Her little hands scrawl circles. She places an assortment of toys inside them – Lego, a pencil. a toy truck. She babbles in words that make sense to only her.

She looks up seeking recognition for a job well done. I nod and smile and say that’s lovely. She accepts it and begins the process again.

‘Okay, time’s nearly up, if you want to say your goodbyes.’

I don’t move.

She smiles and gives a tiny wave as she is led out the door. I’ll see her in another month. Was it worth it? To give her a future? To save the planet?

‘Okay. let’s go. Back to your cell.’

Copyright Jennifer Pendergast

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).

The UN Climate Convention – COP26 – is taking place 100 metres away from my workplace at this very moment. Quite bizarrely, President Biden, Prime Minister Boris, Greta Thunberg and Leonardo DiCaprio (along with 120 World Leaders and thousands of activists and demonstrators) are occupying the same little piece of land as I have grown up around, and hopefully making some vital changes to the way we live our lives and treat our planet. We’ll see.

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

62 responses to “THE ACTIVIST”

  1. Poignant. A scenario shared by many parents…
    And on the side, look at you, on stage left from what we hope will slow the descent! Cool…and fingers crossed.


  2. Heartbreaking – we don’t need to know what he did or didn’t do. I like to think that he is being the best parent he can be in his situation. Beautifully done.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A very powerful story, Iain! No wonder your muse took you there. I’m sure it’s been a difficult time getting any work done, and exciting at the same time. Fingers and toes crossed but don’t feel hopeful.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How brave of you to write your story from the mum’s perspective. She’s presumably been imprisoned for her activities as an activist. What sacrifices some people are making to convince the rest of us of the urgency of our climate predicament! To lose so much of your baby’s early months would be a brutally heavy punishment for a mum.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t know what he’d done, to get himself in the cell, in the pursuit of maybe giving her a future (or thinking that he would), but the realities of costs we cannot perceive, and the price our children will have to pay for our folly, excess, stubbroness, and selfishness are … yeah … insanity.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great story Iain. Was it worth it? That depends on what s/he did and where s/he lives. You don’t go to jail in most European countries unless you are really violent. And that’s definitely not worth it. Because it doesn’t accomplish anything. In autocratic countries on the other hand their mere existance has impact…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I wonder how much change there will be when they all board their jets, or their gas-guzzling cars, and go back home to houses that are worth millions (well, maybe not Greta), to chauffeur-driven luxury limos, and all the other trappings of modern politics. It’s hard to believe a word they say when one investigates how they live.

    Liked by 1 person

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