The contrast of the plain below was stark. Beyond the edge of the forest, across the boundary to the other country, there lay only barren, empty land. Parched and dry it would provide for no man.

The drums of war beat on. He can hear them getting louder behind him. The choice is clear, the answer uncertain.

Stay and fight for his place in the land of his birth, where, if circumstances fall in his favour he may rise to become something more, or flee to the land of his ancestors, where the struggle would be not for greatness but to simply survive.

The drums of war beat louder. Not a war of bullets and bombs, a war of rhetoric and spite. A war for the very heart and soul of humanity and the country. Will anyone rise up and save her, that country that promised so much?

Thomas Jefferson looked back at the America he had helped create. That spirit he remembered, now gone. That land of opportunity. An opportunity to mean something more to the people of the world. A symbol of hope.

He had not been born in the United States Of America, he had helped give birth to it from the ashes of the British Colonies.

Now it was to another land he must flee. A place beyond this devastation of lost hope.

He had endured hardship and struggle before, he would do so again. With that, Jefferson made his choice and abandoned the country that no longer welcomed her own children.

‘Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!’

Copyright Sue Vincent

This is a response to the #writephoto Prompt –  Stark curated over at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Click on the link to read other stories inspired by the image.

As a footnote I include the poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, ‘The New Colossus’ by Emma Lazarus.


My new novel ‘A Justified State’ is released this Saturday and is available now to order in Paperback and Kindle versions from Amazon, just follow the appropriate link below to find out more:

US / Amazon.com              UK / Amazon.co.uk          Canada / Amazon.ca

Australia / Amazon.com.au        India / Amazon.in            Germany / Amazon.de

France / Amazon.fr          Spain / Amazon.es            Italy / Amazon.it

Netherlands / Amazon.nl         Japan / Amazon.co.jp       Brazil / Amazon.com.br

Mexico / Amazon.com.mx



33 responses to “A STARK CHOICE”

  1. Congratulations on the publication of you new Novel Ian. It reads beautifully. The inscription on the statue of Liberty is inspiring. (If the US President could be reminded of it, what a better earth it would be)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. How sad, the country who invited all to “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!’
    Now has forgotten that unless they are Native American they are all refugees.
    Great though provoking post. 💜

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Nice and very relevant take on the prompt, Iain. It’s sad that people are no longer welcomed in the land of opportunity. And your new books looks like a page turner. Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Another great story, Iain. It’s sad to see how things have changed and not for the better. Great take on the prompt. The sentiments expressed are shared by many.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, thank you so much, makes me so happy people are willing to part with a little hard earned cash to read something I have written! ♥ I hope you like it, do leave a review on Amazon or let me know what you think once you’ve read it. 🙂 And yes, I wish this was not so true for times today.


  5. And yet, too many of our country’s citizens give up their part in creating and maintaining the dream/promise by failing to get off their asses and vote. I won’t even address the lack of critical thinking…

    Liked by 1 person

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