A Child Shall Lead Them

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers for October 24. Each week around 100 bloggers from around the globe play along as conducted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, who provides the photo prompt, which was captured this week by The Reclining Gentleman, and a bit of encouragement to those of us who live to write. The challenge is to compose a 100-word story inspired by the prompt. My story this week weighs in at exactly 100 words. So without further ado . . .

2014 10 24

Copyright The Reclining Gentleman

A Child Shall Lead Them

Her entire life, Miranda had lived on the island, the only child in a community of aging castaways. Few islanders ever had children. Infertility was a side effect of the plague.

By Miranda’s tenth birthday, the community’s population had dwindled to a couple dozen. The radio in the meetinghouse squawked news of proposed hydroelectric developments that would flood the island. Most mainland dwellers believed the quarantined colony extinct.

When planes began buzzing over the island, the islanders hid until Miranda’s papa had an idea. Surely when the mainlanders saw a girl playing on the shore, they would reconsider the development.

49 thoughts on “A Child Shall Lead Them

  1. Marie – this story bring a dark future in my head.. maybe that will be the solution to ebola… at least I hope they are saved…

  2. Adam Ickes says:

    I like it, but I’m a bit confused as to why they hid from the planes. Then again I rarely understand the actions of people, so maybe their hiding is perfectly normal behavior.

    • storydivamg says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Adam. I supposed if they are used to being shunned by everyone the advent of visitors would instigate fear–especially if they already think the mainlanders are planning their demise. Then again, I could be wrong too.

      All my best,
      Marie Gail

  3. I especially like the title!

  4. Your subtle story reminds me of the way islanders had to be removed for the testing of the A-bombs in the mid-twentieth century. They still can’t return to their homelands. People, eh!

  5. This really sounds like the beginning of something… I want to know what happens next!

    • storydivamg says:

      Thanks! I think in this case I’ll leave it to the minds of my readers. Will the mainlanders be sympathetic when they realize a child is living on the island, or will their fear overcome all human decency? It is rather like one of those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, isn’t it?

      All my best,
      Marie Gail

  6. Great story, MG. That’s a dangerous gamble, to send out a child by herself, but hopefully it will work.

    • storydivamg says:

      Thanks, David. Yes, one must wonder if Papa has too much confidence in the milk of human kindness. Here’s hoping for Miranda’s sake that the milk has not spoiled in the teat.

      Marie Gail

  7. This has the makings of an even bigger story. So many wonderful elements! Very enjoyable. Thanks for the great read.

  8. I wonder whether they’ll think the girl has the plague, too, or if they’ll reconsider and explore.


  9. This has a creepy yet hopeful appeal. May the milk of human kindness reign.

  10. Margaret says:

    They’re scared and isolated, and their future looks bleak. You’ve shown this really well. I like the idea of sending out a child as a way of touching the hearts of the bad mainlanders. Good luck to them. Nice story.

  11. Miranda and her papa make me think of theTempest which gives the piece a mystical feel. Perhaps Miranda will be the first to make contact with the mainlanders and who knows what might happen then, mystical or otherwise? Nice story!

    • storydivamg says:

      Ooh . . . The Tempest. I was on a more realistic plane of thought, but I do love the mystical notion. Super glad the story took you there. Thanks for weighing in.


  12. Wow, this is such a topical theme – plague, water rising over settlements, fear. I’m with the others who think this world would make a great longer piece. Novel, perhaps?

    • storydivamg says:

      So glad that the story caught your imagination, Karen. The theme is timely for sure, but I don’t care for it or the characters much. (Is that sorry of me to admit?) So . . . take it away if you like. I’ll happily read the resulting work if you choose to expand on this. 🙂 If you like them, I’m sure you would write a better novel than I would on the topic.

      All my best,
      Marie Gail

      • Thanks for the gift of a world, Marie Gail. It has made me dream about what if this happened, and what if that was the result. I’ll dream on and if I expand it you’ll be the first to read it.
        I have files of characters and stories I don’t care much for, and that I persevered with for much too long.

  13. Sandra says:

    I suspect the mainlanders will justify their actions by removing the girl from the islands, citing ‘in-breeding’ fears. Fascinating theme though. And great title.

    • storydivamg says:

      Ooh . . . I’m loving this “Choose Your Own Adventure” process that is occurring as a result of this week’s story. I never thought of inbreeding fears. My readers are telling me more stories this week than I could possibly have concocted on my own.

      Thanks, as always, for your insightful comments, Sandra.

      All my best,
      Marie Gail

  14. Dear Marie Gail,

    All the good comments are taken. A very bleak story this week but with a bit of hope. Of course the cockeyed optimist in me hopes for Miranda’s rescue. On the other hand that might not be the best thing for her or her Papa. There are so many different ways this could go, you’ve gotten my imagination churning. Well done.



    PS The title’s perfect.

    • storydivamg says:

      Thanks, Rochelle. I wanted to write a happy story this week after making several grown men cry the past two weeks, but the photo seemed a bit too dark and ominous for me to pull out the happy-tale-mobile. Could be the fall weather, could be my mood. Who knows? Maybe happy will happen next week.

      Peace, my friend.

      Marie Gail

  15. Alex says:

    What will happen next? This made me very curious about the outcome, makes one think about all the possible futures this may lead to. Thank you for activating my imagination!

    • storydivamg says:

      Alex, I’m thinking now that I need to have a “Friday Fictioneers–the Continuation” challenge this week in which I challenge all my readers to write a 100-word sequel to this story. Are you up for the challenge? I’d love to see the variety that came from it. I’m sure it would be at least as broad as the variety of responses I have gotten thus far.

      All my best,
      Marie Gail

      • Alex says:

        Hi Marie Gail, great idea! And definitely up for the challenge. This is my 100-word sequel to your story. It doesn’t stand on its own and is more of an ending to your story:
        Miranda started running. She gathered all the debris she could find. Her dad was watching from his hiding place. What was she doing? Would she be safe?

        A week later, Miranda was interviewed by a reporter. She didn’t like the attention, but needed to tell the world about her community. The island dwellers were so proud of her. They couldn’t have imagined the good outcome of it all. One of the pilots had spotted the text on the beach. Please. A small word, but with the most amazing impact. The island was now a national park.

  16. […] Gail from Being MG challenged  us to write a 100-word sequel to her Friday Fictioneers contribution. I’m happy […]

  17. wildbilbo says:

    Mysterious. I like a tale with unanswered questions, and this has them in spades 🙂

  18. Marie Gail, If that happened it might work out like the ending of ET. Being survivors of a plague, the government would probably take them off the island and run tests on them first. Then there would be the interviews, etc. Of course they’d have little choice if the island is going to be flooded. Good and well-written story. 🙂 — Susan

  19. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Marie Gail, You are such an interesting writer and quite brilliant! I love the idea of this story and can see it being made into a much larger story or book. Good job! Nan 🙂

  20. Dear MG, This made me think of San Pablo, the movie Children of Men and so many other things. It feels like a movie. Great writing. Thanks LHN.

  21. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Alicia,

    Great title for a good story. You know they’re all going under, right?



  22. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Marie,

    I made a mistake and transposed names. Would you forgive me and remove the evidence? So sorry.



    • storydivamg says:

      Hmmm . . . just because you called me by the wrong name do I have to remove the compliment? 🙂 Alright–it’s a good thing I like you, Doug. Otherwise I might leave that embarrassing error up for all posterity.

      Thanks for popping in to read. Glad you liked the title. Yes, I am of the opinion that they are all going under–but apparently some of my readers still hold out hope. Poor suckers. 🙂


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