Nothing To See Here – Friday Fictioneers, March 2017

Copyright J Hardy Carroll

A 25-mile tail-back, three abreast.

Interviews and hospital appointments missed, kids uncollected from school, friends and loved ones arriving ungreeted from far-flung destinations.

Down the line, motorists amble, phones pressed to ears, swigging from water-bottles; up front, others watch the woman on the motorway bridge.

Concern turns to frustration… to irritation… to detached analysis.

Aren’t there easier ways?  More private methods?

Without warning, mission inexplicably accomplished, the woman leaps over the railings, arms flailing until arrested by the tarmac.

People groan, covering their eyes, mouths and ears.

A lorry driver starts his engine, releasing his airbrakes with a hiss.

Loving this early start for Friday Fictioneers, but our clocks will catch up with you next week, Rochelle.  This week saw the spring equinox, and I felt it in my bones.   Busy pricking out seedlings, preparing the planting-out beds, ferrying plants back and forth to the greenhouse with an eye on the forecast for frosts.   I love this time of the year!

Advertisements

About Sandra

I cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and write fiction and poetry. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
This entry was posted in Friday Fictioneers, Just Sayin'. Bookmark the permalink.

71 Responses to Nothing To See Here – Friday Fictioneers, March 2017

  1. neilmacdon says:

    One person’s historic event is everyone else’s traffic jam? I love this, Sandra

    Liked by 2 people

  2. When it comes down to it, most people’s lives don’t touch ours very much, except in irritation.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Sandra,

    A few years back I was in a traffic jam between Los Angeles and San Diego. We were stuck for 3 hours. A truck had jackknifed and lay across the road. Your tightly written piece made me think of it. It’s probably a good thing the woman in your story was arrested, no doubt a few people would have done worse.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

  4. michael1148humphris says:

    From railings to a grim sequence of events, I like your style

    Like

  5. Deep story here that poses a lot of questions. One never knows the cause of a traffic jam, but our minds always drift to our own convenience. Well done.

    Like

  6. Rowena says:

    There was something about that gate, which signaled doom. Well written. My comprehension skills were a bit challenged as well. I thought she’d been caught in a tarpaulin type thing they use with jumpers. We get quite a few people jumping in front of trains during peak hour. The train network grinds to a halt and weary commuters desperately wish they’d had counselling. xx Rowena

    Like

  7. ceayr says:

    I am again struggling for Sandra Superlatives.
    You capture our insularity and insensitivity superbly.
    ‘More private methods?’ is a killer.

    Like

  8. I don’t suppose she gave a second thought to the inconvenience she caused everyone else. It was such a lovely photo prompt too! Great story, Sandra.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Last year, on a seven hour car journey to see the grandkids, similar thoughts went through my mind as we waited for the incident to be resolved. We arrived too late to catch the kids, but how much worse would it be if you were dashing to spend the final minutes with a dying relative, or to keep an essential medical appointment … I suppose some people are so desperate that such considerations would never enter their mind.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Iain Kelly says:

    Your story doesn’t reflect your joy at the coming of Spring – quite the opposite! Nonetheless, a fantastic bit of writing as always.

    Like

  10. Beautifully written as always.

    Like

  11. Humans can be quite aloof (and beastly) when it comes to noticing the things that forever change the life of another. Your story reminds me of fatal car accidents, when people are annoyed, blowing their horns like psychopaths, complaining about their ruined day, while a body lies broken on the side of the road.

    P.S. We still have a bit of snow on the ground, but my bones are singing of seeds, soil and happy birds too. 🙂

    Like

  12. James says:

    Unfortunately, people do love a good spectacle.

    Like

  13. Lynn Love says:

    Sadly, we have this from time to time in Bristol – with the harbour and the Clifton Suspension Bridge being particular targets for the sad and lost. So well told, Sandra and so true in every word, from concern to frustration. That last line with the truck driver – perfect

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Story really draws you in. Another “oh-well, too bad” tragedy.
    This reminds me of the Montreal metro “incidents” that would instantly stop four subway lines of commuters. No matter where you were in the system there’d be a murmur, “It was at Plamindon” of “Cote de Neige” and a wave of sobriety would sweep over the crowd.

    Like

  15. paulmclem says:

    Trumpton Fire Brigade would have had her down in a trice. On a more serious note, I’d agree with the sentiment that if you want to end it, then end it, but no need to make a show of it.

    Like

  16. Martin Cororan says:

    Very good – Not that you’d know this when writing your story, but there’s been a terrorist attack here (London) today and the city is in the process of getting back to normal – very similar sense to what you evoke (mundanity in the face of something awful) – there’s a compliment in there somewhere!

