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Writers wrote along the fence line this week, seeking repairs or reasons to fill their stories.
The following are based on the July 12, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a broken fence.
PART I (10-minute read)
Write On Buckaroo Nation by D. Avery
“Kid, why’re you sketchin’? That was last week.”
“Thought I’d sketch the Ranch. For perspective. Look, not a fence in sight.”
“I see it that way too Kid. Free range.”
“That’s right, free range! Where ever the prompts lead! No boundaries!”
“While I appreciate your unbridled enthusiasm Kid, there’re always boundaries.”
“What d’ya mean, Aussie?”
“You’re free to range about, explore and express yourself, but within the bounds of societal norms.”
“Oh. Maybe we oughtta fence out the new normal.”
“No Kid, let’s see what comes and goes as we all range freely.”
“Good ideas Aussie! Good ideas.”
I Threw a Shoe by Liz Husebye Hartmann
She sits on the highway’s gravel shoulder, rubbing her sore, unshod feet. The sun presses hard on her head and shoulders.
She roots through her backpack, amazed at all the crap picked up on her journey, and pushes it away, disgusted; had she truly traveled so far without a sip of water on hand?
She waves to her children, galloping down the same road she’d traveled all her life. Colleagues also pass, clomping by in their own heavy shoes.
She rises, scenting sustenance in free-flowing water and her real tribe, just through that busted gate and across the meadow.
The Wood’s Wet and Rough by Papershots
A wooden fence. The end of the path? The wood’s rough and wet. The fence’s small, no, hold on, it’s broken. There’s a plaque – cold, steel – then the hand drops. Go back. It says something. Not in your language, though. And friends have always been teasing for trying. For what? “It’s not like you can read “our” books!” Did they shake their heads? Skeptics do that.
E… n..t.. r…a.nce – s.. i.. gn… – f..or.. – e..qu.. i..n.e… – f.. a ..c..ili.ti. es..
There’s more. Will it explain why it’s broken?
S..t..a..bles – f…a..rms –
The mind gets there before the hand.
Frayed by Sherri Matthews
Exhaustion seeps through me like melting lead. I feel older than my years, stretched too thin like frayed rope. Tie another knot. Maybe it will hold a little longer. Or maybe it will slip and come undone. There is no more space to fill with let-me-help-you. I wander, aimlessly, from one broken fence to another, and my helplessness mocks me in the scrape of splintered wood against my skin. Bleed, then. Stick me again, and again I will bleed. Then I will cuss and rage and come to life, and I will wield my hammer and nails and rebuild.
Resilience by Anurag Bakhshi
Charli fell on her knees with her head held in her hands and let out a loud, piercing wail.
The fence was broken, and so were all her dreams, hopes, and aspirations. All the horses bolted….not a single one left.
All her hard work…all that waiting…it had all been for nothing. Her life was over…for good.
But then, she took a deep breath and shook her head violently.
No, she would not allow despair to overpower her spirit. She would find another ranch, and prove to everyone that there was no rustler better than her.
Flash Fiction by David Wesley Woolverton
He should have been a writer or a con artist. He should never have been both. Being both meant spending too much time in fantasy, losing ground in reality. Now the consequences were beginning to show.
“I don’t have a sister. Wait, I do.”
The fence that should separate lies from the truth was breaking down.
“Or maybe she was a cousin. How many of those did I say I had?”
He mentally flipped through the reference book of his characters, then realized that was the wrong place and tried a family album, then realized the album was forged.
Flash Fiction by M J Mallon @ Kyrosmagica
The stony-faced agents sat together in neat chairs, tables locked, faces fixed with false smiles.
As I approached, I imagined an insurmountable stone fence, groaning under the weight of their nervousness and my self-doubt.
My eyes locked on my chosen agent. She gestured to me to come over. I feared nothing could save me but as I spoke the stones tumbled down leaving me with an open gateway, an opportunity to shine.
I grabbed my pitch and went for it, galloping over my doubts. The fence of agents lay in tatters, but my idea was met with cheers.
Good Neighbor by Sarah Whiley
What miscreant has been here? I wondered, inspecting the damage to the fence.
I was not at all, properly attired, and looked about, seeing if there was anyone who could assist.
Nope. It was just me.
I considered my freshly polished shoes, crisply starched white pants, and my lace detailed silk shirt, and huffed.
