Back Alley

Posted: July 6, 2016 in Friday Fictioneers

Sorry to one and all for another gloomy story. Maybe it’s the clouds outside and the lack of heat inside. Thanks to our fearless leader, Rochelle, for posting another thought provoking picture, and to my fellow Fictioneers for providing inspiration with their 100-word tales.

back-ally1 (2)

Alala, whose name means The Lost One,
knows every twist in the back alley – day or night.
She prefers night. But day will do.
Blind women can’t be choosey.

Begging bowl nestled among the folds
of her blue skirt, Alala settles in the dust.
Men laugh.
Women frown.
Children skid bike tires until
pebbles scratch across her feet.

Alala sings.
Her voice floats passed shuttered windows,
over bent antennas and dangling wires
toward the one person she hopes will hear.

Coins clatter in the bowl. Her husband has come!
“Leave before sunset.”
Alala’s smile melts into her acid-burned skin.

  1. That was a powerful punch to the gut. I thought she was going to be ok. Life can be so unfair.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. draliman says:

    Already quite a grim scene and then that killer last line. Nice one!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sandra says:

    Excellent, Alicia! There was so much in this piece I had to look back again and again. I think this is one of your best. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Brilliant, and even better on second reading.

    My hair-raising tale

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This started out grim, and ended up devastating… so so incredibly sad…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. rgayer55 says:

    Poor gal. Talk about going from the frying pan to the fire.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sometimes life and people can be brutal.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. wmqcolby says:

    Wow, wow and WOW! This was BRILLIANT, Alicia! Character, atmosphere, everything worked, worked, WORKED!

    Five out of five super-dupers!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dear Alicia,

    Heart breaking story. Well done.



    Liked by 1 person

  10. trentpmcd says:

    A very sad story. Tragic. Also well written.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mike says:

    Acid-burned, that says it all, well done. Mike


  12. gahlearner says:

    You lure us in, feeling slightly uncomfortable, but accepting the hard life of a blind beggar and then, wham, you hammer the cruel truth in full force. Masterful writing, Alicia. Standing ovations.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jan Brown says:

    Very vivid description. How sad that the one person she hopes will hear her melodious voice is such a creep.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. yarnspinnerr says:

    Definitely a grim peace but very well crafted.

    Here is place for such women to fight back

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Amy Reese says:

    Very well worked story, Alicia. I agree it’s one of your best. Grim and then it gets much worse with that killer last line. Great work!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. You almost made me cry with this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Margaret says:

    Heart-wrenching. You tell her story brilliantly. I love the slow pace and the descriptive details that bring her, and her situation, to life. The ending packs a powerful punch.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Good writing, Alicia. We love happy endings but life doesn’t always end that way, especially where women are thought of as existing only for the benefit of the men. I often wonder why it’s so easy for people to get hold of that acid. It’s supposed to be illegal but money talks. It’s extremely tragic. She was unfortunate to marry a man who was subject to rages and cruel behavior. She possibly didn’t even choose this man but was forced to marry him. Now her very presence reminds him of his bad behavior. He’s guilty but walks free while she, the victim, suffers. We can only hope his guilt eats him away bit by bit like the acid he used on her. —- Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I had to reread, but wow. That last line is strong one.


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