Grinding Halt – a 100w story

The picture prompt below for this week’s Friday Fictioneers 1oo-word story challenge comes courtesy of ©Jennifer Pendergast

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To read other responses to the prompt, click on the Blue Froggy


Grinding Halt

In the discount supermarket, Liam trembled in giddy anticipation from the booze aisle to the checkout.

The other early morning shoppers whispered: “He had a good job ‘til he nearly killed a wee girl coming out of school. Imagine, driving in that state in the middle of the afternoon.”

Shame burned; another tool of the cruel and unrelenting master that made Liam feel like a helpless child.

Then one morning, he met a man who’d been dry for seven years.

Liam asked him: ‘How?’

The man took him to a cafe and began to talk. Liam listened, and felt his master’s grip weaken.

©Siobhán McNamara

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42 Responses to Grinding Halt – a 100w story

  1. Dale says:

    If only all met that one person who made a difference…


  2. I like where you took us, away from the obvious. Great title!


  3. James says:

    It’s all a matter of choosing the right master.


  4. Iain Kelly says:

    A nice ray of hope at the end, hopefully redemption is in sight. Well done.


  5. Sandra says:

    A different take on the prompt. Well done.


  6. Tamal says:

    This is an uplifting tale. Addiction is hard to battle. Welldone.


  7. Jade M. Wong says:

    Very creative! Loved the metaphor.


  8. Sometimes all what’s needed is the right mentor. Great take on the story.


  9. A terrible tale that shows the beginning of something new and promising. I love that. Redemption is not an easy thing to find, especially when the “master” in question is involved.


  10. How horrible for all. Wishing him luck.


  11. Dear Siobhán,

    So much story in few words. I love that he felt the master’s grip weaken. Well done.




  12. michael1148humphris says:

    For some alcohol can be a disaster. A killer in so many ways – as you so well illustrated


  13. draliman says:

    Lovely ray of hope towards the end.


  14. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover says:

    There is a lot of great writing in this short story. I really like the line “Shame burned; another tool of the cruel and unrelenting master that made Liam feel like a helpless child.” and the fact that the master’s grip only loosened.


  15. Wonderful! Begins with hopelessness but ends with hope!


  16. Love the way your words paint a graphic picture!


  17. Cecilia says:

    Great reading! Thank you!


  18. Very realistic story. Those folks responsible for such DUI accidents never forget — as one dear relative told me. I’m glad to see he’s listening — that’s the first step.


  19. I really like this one. It depicts a truth but gives us hope.


  20. Wow, you packed a lot into 100 words! I’d love to know those words of the man who took Liam to the cafe…but that’s another story!


    • Thank you Rebecca. I thought a lot about what to include and what to leave out. In the end, I figured it was the listening that really mattered. But, yes, it must have been some conversation!


  21. If only it were like that for everyone like Liam… what a blessing that would be! Amazing story, in 100 words, Siobhan!


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