Photo (c) Dale Rogerson



Words 101

“Well what story do you have today?”

“Nothing,” I sighed.

“Are you dead?”

“No!” I protested. “I just don’t have a story to tell.”

“May as well be dead.”

“True.” I was equally despondent.

“But you can’t die before you’re dead can you?”

“I guess not.”

“Then you have to have a story. Look around. Surely something speaks to you?”

“It does,” I ventured hesitantly, “but the ideas are all so nebulous and…”

“Well hurry up and catch one idea at least!”

“I wish I could!” I groaned in despair. “But….”

“But what?”

“The holes in the sieves are too large.”


Written for the Friday Fictioneers – a s story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting this challenge and to Dale for the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.

Okay Fine! I plead guilty. If this makes sense, do let me know I shall let myself out of the loony bin.


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62 thoughts on “Strained”

  1. Dahlia! This is great! We all have those times where we “bullshit” our way into a story by not having one. I’ve been guilty and so has Rochelle (and others…)
    Yours turned out great and didn’t fall through the cracks 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Phew! Thanks so much Dale for your lovely comment 🙂 I will manage to sleep! Most frustrating week of drawing a blank – I even took Rochelle advise/permission to read in the hope of some inspiration. I gave up and then this happened 😀 The photo is great but it was just one of those (many) weeks 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It happens to us all. And I do the same. I read a few, hope something triggers and sometimes it does and once it didn’t and that was on one of MY own photos to boot!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That was wonderful, Dahlia.
    For this pic, I had based my story on people in the background, not realising, I had not done it right, until long after Dale asked me about the link between the prompt and my story.😁😁😁 I am lucky, this is a considerate group.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Moon. This is no doubt a considerate and generous group! And like Rochelle says – it is not what you look at it is what you see. If you saw the people well that’s just as fine!


  3. ohh, how wonderful! Yes, the holes in the sieves are too large, the thoughts too versatile … no one can really be held seriously, … stories need muse and I also think rest and relaxation?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. How wonderful, that you liked my comment. We use often the”sieves” in combination with our memory…especially as you get older and just have to write down everything else because you forget it. But it can also be just an overload of thoughts that you can no longer overlook and ends up in a mental chaos. I believe in a state of chaos, no good stories can be created…..thanks for welcome me here again…; )…I am quiet busy, have not much time for social media anymore, because of work ( wonderful work) and well because of my mental chaos….have a nice week!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Dahlia,

    There’s not a writer who doesn’t have one of those sessions. 😉 As Dale says, we all bullshit our way through one or two along the way. And you know what? Those end up being as entertaining as any other story. Not to mention it’s honest. Something everyone can relate to. Here’s a link to one I wrote a couple of years ago. Turned out to be one of my favorite stories.
    Good job, my friend.



    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Rochelle,
      Thank you for your lovely comment and encouragement. Your story is what I can only aspire to – my thanks again for showing the way.
      Best wishes



  5. enjoyed the comments here and the piece…

    and I agree with the others –
    but wanted to also add that your analogy with the ideas and holes being too big was kinda beauitful to me –
    but my favorite part was

    “But you can’t die before you’re dead can you?”

    I was just telling some folks about a time when Tony Compolla spoke at a youth conference in 1990s and asked everyone how long they have been alive.
    folks were saying their age…
    and then he said, “I mean really alive?” Are you really living..”

    –so to answer just this part:
    “But you can’t die before you’re dead can you?”
    yup, sure can


    but glad you are still pulsing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. well ofcourse you CAN die before you are dead…it can be a slow process, as you like to see it, you die a bit all your life…( at least if you don´t like your life. ) Is it bad to have nothing to tell? Sometimes it is better to be silent when creativity is gone and we react only frustrated to others stories….because than you are dying. Sometimes you do not need stories to read or to write, but someone who hugs you! Someone who is real and does not hide behind stories.
      Writing is a passion, and of course as all passions and like all passions, it requires deprivation and perhaps suffering and pain from time to time. Writing can also be therapy. However, as always with pain and suffering, I would prefer to fight the causes rather than mitigate the symptoms.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you! Your writing and your thoughts are great, how we reader interpretate is how we can react with our deep inside at the moment…. so it is always a mirror of our self…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes it is bad to have nothing to tell. Once we lose our stories we also lose our identity. If you look at those with dementia they have lost their stories and also their identity. It is our stories that give us our identity and we determine what stories we wish to tell so therefore choose our own identity – but to have none is definitely no good in my opinion. Being silent is different to not having stories. Unless you are mute or affected by stroke silence is a choice. I choose silence most of the time although I write copiously. Hugs are always good.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. thanks for this so wise answer. Yes you are right, everyone should have a story … if and how we communicate this story is another story … 😁I might rather draw, someone else dance or make music. The expressions are manifold. As you say, people with dementia have lost their story. But I do not just think dementia sufferers, people with other problems do not see their history any more … it’s sad and I think it’s just a wish for everyone to find their way back to their history.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. well I never will stop this, altough the most illustration are just for some simple childrenbooks, i think I put some love in it that people can see, if they want to….well and it depends of the words…words can tell also a lot…not more or less than pictures, music or other kind of art…don´t you think?

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Oh I think they both can exist without the other and still can be a great way to move hearts. All combinations is art … words, Musik, Dance, painting…. can be a emotional explosion if the mixture is the right one!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. “Stories as our identity! So very well put Irene and prompts me to add that stories live beyond our lives and impact lives that are yet to be born. Thank you Irene for opening up another channel of thought 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. “Nothing”… .. oh, like the ‘nothing’ box of a man’s brain 😜
    But yeah, exactly… the creative juices just refuse to flow sometimes 😬
    Loved “but you can’t die before you are dead”… absolutely!!
    Loved your ‘Nothing’ flow for this pic!!

    Liked by 1 person

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