Friday Fictioneers: Buried alive

Posted: March 10, 2015 in Friday Fictioneers
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What you see in a photo is not always what others see.  In fact, if you’re a Friday Fictioneers author, odds are high that there will be no story like your story, that what you see is not what others see.  We like that, strive for that.  Some stories flow directly from the photo, others take devious routes through the author’s thoughts and experiences before being born.  That’s the fun of it:  100 words creating a bit of flash fiction all your own.

If you’d like to read, write, or both, a click on the blue creature at the end of the post will take you into Wonderland, a place where often you pray that the stories are truly fiction.  But you never know!

copyright Sandra Crook

copyright Sandra Crook

Buried Alive

Cold. Damp. Smells of earth. I can barely move.
Stretch tentatively from my curled position.
Soil coffin, oppressive darkness.

I’m impelled to try to move.
I push upward…

but which way is up?
What if I’m wrong?

Harsh, cold, packed ground.

Don’t stop.
Don’t think.

Finally a bit more warmth.
Some give.

I strain, thrust in the tiny space. More give. Friable earth.
One final effort. One last blow.

I’m out! Grey sky overhead.
I rest, exhausted.

I have arrived in spring. Not yet time to bloom, but I can wait. I have more growth to accomplish.

  1. Sandra says:

    I was thinking ‘victim’ or ‘mole’. But something altogether more palatable – and a great harbinger for spring, Janet. Lovely.

    • I’m so ready for spring, Sandra. Yesterday it got over 50F and felt like a heat wave. Most of our snow melted yesterday and all the matted grass can be seen, a beautiful sight. Warm again today and on into next week, so I’m happy and can indulge in spring fever!

  2. Oh I thought buried alive and you come with a harbinger of spring.. what a relief.

  3. What a lovely reveal, I am so ready for better days. I really enjoyed this, but I enjoy your stories every week, so that is nothing new.

  4. I’m cheering the young sprout on!

    • We have a plethora of them popping out of the ground and as the snow’s melting rapidly, I can see them, and the promise of spring that they bring is so welcome!


      • I worked last night and although i got off early I have a bit of a cold that’s keeping me in my pj’s today. I plan on shedding both them and this cold tomorrow so I will be on the hunt!

      • Our lawn is so muddy right now as are all the paths I use for walking. Can’t wait to get out and enjoy nature once again. Get well sooner than soon!

  5. This is lovely. I thought it was a worm but far prettier!

  6. Fantastic! Great twist at the end, I really loved it 🙂

  7. I really like this, interesting. We are heading into autumn so we will be seeing scenes like this soon.

  8. You kept it all up to the end! And really good style, the empty pauses, worked very well. Almost a poem, and rising tension.

  9. elmowrites says:

    I love all the spring stories this week, but this one is unusual and all the more special for that. Like you, I’m all ready for the ground to break!

  10. Clever story !!! You had me in the beginning. A fine twist to the new season to come … Spring!!!

  11. My goodness! This gave me the sense of being trapped and claustrophobic.

  12. Oh, I loved it. I guess because of the photo I knew it was a tree. Wonderful.

  13. That’s a great look at the struggles of a plant, Janet. That’s a good question: how does a plant know what way to sent the stalk and what way to send the roots? Apparently they’re programmed to fight against gravity.

  14. Norma says:

    I was thinking of a dead body then a mole and finally it’s mother nature.;) A very enjoyable read Janet.

  15. Dear Janet,

    This has to be a daffodil. First signs of spring and my favorite flower. Free at last, free at last…



    • I leave the exact plant up to each reader, but I admit I’m partial to daffodils. They’re popping out of the ground all around the house and although it will be a while until they bloom, I look forward to it with great longing


  16. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Janet,

    Spring is coming! I promise.

    A wonderful evocation of the push toward the light and warmth that is the urge that accompanies birth in much of nature. I can feel the cold and sense the urgency in this piece. You are channeling your inner oak tree. Well done.



