Empty Theatre – Friday Fictioneers, January 2021

Copyright Dale Rogerson

In the end, there was no-one left to talk to.

Where politics and pandemics failed to divide and isolate, cancel-culture and censorship succeeded.

It had become easier not to talk though, for fear that someone, somewhere might hear you and delve deep into your hitherto seemingly unremarkable past to retrieve some deed, some thought, some opinion that ran counter to the creed.

And where they couldnโ€™t find something you had done, they set about trawling for acts of omission.

So ultimately there was no-one left to talk to.

But it hardly mattered, because thereโ€™d been no-one prepared to listen anyway.

And on that note, thanks to Rochelle for her ever cheerful leadership of Friday Fictioneers.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚


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.
This entry was posted in Friday Fictioneers, Just Sayin' and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to Empty Theatre – Friday Fictioneers, January 2021

  1. Barrie and Carole Grant says:

    HI, According to my husband this scenario will NEVER happen in Western Canada. Reason: when men go to use the urinals in the toilets they carry out long and sometimes deep conversations with each other even if they don’t know each other and will likely never see each other again. Many times he has returned to the restaurant table in fits of giggles because of these serendipitous conversations. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. neilmacdon says:

    There are people listening, Sandra. But only the ones who think just like us

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If we all get tech-connected, this might very well happen. Ominous and powerful!


  4. Tannille says:

    Well, that’s holding up a mirror. I hope we rise and smash the mirror or the future will be bleaker than COVID. I’m guessing WP won’t be safe?


  5. Dear Sandra.

    All too true and that last line is rather like jumping out of a plane without a parachute. It’s the abrubt ending that gets you. Depressingly well done.




  6. Iain Kelly says:

    A gloomy picture. I deliberately avoided a pandemic-related story, even as the image lends itself to it – it’s just too depressing. And beyond that, cancel culture.. yeah, you got it spot on. A world of echo chambers awaits.


  7. ceayr says:

    First they came…
    Ah Sandra, I love your light-hearted pieces!
    Did you run out of tea?
    But I admire the quality even as I slash my wrists.


  8. elmowrites says:

    This piece feels like the end of a novel, Sandra. So precisely written, it cuts deep. All of which is maybe a reflection on how these days feel. I hope there’s a sequel… and a genre change.


  9. No one to talk to, no one listens. If that’s the future I fear for my grandchildren.


  10. granonine says:

    Chilling, and entirely believable. You nailed it!


  11. Dora says:

    Savagely true, Sandra. We’ll keep ourselves to ourselves, and all dance to the tune of our techno-bureaucrat puppeteers.


  12. oneta hayes says:

    Great way to present this frightening truth. I feel so bad having to cover the smile that I sincerely treasure and so much miss the smiles given freely by friends known and unknown.


  13. Dale says:

    Gah! How did we get here? A scarily apt picture of where we are..
    Written by a master.


  14. draliman says:

    Orwell come true thanks to the magic of social media.


  15. liz young says:

    What a sad indictment on today’s cancel culture – one can only hope it runs its course and common sense again prevails.


  16. ah … gloomy possibility. In some countries already a plausibility (or, alas, a reality). But … I’m of the belief that there will ALWAYS be those of us who will find a way to talk, and to listen, to each other. In code. In looks. In touch. In smiles. In words. In stories. In dance. In prayer. In song. In play.
    Amen. …

    Liked by 1 person

  17. plaridel says:

    it looks like civilization is at the crossroead. i wonder where we’re heading?


  18. Danny James says:

    Pretty well describes today’s environment. Never thought I would see the day.


  19. Your story is very apt. I feel exhausted and extremely discouraged at the state of our world, the turn of events in one week especially. From human rights lawyers being arrested in Hong Kong under PRCโ€™s National Security Law to the cancel culture, censorship, and general ugliness and hatred that abounds. Heavy sigh. No one to listen to the other. Whatโ€™s next? I shudder to think. Masterfully done and thought provoking as always.


  20. Oh Sandra, these times can be overwhelming. This is right on target but beautifully prosed.
    A world no one expected to be living in, for sure.
    Have a wonderful weekend … Be Safe ๐Ÿ˜ท
    Isadora ๐Ÿ˜Ž


  21. pennygadd51 says:

    Wow, you’re as good at political polemic as you are at fiction. Great write, Sandra.
    I’m sorry you’ve had such a bad week, though.


  22. Nobbinmaug says:

    The other pandemic.


  23. You capture the bleak and dystopian mood of now Sandra so powerfully. We must be warped by fear and social isolation, and as you say, being cut off from celebrating culture and collective socialising. very well done.


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