“He shot everyone in sight then set the village on fire. All exits are sealed, he can’t escape. We will get him.”

The officer turned away from the reporters in slow focused steps and went back to the cordoned area. He walked into the charred village and stopped to look at the tiny mushroom trampled over by someone escaping the horror of the night.

Only yesterday Hayley had pulled his sleeves and dragged him here.

“Daddy look!” she had said pointing at it with the excitement of a 4 year old.

He was transferred here recently. Hayley liked this place.


100 word story for Friday’s prompt by Madison.


25 thoughts on “Torn

  1. Shock, horror and terrible sadness all summed up in so few words. That’s the thing about spree killings. When in full possession of the facts you can see if not understand the events that lead up to them, but that doesn’t stop them being senseless. So much tragedy, all stemming from the actions of one emotionally damaged human being. An unsettling tale, made all the more so because it has a basis in reality. Good job.

    My entry is here. I went with a different picture, but a similar theme.

    1. Thanks Jake for stopping by.. thanks for feeling the pulse of the write up too.. I’m so very glad! But at the same time, I sincerely hope and pray no one ever goes through something like this!
      Will be off to your place now!

  2. Parul,

    This how I read this. The opening is the prompt (for the 100-word pieceA), which you used as dialogue for a policeman giving info to the press.

    Then, after speaking to them, he turned away, walking toward the scene of the crime. As he did, he noticed the tiny trampled bit of life–the mushroom. Also, at this moment he remembered that his daughter, Hayley, had pointed out the place to him recently, because she liked it. He with his family had just been transferred to this place recently because of his work.

    Am I all wrong? He didn’t seem to be the killer but the law. I think it’s promising. It’s good, just needs a bit of tweaking!


    1. Yes Maria, that’s exactly the story.. I know it can be written better.. Just that I’m not so good with writing good and crisp together yet.. An art I’m still learning I guess.. 🙂
      I’d love to learn a little from you too.. If you could please elaborate what could be tweaked here… Thanks!

      1. Parul, I think we need more from the last paragraph:

        He was transferred here recently. His family was settling in, especially Hayley. She liked this place. For him, it was death in double dimensions – real horror, and the death of childhood innocence.


        But this would put it over the number of words.


      2. Thanks Maria… I agree with you on that..
        If I had the liberty of adding more words to it, I could have done a better job…
        But that’s no excuse I guess… I should have tried to do better in that word limit range too… It was doable… I just didn’t try hard enough I guess!
        Thanks for the patience for explaining!


  3. The story left me with a sense of sadness more than if the officer was just reporting an event. I saw what Maria saw, except that Haley had only yesterday brought him to see that mushroom, which meant she was in that village (and by extension so was his wife) when the killing happened and the officer was on duty at the time. If that is what you meant, it would add clarity if you’d change the last sentence to say: “Haley had liked this place.”

    I thought it was a good scene with a lot of story packed into a few words.

    1. Thanks Madison.
      I debated about liked and had liked too while writing this. Then I thought I would leave it as “liked” indicating that the officer was still coming to terms with everything… it could also be read as “maybe Haley is safe somewhere”? I dunno… guess it didn’t quite do the trick… hmm..

  4. This is good writing. There’s a lot of emotion simmering beneath the words. I like the title. My take is that as an office of the law, he’s torn between justice and revenge.

    Hayley liked this place is a terrific endline.

    1. Thanks Mig… I used to write big and twisted originally.. then I thought it was more challenging to write short and simple… now that I am used to that, I feel big and twisted play of words is tougher! I dunno, I oscillate like that all the time…
      But glad you appreciate this style of writing…
      Am over to your place now!

      1. I don’t know that it matters to the reader that he was transferred recently (for the 100 word version) and –if Hayley was one of those that died–the verb like tames down the horror you achieved.

Would love to hear what you have to say about this! :)

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