FFfAW: A Place of Safety

This post is for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers (FFfAW) Challenge, run by Priceless Joy. This week’s photo prompt was provided by Sonya O. Thank you Sonya!  The challenge is that you write a story of 75-175 words inspired by the photo prompt below. I hope you like it.

Photo Prompt: © Sonya O
Photo Prompt: © Sonya O

A Place of Safety

They huddled together in the shadows, waiting for the brief time when they could board unobserved. The guards’ line of sight would be obscured for minutes only as the cargo swung into place. They’d have to be quick and careful. His daughters trembled at his side, their eyes wide and scared. He pulled them close, unwilling to ever let go.

“You know what to do?” he asked.

He knew they did. His girls might be young but they had their mother’s indomitable spirit. They’d run, climb and hide as ordered and soon be sailing to a life free of fear. They wouldn’t worry about riots and starvation; wouldn’t huddle in terror as armed men stalked through their home. They’d be able to laugh and play. It hurt to send them, but it was for the best.

“Look after each other. Remember I love you.” Tears filled his eyes as he watched them go.

Only he would stay. He’d fight to make their land a place of safety once more. Someday his family would come home.

Word Count: 174


Just out of curiosity, of what nationality did you picture the characters in this story and where and when did you imagine it set?

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34 thoughts on “FFfAW: A Place of Safety

  1. This is so wonderful Louise! And, it is so heart wrenching too. I hope everything goes all right with the girls and their father. Having to send your children off for their safety has to be a terrible decision to have to make. Excellent story! Thank you for your participation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you like it, PJ. 🙂 I worry as much for the girls travelling on their own as for the father off to fight! And you’re welcome – you know I love this challenge. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought Syria right now, because of the news lately. But it could have been so many places….
    Sad but very nice story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I expected people to think Syria. I nearly used ‘England’ rather than just ‘land’ in the final paragraph, to make people stop and think, but then decided to leave it with no identifying markers of place or time. I’m glad you enjoyed the read. 🙂

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    1. I wanted to capture the sense that it could be anyone, from any country of the world that found themselves in that situation. I was quite careful not to include anything that might betray a place or time! I had a feeling that most people would think Syria, though. Thanks for visiting. 🙂

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      1. It’s just the way human mind makes connections, you see, that makes people think of Syria right now now. But you’re right, it really could be anyone from any time in any place. I never do like family separations, but I guess sometimes it’s needed if you wanna protect your loved ones. You put it so well in your story.

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      2. Very true. Family separations are never a pleasant option but they are sometimes necessary. I can’t imagine it would be an easy decision to make. Thanks for reading. 🙂

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  3. Unfortunately, an excellent piece. It seems you’ve given it much thought, it is so well written. I feel for the father as well as for the girls. Believe it or not I thought of America. In the not too distant future. Now that’s scary!

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    1. The setting I gave it in my own head was England but I wanted it to fit whichever interpretation the reader chose to put on it. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the read.

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  4. Yes this is a very current topic but it has occurred in past times. It is such a terrible thing for the families and sometimes the parents did not survive. I knew someone who was sent out of Germany during WWII and never saw his parents again.

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    1. It’s a sad truth that there has always been war and probably always will be. Refugees and families being torn apart is nothing new, as much as we may wish it to be otherwise. Thanks for visiting!

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  5. The love this father has for his children is certainly shown here. What a terrible thing to have to endure…seeing your children sail off without you and wondering if things will work out for them, yet, knowing they will be free of the problems that he will be faced with. Hopefully, they will all be together again one day. Wonderful story! 🙂

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  6. Nice work Louise! Not only Syria, It could be any country at the south mediteranean sea and generally from many African countries come to these ports passing to Europe looking for a better luck. As for the goodbys, we have a verse from a traditional poem saying “the alive saparation, sonsolation has no”.

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    1. It’s happening in many places at the moment but it could so easily occur in any country of the world. Thanks for visiting. I’m glad you enjoyed the read. 🙂

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  7. Beautiful – sad tale Louise. My mind did turn to writing a piece about this, but didn’t find the right words to potray it. You did it beautifully. The things a parent will do for their kids.

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    1. I’ve been thinking about writing a story on this topic for a while now – it just took me a while to get it right! Being forced to flee their country, or to send their loved ones away, is a dreadful situation for anyone to find themselves in. Thanks for visiting, Aletta. 🙂

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