Last Exit – Friday Fictioneers

Darlings, I confess I am in a black mood, and so my story reflects that, but rest assured, it is in no way autobiographical.

I do, however, think it is very good. If I do say so myself. Sometimes I see a picture and the story comes right away without much thought or effort. The loneliness of this picture just jumped out at me.  Thank you to Ted Strutz for the picture, and to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting Friday Fictioneers — a weekly activity where nearly 100 writers look at a picture and write 100 word tale inspired by the photo.

Here’s mine.

100 Words precisely.


She sat alone, watching what might be her last sunset.

She hadn’t decided yet, but there was something ominous about the red and white EXIT sign inviting her to oblivion.

She wondered idly if some nervous crewman, upon finding her, would simply dump her body over the side and avoid all the unpleasantness that must accompany a suicide.

The sea was a cruel mistress, someone had once told her, but the sea wasn’t the one fucking her husband of fifteen years.

She shook the bottle of pills and stared at the EXIT sign, flashing yes, no, yes, no, yes, no.


I will do my best to read the other stories as opportunity presents itself.  If you want something other that dreary Helena, you could have some fun HERE



42 responses to “Last Exit – Friday Fictioneers

  1. Excellent story, Helena! I like how you leave it ambiguous, making us wonder just as the character is doing, although with the story ending on a “no” I’m hoping she puts the bottle away and lives life to the fullest as her revenge on her cheating bastard of a husband.

    • You know it is funny I wasn’t going to bring infidelity into it. It was more about the despair. But then that line about the sea being a cruel mistress came to me and it just sort of happened. I love ambiguity. Will she or won’t she? That is the tension that makes this story in my opinion

  2. It’s almost impossible, I’ve found, to write in any other mood than the one you’re in. It’s dark, it’s slightly bitter, and very reflective. And that line about the nervous crewman opting out of the formalities made me ponder for a while; in some places I’ve been that might be entirely possible. It was a stroke of genius to capture that Exit sign, and to link its flickering with an imminent decision. All in all, excellent, which is what I’ve come to expect from you. Well done.

  3. You’re right, Helena, it is quite wonderful, and I’m glad it’s not autobiographical. I sure hope you you begin to find your way out of this dark place. It’s hard, but so worth the effort. It seems you are tenacious enough to pull it off. 😉 Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. The loneliness of the picture jumped out at me too, nice work…really dark but very enjoyable at the same time.

  5. Dear Helena,

    The sea is a cruel mistress line is brilliant and, had I been drinking when I read it, I’d be on my way to purchase a new keyboard. I hope she’ll reconsider. The jerk clearly isn’t worth her life. Dump those pills into the sea and move on. Good job.



  6. Dear Helena,

    You are right. Your story is good. And so are you. You’ve become what I call a ‘dessert’ writer. That is to say, i save your stories for when I need my mind is tired of the run of the mill and in need of, if you will, a treat.

    Your last line reminded me of Harry Nillson’s song, Joy. (About the three minute mark.) The whole song is good. Now that I think about it, and you, I’m thinking you’ve already heard it.

    A gift for your consideration.

    I love your writing, Helena, so whatever darkness is knocking around in your head, shine a little light on it with the knowledge that there are people out there (here) that care for you and want more.



    • Doug,
      In my current emotional state, I just can’t handle such sweetness, darling!
      I do appreciate the encouragement, and any time I get something like this, it just makes my heart ache and my eyes tear up and I just want to stand beside myself and shake myself out of it. I think I’m slowly coming the conclusion that this isn’t something I can shake — that this is illness, and sooner or later I’m going to have to deal with it — and it terrifies me, if you don’t mind me saying so.
      Thank you again for your kindness — it does mean so very much.


  7. Dear Helena,

    Well, I’m certifiable, so it’s no good asking me. We are all creatures whose equilibrium is dependent upon chemistry. I’m just saying you’re important to me, so, selfishly, I say find the answers and, physician, heal thyself. The Billy Joel riff was a stream of consciousness accident, which could describe my entire life, and in no way what I was thinking.



  8. Nice use of the exit sign. I never even noticed that. I like that you left it without resolution since it heightens the conflict. By the way, I always try to make sure I read your stories, but this time I didn’t see your thumbnail picture or name in the Inlinkz list. I’m glad I found it anyway. 🙂

  9. Ah no!No one is worth giving up one’s life for and for such a cheat-never I say!Loved that there is a possibility that she doesn’t opt for the suicide exit but for another exit-from this place of dark despair and I am so hoping it is the latter:-)A wonderful write Helena and need i say which was my fav part?Yes,”The sea was a cruel mistress, someone had once told her, but the sea wasn’t the one fucking her husband of fifteen years..” 😀 Tc and sending you loads of love xx

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