Friday Fictioneers: Traffick fatality

Posted: April 2, 2014 in Friday Fictioneers
Tags: , ,

Who:     Anyone

What:   Friday Fictioneers

When:  Any time from Wednesday morning to Tuesday evening

Where:  Rochelle’s blog

How:  Write a one-hundred word complete story based on the weekly photo prompt

Why:  Why not?

Copyright Kent Bonham

Copyright Kent Bonham


 Traffic Fatality

Merciless lights detail the broken, tortured body tied to the bed. Before being snuffed for the movie, she was used (misused) repeatedly by each of the men roughly arrested. Some officers swear almost continuously; the least experienced is sick in the corner. No one mocks him.

Dearest Mama and Papa,
Gregor says he can get me a modeling job in America for much more than my maid job pays. I’m so excited for this opportunity. He says I might become famous! It will be so wonderful! When I have enough money, I will send for all of you.
Love, Tania.



Human trafficking is a growing, horrific problem, not only in “other places” but around the world.  The Polaris Project says of the problem in the United States:

Because human trafficking is considered to be one of the fastest growing criminal industries, the U.S. government and academic researchers are currently working on an up-to-date estimate of the total number of trafficked persons in the United States annually.  With 100,000 children estimated to be in the sex trade in the United States each year, it is clear that the total number of human trafficking victims in the U.S. reaches into the hundreds of thousands when estimates of both adults and minors and sex trafficking and labor trafficking are aggregated.

and of the international problem:

An estimated 20.9 million men, women and children are trafficked for commercial sex or forced labor around the world today. Victims are trafficked both within and across international borders. Migrants as well as internally displaced persons are particularly vulnerable.

Although my story is at the grimmest end of the spectrum, it’s unfortunately not an unknown story.

Find links to other Friday Fictioneers stories here:

  1. high five and raspberries says:

    This is one of those times when the “like” button is fickle .I like the story but the subject matter is very disturbing. You bring about an awareness to something that has remained hidden for a long time. Your story is frightening and real. So much suffering in your words. Well done.

    • I know what you mean about the “like” button (although I’m glad you used it.) 🙂 This is a terrible problem, whether the end result is this bad or “just” sex slavery or horrible word conditions. Thanks for reading and commenting (and “liking.”)


  2. …and the title, well I just love it!

  3. I think it’s really a great problem, specially with the anonymity of the www. And the “brilliant” idea of europe without borders makes it easy for human traffickers…

  4. elmowrites says:

    Your story reads almost like a new report. I like the distance you put between the reader and the horrific story you are reporting. As for the epilogue, this is a frightening problem, not just in other places but right under our noses as you say. Well done for raising it.
    My favourite bit is your title – inspired.

    • The abuse of the weaker is something that makes me very angry, Jen, so I try to find ways to not only work against it, but raise the issues. I haven’t had any personal experience with people in these situations, but I’ve read a bit about it and it’s truly horrific, especially when children are involved. It’s so difficult for people to escape or even for other to know about them. As for the title, I mentally ran through “traffic” ideas and this one worked.


  5. Subroto says:

    The grimmest end of the spectrum involves underage children. I saw this documentary recently on how illegal mining in South America has created a thriving sex trade and the saddest victims were child prostitutes. Your story needs to be told just to make people aware of what is happening.

    • Thanks, Subroto. It’s all grim, isn’t it, and growing, unfortunately. When so much money is involved, it will continue to grow unless we really work at stopping it.


  6. Grim that is, but an eye-opener. Makes you realize how lucky we all are. Thanks, Janet!

  7. A story appropriate to the image of the studio light, Janet. Disturbing and well written.

  8. Sandra says:

    Grim but powerful reading Janet, you’re at your best when your dander is raised. Well done.

  9. This is so sad, disturbing, and well-written. You’ve broached a controversial and sensitive subject here. Very powerful and the title is perfection! I agree that clicking the Like button seems wrong, but I did it.

    • I’ve been in the same situation regarding the “like” button, but I’ve “liked” things because they’re well-written and serve a good purpose, so thanks for that. I thrilled that the title is working so well but even more that the story is touching readers.


  10. Helena Hann-Basquiat says:

    This is what I meant when I said that I appreciate the truly horrible and shocking. That you coupled your story with that letter was a brilliant touch, darling. Powerful bit of writing.

    • Thanks, Helena. I know what you mean. It breaks my heart to think of people who think they’re being given a break and are going to make it, then not only aren’t and don’t but are plunged into horrors like this and so much else.


  11. Thank you for a powerfully written story about a very real problem. It has gone on for far too long and in too many ways. I send Reiki to this every day.

