Mind Over Matter – a 100w story

Thanks to ©Sandra Crook for the photo prompt for this week’s Friday Fictioneers.

To join the challenge, write a piece of flash fiction in 100 words and post it via host Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog by clicking here

To read other contributions, click on the Blue Froggy


Mind Over Matter

It’s that dream again. The one where I am in a dusty attic looking for something elusive.

Long ago, before the accident, my college lecturer said dreams about attics represented a need to explore the higher mind.

This attic is different. It is full of cogs and machines that don’t work.

There are voices coming from outside the attic; faces I see through the window. They mean no harm but I don’t think they can help. Whitecoat Man talks about tests. Again.

There must be a way to get this machinery moving. If I could only find some oil …

©Siobhán McNamara

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38 Responses to Mind Over Matter – a 100w story

  1. Sandra says:

    She sounds as though she’s in a lonely, frustrating place. Nicely done, the confusion and despair are tangible.

  2. neilmacdon says:

    Oh that is just wonderful, Siobhan. I love the voices that can do no harm but also don’t help.

  3. neilmacdon says:

    I cllcked post too early. I meant to add, that’s a true hundred watt story

  4. Iain Kelly says:

    Difficult to imagine what it is like to be in this situation, you did it very well. Excellent.

  5. andy1076 says:

    There’s something about designs like these with cogs that I just can’t look away from, It does indeed bring me thoughts all around me.

  6. The desperation of her situation that she cannot comprehend is so well described… I think that oil is not enough to fix her mind.

  7. Dear Siobhán,

    I loved Whitecoat man. So telling without elaborating. Great metaphor and feeling.



  8. Siobhán,
    There’s a dark, sadness to this piece which really speaks to mental illness. Lonely and sad, the character (male/female?) is faceless but so human. Beautiful.

  9. wmqcolby says:

    I think, in some way, it’s a shared existence between madness and sanity. I could see us ALL in that story, only we’re functioning creatures of society.

    Super writing, Siobhan. I think you tapped into a subconscious moment here for all of us.

    • Thank you Kent, this story came to me quickly and with very little editing, which is unusual for me. It really felt like it just popped out of the subconscious as soon as I saw the photo.

      I believe the subconscious is our most powerful tool as writers if we can learn to work with it and not over-analyse while we write.

      • wmqcolby says:

        Oh I agree 100%. I had a story like that recently do the same thing. I didn’t edit it at all. 100 words, period. And it all made sense. I think its might be because I had worked it out on my mind beforehand and committed it to paper. I was at work when that story came through, I just couldn’t type it out until I got home.

  10. michael1148humphris says:

    As wmqcolbly says: its a lovely piece of writing, one is right there with your character

  11. draliman says:

    That sounds like a terrible existence. I hope “whitecoat man” can find the right oil.

  12. Laurie Bell says:

    Gosh… the white coats got me. Poor thing. Voices sometimes make things worse…

  13. Dale says:

    I feel for the poor soul… I hope she/he can be released from her/his inner prison

  14. Oh I really felt for her!

  15. plaridel says:

    it looks like s/he’s on the brink of losing his/her sanity. sad.

  16. Boy, does the confusion come through in this story. Well done.

  17. I love the take on this prompt.
    The cogs of the mind.

  18. James says:

    Wonderful representation of a person in a coma. Cogs and machines that don’t work and the need to get things moving again with a little oil. Well done.

  19. Rather belated here, but this response to the prompt is really well done. So much said in so few words — and so realistic. At least I can identify with such disturbing, odd dreams.

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