Friday Fictioneers: Lost in the Desert


© Douglas M. MacIlroy

“We should’ve stayed with the truck.”

” No-one would’ve found us. No-one knew we were in the desert let alone lost. I know there’s a  town at the end of the road else there’d  be no fence to keep the sand back.”  The two men staggered on, conserving their energy and need for water by not talking. Mile after mile.

” Look! Buildings.  A stream. A mirage?”

“That’s no mirage.” They ran to the water’s edge. Stefan put a cupped hand in it, screaming as his skin peeled from the flesh. ” God help us. They’ll kill us. We’ve found their nuclear reactor.”

In response to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers  where we are invited to respond in 100 words or less to the photoprompt this week supplied by Doug MacIlroy.

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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64 Responses to Friday Fictioneers: Lost in the Desert

  1. micklively says:

    I like the dramatic ending.
    Good piece Irene.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. noelleg44 says:

    Good grief! What an ending!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my, that was unexpected! Great story.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sherri says:

    Wow. I love your flash fiction stories Irene…at first, the snow had me thinking of a scene out of the film ‘Fargo’, which is one of my favourites. You really knocked me off kilter with your shocking ending. Now I’m sitting on the edge of my seat wanting to know what happens next to these two guys…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Me thinks the radiation will kill them before the others have a chance.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, scary indeed! But you had my undivided attention from the beginning to the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow. I wasn’t expecting that end. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow – that was a shocker! I wasn’t expecting that. Great writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ooh, what an ending.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. “skin peeled from the flesh” pretty graphic image and pretty upsetting. Don’t think there’s much room for hope here.
    Too bad. Randy

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Frying pan meet fire! Great ending.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Dear Irene,

    I’d say with skin peeling from flesh, they don’t have to worry about someone killing them. They’re dead already. Well done.



    Liked by 1 person

  13. What a horrid end.. really good.


  14. BrainRants says:

    Well, he won’t have to worry about the thirst much longer.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Dave says:

    Ruh roh. That’s gonna leave a mark.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. gahlearner says:

    Eek, that came unexpected. Unsafe nuclear reactor…. they’re dead. Great twist.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. That is bad luck, indeed. Well ended.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Margaret says:

    Very tense. They’re in hot water now for sure. Great ending.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Your story is quite similar to mine! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. rgayer55 says:

    Egads! Good thing he didn’t dive right in.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. milliethom says:

    Gripping story, Irene, and the surprise ending is excellent. The skin peeling from Stefan’s hand is an effective image.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Ula says:

    Oh my, that is horrifying, but good.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Wow, when I got to the end I felt my face turn white. I would say that is excellent writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Charli Mills says:

    Oh, wow…quite the thriller!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Unexpected ending. Loved it! Brilliant use of the prompt. Well done 😃

    Liked by 1 person

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