  12. K.Z. says:

    this subject always terrifies me. you captured it so well in the letter… women and kids think they’re going to a place where they can get a better future… and then that happens. really sad. you wrote and presented it in such a brilliant way.

  13. helenmidgley says:

    Wow, nothing more, as I don’t want to dilute the Wow 😉

  14. wmqcolby says:

    WHOA! Take the wind out of my sails, will ya? So real (we, sadly, report stuff like this from time to time). SO heartbreaking. This is a keeper! Well-done, Janet!!! Awesome!

  15. Superbly crafted, emotionally hard-hitting and a crucial topic. You don’t get much better reading than this. I think this is blogging at its best, and stylistically so well done. Much better than a dry hum drum report, and the topic as important as it gets. The concept of a snuff movie is almost too horrible to contemplate, yet one must. Human trafficking is endemic, and frankly more could be done across the board here, as usual. Stories of Moldovan women and teenagers basically sold into forced prostitution are all-too common in Europe and completely different to prostitution as a whole, no matter what anyone says. I cannot think of a more horrific example of human trafficking than what took place in Belgium a few decades ago, when a person I will not name kidnapped young girls for prostitution – killing them now and then, finally getting caught, then getting away..yep, politicians involved in his unspeakable acts. Evil depraved minds True enemies within society.

    • I’m humbled by your comments, Hamish. Thank you so much and as well for adding to the information. If you care to share it elsewhere, feel free. I know you have a large readership and reach.


  16. The letter is so very sweet, knowing as a reader that nothing sweet will come of this.

    • I thought the contrast was telling. Too many find themselves in this same situation. But many are also kidnapped or even sold by their families.


  17. This is one of the stories that makes me icy inside.. your presentation is superb.. the contrast with the scene and the lettter is devastating… and yes like Patricia said.. like is not the right way to do it… Just hope Gregor is found … he deserve the worst treatment.

  18. Heartbreaking, and so well written. Thank you for shining a light on this issue. I know that’s a pun – I’m not trying to be funny, but it’s the best way to put it. Only light will chase out darkness. And as has already been said, the Like button just doesn’t seem appropriate. Please consider my lack of Like as greater approval of your writing and theme than any button could convey.

  19. Hala J. says:

    This sucker punched me in the heart…which was probably the goal. I wish this scenario wasn’t so stark and disgustingly real. Kudos to you for showing it in the appropriately harsh light, and yet treating the topic with well-researched knowledge and respect.

  20. BrainRants says:

    Much applause. Not only do you present a great flash piece of transgressional fiction, you tie it to a real problem. Very well done.

  21. This is amazingly powerful, particularly following on from the fun offering you put up last week. You’ve also made the brevity work.

  22. Shandra says:

    All too true. Well done.

  23. Hi janet, you detail a world wide horror. You dealt with it very well in the one hundred words.

  24. storydivamg says:

    This is a sobering story. I particularly like the poignancy of your second paragraph and its juxtaposition to the description of the crime scene.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

    • Marie, it breaks my heart to think of the people who are effected by by human trafficking. I’m glad I could successfully portray the tiniest bit of that.


  25. Dear Janet,

    You put the human in traffick. I can only echo what’s been said already. The letter juxtaposed against the graphic description of the scene gives just the right amount of contrast to take my breath away. Brilliant.



  26. Well-written story. I’m always reading about these horrible events in the paper and seeing news about them on TV. The poor and children are especially vulnerable. People who prey on them are odious. It’s sickening to know that greed is involved and there are payoffs so that the guilty often go free.

  27. I can now see where your comment on my story came from. Sorry about the almost frivolous reply there. This issue breaks my heart very time I read about it and all I can do is write in helpless frustration and fury. But there are people like this lady in Nepal, Anuradha Koirala, who goes to the cities and rescues girls who have been sold into prostitution. Her story is truly inspiring.

    Your story is riveting in that it juxtaposes the dream and reality in such sharp contrast. Great job Janet.

    • Thankfully, there are many people working against this enormous evil. Of course the ultimate problem is within those who does these heinous things and that’s much more difficult to handle. Thanks for the link. I’ll take a look at it.


  28. Anita says:

    Really touching & true. Sadly, this is pretty common across the world…
    Nice that you have shared & created awareness.

  29. DCTdesigns says:

    Janet not only do you tackle human trafficking but the gruesome existence of snuff films in one post. Very though provokingly written.

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  31. vbholmes says:

    Your gruesomer description of the snuff scene is intensified by the officers’ emotional reactions. Unfortunately, there are levels of society where human life is worthless and your Gregor comes from those depths. However, it is the men who patronize the traffickers who are even worse offenders as, many times, they are sadistic and their appetites encourage and enable the perpetrators. Bravo, Janet, for a bringing awareness to the problem.

