glimmer of your craft. Brava.


  36. Very tense and then heartbreaking. I’m picturing poor Emily’s face, too.


  37. Such a sad and shocking end to this story. well written as always Sandra


  38. Geez..I saw that in my minds eye!


  39. gahlearner says:

    A sad story, and complete with the title, it gets heartbreaking. Great writing as always, Sandra.


  40. Welcome back, Sandra. A tragic story that paints a powerful picture. Great writing. —- Suzanne


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