The March

Their war cries rang in our ears as we marched, echoing our raspy breaths and heavy footsteps. It was as if they were still pursuing us, chasing us even now.

Danny Bowman
Credit: Danny Bowman

We didn’t look back; there was nothing to look back to.

We only walked, the soles of our feet aching from the miles already behind us and our toes itching from our many scratches and blisters.

I look to the hills overhead, and feel my heart ache. We’d nearly reached our sanctuary, but there were so many of us who would never get there. There were so many we’d failed.


Word Count: 100
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This short story is for the purposes of theย Friday Fictioneers writing prompt. This is one of the toughest that I’ve encountered, as participants only have 100 words to answer the given photo prompt. Thank you so much for reading!

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35 Comments Add yours

  1. Moon says:

    Nice story, Emily.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emily says:

      Thank you, Moon ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  2. Miles Rost says:

    Another story of “The Trail”. Well done, Emily!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Emily,

    Triumph and tragedy, success and regret. You married them well in this piece.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emily says:

      Thanks so much Rochelle – glad you liked it! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  4. James says:

    There are so many stories of almost escaping to Sanctuary. Longing for safety after a hard struggle. In a way, it’s every person’s search for God.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jelli says:

    That is an image that will haunt my thoughts all day. Great writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emily says:

      Thanks so much, Jelli!

      Like

  6. gahlearner says:

    There is so much emotion in this, I feel haunted reading it.

    Like

    1. Emily says:

      I’m glad it came through! Thank you so much for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  7. michael1148humphris says:

    I am left with questions, who were they, which is great, as for myself I placed this story in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emily says:

      I quite like this idea – when I was writing the story I suppose I was setting it in a fantasy world, but I like the idea of maybe a dystopian, apocalyptic setting. Thanks for reading and commenting, Michael ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Varad says:

    I recently read a book called ‘A Long Walk to Water’ by Linda Sue Park. It tells the story of ‘Salva Dut’ a ‘lost boy’ from Sudan who had to walk all the way to Kenya to escape the internal war. Your story reminded me of that. Very good, emotive writing Emily. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emily says:

      Wow, that sounds quite an impressive book. Thanks for the feedback, Varad – glad you liked it.

      Like

    1. Emily says:

      Thanks, Keith!

      Like

  9. pennygadd51 says:

    It sounds like a very bloody conflict. ‘Have the survivors massacred all their attackers?’ I found myself wondering.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emily says:

      Thanks for reading! In my head this was a group of innocents, with the elderly and children included, but then that begs the question, how did they get away? You raise a good point – perhaps they did fight back.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Light at the end of the tunnel, but what a tunnel. Well done, Emily. I felt the range of sorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emily says:

      Thanks so much, Sascha! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover says:

    Love the line “nothing to look back to.” Really nice take on the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emily says:

      Thanks so much! It glad you liked it.

      Like

  12. Well done, Emily. You nailed the exhaustion and defeat perfectly. :o)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emily says:

      Thanks so much! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  13. granonine says:

    Your portrayal of emotion is excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emily says:

      Thanks so much – I’m glad it came across!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Dale says:

    I dunno… after all these years of watching The Walking Dead, I trust NO sanctuary… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emily says:

      Good point, Dale! Perhaps the sanctuary isn’t a safe place at all, but a group of hungry cannibals – who knows?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dale says:

        Who knows, indeed!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. LucciaGray says:

    Poignant yet optimistic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emily says:

      Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  16. Great job on this! I was thinking that they are refugees. Based on the description of their still feeling pursued and the references to those who didn’t make it, it sounds like some of them may have or be at risk for PTSD. I think this may make a good storyline.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emily says:

      That’s a nice idea! I was definitely thinking that those on the march were reflecting on those that they’d lost in a very serious way, so PTSD is probably very accurate. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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