THE ACTIVIST

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. So well done…what a conundrum…….a real question causing much thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great twist at the end, and the unanswered question of what he did

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A masterful misdirection. Thought-provoking point. Well done, Dad or Mom

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Eugenia 🙂

      Like

  4. Brilliant piece of misdirection. Which left questions open as to the protagonist

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Iain

    Questions. So many questions. Nicely done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What an interesting piece. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 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.

    Like

  8. Really feel for the parent in this one. Great write.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 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

    1. Thanks Dale, much appreciated 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Nicely done. Interesting that you are so close to where today’s headlines are coming from…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So close, but of course all fenced off so can’t really see anything behind the closed doors!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Ah, the question for so much of what we do. But is nobody prioritises long-term good, we’ll get to see the alternative all too soon

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There certainly have to be sacrifices. Thank you.

      Like

  12. That’s pretty close to your workplace, Iain.
    Wonderfully incorporated the COP26 theme in your story.
    Very relevant.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. 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

    1. Thanks Brenda. A lot of talk and announcements so far, but we won’t know if it’s a success for years to come.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. A wonderful story that invites your readers to engage in the story. Nicely done, Iain.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re welcome, Iain.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. 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

    1. Thanks Penny, I’m glad you saw the full meaning of the story, I wasn’t sure everyone would make the connection. Much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. 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

  17. A great little tale with a timely nod to events happening on your doorstep.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. 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

    1. Very true, much like the UN conference, we won’t know if it’s worth it until we see how the next few decades go!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Well written. I agree that we should sort out our priorities, but there are others way – breaking the law willy-nilly leads to anarchy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True Liz, but at what point do we reach that last resort?

      Like

  20. Now, I really want to know what he or she did! Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Patricia 🙂

      Like

  21. win or lose, i think it’s all worth the sacrifice.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Iain,
    I imagine it must add an extra poignancy that it’s happening in your neck of the woods.
    pax,
    dora

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Let’s hope the parent’s sacrifice was enough to balance out the folly of her/his generation.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Oooo fascinating last line. I think, given her sweet innocent play it might have been worth it. Clever tale.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Eerie Iain. Hopefully, improvements to come.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Sounds like he/she maybe went a bit too far, but I really hope it was worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Questions, questions, amd then some more! Brilliant misdirection.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. 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

    1. Setting a better example would certainly help convince the rest of the world to clean up their act! Thanks Linda

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Such a gentle and poignant story Iain, you convey such a sense of intimacy and loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Powerful story and also what an honor it must be to be so close. Here’s hoping for real, timely change.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fingers crossed. Thanks Anne.

      Like

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