It’s sunrise. Cold. She’s still asleep; a child, beaded and with dreadlocks; she’s fashionably trashed but judging from the needle-marks on her forearms the search for veins has been successful.

She’s changed since I left town, since Linda threw me out.

“Bring me along”, out of breath; she had been running, pigtails bouncing, in her best pink dress.
“Can’t sweetie, go back to mom”
“I hate you both”, her eyes dulled, “I hate you”.

Her breath is shallow now; I caress her cheek, So soft, and wonder how I can redeem myself. She opens her eyes, smiling.

It’s sunrise.

I imagined what I didn’t see in the picture, what might be found slightly to the left of the viewfinder, and from that the story progressed. I also wanted to try the stylistic trick of ending my story with the same words I started with, and hopefully the meaning has changed. For me this is an extremely positive story, so I hope you appreciate my effort of writing happy endings.

Friday Fictioneers is a group of people who writes pictures to the same image every week, under the skilled leadership of Rochelle. Some of the best online short fiction writers gather every week to grow their storytelling ability.

May 18, 2016

79 responses to “Sunrise

  1. Dear Björn,

    I agree with Sandra. Your experimentation is paying off. I love the way you stepped outside the box. I think maybe Dad has a second chance, but I suspect it will be challenging. Well done.



  2. I felt the grief of the father in this story. I expected the girl to die, loved that you caught me out with the ending.

  3. This is really lovely Bjorn. So many layers and story in here. I love how she’s still a child to him in the first part, when she is surely a teenager or even early 20s, and then in the middle she is truly a child, and then you realise that she’ll always be his child no matter her age.

  4. Some luscious prose in here, Bjorn. I’ll even forgive the use of “mom”. As an aside, do Swedes use that word or were you simply looking to place the story in the US?

    • In Swedish the proper word would be mamma… and somehow mom seemed right in a dialogue. I have to admit that my knowledge of UK vs US English is limited, but I have lived in the US, and we the English at work is probably closer to the US.

  5. My UCLA screenwriting instructor gave us character descriptions to do for our movies and this is the way they were done. With a little more work, you’ll have a spectacular character here. I can imagine if a plot were thrown on to this character, she’d do interesting things. I’d pursue that course of action if I were you and develop more character. It will be amazing!

    Fantastic work, Bjorn!

  6. This is so beautiful, and very positive, despite the sadness in-between. I can see the teenager, and the child, she really comes alive. And the last sunrise makes me smile.

  7. I think you managed to achieve the difference you aimed for with the repeated line. I am a true pessimist at heart, so I do not see your ending as a happy one, but I do solemnly acknowledge it can become one( I am treating your story as though it is real, because I am sure it is, somewhere out there, right now.). In such short wording, your story carries lots of emotion, it practically overwhelms, and it is what I like most with short pieces.

    • I think that if you write really short you have to make use of the well-known, such as needle-marks, and little pig-tailed girls which is really cliches, but when you put them together it gives a story. If you write longer you have to avoid the same cliches… maybe I’m wrong but at least that is how I write these stories.

      • I can see your point, and it makes sense a lot! I avoid writting shortly because I have a need to over-elaborate, make someone feel something to Death. This is why I extra appreciate both reading your writing, and your advices!

  8. Beautiful story. I’m glad you ended it on a hopeful note, and it’s lovely how her smile is like a sun rising for him.

  9. The repetition works really well here, Björn. It gives the piece a sense of hope, that with the sunrise, so comes redemption and healing. I have a cousin with a heroin addiction, and I think our entire family hopes… sunrise to sunrise. Beautifully done.

  10. Redemption is just around the corner for these two – you can feel it. They’ve been through some sad, tough times – he through divorce, she through her addiction – but together, things might just work out better. You’re quite right about repeating the same phrase beginning and end – it has chagned the sense by the end. It works relly well. Nicely done, Bjorn

  11. I could feel the positive tone in the ending (repeating line). Very rich descriptions in so little words. I could feel the daughter’s pain when daddy left. Well done.

  12. I like the stylistic trick. It’s very effective because of the extra layer of meaning when I read “it’s sunrise” again. One, that she has, in fact, lived to see the sunrise and that it’s a beginning for them, a new day. Wonderful, Bjorn.

  13. This is magnificent. I’m astounded at how much story you fitted into 100 words. Such well-drawn characters and mood as well. Beautiful. You do happy endings brilliantly, Bjorn.

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