    • Spring IS coming, Doug, and we’re having a delicious taste of it these last days. The unseasonably warm weather has hastened the melting of the snow and the flowers are pushing out of the sodden ground with alacrity. I look forward to their blooming. As for my inner oak tree, you’re not making any subtle references to being a nut, are you? 🙂


  17. Great take on the prompt and a lovely idea for the POV. You communicated the effort and the compulsion to grow towards the light very well. I got my first few hours of gardening done yesterday and it was a joy, though it’s stormy again today.

    • The ground is much to wet now to even try to remove the dead leaves that always sneak in, no matter how well I rake. But the flowers are out of the ground and on their way. Can’t wait! So glad you got to do a bit of gardening. That really brings the feel of spring home.


  18. gahlearner says:

    This made me laugh in delight, great turn at the end. Of course I was thinking ‘buried alive’.

    • What a relief! If you hadn’t thought “buried alive”, I would have been disappointed. 🙂 I’m happy to make people laugh with delight (unless the story is sad.)


  19. Every word of this cries, “I’m sick of winter! Bring on spring! Now!” Well done.

  20. I loved this!! First I thought it was somewhat morbid, then towards the end I was like “Aw, it has a happy ending!” but like if that wasn’t twist enough, it turned out to be a plant!
    Beautifully written, I truly loved it. Great work!

  21. nowathome says:

    And it’s a plant!! Was worried it might be someone buried alive!

  22. plaridel says:

    Friable earth? simply marvelous. .

  23. bykimberlylynne says:

    Love the struggle…Go, you tough little shoot, Go! We’re rooting for you!

  24. Liz Young says:

    Out heree in Tenerife those shoots can grow an inch a day! Nice one, little fern.

  25. Amy Reese says:

    I feel those flowers busting through any day now, Janet. Spring is coming! Nice work.

  26. Nice poetic personification and a theme of growth and survival – rebirth. I enjoyed it.


  27. Margaret says:

    Beautiful. I don’t have to live through really cold winters, but i still long for the first green shoots after three months of cold, grey weather. Very nicely told and I love the ambiguity until the final reveal.

    • One of the most enjoyable aspects of seasons is the anticipation of the coming season and its particular joys. I know not everyone likes winter, but I do and there’s certainly beauty there, too. I’m happy you enjoyed the story, Margaret, and have a wonderful weekend.


  28. Jan Brown says:

    Loved this! such a great twist ending 😀

  29. mjlstories says:

    You had me thinking of Victorian coffins (the ones with little bells and devices in case you were buried alive) but I was puzzled by the uncurling…until you sprouted forth there at the end. Quite pagan in its evocation of the spirit of nature!

  30. jwdwrites says:

    Well Janet after last week’s offering I was looking for a twist in the tale and you didn’t disappoint. I never guessed it was going to be a plant though. 🙂

  31. erinleary says:

    Lovely homage to the struggle of a spring blooming bulb.

  32. Spring is haunting you in every way. I was thinking something else until the end.
    You landed a home run with this one, Janet. Nicely done …!!!
    p.s. I wasn’t able to do the iLinky but that’s okay. I sw that they have a You Tube video. I can look at it. Out of state company has me falling behind. Thanks for dropping by my blog in my absence. 😉

  33. With a smile, I had a feeling this was going in this direction. I love that you are able to trick our brains into darker places, Janet, only to bring smiles at the end. This could have worked well, both ways!

  34. This was great Janet. You took me from a person buried alive in a coffin to the joys of Spring in 100 wonderful words. You’ve just shown how well it works to go from dark to light when the natural tendency is to go from light to dark.

  35. draliman says:

    Great story – not some poor unfortunate buried alive but a lovely new living thing. Very good 🙂

  36. What wonderful description, Janet, with a delightful twist at the end. If plants could think. 🙂 — Suzanne

  37. rgayer55 says:

    We had 72 and sunshine yesterday. I was going to sprout myself, but someone doused me with pre-emerge, thinking I was just a weed. So much for my dreams of blooming.

  38. Dee says:

    Janet – I was so hoping you weren’t leading me where it seemed you were leading me, I shouldn’t have worried, harbinger of spring is a much more lovely ending to your very well written tale.