Death Valley – Friday Fictioneers, May 2018

Copyright Karen Rawson

It’s a long haul up there.

Once there was a bridge at the top, spanning the next valley, but the nanny state dismantled it.  Said it was attracting ‘jumpers’.  They’d no sooner clean up after one loser before another spread himself on the rocks below.

Now people have started hanging themselves from the trees.  Damned woods are full of people lurking around, ropes in hand… waiting turn.

Lot better these days though.

Social Services have installed benches, so you can take the load off while you wait.

Hey, move up, pal; how much room can a guy need anyway?


Short on time again today, so a modified submission from six years ago – have I really been around here that long?  Good to see our genial hostess is safely back home with Friday Fictioneers after her travels.  Welcome back, Rochelle.

 

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' and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

86 Responses to Death Valley – Friday Fictioneers, May 2018

  1. neilmacdon says:

    Darkly humorous. I loved “Damned woods are full of people lurking around, ropes in hand”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Varad says:

    This was morbid and funny at the same time. Nicely done, Sandra.

    Like

  3. jillyfunnell says:

    Sheer determination and now they have a place for a little sit down. Can’t jump any more? We’ll get a rope instead. Witty and entertaining story.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Martin Cororan says:

    Is nothing sacred!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Reena Saxena says:

    More scary than witty. I hear of a lot of farmer suicides when rainfall fails.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sit here and wait your turn!
    Yikes!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Sandra,

    This one has me laughing and cringing at the same time. Six years has gone by quickly, hasn’t it? Last month was my six year anniversary for joining FF, October will mark six years since Madison passed the mantle.

    Back from vacation, but still haven’t gotten back into my regular sleep schedule. Late to my own party this morning.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra says:

      Incredible how time passes. And when I looked at some of the responders to the last story, I was struck how many of them have moved on. So many names I’d not noticed slipping away from Friday Fictioneers. Glad you’re back, Rochelle.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. granonine says:

    Dark humor is still humor, right? That’s quite a picture you’ve painted, people waiting in line to off themselves.

    Like

  9. k rawson says:

    Darkly funny stuff Sandra! It made me think of some secret chapter of The Handmaid’s Tale.

    Like

  10. James says:

    Something sinister about those woods.

    Like

  11. Too sadly funny.
    Lovers leap coupled with give them enough rope and they’ll hang themselves.
    The bench concept was a nice rest-pit (pun attempted).

    😉
    Randy

    Like

  12. Wow, this one is dark. I imagine what sort of world would make mass suicides a trendy thing, but then I look around and where we seem to be heading now. Well done.

    Like

  13. Shivering and giggling at the same time! They are going to need a branch of McD’s there the way it’s going!

    My FriFic tale is called Solace!

    Like

  14. Iain Kelly says:

    Grisly, amusing, dark. I have read of somewhere similar in Japan, a wood where people go to commit suicide. I assume there are no benches there.

    Like

  15. Rowena says:

    Sandra, think I need to get my bus driver’s license and go and pick up all these people and see if I can help turn the tide.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    Like

  16. Lynn Love says:

    This grim piece gave me a wry smile, despite everything – it’s the tone you use I think, that impatient, no nonsense air. Vivid stuff – all those people hanging from the trees and clearing the jumpers away. Just great writing Sandra

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Goodness, that was chilling! Very well done, though.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Like

  18. Makes me think of the song “Strange Fruit” except everyone is volunteering to hang themselves after a wee rest on the bench. Creepily done, my dear! in a very good way.

    Like

  19. EagleAye says:

    Sounds like a place to move away from. Clearly, this is not Finland. The notion of the ‘nanny state’ failing to address the real problem sounds familiar. Loved the dark humor of this.

    Like

  20. Sue says:

    Seriously dark humour….

    Like

  21. This was dark… and even darker when you think about the suicide forest in Japan… that it could actually be true…. made it double chilling for me.

    Like

  22. The last line was brilliant.

    Like

  23. Dale says:

    Better mass suicides than mass killings ending in suicides.
    Still, couldn’t help but laugh at your “Damed woods are full of people lurking about…”

    Like

  24. lisarey1990 says:

    An entertaining story that also speaks of an important issue. Great job.

    Like

  25. Dystopia, here we come.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. pennygadd51 says:

    Hi Sandra
    I’m sorry – I can’t bring myself to like this, even though it’s skilfully written. As someone who has been to the edge of that abyss, I can’t treat the subject of suicide lightly.
    Shalom
    Penny

    Like

  27. draliman says:

    It can annoying going for a quiet walk in the woods and constantly tripping over dead bodies. Some funny imagery of a serious topic.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. ceayr says:

    Charmingly cynical tale.
    Looks like you bumped off enough to compensate for my shortcomings this week.

    Like

  29. Renee Heath says:

    How fantastically macabre! I loved the story so much, but I don’t know if I could sit on a bench and wait my turn!

    Like

  30. Liz Young says:

    Well done for injecting humour into a dark tale of despair.

    Like

  31. Well done! Great visual with the ropes. I can only imagine the ghosts walking around that valley!

    Like

  32. James McEwan says:

    My goodness, it seems all so calm, yet heartbreaking.

    Like

  33. Laurie Bell says:

    Gosh those woods are deadly! Enjoyed the black humour. Well written!

    Like

  34. Mike says:

    This is such a great story. I can just hear it being used by comedians, lovely

    Like

  35. gahlearner says:

    This is truly horribly funny.

    Like

  36. LOL. It is not funny yet it is very funny. I enjoyed your story Sandra.

    Like

  37. Dark comedy, I love it! Wonder what goes on in that town that causes such a high suicide rate?

    Like

  38. I am chuckling but I feel I shouldn’t be.

    Like

  39. I watched a TV show last night in which a man went to the woods to kill himself. He got interrupted by a dog who led him to some men who were camping out and hunting. This man, when asked, claimed to be hunting too. Later he was confronted by one of the hunters and told that lots of people came here thinking it was a good place to die but that this was a place to live.

    Like

  40. Very amusing, dark tale. My favorite part is “Social Services have installed benches, so you can take the load off while you wait.” It’s true that this tale would have been seen as funnier six years ago. People, in general, are much more serious nowadays I think. =)

    Like

  41. I suggest they implement a “take a number” system. I hate people who cut in line. It makes me want to kill them. Or, invite C.E. over. He could manage the system.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Nan Falkner says:

    I really like your thinking – perhaps a little concession stand serving beverages with umbrellas! Funny!

    Like

  43. Indira says:

    What a story, dear. Your writing style is great.

    Like

  44. Very witty take on the prompt and the subject.

    Like

  45. Sarah Ann says:

    Well that’s a cheerful tale. Is this a particularly dismal nanny state that pushes all the suicidal to this spot. I imagine the rope carriers utilising those benches as jumping off points. Disturbing in its clarity of language.

    Like

  46. Very dark humor. I like it. I heard that Japan has a forest where people routinely commit suicide.

    Like

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

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