23/06/2016

FROTHY COFFEE - a 100 word story

This photo prompt - taken by Rich Voza and posted for Friday Fictioneers by https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/  - had me stumped for 24 hours - should I go with the plane or try to find a story in one of the other barely-discernable features?
My ideas bank was empty, until a poem I wrote thirty-odd years ago came to mind. This story is a prose version.

FROTHY COFFEE

In the coffee bars of my youth we used to put the world to rights.

In our virtual reality no-one went hungry, because fertile nations grew enough food for everyone. Racism was a thing of the past in a world where all skin was cafė-au-lait. Democracy worked, politicians were honest, population was steady and disease controlled. War was banished – there was never, we agreed, a valid reason to take another’s life.

Sitting over spaghetti and frothy coffee, I believed in all this passionately – until I became a mother. Now, if anyone harmed my child, he wouldn’t live to see another sunrise.

........................................

And here is the original poem -

KILLING

In coffee bars
twenty years ago
we talked endlessly
about the morality
of killing –

There was never
we said
a good reason
to take another’s life.

But now,
if anyone touched my child
or did to him
any of the unspeakable things
people do to people
these days,
I would kill them myself
with these hands

only one killing
wouldn’t be enough.

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So there you have it - two for the price of one! Please leave a comment before visiting the other writers of flash fiction by following the link from Rochelle's blog.

27 comments:

  1. Dear Liz,

    All I can say is 'amen' and ever so well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

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    1. Thanks Rochelle - though it wasn't really a story this week!

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Sally - I take it you agree?

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  3. I think that we all would change in such an event... (still we have to try, don't we)

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    1. Try to understand the other person's point of view? In some circumstances, yes, but not all.

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  4. Replies
    1. Thank you Robert - it still resounds with me after thirty years.

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  5. I loved both pieces. And so very true.

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  6. Ha - yes, Liz. We don't recognise ourselves once we become the protector. Great writing. :)

    marion

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    1. I remember worrying after my third child was born that I wouldn't have enough hands to rescue them all from a fire. Parenting is fraught with anxieties.

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  7. Wow, Liz - you've managed to convey so much in so few words - excellent!

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  8. Hi Susan - as a loyal reader of my blog you will know how long it's taken me to hone my flash fiction skills. And I'm still working on them, of course!

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  9. it seems that self-interest overrules everything else. :)

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  10. As a mother...yes..absolutely.

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  11. This is brilliant. I love the sentiments, and I can relate 100%.

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    1. thanks Margirene - it's astonishing how the arrival of one new human being changes ones perspective.

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  12. Liz,
    This prose and the original poem are SO true. I agree completely and really needed to read this.
    Anne from AnneHiga.com

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    1. Thank you Anne, and thanks for commenting.

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  13. I enjoyed both the flash and the poem, Liz. Words are just black squiggles, but can say so much. You leave us with a lot to think about.

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    1. Especially the mothers amongst us - thanks Helen.

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  14. I enjoyed both the flash and the poem, Liz. Words are just black squiggles, but can say so much. You leave us with a lot to think about.

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  15. This is great, both, poem and story. I live in that world from time to time with my thoughts--and in such a world no one would harm a child. But people being people...

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    1. In a perfect world no-one would deliberately hurt another person, chaild or adult.

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