I did not need this today, not one bit, I cursed.
Part of me was tempted, to just walk by; pretend I had never seen it. But I couldn’t abandon my responsibilities.
As they say, “Good fences make good neighbours.”
So I got to work.
Broken with Intent by Norah Colvin
The fence was too high to jump or even see over, no footholds to climb, and palings too close to squeeze or even peer through. It hugged the soil too compacted to dig. It seemed impenetrable, and so intrigued. He stacked boxes for makeshift steps—not high enough. Finally, he hatched a plan—balloons! He blew them big and tied them tight, attached some string, and waited. And waited. Then a gust of wind lifted him high, over the fence, where another, just like him, smiled and said, “Should’ve used the gate; latch is broken—always open to friends.”
Reckon You’re My Neighbor by Chelsea Owens
Windstorms were frequent visitors to the valley; at least, they had been as long as Beck’s and Kirk’s families remembered. The only thing more frequent than wind, in fact, was their petty neighbor disputes:
Kirk called the police on Beck for some fireworks.
Beck’s wife blamed Kirk’s kids for broken gate slats.
And everyone said Kirk’s dog was just plain yappy.
But the day after the panel blew down between their yards, Beck showed up, right at Kirk’s door. “Reckon you could use a hand with that there rotten post,” was all he said.
And they got to work.
We Survived by Patrick O’Connor
The wind howled.
Rain came down almost sideways.
Lightning came closer by the minute.
Day became night.
We left to find shelter in our storm cellar. Tornado sirens had been going off for several minutes.
Suddenly, the sirens stopped; but we could hear the wind whipping all around. The pressure change made our ears pop.
Finally, the winds subsided. We waited a few more minutes and then cautiously came out of our hideaway.
Looking around at the devastation, we were happy to be alive.
But – all that was left of our house was a sad, broken fence.
After the Storm by Saifun Hassam
Diamante and the villagers were stunned at the destruction along the beach. Logs from miles of broken fence were strewn along the sandy cliffs and dunes. The wood piers and fences, strong and sturdy in years past, were no match for the stormy winds of last night.
Inland, the terraced fields of barley and wheat had been flattened. Somehow, the living fences of hedgerows and cedar and pine groves had weathered the storm and sheltered the olive and peach trees.
Diamante prayed at the ancient temple, amid the broken pillars and urns and uprooted plants, for courage to rebuild.
“Perfection” by katimac
She sits cross-legged on the tumbledown wall in the overgrown lot waiting for the sunrise. The lot is surrounded by a picket fence, grown gray with age. She’s watched the sun beam through the one missing picket to the east as it’s crept across the lot, closer and closer to where she’s currently perched, like an elf on a shelf.
Today’s the day sunlight reaches it. No time until it shows in her missing slat. She adjusts her butt on the wall and raises her camera to her eye. The blaze ignites in her lens and her eye. Perfection.
Hidden Garden by Kerry E.B. Black
Erin swung the two loose boards of the fencing and scampered beneath, heedless of the dirt grinding into her knees and palms. She shouldn’t enter this yard any more than an errant Peter Rabbit should raid Mr. MacGregor’s garden, but something about the forbidden draws the adventurous spirit. Once she discovered the accessibility of the fence and that it was just her size, she couldn’t resist.
She hunkered beneath a hydrangea to take in the scene. The old lady’s yard outdid any park Erin had ever seen, with fragrant swaths of flowers surrounding bizarre statues. Why did she hide it away?
Broken Fence by Frank Hubney
The Fredericks bought Adkins Estate with farmhouse, barn, and sheds. The farm maintained itself from land rentals to local farmers. There was also a notorious fence separating it from ancient Indian burial grounds.
That’s why they bought it. They planned to rent rooms to people wanting to spend the night in a haunted house.
They repaired the buildings but broke the fence to make it look spookier. They called their website “Visit Fredericks’ Freaky Ghost House.”
Many rented rooms and left five-star reviews until it became known that after changes to the fence, the ghosts no longer felt welcome.
Broken Fence: by The Dark Netizen
The fence to her house lay broken. The petulant old woman looked out from the window.
