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Short Story: Standing on an Empty Street Without Direction

Lena breathed in the chilly night air. 


It was the hour of the morning when the previous night's mistakes lingered but hadn’t taken root into full-blown regrets.
She looked up the street.
Then down the street
Then back to me sitting on the stoop, head in hands, fighting off the oncoming hangover.
“Where should I go?” she asked.
“I don’t think it matters,” I responded, which was code for I don’t care.
She shivered.
A theatrical shake to elicit a warming response from me. I continued watching the middle distance unmoving.
“I guess this is goodbye again.”
“I guess.”
“So no advice or here’s where to start?”
I sat thinking, wanting the entire exchange to be over. Eventually digging out wisdom I once read in a book; “Crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end.”

An exactly 144 word story in response to Merril’s prompt at dVerse incorporating the line “Crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end.”


Copyright © 2021 TJS Sherman All rights reserved.

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29 thoughts on “Short Story: Standing on an Empty Street Without Direction

  1. The first line sets the scene so well. And these words “It was the hour of the morning when the previous night’s mistakes lingered but hadn’t taken root into full-blown regrets. ” — powerful indeed. Not a happy ending for either one here, that’s for sure. Well written and good use of the line.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent line:
    “It was the hour of the morning when the previous night’s mistakes lingered but hadn’t taken root into full-blown regrets.”
    Of course I have to wonder about the “again.”
    Good foundation for a larger story.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for the prompt. When I was thinking about something with no beginning or end, and I thought about those dark wide open city streets that go on forever in either direction for my inspiration.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I like the way you dealt with the “previous night’s regrets”. Dark city streets seem always to carry the shadows of misadventures of the past.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This has a noirish atmosphere, the dark streets and the femme fatale. Sometimes people look for answers from other people which they can only find within themselves!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can only echo the praise of the second sentence. It’s perfect for setting up the whole scene. Love the noir feeling.

    The “again” made me curious about the rest of the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I too like the way you described that transitional moment between mistake and regret. The dialogue really works well to tell the story….and a bit resonating for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

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