THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT!

Lights flashed, music blared.

‘Julie is thirty-five, works in a shop and has a second job as a waitress. She doesn’t have the time to meet Mr. Right. Will she find him tonight? Let’s start The Tunnel of Love!’ The audience bayed along.

Lights dimmed, tension music.

Julie took two tentative steps along the curved tunnel.

Loud claxon, red lights. The audience laughed.

‘Unlucky, Julie. You’ve been rejected by all the contestants immediately! Join us next time to see if Julie can do better in a fight to the death. It’s The Battle of The Rejects!’

End music. Lights down.


dale-rogerson2
© Dale Rogerson

Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

110 responses to “THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT!”

    1. Surely not long until life and death are the prizes in a quiz show…

      Like

      1. Didn’t one of the ITV companies develop a format where the prize was UK residence for a refugee? They never made the show, but the thinking is there

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Dear me, at least it was stopped before they went ahead with that!

          Like

  1. Haha, bizarre sounding at first but I’m sure I saw a reality TV show just like this a few months ago! Great story Iain 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure it’s not far off the truth. Thanks Jessie 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this on TV!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s there already, apart from adding the battle to the death, which I’m sure someone will add at some point.

      Like

  3. Evil to the core. Bad work Lain in a good way.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s the way we’re heading. Not enough that people are humiliated, now they’ll have to suffer the ultimate to entertain the masses. Good one.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s been suggested before, I’m sure it will appear at some point… Thanks Sandra

      Like

  5. I feel so sad for Julie, but at the same time this isn’t far from the reality of how the world is going. Which is even sadder! Good job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joy, I agree, I’m not sure my story is particularly ‘fictional’, more ‘close to reality’!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Reminds me a bit of Black Mirror. Hyper-reality TV!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, any comparison to Black Mirror is a good thing 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What channel is it on, I need to watch it, not. But I loved your story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Michael – it’s a guaranteed hit show whatever channel decides to make it!

      Like

  8. The cruelty of reality shows… soon it’s policy of nations…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. With more words that was exactly the connection I was going on to make. Thanks Bjorn.

      Like

      1. Ha.. I could sense that… hunger games are coming.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. Reality show …….. great take.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks – too close to reality!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Dear Iain,

    Great take on the prompt and some very cruel, humiliating reality shows. As my cousin Kent would say, five out of five green lights.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rochelle – do I win a prize? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Five green lights. 😉 Perhaps an Emmy.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. My goodness! First the humiliation then possible death? You are in a mood today. Great take on the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Alicia. I’m not sure how it ended up like that, I’m actually reasonable happy today, maybe it’s just the winter blues! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One never knows where the muse will lead us. She did well by you today.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Sucks to be Julie, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I should say Julie is purely fictional and in no way anyone that I know!

      Like

  13. careful, this may be the next lame reality show. Nice story, I feel bad for Julie.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I do too, although you wonder why she went on the show in the first place – unless she was forced to take part… Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Ouch… What a horrid thing to live through… And, sadly, as a reality show will get huge ratings…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a winner, unfortunately Julie is not…

      Liked by 1 person

  15. History repeats itself. Today’s survivor is yesterday’s gladiator. Great post scary, but great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, let’s hope she survives!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Poor Julie! She only did the same thing we all have but in a controlled setting where the results are much more public and subject to entertainment of others. By the way Iain, how is your Amazon experience?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joe, that’s true – the everyday in an exaggerated game show. My Amazon experience has been fine. It relies on you doing it all yourself unless your willing to pay. I won’t lie, I haven’t sold stacks, so can’t quit the day job yet, but as a way to get your writing out there and in print I can’t complain.

      Like

      1. I have and am still weighing options. Thanks for your two cents.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. I hoped reality tv was just a fad…great story, Iain, so true.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree Steve. Unfortunately it seems here to stay. I can remember a time before it dominated tv.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s a harsh way to be rejected. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. This is like a Black Mirror story! Great.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comparison 🙂

      Like

  19. The worst part about this story is that it doesn’t seem entirely like Fiction. Nice job, Lain! Chills.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, it started as fiction and when finished I realised it wasn’t far off the reality! Thanks Dawn

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Nicely built piece, Iain, and I couldn’t escape The Jam ‘Feeding ducks in the park and wishing you were far away’.
    Check out The Running Man, a Stephen King story made into a movie with, I think, Big Arnie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I’ve seen that film, although not read the book. The Hunger Games is also similar, although I was imagining a cheesier British Saturday night style of show The X-rated Factor, if you will… Thanks

      Like

  21. I had a good snicker on this one. It will probably be the lead-in show for The “Dude, Who Stole My Car? ” Show. You should come here to work in TV with us. Nice job, iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the job offer. TV here is heading much the same way, I’m thinking this is a global format 🙂

      Like

  22. Poor Julie — wouldn’t she feel like a loser! Still, you get what you pay for, and she entered the contest.
    We tossed our tv forty-some years ago and this story has convinced me that we did the right thing. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Christine. There are some good things to come from TV, but increasingly less.

