Confusion Street – A 100 word story

This week’s Friday Fictioneers photo prompt comes courtesy of Lauren Moscato via Amy Reese

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Friday Fictioneers prompt for April 3, 2015 courtesy of Lauren Moscato / Amy Reese

Friday Fictioneers prompt for April 3, 2015 courtesy of Lauren Moscato / Amy Reese

Genre: Fiction

Confusion Street

I think there was a time when I used to wake up in the morning and do normal morning things.

I didn’t have to look for the floor so I could get out of bed. I didn’t have to watch my feet on the dark patterned carpet to make sure the floor stayed where it was while I made my way to the bathroom.

A lady comes and makes me dinner. I don’t know who she is. Every day she asks me how I am. I still don’t know the answer.

She calls this place the half-way house. Half-way to where?

©Siobhán McNamara

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44 Responses to Confusion Street – A 100 word story

  1. Half-way to where? Oh! I do love that last line. You caught the essence of this picture well. It’s weird and bleak…..


  2. Half way to paradise? A poignant piece.


  3. micklively says:

    If only we could write mental processes: the only real reality.
    Well done.


  4. Archon's Den says:

    Halfway back to a friendly reality?
    Nice story. 🙂


  5. Sandra says:

    Terrific last line. Hopefully it’s halfway back to normality (normalcy :)) but it sounds like there’s still a long way to go. Well done Siobhan.


  6. Melanie says:

    The voice in this is great. I love the title too.


  7. draliman says:

    Very well written. This is the sort of story I find sad and also frightening – one day it might be me.


  8. gahlearner says:

    Great story, and so sad. The questions make it so special.


  9. Excellent story filled with emotion.


  10. Creatopath says:

    A strange story to match a strange picture. Loved it. Well written and the ending was perfect.


  11. It’s very sad when we become like that….
    my poor dad ended up that way.

    Some even say, on a lighter note, that I’ve taken after him all my life – even before it happened to him.
    I surely don’t know what they mean.


  12. I can’t imagine what they could mean Randy! Thanks for stopping by 🙂


  13. Francesca Smith says:

    A very intriguing tale to match the picture.


  14. Siobhan, a very moving story for this prompt. However, I’m a little confused too… it may be a difference of wording Ireland to here? Is this a story of aging? Here, a half-way house is often for addicts, who are transitioning home, or kids who have been in treatment. I’m embarrassed that I’m missing the point. The writing is so lovely and powerful; I want to be sure I understand what you are saying.


    • Hi Dawn, a half-way house has much the same meaning here, somewhere in between full-time care and independent living for people in recovery or rehabilitation for any number of reasons, also for aging too – though sheltered accommodation is a more correct term for all of the above. For me in writing this story, the narrator doesn’t know how or why they are there and the confusion is part of his/her story. I was thinking of a particular person who suffers from a number of mental health conditions as well as being in addiction recovery when I wrote this – she goes through a cycle of painting incredibly life-like portraits over a few weeks and then quite literally crashes and barely knows her name. She goes into hospital, then into sheltered accommodation, then home with visits to a day care centre but sometimes they get it wrong and she goes missing with no idea where she is. There is also a process of re-jigging her medication through the stages of this cycle and that can also go very wrong, especially if she slips up and drink/drugs come into the equation.
      I didn’t want to impose too much of this on the story as the same level of confusion could equally apply to someone who had age-related dementia or was going through rehabilitation after a brain injury, someone with a subconscious knowledge of how to do everyday things, but a knowledge which is out of reach.
      I’m not happy with the title of the story – maybe if I could hit on the right one, the story would flow from it in a way that made more sense!
      Thanks for reading and for raising the question 🙂


      • Thank YOU for explaining! I actually like the title, but was confused for the reasons you’ve addressed. Half way house would not refer to anything in terms of elderly housing, but all the same otherwise. I put my own spin on it, but wondered if I was missing your point… again, the writing is beautiful and very moving, regardless of the circumstances. Thanks for filling in the blanks. 🙂


  15. Margaret says:

    You’ve captured her state of mind so well through the tone and pace. Great take on the prompt.


  16. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Siobahn,

    This was a spooky good take on the prompt. Our lives are so fragile that it is a wonder that anything works for very long. I know I tend to take the good days for granted. Wanted to tell you what a through provoking piece this was.




  17. That prompt does look a bit like a nightmare reality. Let’s hope none of us end up like that. Well done, Siobhan. — Suzanne


  18. A beautiful take on the prompt Siobhan, very moving 🙂


  19. Dear Siobhán,

    Imaginative and thought provoking piece. Love the last line. Halfway to where indeed. 😉 Nicely done.




  20. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Siobhán, Great story and I love the way you have to check the floor so you can walk on a real floor – this is such a cool story! I love it! Nan 🙂


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