    Like

  17. plaridel says:

    some folks want to go out in style.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. You managed to really capture the horrible detachment of these sorts of things. Excellent story.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. When I read this story in the wake of the London terrorist attack that lorry starting seems that something even worse..

    Like

  20. So much emotion (and the occasional lack of it) in such a short piece.

    Like

  21. Laurie Bell says:

    Oh god! Wow so intense. I can hear the sounds of the traffic

    Like

  22. Such a nihilistic story. You captured the mundanity of life amidst chaos.

    Like

  23. rgayer55 says:

    I feel their frustration. “Get on with it, already!”
    Why make a public spectacle of yourself and leave such an ugly mess for someone to have to clean up? Tell her to get over herself and out of traffic. My beer’s getting warm sitting in the car.

    Like

  24. draliman says:

    Very grim. I was stuck on the M25 once for many hours (around 10 I seem to recall) but it was only a chemical spill, nothing so tragic. My water bottle, once emptied, was re-purposed 🙂

    Like

  25. shivamt25 says:

    I am thinking of deleting my take on the prompt after reading this 😛
    The ending is awesome!

    Like

  26. Rommy says:

    Its sad statement on humanity, but yes people sometimes treat matters of life and death as a diversion or an irritation.

    Like

  27. Well, if she felt insignificant enough to commit suicide, I guess she got her moment of fame. I wonder how many people there captured the act of suicide on their mobile phones, so they could have their own fleeting moments of fame on Twitter. Your last line said it all, the “Come on, get the amateur dramatics over with, cause I’ve got work to do, mate!” You’ve definitely illustrated the less desirable side of human nature within the context of modern culture. Excellently done, Sandra, as usual.

    Like

  28. The downward spiral always starts off innocently enough doesn’t it? It’s easy to miss until… well the end is upon us.

    Like

  29. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover says:

    Beautifully descriptive. Is it ghoulish to say I loved the line “Without warning, mission inexplicably accomplished, the woman leaps over the railings, arms flailing until arrested by the tarmac.

    Like

  30. This certainly runs the gamut of emotions, a great accomplishment in so few words. And, also leaves one thinking about how people react to the fates of others.

    Like

  31. Hi Sandra,

    Glad to find you still cruising. Very chilling story. Unfortunately, also very true in today’s world.

    Like

  32. So many people affected by one’s person’s desire to make a public exit. Who knows what the consequences of her action were further down the line?

    Click to read my story

    Like

  33. Our lives are so intertwined yet so removed from each other. The ripples affect us all. Thanks for the reminder!

    Like

  34. Dahlia says:

    I had to read it twice to get it – but then I could see this happen so clearly. Arrested by the tarmac – is my favorite!

    Like

  35. Liz Young says:

    That was brutal – a reminder of Wednesday’s events on Westminster Bridge.
    PS – I like your new photo!

    Like

  36. i b arora says:

    ‘the woman leaps over the railing’ and what followed left me numb.

    http://obliqview.blogspot.in/2017/03/the-inheritance-thats-house-where-your.html

    Like

  37. Sarah Ann says:

    So well told, but a pity the woman’s desperation became irritation and ultimate disinterest to those inconvenienced.

    Like

  38. Wow. This is, perhaps, my favorite of yours, though “favorite” never feels like the right word when the story is grim. A great social commentary with a huge impact and your excellent use of language.

    Like

  39. Dee says:

    All too often I’ve been stuck in traffic wishing who knows what on the people responsible for holding me up. Usually, I never find our what the hold up was, which only adds to the frustration .
    I’ll view other traffic hold-ups in a different light after this…
    Well written, as always.
    Dee

    Like

  40. Close to where I grew up in Maryland, there is an iconic bridge over the bay that could tell a hundred stories like this. We’ve had many discussions about why this method. Of course, we have yet to come up with an answer.

    Like

  41. athling2001 says:

    Intense story. Well done.

    Like

  42. Michael Wynn says:

    I’ve actually been in this situation when someone held up the M6 at rush hour. Fortunately they didn’t jump, but I can say from experience you’ve captured the atmosphere and the reactions of people perfectly

    Like

  43. Oh my … I wasn’t expecting that. You pack so much into 100 words, Sandra.
    Super write … I thoroughly enjoyed reading this today.
    Isadora 😎

    Like

  44. A powerful story with an uncomfortable truth – excellent writing Sandra

    Like

  45. gahlearner says:

    This is so good, it makes me sick to the stomach because it feels as if I was part of the crowd. Maybe we need a certain detachment to stay sane in the heap of horror and despair that surrounds us. Selfies or not, disaster tourists have been around for ages.

    Like

I'd love to hear your views; it reassures me I'm not talking to myself.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s