Thursday, November 29, 2012

Emotion At Journey's End

There had been over fifty in their band when they began the arduous and conceivably unachievable journey across the Poisoned Lands to reach the sea. In reality, they had no other viable opportunity for survival than to hearken to the unknown voice on the emergency radio supplying a date, time and coordinates to rendezvous with what might well be the very last vessel offering escape from the lethal aftermath of man’s final war against man.

And so they walked, with the unerring faith of those that had, and always would have, an inner core of strength and a certainty that it was their destiny to not only survive but to prosper and grow as long as their will did not flag.

When it seemed they could go no further, when nothing remained for them to give, the final seven of their number staggered at last to the beach and its roaring surf, expending near all their remaining energy in a dance of sheer, unbridled rapture they had endured the greatest hardships faced by any and had, in spite of all, come to this wondrous place of exodus. 

Their happiness, their exultation, their unmitigated pleasure was boundless, it seemed, and remained so until the mysterious radio voice brought all hope, all sense of future, all….joy…to an abrupt and sickening end as he announced the final vessel had sank at sea and no evacuation could be expected ever again.

This story was written for the weekly Five Sentence Fiction flash fiction prompt: joy.


  1. A sad ending to a hopeful start... And a great post!

  2. Wonderful imagery. but it is sad....

  3. This one made me sad, too. It is a gift to be able to evoke strong feelings in others.

  4. Oh, how well written and how despondent.

  5. So beautifully written, kept me intrigued right up to the sorry end!

  6. Favorite bit: It's so hard---especially for me---to create a real sense of plot in just five sentences. That you bring us to the end of the world and a bit beyond it is an impressive feat.

    Critiquey stuff: "Their happiness, their exultation, their unmitigated pleasure was boundless." Given how long the sentence is already, the semi-redundant repetitions don't strike me as worth their value; they create a barrier to understanding while adding no substantial meaning.

    Write on,


    1. Valid point, Rob. Sometimes I go a bit in excess with the descriptors. Thanks for the constructive feedback.

  7. How often in life have we experienced this, joyous hope and faith dashed by bitter reality, yet I am thinking that with the determination these seven have showed thus far, they will somehow find a way to survive in what is left of their world!