HE WAITED SILENTLY

The way was clear, the route less so.

They could all picture it. The blue skies, the light glinting on the water, the sand between their toes.

And they had been told this was the way, so they followed.

Many were soon lost, or sacrificed, or dismissed. The leaders had no time for weakness or doubt. They pressed on for the promised land, pursuing a distant memory.

No one could reclaim it in the end. It was gone, along with belief. Had it ever existed in the first place? No one could be sure.

On the beach, he waited silently.


Copyright CE Ayr

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.

Also linking to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge for today: Route.


For those who haven’t yet read my trilogy of novels, The State Trilogy is now available on Amazon in one collected volume on Kindle and in paperback. Three books in one (with a modest saving compared to buying them all individually!).

68 responses to “HE WAITED SILENTLY”

  1. Wonderfully atmospheric, Iain. There is something very human about pursuing a goal whose route is unknown

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Neil. We’re very goal orientated as a species.

      Like

  2. I like the casual ‘or sacrificed’.
    Great voice, Iain

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks CE, yep, plenty of expendable followers along the way.

      Like

  3. A distant memory, you have got me thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Michael, glad it got you thinking.

      Like

  4. Your story is symbolic for life itself

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, life summed up. ‘They had been told…’ And the enigmatic ‘he’ waiting on the shore. Great story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for the lovely comment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Much said, Iain.
    We follow a route thinking it’s the only way- because we have been told.
    We wait, but do we get what we had set out for?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Very few reach the promised land. Thanks Anita

      Like

  7. Dear Iain,

    A lot of story in 100 words. I could feel the sand between my toes and dense silence amid the ocean waves.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Rochelle, as always 🙂

      Like

  8. Lovely atmospheric writing. A true explorer at heart…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dale, looking forward to being allowed out to explore again soon!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hear you! Enough already!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Theirs not to make reply,
    Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to do and die

    I remembered those lines while reading this. Nice one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Appropriate lines. Thank you

      Like

  10. Nice prose passage, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I enjoyed this very much Iain. Good take on the prompt today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Di, much appreciated

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome Iain

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I have so many questions! Love the atmosphere in this, bleak but powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, much appreciated 🙂

      Like

  13. Hopefully as he waits on the shore he will think of new path to pursue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure something will spring to mind 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. The promised land., somewhere many of us wonder about. An emotive piece indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Keith, at the moment I would take a trip to the beach as the promised land!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. A tragic feel to this one, reaching toward a goal that never was. The ending was perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I promise you, I wrote mine BEFORE I read yours :). There is the same sense of desolation, You can feel it in the pit of your stomach.

    Like

    1. Must be something in the picture. Thanks Linda

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Absolutely loved this one. And since I’m out of words at the moment, I’ll just leave it at that.🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s all I need to hear 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m wrapped in your blanket of milieu.
    Bravo, Iain. As always, unfolding a vision with your words.
    Be Safe 😷 … Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I like this. It has… hmm… a quality of supernatural existence… existential… oh, hell, I can’t find the word I want today. E-ether… something. Oh, well, I enjoyed reading this today. Something to think about…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Enjoyment is enough. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ethereal… that’s the word. Had to stop thinking about it to find it.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Perhaps the atmosphere will offer new hopes and dreams. Great poetic prose.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. Beach, sea, sunshine – there’s always hope if you can find it.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I bet that none of the leaders was sacrificed or dismissed… Great atmosphere, Ian, and so true.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course not! Thanks Gaby.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. A shame they lost their belief in the end, it was something to hold on to. Though they sounded pretty cold-blooded about their pursuit of that belief.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s fair to say some of the most devoted believers are also some of the most cold-blooded and intolerant of people. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. A poignant, tending to rather grim tale. History shows us many “sheep’ ready to follow some dream — and charismatic visionaries ready to lead, or use, the gullible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it’s an enduring fact of human history. Thanks Christine.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. he could wait forever. it doesn’t matter for someone who believes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Let’s hope he isn’t disappointed in the end.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. This is a great line: “The way was clear, the route less so.” That’s the perfect opening. It takes us right into the contrast between belief and reality.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. A mysterious piece that feels very poetic. Love the words you chose to paint that picture.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Powerful testament to the need for mercy if we are ever going to make *real* progress. I’m with the guy waiting on the beach and with those who progress that way, all of which feels very Zen to me. The whole reflection feels a bit Zen koan to me. In the best way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I could do with a bit more Zen. Thanks Anne

      Liked by 1 person

  28. This is very haunting, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Good story with plenty of atmosphere and suspense.
    Ronda

    Liked by 1 person

  30. A mysterious promise. I wonder if he’ll ever see the promised land?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve got to be honest, I don’t fancy his chances!

      Like

  31. What a fascinating story! It has a spiritual dimension – or, perhaps more accurately, it considers a spiritual quest with a great deal of scepticism. Well written, Iain!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Precisely that Penny, thank you.

      Like

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