The townsfolk always thought that the house was haunted. They absolutely believed that the old woman was a witch who knew all kinds of sorcery. She welcomed their superstition. She loved her peace and knew that fear kept all the annoying people away from her property. At least, it had managed to until today. Today, some teenagers had broken her fence, trying to show-off.
She removed her pen and wrote their names in her black book. Stupid teenagers.
Her fearful legend would expand, tonight…
In-Between by Wallie and Friend
The fence had stood between them since they were children. When she was little, Emmy peeked between the slats. She made up stories about the secretive boy-next-door. She decided he was magic.
In her teens, Emmy was still making up stories. Joey wasn’t a fairy or an elf anymore. He was an idiot. The nights they spent fighting over the telephone only to make up the next day, leaning over the fence.
When she came home from college, the fence was broken. Mom told her it was the storm. Seeing Joey waiting for her, Emmy couldn’t have agreed more.
The Yellow Flower by Susan Sleggs
I was a reservist in Iraq, where everything inside and out of our barbed wire compound was sand colored, including the hazy air. One morning there was an unfamiliar excited buzz in the conversations. The words flower and yellow were prevalent. I listened for details. During the day I made it to the south side of the compound, where outside the fence, sprouting out of a pile of leftover razor sharp wire was a sorry excuse for vegetation. The weed wasn’t even green, but it had the most beautiful yellow flower on top. Hope growing out of the dust.
The Short Way by Eric Pone
Suzie and Sue made their way along the fence perimeter owned by the Jamison Cartel in Columbia. Suzie was intent in her search.
“What are you looking for?” Sue in a whispered voice.
“There is always a broken section in a fence. And its always out of the way. Be patient love.”
Around the bend, they found the break. A broken section of fence with paint long since withered. Suzie thumb her comm.
“Found a break target acquisition in one hour.” She said.
“Roger That! Standing By” came the reply from Ginger playing sniper and their cover 2200 meters away.
Part II (10-minute read)
Broken Fence by Anita Dawes
Late one night after having a skin full, dad drove through Mrs Mack’s front garden.
Breaking the fence was bad enough, but he took out her favourite roses too.
Dad said he was sorry, that he would fix the fence first thing.
Mum brought roses, but there was no answer when she knocked on the door. She left the roses on the step but watched to see if her friend would take them in.
They died where mum left them.
After a week, mum told us that some fences cannot be mended. That she had lost her best friend…
Matter of Time by oneletterup
His hand hurt like hell. She’d broken the skin.
Blood smeared onto the bed as he pulled himself up.
He stumbled out the open back door into the yard.
He lit a cigarette and growled…”I know you’re out here. It’s just a matter of time.”
Moonlight reflected off the chicken wire on the old split rail fence. The entire yard surrounded. And overgrown.
He smiled and spoke…”You Know There’s No Way Out.”
Then he noticed it. Mangled wire. Rotted wood in pieces. An opening.
A broken fence had ruined everything.
She was gone.
The Broken Fence by Rosemary Carlson
Every morning when she took her walk, she passed beside an old, weathered board fence. It didn’t seem to hold anything. No horses, no other livestock, not even a house. Every third or fourth board was missing.
She didn’t know why she came this way. She thought of her family each time she saw that old fence. The family that didn’t want her anymore. The family that was gone that had left her alone. The family that didn’t care now.
Her feelings for them were gone. They’d slipped away like the wind slipped through the gaps in the fence.
Horses Have Greater Value (from Rock Creek) by Charli Mills
“Blast it you duck-billed buffalo!” Cobb lunged at the stock handler.
Despite his injuries, Hickok dodged the charging man better than the bear that tore him up. “It weren’t me,” he said, confronting his angry boss.
“That busted fence didn’t happen on its own accord,” Cobb growled, pointing to the corral empty of horses.
“No Sir, pert sure it didn’t. Found it that way before you showed up. Recon’ Dock rode out after ‘em.”
“Then quit idling and get after that herd!”
Hickok sighed and set out on foot, his left arm hanging as useless at the fence post.
Broken Fences: Realised Dreams by Ritu Bhathal
Many an afternoon, I’d sit there, peering through the gap in our broken fence.
It was like a portal to another world.
I’d see them all laughing, playing together, running around freely.
Oh, to be able to laugh openly with friends.
Laughter was in short supply here since my Daddy died, and that new Father had arrived.
