A Lot Can Happen

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Bitta and I walked by the old school yesterday. In another life, she’d be starting first grade this week.

She stood on the sidewalk, kicking at the weeds that split the cracks, and counting the broken windows. “Where will I go to school, Mama?”

What could I say? We didn’t have the vouchers. Well, we had the vouchers once, but we traded them for the Right to Work slips.

We can homeschool, we thought. All this will pass, we told ourselves. By the time she’s old enough, it will all be over.

A lot can happen in four years.

99 words

This has been an edition of Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff Fields for hosting this party, and thanks to J Hardy Carroll for the devastatingly awesome photo this week. To read more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click the blue button.

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32 Comments

  1. peterkirsch

    Haunting…and timely. Though “health credits” seems more likely right now.
    Nicely done.
    *sigh*

    1. You get health credits?! Lucky you 😉 Thanks for reading.

  2. A depressing state of affairs that many face these choices. Sadly symptomatic of our times. Great writing.

    1. Thanks so much Iain.

  3. I’m liking the socially engaged writing this week. Yours was gritty and angry. I liked that

    1. I got a gin out of that. Thanks Neil!

  4. Very depressing that one needs to trade in life’s necessities. Well written K.

  5. Superb cautionary tale. There are many roads to ruin, especially if you’re poor.

  6. Dear Karen,

    Haunting, depressing and frightening. We think it can’t happen to us…it can and it does. Well written and thought provoking.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

  7. Ditto what J Hardy Carroll said! I’m glad he said it first. His words are put together better than mine would have been. It is said “we” have to exchange one thing for another and hope it works. Nicely done.

    1. I meant sad, not said…. Although that does kind of fit…

      1. 🙂 It does. Thanks for reading and thanks for your kind words.

  8. This paints a good picture of poverty but I’m glad the mother is still trying to help Bitta and hoping for better days. I’d be interested to see the bigger picture here.

    1. Thanks for reading 🙂

  9. This sort of scene could be on the way in the not too distant future. Nice piece!

    1. Let’s hope not.Thanks so much for reading.

  10. Depressingly realistic. I liked your take on the prompt. And the 4 year punch line is a knock-out. We can only wait and see.

    1. Thanks Sandra 🙂 Yes it is a waiting game.

  11. Inspired dystopia, Karen. Let’s hope things don’t get that bad, eh? A heart tugging take on the prompt

    1. I hope. I have to quit binge-watching The Handmaid’s Tale.

      1. Ooh, yes, I haven’t started watching that yet. The book was fantastic. A creepy idea, though.

  12. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover

    Oh I love this depressing take on the prompt. I am terrified by what can and may happen in four years.

    1. Oh yes… .Thanks for reading.

  13. Another thought-provoking post. They’ve been abundant today.

    1. They have. A very inspiring prompt I think. Thanks for reading 🙂

  14. For the poor trading with anything is what’s works.

  15. Really well written- very emotive

    1. Thanks for your kind words!

  16. Well written and deeply thought provoking

  17. Who knows what four years will hold? And what choices will need to be made?
    A well written thought-provoking tale

  18. Life in the dystopia.

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