Alone and Without Purpose
I am now alone. Inconsolable by what is left. These people came to me for help, and because I could not provide the help - they evaporated, leaving only the scent of their former self within their shoes. What could I have done differently? Maybe if I would have focused on their soul. What if I could have listened more intently? I should have been able to save at least one of them. Every one of them had a purpose, but I couldn't figure out what it was. They knew, but they couldn't tell me, because I didn't listen. If I had listened, I could have helped them to fulfill their purpose. I am desolate, unworthy and alone. Completely alone.
How delightful, I was wondering if everyone was given the same pic and what stories would be imagined. I love the variety of stories here from that one pic. Here's mine:
There I was in this desolate place, surrounded by hundreds upon hundreds of the shoes left by those who hadn't survived. They remained as the only evidence of those that were gone, like vultures lingering after they had devoured the dead. No one in the government believed in the threat of an alien invasion, I had failed my mission to convince them until it was too late. Nothing to be done now but to file the top secret reports and leave this ghost town with a lingering sense of guilt and failure, they were all gone and I could have done better. The press release in the morning should make an interesting read as with all government coverups.
I know it's been said, but it's amazing, the variety of stories people were inspired to write. I love the , " ... bare your sole ..., pun.
I'm looking at mine now for a longer piece, possibly.
I just took the survey today. Here's my flash fiction story:
Vote with your feet . . .
This was the moment when I knew that it was over for me. The rally was supposed to show support, to show that even then, in spite of the rebels and the protesters, the people still believed in me.
But instead of people, this is what greeted me. Empty, discarded shoes. People must have been coming out all night, bringing shoes and leaving them there.
Did the shoes represent the people who were no longer there for me? Or perhaps they stood for the "disappeared ones" that I had so hoped the people didn't know about. Or perhaps it was their image of me, one to be discarded, like a shoe that no longer fits.
I wasn't sure exactly what it was supposed to symbolize, but I knew that it was over for me.
So it was just one pic? Wow, I thought we had different ones. I'm not a fiction writer by any stretch but it was fun. I wrote about the "soles" of the dead ascending and freeing themselves from the oppression of that little town. I can't even remember the title, lol. I saved it on my desktop. I'm primarily a Giver (97%). It was a cool exercise.
You should try it Jan. You may be surprised because there are various types.
Just realized I didn't save my story. It was the assessment that they give you at the end that I saved. Bummer. But it's okay. I felt it was an "in the moment" story that I'd never see again anyway. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Kevin. Maybe I will try writing flash fiction hubs one day.
Wow! These are so interesting. It is fun to see everyone's different stories.
If i had seen this before I took the study, I would have kept mine. Tried to get it back, but couldn't - the study wouldn't let me go further back than the end result, which was 97% Inner Thinker.
I can tell you I saw it symbolically and the words just flowed out as a soliloquy . The man was saying, "It's too late. I did what I could, but nobody would listen. . ." It was basically about how everyone destroyed nature (in favor of materialism) and their own health as well. He's the only one left able to walk. All that was left beyond him was buildings, concrete, dirty sky.
so many great results from this effort. i hope to revisit and reread everyone's stories.
I had fun with this exercise. Flash fiction isn't normally my thing and this was my first play at it:
Cullen dodged. The shoe scraped by. Missed his eyebrow.
It fell into the pile around him. Lavender. Gucci. Spikes. He couldn't recall what she'd worn that night.
Bending to examine it, he was almost caught by an orange clog. The woman owned a lot of shoes.
"How dare you use me like that?" she shrilled, aiming a sneaker.
"I'm a heel, I know." He picked up the Gucci. Examined the inner lining. Let it fall back onto the pile.
The next missile was a Weitzman pump. It stirred a memory. He grabbed it, ripped out the insole. The diamond rolled into his palm.
At the window, she was readying a boot. He waved, Strolled away.
She'd found out he used her to get into the gallery for his heist. She never suspected where he'd hid the rock while he was giving her a foot massage.
Good thing she liked to throw shoes.
LOL! That's cute! I think this is the most upbeat, fun interpretation of the photo yet.
TY. I don't think it's nearly as evocative as many others though. I thought about the rapture, holocaust, disasters, etc then decided to go with the "3rd creative answer" just because I wanted to try something different.
I do enjoy the idea of some Imelda Marcos (sp?) type character flinging shoes though.
Loved this, so creative and fun! You are a wonderful writer.
Great imagination, well written story. Almost totally believable, given the unbelievability of the photo.
It was hard to keep the story so short but I came up with the following urban fantasy story.
The Best of Intentions
The child stood on bare, dirty tiptoes by the dumpster, unaware I was watching as he caught its lip and clambered in. I pulled on the violet electricity of the magic inside me and directed my thoughts into it.
"Give him what he needs," I whispered, letting the wild energy free.
Something hit me in the head, hard. Shoes of all shapes and sizes pelted me as I charged out into the plaza, running from the strange, bruising deluge.
A deep voice shouted, "Use your shield, dumbass!"
I exerted my will and a sparkling, wobbly purple dome popped into existence. I sighed in relief as a heavy platform boot bounced off.
"Thanks, Steve," I said to the ghost who inhabits my favorite bowler hat.
"Magic's too damned literal here," he said.
Looking around, I nodded and asked, "What the Hell am I going to do with all these shoes?"
LOL love this one too.
Every single story on here has been fantastic. I'm truly impressed with the caliber of our writers.
I'd love to participate some more experiments like this. A monthly or so contest might be loads of fun. Who even cares if there's a prize. For me the "prize" was stretching myself in a medium that was new to me. (Not only do I not do flash fiction, I don't do detective/crime fiction either.)
I'm pleased to see so many responses to the Flash Fiction invitation and study! I hope authors will understand that due to sheer volume of stories, they may not all be read or appreciated immediately (by me anyway), but awesome collection for future enjoyment! Congratulations everyone for giving it a try!
by Christy Kirwan 4 years ago
Creative writers over the age of 18 who are native speakers of English are eligible. If you're interested, please check out the latest Blog Post for details and info on how to sign up.
by Genna East 6 years ago
If you were a teacher, what subject would you like to teach?I would have to say English Literature.
by Carolee Samuda 4 years ago
A Contest will provide friendly competition that will boost creativity. I am not sure how many people need this creative boost as much as I do but I am pretty sure many of us will appreciate the contest.
by Christy Kirwan 22 months ago
Heads up! We’re doing a bit of rearranging on the LetterPile Network Site and we wanted to let authors know what’s going on.Going forward, we are transitioning LetterPile into a site that will exclusively contain creative writing. Until now we’ve tried to make the site a home for both...
by Tim Mitchell 4 years ago
Trying out the Hub Hopper I noticed there is a queue distinguishing typical hubs from a creative work or humor. Since HP apparently values them differently would having a separate HP account for typical hubs that are not creative writing and one for creative writing offer any advantages?Also, what...
by Susan Britton 4 years ago
Write a Hub that is outside your comfort zone in 2015. (If you normally write informative articles, try a short story or poem. If you're a creative writer, consider a tutorial or explanation Hub.)This above sentence was copied from the Weekly hub news we received today. I started writing on...
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