Pick A Spot


Gabrielle Hart straightened her back, squared her shoulders and picked a spot on the horizon to stare at. She was going to ignore everything around her, choosing instead to focus solely on that one orange sphere bobbing out at sea.

It didn’t matter how many beer cans were thrown her way, or how many tourists pawed at her uniform while pulling themselves into appropriate photo poses, she was going to give all her attention to that orange dot bobbing away out at sea.

In reality it was all she could do. It wasn’t as if her gun was actually loaded.



I saw this prompt a few days ago and since then I’ve been trying to work out what on earth I could write for it. I’ve seen some fantastic submissions from other writers but until now I’ve been unable to come up with anything at all.

At exactly one hundred words, I’m rather pleased with this attempt.


    1. There would be an unfortunate chance of blood splatter though, and I doubt she want want to stain her uniform. Thank you for reading and I’m glad that you enjoyed it.
      I loved your piece ‘The Key to The Past’, especially since it was inspired by a piece of Gaudi architecture, it gave me a whole new appreciation for his work.

  1. Nice use of the prompt. Glad a story came to you in the end. Sometimes they’re like that, stories, unhelpful, coy or fractious. It’s nice when they come around at last and slip into your head.

    If the gun’s not loaded – and everyone knows – then I can understand people might be disrespectful … but I’m reliably informed the gun in the photo is loaded. The daughter of a friend has stood guard duty at Stockholm’s palace!

    1. There was an inch at the back of my mind telling me that the gun probably was loaded in all reality, something my sister may have told me when I was only half listening and she was discussing cadets.
      However, for the sake of this story I’m going to assume that she may in all reality be a heritage worker, dressed up to enrich the educational experience of tourists. :p

  2. You did a great job with all the various thoughts and concerns – and the fact/point of her concentration. Took me to thinking about what the person might go through prior to starting the job – like learning how to meditate, anger management, and shooting blanks. Good piece. I really liked it. Randy

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read it and those ideas could be the start of other lovely little pieces of flash fiction.
      If you have time I would love to hear your opinion of some of my others works. I’m currently mulling over pulling together a collection of poetry and flashfiction to self-publish and getting feedback on my writing so far is simply wonderful. Even more so when it comes from people who’s work I have enjoyed reading.

    1. Is it bad that I’m always tempted to poke guards in the ribs? It is just not natural to stand that still! I don’t have that focus! I need to move and do many, many things at once!

      1. Yes, it’s very hard to stand still, Carol. I actually was a dancer in the corps de ballet once. Let me tell you, they do the all the hard work, not the prima ballerina! It’s very hard to keep still; your body starts to hurt!

  3. I really loved this piece! Where did you find the prompt? I’ve been looking for a good one – especially in the visual vein, but haven’t come across anything that appeals to me.

    1. http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/

      There is the link for the blog where the prompt is hosted. The prompts are fairly regular and there a rather good bank of prompts from previous weeks so best of luck finding something that sparks your inspiration.

      Thank you for the comment, I adore it when people let me know that they have enjoyed my work. Feel free to browse my blog if you have time. 😀

    1. Thank you. It took me a while to work out what I was going to write and now I have loads of ideas for secondary pieces that could follow up to this.
      Inspiration is a bit of an annoying whatsanabob at times.

  4. If we had to take the photo literally, there wouldn’t be many stories each week! 🙂 Seems you might do this if you were on guard duty that long and without moving. Even if the gun is loaded, I hope she wouldn’t decide to use it on the annoying tourists!


    1. I’m a little unsure if you are reprimanding me in the first sentence of that comment, but anyway-
      I’m thinking of writing a few more flash fiction pieces with this photo, carrying on from what I’ve already written perhaps. Maybe have a collection of ‘possible outcomes’ for different scenarios.

      1. Not at all. Quite the contrary. Don’t worry about taking the picture literally if you don’t want to or even anything in it. We have lots of stories that would be truly horrifying if real. :-). Sorry for being unclear.


            1. I seem to be drinking mine by the gallon recently. I have set myself so many writing targets, one of those being to have a collection of poetry ready for publication on the 1st of July! There are just not enough hours in the day!

    1. Someone else mentioned this. 🙂
      I like to think that perhaps my character is simply a heritage worker hoping to enrich the experience of tourists by pretending to be a traditional guard.

        1. I do not envy you, I would never be able to stand still for that long. I have to move and chatter on. I enjoy getting to know new people far too much to spend the day/night standing guard.

                1. Still requires research I’ve noticed. I think Terry Pratchet said that you could write in flying pigs, but only if you made sure that the locals in areas of dense, airborne pig population carry very stout umbrellas.
                  Things still have to make sense and to do that you often have to know how things work. Luckily I have books on most topics and for those topics I don’t have books on (how to fire a crossbow ect.) I have the internet.

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