SPF: Taking the Highway

Photo (c) John Robinson

Taking the Highway

Words 199

 Lata put away the dinner things and looked over to Tumul, her husband of three decades. As usual, he was blowing smoke rings.

“Why do you insist on smoking?” Lata burst out. “The doctor…”

“I’m not smoking dammit! Can’t you see I am practicing for the smoke rings competition?” He coughed. “This year I will beat that insufferable Ghosh…”

“But at what cost?”

“Death is inevitable.” He lit another cigarette. “May as well do something great before then.”

“Why choose something so destructive? Why not do some charity…?”

“Reserve the lecture for your students.” He snapped. “Go away and leave me alone!”

A smoky heart floated across to her.

“As you wish.” She dragged out a packed suitcase.

He blew another ring that slipped down over her head to encircle her throat.

“I’m sorry Tumul,” her voice cracked, “But I cannot sit and watch you kill yourself…”

“Don’t be a fool Lata.” He rasped. “I’ll stop once I win…”

“What if you don’t win? What if you fail?”

“Real failure is not in failing but in not trying.” He intoned.

“It is also failure not to know when to stop trying.” She swallowed. “I’m done being a failure.”


Written for the Sunday Photo Fiction – a story in 200 words or less. Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting the challenge and John Robinson for the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt, click here.

Thanks for reading 🙂


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Email me at mysilverstreaks@gmail.com or tweet me @mysilverstreaks

16 thoughts on “SPF: Taking the Highway”

  1. The story was beautiful but the end was saddening, felt so bad so give in situation, very hurtful yet she might win in this loosing situation by the last line, so left mixed feelings in me….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent story, Dahlia. You capture Lata’s mixture of emotions very well, the sorrow, the fear for Tumul’s health, the anger at his stubbornness and, finally, the determination to leave if he won’t stop smoking.
    You have a very clear mental picture of the characters and their story, and you’ve conveyed it very skilfully. Well done indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

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