He didn’t want no brats running around the place. It was bad enough I existed.
To escape the prison that our home had become, I’d come and sit here.
For the first time in years, my Mummy seemed happy.
I didn’t complain.
Old Hickson by Bill Engleson
I would’ve come home anyways that summer. There was the job at the mill. This was in the days when a few months work could pay for a full year of edumacation.
So, when mom called and said old Hickson had up and died, I knew there’d be a new layer of remembering.
He was always the old guy next door. On the other side of our fence.
His fence, really.
As a kid, I avoided looking over.
But one year, I was fourteen, I saw the way he looked at me.
The lonely old bugger.
And I knew.
The Fence by Nandini Jain (Dexterous Writer)
Mocked by the people of the village, those stereotypes scoffed her determination by saying,”what can a girl do?”
To express their rage, they break the fence of their house.
Years later, Sitting beside the banyan tree the proud mother used to stare at the broken fence surrounding the house. When asked, “why don’t you mend it?” She replies,” It reminds me of the force and energy my daughter applied to fly above high, accomplish the goals, chase her dreams and these broken wooden planks remind these stereotypical evil minds that a mighty heart and liberal mind can do wonders!
The Seagulls’ Fence by magnoliajem
The falling slat startled the roosting seagulls.
“Whadaya doin’, Tommy? Supposed to be mendin’ fence, not breakin’.”
“Damn gulls don’t belong this far inland.”
“They’s travellers. Sea in the morning. Eat. Home here at night.”
“Yeah? They need-a keep goin’ ‘stead-a shittin’ all over granpaw’s fence.”
“Breakin’ the fence ain’t gonna stop ’em from comin’ here, long as that compost sits there.”
“Why? Y’jus’ said they eat at sea.”
“Oh, they’s always lookin’ for food. Don’t always have a taste for fish.”
“We’ll see ’bout that. They need-a leave.”
With compost moved and covered, gulls left. Fence got mended.
A Gift by Susan Sleggs
“Grandpa, there’s a round green thing growing out back by the broken fence.”
“There is? We better take a look.”
After a slow painful walk, Grandpa said, “I’d say that’s going to be a pumpkin.”
“Can we keep it?”
“Rightly it belongs to the neighbors. It’s their vine coming through the hole.”
“Let’s not tell them.”
“Would that be right?”
“No, but can we wait till it gets big so I can watch it grow?”
“No harm in that.”
A few weeks later they found a note near the big, almost orange pumpkin, “It’s yours. Carve it for Halloween.”
[trade] by Deb Whittam
The call came in at 2am, waking him from a dream featuring babes dousing their bodies with sunscreen.
For five minutes he had listened to the caller, to their heartbreak and woe … then once he had appeased them, he had booked it in.
It was going to cost him more in time and money than it was worth but there wasn’t any alternative.
When you’re a fencing contractor, and a loose paling comes off at Grandma’s house, you answer the call.
He sighed, then rolled over, perhaps he would catch the babes as they jumped into the pool.
Emotional Barricades by JulesPaige
Clark could only imagine how his daughter felt. Mainly because he never asked. Then her thick letter arrived. He’d never had the opportunity to answer her questions before. It was about time he mended those fences with truth, even if it was just from his vantage point. Then he died.
While cleaning out Clark’s paperwork, his third wife found the letters relating memories that she selfishly couldn’t cope with. So, she trashed them.
Years later the wife, in a conversation filled with anger, told the daughter what she did. Thus, creating a new unmendable fence cementing their shaky relationship.
Mend that Fence! by floridaborne
A finger pointed at my middle-aged sister, I yelled out, “I hate you!”
“Why?” She asked.
“All I ever heard from mom was, ‘Jane is so smart. Jane is in the honors society.’ She never loved me!”
“All I ever heard was, ‘Susan is so creative! Why can’t you be creative, too?’ I was never good enough for her!”
We stared at mirrored eyes reflecting the same story. Mom didn’t believe in praise, only correction. I was the first to say, “Let’s mend this fence!”
We became sisters that day, choosing our mother’s nursing home a few months later.
