Microfiction #writephoto: Waving

This is for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt.



I can see him at the end of the tunnel, gesticulating, but he is too far away to hear. Part of me wants to run back, ready to forgive. Perhaps he’s changed his mind. Perhaps he’s in trouble. It’s crazy. I know what’s back there, and the only possible escape is down here, deep inside the dark earth. He told me himself, before he threw his fist at me again for something unimportant I’d forgotten to do.

I hesitate, running over in my mind the countless times I have run from him and his anger, yet knowing that he hates himself for it, says it’s like being stuck down a well and nobody can hear him to help him out. I take a step back to the entrance. He’s waving his arms wildly now. His voice is rising—he’s calling my name!

I make up my mind. I’m going back. I shout too, his name, putting into it that one word all the words I want to say, want him to hear. I scream, but nothing hits my ears, deafened by the screech of death. In the blinding light of the explosion, I see him one last time, his arms waving, in farewell.


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.

36 thoughts on “Microfiction #writephoto: Waving”

  1. I had thought about doing a “light at the end of the tunnel” story. I’m sure this works better than any that I would have come up with – very dark. Hopefully, at the very least, he’ll spend the rest of his life in jail…

      1. So funny, I read the entire thing backwards, as an allegory – He hit her for some little thing and said she’d be better off “underground”, i.e., dead and buried. She is dying of the injuries he’s caused and she wonders if she should forgive him. She looks back at Earth and sees him wailing and calling her name and so she decides to return to the land of the living, but as soon as she makes the decision, she reaches that light at the end of the tunnel and it is too late, she can just see him, saying his goodbyes to her body and in an explosion of light, she is gone. Now that I read it literally, it’s a bit different. I still like it! but the meaning is different – he may be abusive, but he is sacrificing himself for her.

      2. What a romantic vision you had! Mine was rather more mundane. He can see the end coming and something is preventing him taking cover. I don’t know what, but he’s just saying goodbye. Your idea makes me think of Orpheus and Euridice, even if Orpheus doesn’t sacrifice himself.

      1. I think it is a factor of my suspicious mind, or I have seen too many apocalypse type movies, but I like a good anger from the grave scene, if you know what I mean!

    1. Thanks Hugh. I was thinking of a blast too. I imagined he chose not to take cover, to let her have another chance with someone else. A sort of death wish. It looked like a tragedy playing out to me.

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