Mad Chase

dfo4231 Zengame flickr

Photo credit: Zengame via Flickr

The great hall echoed with laughter and lutes.  Men and women danced in jewel-hued silk robes, wearing elaborate hair-sculptures and hats of every shape.

Raen staggered through the crowd, searching for anyone he recognized, any clue.  He screamed: “What happened to you?”

Nobody even noticed him.

Then it shattered, like lake ice cracking beneath him, and he fell back into the silent present.  He raced through the now-familiar corridors: endless, empty, exit-less.

Why had he been left behind?

Ahead, a shadow moved.  Captor? Monster? Friend?  Raen no longer cared.  Anything would be better.

With one last hope, he chased it.

Word count: 100.  Written for this week’s Friday Fictioneers flash fiction challenge.  Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, our intrepid hostess!  And thanks to Roger Bultot for providing the original photo prompt, below.  Click the FF link to read the other stories written for this challenge, and to write your own — everyone is welcome!


Photo © Roger Bultot


58 thoughts on “Mad Chase

    • A good idea, but I’ve already decided that there’s no such thing as time travel in Eneanatalae (that’s the broader universe where Eneana exists). As often happens, I came up with the story idea first and then had to figure out how it would actually work or be true in Eneana. I have an idea, but since I might write a second part to this, I’m not telling yet. Thanks for reading James!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Interesting interpretation! I have another story on the back burner about someone who is lost in someone else’s nightmare, and his experience is pretty close to this guy’s. Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Dear Joy,

    Fascinating. After reading all the comments, I’m still not sure what’s happening here. Sorry about the word limit thing. 😉 Not really. At any rate the scene is engaging and leaves me wanting to know more.



    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not meant to be clear what’s happening, since Raen still doesn’t know himself — maybe I’ll be able to shed more light on it in a later story. I’m glad you found it engaging, thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Raen has stopped thinking and is just reacting, which is the very state that the victim of a successful confidence trick reaches. Perhaps this whole nightmare is an elaborate deception at his expense? I love the drama of the switch from ballroom to empty corridors.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aha, and Penny uses her awesome powers of psychology to guess the closest to the truth so far! (Don’t tell anybody, lol.) I’m glad that switch came off as dramatic; that’s how I was picturing it. Thanks for your great comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m wondering how long he’s been wandering (lost between dimensions?). Excellent. I don’t think I’ve read you before. I’ll have to do some catching up. Sounds like a fascinating place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by, and welcome to Eneana! Yes, I was picturing him being stuck for quite a while, long enough to feel desperate to escape the loop — although it must be hard to tell how much time has actually passed if he keeps skipping between these two weird time periods.


  4. A mysterious and riveting story. I was drawn in from the beginning and then left to wonder, wanting to read more. My favorite line, “Then it shattered, like lake ice cracking beneath him, and he fell back into the silent present.” =)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank for you such a nice comment! And thank you for pointing out that line — I always like hearing which phrases or ideas resonate with others, and that one in particular was a favorite of mine.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the recommendation. I don’t think I have read any Borges, although I have a terrible memory for such things and often don’t realize I’ve already read a book until I’m well into it. I see a few short story collections of his available online. Is there a particular story that you were thinking of that I should be looking for?


  5. Longing to know where everyone has gone, how he sees them when they’re not actually there and who or what the shadow is. So many questions and you constructed the story so well. Looking forward to the second part Joy

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s very mysterious, to me it feels as if he’s falling from one nightmare into the next, a loop he has to break. Or a magical mind trap. In any case, it’s great writing, vivid descriptions that draw me right into the scene. And that scene does indeed have a beginning, middle and end.


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