Not So Long Ago, Not So Far Away


Irate, Henry punished his  deaf and dumb boy by shooting his dog.  “Teach him a lesson,” he muttered.

Speechless, the dumb child ran away kicking stones,  absorbing the lesson.  Despite all the kicking the boots held up–zippers still worked, unrusted by rageful tears. And finally the lesson sank in.

Waiting til nightfall when all were asleep, the youth kicked over the lit candle and fled.

For Friday Fictioneers  PHOTO PROMPT submitted by Courtney Wright. © Photographer prefers to remain anonymous.


About Nan Mykel

I used to think I would be a child prodigy, but then I got old. Formerly I had fantasies of rubbing elbows with cultural and academic leaders but that did not come to pass because I did not become a cultural or academic leader or any other kind of leader, for that matter. I am not even an "Alpha Dog," a term learned from a friend who had to become "Alpha Dog" in order to influence her own pet. (When gazes lock, she never looks away.) For years I expected to become a published author, but in passing I could not avoid the fact that I had little to contribute to the world's bulging dumpsters. I'm embarrassed to report that I also considered my primary process artistic productions powerful, rather than mildly neurotic. Which is not to say that I disrespect myself, only that I am beginning to doubt my potential for making a mark on the world. If I focus on strict self discipline I may be able to keep my garbage removed on a weekly basis, to keep the kitty box changed, the clothes cleaned, the dog watered, fed and walked, but that just catches me up to the starting mark again. When writing I physically grapple with words, wrestling them from their indifference into attempted chunks of awareness. I sit heavily on my chair; I breathe in artificially cooled air; my ear drums note the tap tap of the keyboard and the steady uninterrupted sound of the air conditioner, What is that sound? The roar of the ocean from 30 yards away...Inside, my thoughts are are balls in an electronic game machine, bouncing hither and yon from lever to lever. I am a little grim and intent until I recall a dream related by a black man in the prison where I once worked. He said that when he was a small boy, back home, he dreamed he was standing on his front porch pissing, and that he suddenly found himself pissing stars...
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27 Responses to Not So Long Ago, Not So Far Away

  1. Nan, at the bottom of the grid of participants there’s a blue icon saying ‘Add Your Link’. Click on that and you will take you to a form you need to fill in, much like Mr Linky at Dverse. If you’ve loaded an image on your post for this prompt it will automatically load it. Press Done at the end and away you go. Also tick the two boxes about the privacy policy and about your email being visible to the host of Friday Fictioneers, which is Rochelle Wissoff-Fields. If a verification email is sent to your email address, open it and click whatever link will be provided so your link up will be completed. Good luck. Petru.


  2. Wow, powerful and heartless piece, well done


  3. Varad says:

    Henry went a little bit overboard. He got what was coming for him.


  4. Iain Kelly says:

    The inevitable consequence of teaching and parenting with violence. Great story Nan, well done.


  5. bethanyk says:

    Oh how tragic! For the child. And yet I want to kick over the lit candle too now. What does that say about me! But cruelty does evoke strong emotions in me. I’ve never in fact hurt a living soul


  6. What goes around… nicely done on the prompt!😉


  7. lisarey1990 says:

    Great story. Very well-written.


  8. He expressed his upset the only way he could. Terrific tale.

    My FriFic tale is called Jim and Jan!


  9. Dear Nan,

    Abuse begets anger and rage. I felt for the poor boy as I suspect he’s been punished for much more. Well done.




  10. granonine says:

    The Bible says we are not to provoke our children to wrath. Lesson learned, too late. Great story, Nan.


  11. Wow – that was very powerful – well done.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos


  12. Liz Young says:

    Henry shouldn’t have been so cruel.


  13. Dale says:

    And what could the father expect? He is teaching the poor boy that to learn, you must hurt..
    Very well done, Nan.


  14. Vivian Zems says:

    Violence propagated. Well penned.


  15. Wondrously dark twist!


  16. Nan Falkner says:

    Well, that was a mean and nasty thing to do to the boots. What goes around comes around.


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