They sat finishing their beers as the sun dipped behind the tenements.

‘See you in the mornin’,’ said Malky.

‘See you,’ replied Frank.

They would be up before the sun, dragging themselves back down the pit for another shift.

A metal bin clattered. Angry voices came from a top floor window. That would be McPeters and his missus having another domestic.

Frank stood. He felt the dirty soot on his skin and in his lungs. He dreamed of clean air and blue skies, sand and sea and space.

He pulled his cap down, hunched his shoulders, and set off home along the oppressive street.

Copyright Jan Wayne Fields

Written for Friday Fictioneers 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 stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.


My new novel, ‘State Of War’, the final part of The State Trilogy, is out now, in paperback and available to pre-order in eBook.

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89 responses to “WHEREVER I LAY MY CAP”

  1. Good to hear he’s still dreaming while getting through the day to day. Hope he gets to the seaside soon. There’s been quite a lot of images of blue skies around the world during lockdown, which have been great. It’s great to catch up again and come in here and see many of the usual faces and some new additions. My research has been all consuming over the last six months but I decided to get back into blogging again as lockdown continues. Wanted to pick up again with my online groups, friends and connections now that I’m shut off from the real world.
    Anyway, I hope you and yours are keeping safe.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 2 people

      • I live just out of Sydney. So, aside from being in New Zealand, I’m in one of the safest places on the planet atm, which is very comforting not that I’m exploiting that. Our lock down largely continues. My husband is working from home, which is great and it doesn’t impact on the rest of us too much. He’s also been doing a lot of projects around the house, which were desperately needed. So, we now have a dig proof back lawn and the grass is green. He won a couple of pallets of floorboards on an auction on Mother’s Day and he’s had to clear the back shed to stash them away while we try to clear out one room at a time. He’s actually looking exhausted. Our kids are doing school from home. Our son started back one day a week yesterday. They have 9 students and one teacher in the classroom. Hand sanitiser in and out. Wipe down the desks. The interesting thing he mentioned to me was how almost eerily quiet it was at school and how he could even hear the train go past. I really appreciated that precious insight into his day. Meanwhile, we kept his younger sister home. Not worth the risk.
        Take care & best wishes,


      • I can appreciate the eerie emptiness as I am still at work, but the office building is largely empty – very strange atmosphere to work in. Australia and New Zealand have done so much better than many. Here in the UK it has been an absolute calamity from day one, a complete shambles that would be farcical if it wasn’t so tragic.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The UK also had an advantage in being an island, but even here in Australia where our island continent is further away, travelers returning home, especially from cruise ships, brought the virus back.
        I’m not sure what made Australia different. We also took quick and decisive action on gun control many years ago after the tragic Port Arthur Massacre, and the US still has their problems and is powerless to change anything. The AIDS epidemic also hit Sydney pretty hard and that’s what comes to mind for me in terms of social distancing. They had some powerful ads and they’ve stuck with me.
        I have been surprised that so many of the world’s super powers have been hit so hard by the virus when Australia and New Zealand have not. I hope world leaders are looking at out example and learning from it, although something tells me they’re not.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Those little daydreams, sometimes of things as simple as blue sky, are what get us through. I like the description of their work area as a “pit.” That says a lot about it right there.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful contrasts in a simple tale. What a life that must have been, all day down in the dark and oppressive blackness. I can really imagine them just enjoying that cigarette enjoying the last of the day’s sun.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Terrifically well written Iain, it certainly reminded me of how the daily slog when I worked in factories for a while. I knew I was getting out but there were many destined to do the same drudge for the rest of their lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Vivid imageries, Iain. Despite life’s skull-drudgeries there is hope amidst hope. Maybe in the form of a memory or a dream.

    Wonderful take on the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Iain. This piece of writing makes me think of the hardships my paternal grandfather must have gone through a hundred years ago. He worked on the coal mines in Staffordshire, England, from when he was fourteen years old. He died in his sixties of lung cancer. I never knew him.

    Liked by 1 person

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