Land Clearance – Friday Fictioneers, November 2018

Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

They scuttled like ants, snatching up grubby quilts, pots, cardboard, their mouths hanging slack with panic and dismay.

But Trevor just kept on… and on.

Ploughing his digger across their patch, scattering their paltry possessions, crushing makeshift shelters.

“Yee-har!” screeched Trevor, circling his arm over his head, like he was rounding up cattle.

One vagrant stood aside, arms folded, observing, before turning to stare at me.

My face blazed with shame as I stooped to salvage an undamaged book, proffering it.

“Keep it,” he said, “for your mate.”

It was a bible.

“His need is greater than mine,” he said.

I’ve not been very prolific on the writing front for over a year now, so it was a lovely surprise this week to get third place in Flash 500 third quarter competition with The Sisterhood, and to have a second story also reach the shortlist.  The judge said my story was ‘sparely written’.  That’s almost 7 years of Friday Fictioneers for you…  😊  Thanks once again to Rochelle for all she does.


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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60 Responses to Land Clearance – Friday Fictioneers, November 2018

  1. This is so sad! Congratulations on your success with Flash 500 – The Sisterhood is a great story – I’d love to see Ross get his comeuppance though in next weeks FF…


  2. neilmacdon says:

    Brutal as a punch in the gut. Well done, Sandra


  3. Iain Kelly says:

    Congratulations on the competition Sandra. A shame for the vagrants, although Trevor sounds like he is having fun..


  4. Rainee says:

    Poignant finish! Very good.


  5. Congratulations on The Sisterhood, Sandra. I have just read it and loved it. Cracking last line as it is in Land Clearance! Your work is always engaging and thought-provoking. I’m so pleased you have had recognition for The Sisterhood.


  6. Wow! Powerful story, Sandra.

    p.s. congrats on your Flash 500 stories.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos


  7. Great finish on this one! 🙂


  8. Dear Sandra,

    I could see these characters and hear them. The other man always needs the Bible worse, doesn’t he? Again, congratulations on the contest piece. Loved it. You’re one year ahead of me in Friday Fictioneers. Just passed my 6 year anniversary as facilitator. Year and a half as participant. 😉 Time flies and I’m glad you were here to show me how.




    • Sandra says:

      Many thanks, Rochelle. Time certainly flies and if it hadn’t been for FF I probably wouldn’t have been writing at all these last 12 months or so. Sometimes it’s weird to look back on the first FF submissions though, and wonder what happened to all those regulars that we never hear from now.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Terrifying world you conjure here. Really well done.


  10. trentpmcd says:

    Yes, I do think Trevor needs it more than the man, the “vagrant”, does. Nicely done. Congratulations on the contest.


  11. jillyfunnell says:

    Sandra, firstly many congratulations on your writing success, brilliant news. And secondly I admire the way you handle shaming of an incredibly thoughtless, coarse character in your story this week.


  12. Great visual. I can see it all.. Love the story.


  13. ceayr says:

    Subtle but violent, impeccably balanced as always.
    And Sisterhood is magnificent, even by your elite standards. Way better than the winning story.


  14. Congratulations on the story. It is a wonderful achievement. I liked Trevor in this story. Nicely done.


  15. JS Brand says:

    Congratulations Sandra.
    Your FF piece does a great job of creating empathy with the people who are being displaced and exposing Trevor as one of the not-so-clever pieces of work that people like him are.


  16. I was actually burning with shame as well… humans can be so cruel, and I’m trying to imagine the people doing such a vile act… maybe just maybe it will be a turning point for the better for the narrator


  17. Don’t give our misguided administration any ideas. Someone is prone to bulldozing the less fortunate.


  18. plaridel says:

    i wonder why the vagrants didn’t fight back.


  19. Abhijit Ray says:

    True, a man who destroys poor man’s dwelling needs bible more than the dweller. Profound statement.


  20. I always enjoy the way you create a scene, filled with detail. I can see it as if I’m standing there. Unfortunately, the world is filled with far too Trevor’s.


  21. Liz Young says:

    Third place and a shortlisted one? Brilliant – though not surprising, as your stories are always great.


  22. Dale says:

    Brilliantly done, Sandra..
    And again, congrats on Sisterhood…I ilked it best of the three stories, truth be told…


  23. draliman says:

    A grim scene you’ve painted, and congratulations on the short story competition, I just read your entry, very good!


  24. I can sense the sudden silence that followed. A brilliant piece. Congratulations on your literary achievement Sandra


  25. There’s nothing like devasting the homeless to make a man puff of his chest is there? I’d have the Bible to Trevor, but I doubt he can read let alone grasp the concept of loving his fellow man.

    Congrats on the 500th flash and the contest. This little weekly exercise has done a lot for those who have stayed with it over the years.


  26. This reminded me of when they closed the camps at Calais. Very poignant Sandra and congrats on the Flash 500


  27. Laurie Bell says:

    Oh wow. Well told. Great last line. Gripping how you carried the quiet emotion

    Liked by 1 person

  28. James McEwan says:

    What I like about this flash fiction is the bigger story behind the thumbnail of words.


  29. elappleby says:

    A brilliant story this week – bigger than the 100 words you squeezed it into. Congratulations on the flash fiction win – the judge’s comments made me laugh!


  30. granonine says:

    Oho! The perfect squelch! Nicely done, I was not prepared for that 🙂


  31. lisarey1990 says:

    Breathtaking writing. Well done on flash fiction win too. 🙂


  32. jwdwrites says:

    Well done Sandra, for this story but even more for the competition. It is very satisfying to place in a competition and you have the talent to make a habit of it. I hope you find more time to write in the coming year, 🙂


  33. Congratulations on the competition. Unfortunately your story is an accurate depiction of life among the homeless.


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