She mixed a dark grey for the door and painted that first, open now. For inside the room she chose the bright red that emanated from the light above the window in which she had been told to sit. In a shaft of street light she included a shadow of the bed frame. She didn’t paint the padlock that had held the door closed.

Something was missing from the grey. She mixed some blue, a streak of it across the door. Her last view of it had been of the blue flashing light, as she climbed into the car, free.

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Voice-Team
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Voice-Team (@voice-team)
5 months ago

This is the absolute essence of the 100-word story – so much said and implied in so few words. Most of us readers had to read it several times to completely grasp the back story, and then it stayed with us forever. An unforgettable read.

Juma
Juma (@juma)
6 months ago

I love this story, Susan. You suggest so much, while saying very little. This is a superb example of micro fiction. The reader actively participates, filling in the blanks, imagining back stories. Bravo!

Linda Rock
Linda Rock (@linda-rock)
6 months ago

Painted in colour, through the eyes of a victim, your story draws us into the dark world of trafficking. Every stroke of the brush telling a story. Captured sensitively in just 100 words.

Juma
Juma (@juma)
6 months ago
Reply to  Linda Rock

I had no idea of what this story was really about, Susan, until I read Linda’s comment. I thought an abused wife had gotten rid of her husband, and was taken to the police station. I did wonder why they told her to sit in the window. Now I see. This is a powerful, very well-written story, one of your best.

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
6 months ago

I love this Susan, so much emotion conveyed in both a simple and complex way. I felt quite emotional by the end.

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe (@eric-radcliffe)
6 months ago

Susan, like Juma, I didn’t see it at first, and that is why we should take the time to read each other’s comments. Only then do we get a wider view of the story written. Full marks to you for writing this in a way that makes the reader think.

Fuji
Fuji (@fuji)
6 months ago
Reply to  Susan Dawson

Oh no, Susan. I think your story is perfect just as it is. More words would make it less perfect, I think. I too did not understand at first, but that made me want to read it again and again. I treasure stories that leave it to the reader to imagine, create backstories and read again. This is one of the best 100 word stories I’ve read. A dark subject treated with compassion and a delicate understatement. So much more effective than a heavier hand would have been.

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Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof (@christer-norrlof)
6 months ago

One of the attractions with these extremely short stories is that you easily can go back and quickly read them again and again. When they are as well written as yours, they are so concentrated that it takes several readings and some patience to get into them. I loved it the way your story invites the reader to take that extra time and effort. It pays off.

Julie Harris
Julie Harris (@julie-harris)
5 months ago

Hello Susan –

I was impressed by the way you obviously really studied the picture prompt, as if it could tell you its story. You picked up on the colors, the darkness, the various layers of meaning, and wrote a truly memorable tiny gem. I enjoyed reading all the comments from other members, which helped make the story even more meaningful. Great writing.

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
5 months ago

Many congratulations Susan. A truly inspired story.

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Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof (@christer-norrlof)
5 months ago

Congratulations, Susan. You did a great job with this very focused story, where a lot is left unsaid, for the reader to figure out.

Julie Harris
Julie Harris (@julie-harris)
5 months ago

Congratulations, Susan, on a well-deserved win!?

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe (@eric-radcliffe)
5 months ago

Well done Susan, you must be feeling very proud Susan, well done again ?.

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Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse (@marianna-pieterse)
5 months ago

Congratulations, Susan! You have said so much in this short story. Well done.

Linda Rock
Linda Rock (@linda-rock)
5 months ago

You set the bar right at the start of the competition Susan. Congratulations on your win, very well deserved.

Daisy Blacklock
Daisy Blacklock (@daisy-blacklock)
4 months ago

Congratulations on your win. Your story is brilliant. I especially loved how you ended it. The final word ‘free’ gives it a beautiful ending.

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Daisy Blacklock
Daisy Blacklock (@daisy-blacklock)
4 months ago
Reply to  Susan Dawson

Indeed, well done again.

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