  32. Imelda says:

    Human trafficking is a scourge. I hope that there will be more effective laws and measures to deter this crime.

  33. elappleby says:

    A disturbing tale, brilliantly written. The letter shows such naivety and the officer being sick was a perfect way to show the horror of the scene. Brilliant.

  34. Dee says:

    Hi Janet

    Loved your play on words for your title. That said, you have highlighted two quite gruesome crimes that seem to permeate through the sicker parts of our society – snuff films and human trafficking.

    Congratulations, a different path, well written.


    • Thanks, Dee. Not an uplifting topic but one that I think more people need to be aware of, particularly the human trafficking, which such a terrible thing and much too common. Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend.


  35. tedstrutz says:

    Important post, Janet. Good story! Wait, not a good story… well, you know what I mean.

  36. scrbwly says:

    this reminds me of liam neeson’s movie taken…. all i’ll say

  37. Amy Reese says:

    Grisly scene, Janet. It’s heartbreaking to think how huge this problem is. Your story touches on a sad topic, but very well done.

  38. JackieP says:

    So much said in so few words janet. More should be talking about this terrible situation.

  39. Alice Audrey says:

    I had heard that before, but I hadn’t really taken it seriously. Now I will.

    • My story would be at the most serious end but there’s an enormous amount of human trafficking going on everywhere. Awareness is very important and supporting those who fight against it.


  40. brainsnorts says:

    i once had a debate with a very learned friend about good and bad films. one of my favorites ever is “apocalypse, now!” which the friend quickly put in the bad film column. when i asked why he disliked it, he told me how the film tore at his guts, made him want to throw things, punch things, and other forms of angry expression. i told him, “see, although you do not like HOW the film makes you feel, the film still makes you FEEL something, even if what you feel is disturbing. so it’s okay to say that you dislike how the film makes you feel, but you have to admit that the film did a very good job. it has to be a good film if it makes you feel, makes you react.”

    in summary, my lesson to him was that if a film makes you feel bad, it can’t be a bad film. you can’t equate bad feeling with bad film, but you can equate good feeling with good film. and, you can equate no feeling with bad film.

    i’ll just leave it at that.

  41. draliman says:

    Dark and powerful. A great take on the prompt highlighting a terrible issue in the world today.

  42. Sun says:

    i really enjoyed your story’s presentation with the letter from the victim still hoping to be a help to the family…not letting them worry about the reality of the situation. also, thank you for sharing the information after your story.♥

    • My pleasure Sun. The letter was written before the girl was taken. She, as so many others, believed she was going to America to be a model. The reality was much different but by then, it was too late.


  43. cookie5683 says:

    You have a way, My Pirate, of giving me pause whilst you stir me. Strange how someone’s fiction is someone else’s fact though, don’t you think?
    As vivid as our imaginations may be, I doubt they will ever achieve the horrors of reality. Guess I thank my lucky starts for that.

    • If imaginations were as terrible as reality, we wouldn’t be able to read anything this awful. What we can imagine is bad enough. What some have imagined and then brought to reality is terrifying.


  44. Sarah Ann says:

    Very powerful. Not sure what else to say. The brevity of your writing in getting so much across has taken my breath away.

  45. rgayer55 says:

    What a gut wrencing tale, Janet. The numbers you quoted were appalling. When I read something like this, I reminded of how fortunate and blessed I am.

    • Russ, you’re so right. It’s a problem that many of us don’t know much about and although my story is admittedly at the far end, there is so much sexual slavery and just slavery that it’s appalling.


  46. pattisj says:

    This is an issue that is very close to my heart. One’s mind cannot fathom the depravity of mankind. Thanks for speaking out about human trafficking, it wasn’t all that long ago I realized how widespread this is.

  47. AnnIsikArts says:

    Your story is topical. It’s a horrific situation. I’ve produced an art/story ebook about child slave labour, with links to some charities. There’s a link on my site. It’s a drop in the ocean. I concern myself with animal charities too; and in this, receive graphic stories by email of animal neglect, etc. I must cry buckets. I could get very disillusioned with humanity, but remind myself that these situations would not be exposed were it not for good and caring people who get stuck in and DO something about it. It’s only a small portion of humankind this depraved. Speech over. 🙂

    • Thank goodness it’s only a small portion, yet that small portion has a huge impact on so many people, not only those being enslaved, but those participating in it. The animal situation is also horrible. We worked with a pit bull rescue and also fostered several of the dogs (lovely dogs, BTW) and heard so many horrific stories.

      On the other hand, that leaves the majority of people as good caring people, even if not always against these causes. Thanks for dropping in, Ann.