      Like

  23. Battle of the Rejects is probably being produced right now for release in the fall. Aargh!!! They won’t need to look far for attention-seeking wannabes…or has-beens. 😧

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There will always be plenty of people seeking their moment of fame. Thanks Jan.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Nice – made me smile at first, then sympathy for poor Julie. Then, she knew what she was getting into…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Or did she… Thanks 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Oh my gosh! Okay that went darker than I expected! Poor thing, rejected so fast, how awful

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a harsh world, especially on television.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. A nicely written view of the cold impersonal world we are becoming. Very creative take on the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, it’s certainly not a particularly nice world we’re becoming, I agree.

      Like

  27. Wow! Great job! Reminds me vaguely of a Doctor Who episode.

    Like

    1. Thanks Sascha, that’s true, could be a good setup to start an episode.

      Like

  28. I’m President Snow and I approve this message.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Like that, but in a cheesier, cheap Saturday night TV way 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  29. ouch! the emcee sounds more like somebody i know trumping with his bad mouth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definite similarities, he has done a bit of entertainment TV 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Wow sounds like some awfully cruel reality TV program. The bacholerette mixed with Roman Empire style entertainment, or the Hunger games. But the Hunger games was pretty much based off Roman mythology and life anyways. Great writing Ian.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mandi, it’s cruel, but at the same time, seems to be the sort of thing people want to watch…!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes sadly you’re right.

        Liked by 1 person

  31. A cross between The Dating Game and The Hunger Games?
    Nahhh…you are too young to remember The Dating Game!
    Great take on the prompt…loved it!
    – Lisa

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s exactly the description I’ll use when I pitch it to the TV networks! Thanks Lisa 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  32. I suppose there are millions of Julies out there who can be tortured and humiliated for our entertainment. We’ve almost made a full circle back to the days of feeding the lions in the Roman Coliseum.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. TV companies sink to lower and lower depths to ‘entertain’! Great reaction to the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Clare, they haven’t sunk this low yet, but it can’t be far off!

      Like

  34. Wow. I felt my heart sink for her at the sound of rejection. In this day and age finding love does feel like a fight to the death. Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s true, and I’m not sure you’ll ever find true love through a TV show, but people seem to want to try it. Thanks for reading and commenting Ashley 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Unfortunately your clever story echoes what some entertainment has descended to these days. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it started as fiction Liz, but is quite close to reality. Thanks for reading.

      Like

  36. Once upon a time I thought films and books like The Hunger Games and Running Man were nice, but unrealistic SF stories. And all of a sudden they become more realistic every day. Great story, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, it’s a grim reality at the moment.

      Like

  37. YIKES … humiliation and humiliation. It’s an interesting twist for the prompt. Just hate the way people subject themselves to be on these tv programs. GOSH … reminded me of the Bachelor – which I never watch and change channels when they have commercials. YIKES … again.
    Isadora 😎

    Like

    1. Yes, unfortunately there are a whole string of programs like this, and seemingly plenty of people willing to put themselves up for humiliation on them. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  38. If anyone from the TV business reads this, he/she is sure to get ideas 😀 Nice take Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m copyrighting the idea now 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  39. Oh my. Poor Julie. Aside from that, you read my mind. The first idea I had for this prompt was the discovery of a place opposite of a forgotten hall of fame. A Hall of Rejection. Spooky!

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Love the dark humour in this story. How long till there are real life-or-death votes on TV?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s only a matter of time. Thanks for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. On a sort-of connected note, have you seen the film Series 7 The Contenders? I think you’d appreciate the very dark comedy

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I have seen that one, I seem to remember it appeared at the start of the whole Big Brother TV show. Definitely could be done for real now, people would watch!

          Liked by 1 person

  41. How horrible! It makes gladiator contests a welcomed spot!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’re heading back to that sort of entertainment surely.

      Liked by 1 person

  42. Reality TV already thrives on humiliation and suffering, it won’t be long before death is included

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Only a matter of time. Thanks Michael.

      Like

  43. It sounds like something that would morph into another version of “The Hunger Games”. Please no! Good writing, Iain. —- Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Schadenfreude at its best (or worst, depending on one’s perspective). Excellent!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, much appreciated

      Liked by 1 person

  45. Chillingly close to the truth – we are getting ever closer to Hunger Games meets Take Me Out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Another great tagline to help me sell my idea to the networks! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll know who to blame when I see the promos!

        Liked by 1 person

  46. That’s a wicked little story!
    Thanks for the like and the follow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Martin. Look forward to reading more of your stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

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