200 word microfiction: On the edge

This one is for Sacha Black’s challenge. To enter, have a look here to read the rules and the other entries.


I sit on the edge of this cliff, my heels scuffing the white dusty stone, and I watch the night fall. Not that it does, fall, it just is. Always. Whenever I sit here and watch, it’s nightfall. The stars glitter unhelpfully, and I wish they would do something more distracting, like fall. The Aurora Borealis would be pretty. But that’s just in stories. No colour twitters here to take my mind off the dust. My boots chunk against the rock, scuffing my heels, and the stars say nothing.

Below, the dust is deeper. Like snow and just as cold. But too far away to be real. Like the sea that left so long ago nobody remembers. It seeped into the dust and makes waves now inside the cold rock. So they say, but I’ve never heard it. The only sound here is the stars, and they’re silent. Sometimes I think I hear them singing, but it’s only the mice. They scuttle through the dust, taunting me with their rattling.

You took it all away when you went, the colours in the sky, the sea, grass swaying beneath my hand. This is all you left. Dead rocks and silent night.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

24 thoughts on “200 word microfiction: On the edge”

      1. I woke up during the night with a horrible sinus headache. Kindred spirits. 🙂 Hope you’re feeling better, but your thoughts rattled and marched into place.

  1. Hope you feel better soon and the migraine shifts. I feel for you ❤

    So for like one split second, I actually thought you might have written a happy ending!!!! What was I thinking lol.

    This is so ethereally beautiful. Your powers of description blow my mind. I just wish I could describe things the way you do, they are delicate like a ballerina, and I am more like the builder with his hairy arse hanging out.


    1. Thanks Sacha 🙂 Glad you liked this piece. I honestly don’t know how much credit I can take for it. I’m convinced that the migraine does something to the way the words connect up. I know it buggers up my thought processes so I just let the phrases and images sort themselves out. It’s probably all about neurons and enzymes.

      Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2016 11:45:14 +0000 To: jane.dougherty@dbmail.com

  2. Absolutely beautiful. Of course. What else would it be? It’s a Jane Dougherty piece. Hope your head has stopped hurting. The pain is payment for the beautiful thoughts which come out of your mind and manifest on paper.

      1. …who he is.
        The Catcher in the Rye. A classic.
        It reminded me of your cliffs.

        “I thought it was ‘If a body catch a body,'” I said. “Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around – nobody big, I mean – except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff – I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be. I know it’s crazy.”

        He’s symbolically stopping the kids from growing up and entering adulthood.

      2. Salinger. Got you. I’m so literal 🙂 I read Catcher in the Rye when I was about 14 or 15 and liked it then, but remember nothing about it. It hasn’t weathered well with me.

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