Grandpa’s Fence by Teresa Grabs
It was just an old wooden fence out back on my Grandpa’s property. Nothing to look at, nothing special. Every summer we took a bucket of whitewash out there and painted the fence. Time passed, and when I was thirteen, I refused to go visit. Hadn’t spoken to him in fifteen years. Not until the day Grandma died. I wasn’t invited to the funeral. It hurt, but I knew why. I left the family. I drove all night to get there on time. When he came home, I had the bucket of whitewash ready to mend our broken fence.
Family Rift by Di @ pensitivity101
The Gap was like a hole in a fence, patched but forever failing.
‘The strength is in the surrounding support,’ the experts said.
Support indeed, carrying, lifting, holding, protecting, but still, The Gap remained.
In desperation, the family closed ranks, thinking erroneously they were helping by providing shelter and respite.
Their unity failed too as the recipient felt trapped, claustrophobic, judged, restricted and stifled, rebelling in anger, spite and bitterness.
So it was agreed to leave The Gap alone, maintain the remainder and leave the open wound to heal or fester. Time would tell and they would be waiting.
Broken Fence by Lady Lee Manila
This used to be our garden
We ran, spun and had fun
The old oak tree by the fence
Now the fence is broken and shun
We were brash and made lots of pretense
Quite rambunctious, please no offense
Running till we were all breathless
Between all of us, we had sixpence
The gate used to creak, no fuss
Playing hide and seek with us
Outside until we were tanned
The world was vast, was bonus
This used to be our dreamland
Played everywhere and the sand
We grew up fast, world expand
This was our fence, always grand
Crossover by Reena Saxena
Jamie Patel had just recovered from a stroke, but was asking for all forbidden foods since morning.
“Let’s celebrate, kids! I guess I survived to only see this day.”
His daughter-in-law faced redundancy in the office, and did not take kindly to his remark. He continued at a high pitch, sensing her mood,
“Check your portfolio. You can bid goodbye to that job of yours. Nifty has crossed the psychological barrier of 10000 today. The only way goes up.”
Jamie was the oldest broker of Dalal Street, and had seen humble beginnings. He had reached the summer of 2017.
Balancing the Butts by Geoff Le Pard
‘What are you doing, Morgan?’
‘Mending a fence.’
‘Who have you annoyed now?’
‘That’s a stupid expression, Logan. How does ‘mending a fence’ resolve a dispute? If you mend a fence, aren’t you just re-erecting some barrier?’
‘What if the fence is keeping something important in or dangerous out? Mending it would restore the balance.’
‘You know, the only reason you’d ever mend the bloody fence is to sit on it.’
‘There are times when you’re like a fence, Morgan.’
‘If I spend much time with either of you, you both become a pain in the butt.’
Strong and Stable by Anne Goodwin
Some party! Guests hurled abuse across a bifurcating fence. But Theresa would get them dancing and use the wooden panels to erect a different fence. Strong and stable to keep the rabble out.
Sipping champagne, she waited for the guest of honour at the porticoed door. Behind her, the factions hollered, whacking each other with bits of broken fence. Theresa’s smile was equally wooden. Just high spirits, she’d tell the POTUS, when he finally arrived. Where was he?
She turned, flinching at the wreckage as Boris shook Donald’s hand. He’d certainly made an entrance, bulldozed through her precious fence.
A Fence by kate @ aroused
Many build fences to keep others out … boundaries that shouldn’t be crossed.
Others build fences to keep loved ones and livestock in, wandering off considered a sin
Fences are constructed of various materials, some attractive others more practical but their purpose is clear to all. Demarcation their vocational call.
Gates can be kept tightly locked, under guard or opened to those of like mind.
But don’t be fooled by those gates coz some are real unkind!
Some mend fences while others are keen to tear them down.
What are your fences for … solicit smiles or a frown?
Something There Is That Doesn’t Love a Wall by D. Avery
“En guarde, Pal!”
“Put that dang thing away Kid.”
“Foiled again. But Shorty says we’re to fence.”
“We’re ta mend fences Kid.”
“Oh. Didn’t know we had a problem Pal.”
“We’re fixin’ fences ‘round the Ranch.”
“What’s that fence there do, keep the garden from strayin’?”
“Keeps critters out.”
“What about that fence? That keep critters out?”
“No, that one keeps the cattle in, keeps ‘em from strayin’.”
“Oh. Like if they reckon they’s greener pastures on the other side a the fence.”
“Seems like they’s two sides, in and out.”
“Seems like that could give offense.”