99 Word Flash Fiction Challenge: Freedom

As soon as you hear the word ‘Freedom’ this song, whether it be Janis Joplin, Robert Miller or Gordon Lightfoot comes unbidden to mind. Kris Kristofferson wrote this song in the sixties. The title was given to him by Fred Foster. A bit like us getting a prompt from Charli. He struggled with it a bit and latched on to items that had impacted on him. A song by Mickey Newbury Why you been gone so long? and a Fellini film La Strada. Images from these two stimulated him and Me and Bobby McGee was written. The line “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose” is because in the story line of the film a simple trombone playing girl is left on the roadside by Anthony Quinn. He was elated that he was finally free of her. Some time, later in life, he discovers she had died as a result of being left. He goes a drinks himself stupid and gets into a bad fight. The line signifies the cost of freedom – what is good for one is not good for another.

This is true in so many facets in life. We go to war to give people freedom or do we just leave those same people with a worse fate. Parole boards might give the serial rapist his freedom allowing him to recommit his crime. Moving from the confines of a structured society to a Pacific Island where untold freedom is found to act in ways harmful to themselves.  Even in many marriages one person might want a bit more freedom……..

“Now. tomorrow after we walk the dogs we’ve got that art course. It goes for four hours. Have to leave it on time cause Rosie is coming 2.30. Then have to walk the dogs as Barbara is expecting me at six.”

“I can’t listen to any more. I just want my freedom.” He stamped his foot.

“What do you mean?”

“I just want to be free. I want the freedom to wake up and decide then what I want to do – not have it all planned out. “

“You do nothing but….”

“ I wish.”

“Your freedom will be my gaol.”

This is in response to Charli’s prompt for this week where she prompts:

In 99 words (no more, no less) let freedom ring in your story. It can be about breaking out of oppression, standing up to a bully, fighting for inalienable rights. Does an individual’s freedom conflict with the cause of the greater good? Does freedom of the greater good oppress individuals? It could be a political debate, a social media argument, a snippet of reality failing the ideal. Or make it heroic. Let us feel like wearing kilts and shouting to free Scots! Be free with your imagination.

Respond by noon (PST) Tuesday, September 23 to be included in the compilation.

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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12 Responses to 99 Word Flash Fiction Challenge: Freedom

  1. Great, Irene. What really grabbed my interest right at the start was the photo of Janis Joplin, with whom I had a love-hate relationship with regard to her music when she was alive. Me and Bobby McGee is my favorite of all her songs and thanks for the history lesson about its origins. Couldn’t get the video to come up, but I can hear her singing in my head.
    Your short short reminds me of what happens to some couples when they are both retired, if they haven’t planned ahead

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Noelle, I don’t know why you couldn’t get the video. It works on mine but who knows with computers. They seem to have a mind of their own and you can spend hours of wasted time trying to work it out. I know what you mean with a love-hate relationship with Janis Joplin. I was much the same now I think like many from that era that were hate at the time I now see with some tenderness and almost love. This song though I always loved.
      I think it is a gender thing. Women just have to be active….


  2. TanGental says:

    Yes I get the flash. My daughter would organise me within an inch of my life if I let her…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting post. There are so many ‘what if’s’. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Charli Mills says:

    You settle into your history sound bites so easily, and I just want to curl up with tea and hear more! It really makes me think how creativity is like a series of connecting influences that manifests differently in each individual. Loved hearing the song too as I read.

    Your flash describes different family relationships. Yet often the person over-planning is the one who feels secure in this situation and the one fenced in by it just wants to run with wind in his or her hair! Great post and flash!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Charli, I like the history flash idea. I find I can fictionalise much easier if I’m using real people as my characters. I really will have to start trying to create my own characters. I could develop a whole bunch of imaginary friends and enemies. Life could become quite exciting.
      Yes I think it can become quite a big issue freedom as what for some is freedom is terrifying for others.


  5. Pingback: Cries of Freedom « Carrot Ranch Communications

  6. Sherri says:

    I didn’t manage to do the flash for this week but the theme I would have used was the lack of freedom in a certain relationship. Probably because I felt so trapped for so long…but the one who keeps it so tightly under control fears letting the other one go. Great post and flash exploring how one’s freedom can lead to another’s destruction. Ready for that walk now? And don’t worry, I won’t rush you… 😉


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