Almost

Posted: January 7, 2015 in Friday Fictioneers
Tags: , , , , , ,

Wednesday/Friday has rolled around once again. This is my 100 word submission for Friday Fictioneers inspired by sad news reported on the radio last week. Do they ever report good news? Every now and then, I suppose. On that note . . .

Begin the Route

They’d left Myanmar on Nakaji’s fishing boat – just the three of them.
“Stupid idea,” Swimon had shouted.
“You got $300?” Nakaji had asked.
High seas, enormous freighters then the big storm. They lost everything – the child, each other.

Which way to go now? Nakaji fidgeted at the crossroads.
He recognized her star pasted to the pole – proving Swimon had made it here alive.

People hurried by whispering “Arrest” “Riff-raff”
What did that mean?
Across the street clogged with cars, he saw her beautiful face. Called, “Swimon!”
He stepped from the curb.
“No you don’t!” Police. Handcuffs. Swimon disappeared.

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Comments
  1. Tragic journeys here. For a brief moment I was optimistic.

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  2. Nice, writing, but I’m not entirely sure what’s going on – perhaps I don’t know the news story you mean…
    Claire

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    • So many people are escaping horrific conditions in other countries by boat, and being abandoned or dying on the way. Some are crammed into the hulls of boats under unsavory conditions, some head out on their own in unstable craft, taking chances. This is just a story about “what If” nothing in particular.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Clare, I went back and tweaked this a little (I know, bad girl) perhaps it’s clearer now? Let me know. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Alicia

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  3. wolfsrosebud says:

    great conversation in the hustle of the city

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  4. Alicia, here there are even more people risking their lives to come from Cuba before the embargo is lifted as they’ve evidently heard that things will change after that for coming to the States. I have no idea if that’s true or not, but it doesn’t matter. Perception is everything. Sadly, your story happens in more places than just Cuba.

    I’m confused about “their stars” and find figuring out who’s who a little daunting. Nakaji (male) is at the crossroads looking for Swimon (female), right? But the sentence where he hears his name confused me. Evidently he calls her name, “Swimon”, before being arrested. I guess I’m being dense but as he hears his name, but calls hers, it gets a little convoluted. I was thinking something along the lines of ‘Saw her beautiful face. Called, “Swimon!” “, would make it a bit clearer. Or is it just me? That could be, too.

    Anyway, I agree that there seems to be no good news and that’s a shame, as it makes people feel pessimistic and even afraid, although there are sometimes good reasons to feel that way. A healthy dose of good news would help at least balance the bad.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll give it a go! Thanks for your thoughtful reply. (I’m going to cheat and change it now!)

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    • PS the idea of the star came from the one plastered to the pole in the picture….. It’s supposed to be the way they would identify where they were if they got separated. Lost in translation – obviously. And the names are Myanmar names.

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      • I guess I wasn’t too clear myself in my reply. The actual names aren’t confusing but just which name goes with which person. Looking at the story again, I got the idea of the stars as markers but then when the back story came, I was thinking that Swimon’s star was already up on the post and “their stars” felt as though someone else had one. In hindsight, that was simply a misread on my part.

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    • Yes, I had the same problem. Trying to figure out if Swimon was male or female.

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  5. Got it! Wow – sorry this story is so wacky-confusing. It’s funny when you think you’ve put down on paper exactly what’s going through your mind and it turns out – not so much.

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  6. Dear Alicia,

    I think the part about the stars is the most confusing, particularly this line: ‘Luckily “their stars” were tucked beneath their shirts.’ I’m not sure you need it. You might try moving the first line to the fourth line with a space between it and the line before. This would give you a few more words to play with.

    I hope I’m making sense. I like the idea of the star pasted to the pole. A suggestion: Which way to go now? Nakaji fidgeted at the crossroads. He recognized her star pasted to the pole – proving Swimon had made it here alive.

    Tweaking a story after it’s posted is in no way cheating. You’re a good writer, Alicia and this is a worthy story.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

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  7. I think it is very interesting (sad and somewhat true) but I am confused on Simon’s gender. In one part he is a male and in another part she is a female.

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  8. Oh yes! I like the change. I understand it better. Thank you! 🙂

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  9. plaridel says:

    it doesn’t always work but it’s a risk well taken. better to die or go to prison pursuing your dream than to live with regrets of not doing anything about it.

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  10. That near success make it even more heartbreaking – this begs for follow-up – hopefully with a happy ending, risking your life on open sea happens in many places.. It even happened here when people escaped Soviet across the Baltic sea…m

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  11. Margaret says:

    Heart-wrenching. I work with a variety of refugees, in my migrant English classes, and although they don’t usually tell their stories, they don’t need to. Their faces show their suffering. I think your story’s captured the uncertainty, the way everything can be snatched away from them at any moment, even when they think they’re safe. Well told.

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    • Thanks Margaret. It’s nice to look into a small window of your life and know that you are trying to help peolpe who desperately need it. I’m glad you shared that and glad you like “Almost”. I appreciate your stopping by.

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  12. draliman says:

    So sad to find her after all they’ve been through and then to lose her through jay-walking. Hopefully they’ll find each other again.

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  13. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Alicia,

    This was a good story. I watched you take it through several iterations and it became stronger each time. I’m glad you kept at it.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks, Doug. First Janet’s suggestions helped, then Joy’s, then just as I was about to jumb off a cliff, Rochelle grabbed my belt loop and pulled me back and gave me one last wonderful suggestion. Before bed I swore – no more writing at 5:30 am. Have that first cup of coffee, go to aerobics, take a shower WAKE UP then write. Anyway, I’m glad you took time to wade through and see it turn from a mediocre submission to something that made sense. Aloha back to you, Alicia

    Liked by 1 person

  15. rgayer55 says:

    Gee, after reading the comments it sounds like I missed all the action and edits. All I know is the final product turned out to be easily understood, although somewhat sad. Those poor people leave behind all they know carrying only their dreams–which often wind up crashed on the rocks.

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  16. I love how this picture took you to such an intriguing place, Alicia. I left route 66 and went headlong into this exotic story. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Sandra says:

    I’m late to this, but the story felt to me as though it had been re-honed and polished. As indeed it had, I see from the comments. Well done for sticking at it. It reads well.

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    • Thanks, Sandra, I’m glad you’re late to the game. You might have dumped me for good if you had read the “first draft”. Appreciate your stopping by and congrats on your bending publication you must be over the moon!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I’ve obviously read it after all the tweaking and I both got it and enjoyed the story but sad at the little twist at the end preventing him from reconnecting.

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  19. Well done for taking on this theme Alicia. There are so many horrific stories of people taking desperate actions for want of a better life. What they are leaving behind must be truly terrible if they are prepared to take such risks, and yet far too often they are treated as freeloaders and scroungers when they arrive

    Liked by 1 person

  20. What a tale! I can almost picture Swimon, strange name and all.

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  21. What a powerful, dramatic story. Movie in a hundred words. Glad I missed all the edits, because this reads beautifully.

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  22. hafong says:

    You’ve painted real life drama as it is. Sad that it is so true but you did it well.

    Lily

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  23. Such an unfortunate couple. He makes it to the U.S. only to be arrested. Hopefully they’ll find each other and made a go of it. Well done. — Suzanne.

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