Collateral Damage: 99 Word Flash Fiction

Screen Shot 2018-01-24 at 7.54.06 PM

photo prompt courtesy © Sandra Crook 

A  bomb ripped through the wall of a house in downtown Al Maquardy killing a thirty-one year old mother and three children 8, 5 and 3 years old. No-one has yet claimed responsibility for the blast but the most likely subject is thought to be forces opposing the government. It is unlikely the government would have targeted civilians. Fortunately the two shops on either side of the house were spared and without damage can continue to trade uninterrupted. A government spokesman said that although the loss of life was unfortunate, it is crucial to the country’s economics that trade carries on as normal.

In response to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers . Thank you to her for hosting and to Sandra Crook for the photo prompt for this weeks story.

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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32 Responses to Collateral Damage: 99 Word Flash Fiction

  1. All that political fudging doesn’t do a thing for the ones dead. Usually rebels are quick to claim their “successes,” too, so one wonders…
    Well written “news flash.☺

    Liked by 2 people

  2. neilmacdon says:

    Sadly, we now know that governments too are all too likely to target civilians if they’re the “wrong sort” of civilians

    Liked by 2 people

  3. calmkate says:

    a woman and her three children are sadly just collateral damage in too many countries, great writing Irene!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. subroto says:

    Such as powerful piece of writing. Collateral damage is such an ugly word that masks killing of civilians in attacks on legitimate targets.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, I loved the dispassionate voice in this story. It really worked to highlight the horror. Well done, Irene.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Sandra says:

    Convincingly detached voice in this. Well done, Irene.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Dear Irene,

    As Sandra pointed out, the detached narration of this tragedy is effective. Well done.



    Liked by 2 people

  8. When American soldiers/bombers misguidedly hit Canadian soldiers during the conflict, the govt says, “Killed by friendly fire.” A nice way of saying, “We goofed on that one.”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Nicely written. I had a sense of a news report, just like a flash piece with a more to follow on this tragedy on the 11 o’clock news. Really enjoyed it. I also just finished reading “House in the Sky” yesterday and the projection of tragedy in your piece made me think of it. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Moon says:

    Money/ profits over lives is the tragedy, really. I loved the tone of your powerful narrative. Wonderfully done.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Dale says:

    I have to agree with Sandra and Rochelle. The detached voice of the reporter makes this all to real.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Iain Kelly says:

    A typical political response. Says a lot in 100 words Irene.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I can see this happening…with the addition that the politicians offered some “thoughts and prayers”

    Liked by 1 person

  14. magarisa says:

    Sadly, this is so realistic.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I wouldn’t put it past the government to do that kind of a thing

    Liked by 1 person

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