Off Course

I’d travelled through time, hopeful to visit the genteel days of Jane Austen’s world. Instead, the calibration mechanism slipped and catapulted me into a reed-covered pond.  Scrambling out of the machine, the corrosion was evident. How far off course had I come?

Sopping wet, I stumbled down the nearby path and came upon them: three young girls writhing on the ground. Suddenly they rose in unison, pointing at an ashen-faced red-haired woman in the surrounding crowd. “It’s her,” they screamed. “She’s the witch! Take her to the pond and test her!”

And they moved toward my beloved machine.


Photo by Dale Rogerson.  Word Count: 98
First try at flash fiction using this week’s prompt photo, provided for Friday Fictioneers. Requirements: 100 words or less + photo attribution. Boston is a commuter rail ride away from Salem, Massachusetts — alive this time of year with reminders of its witch 
trial days! Not sure I’ll continue writing in this genre — but fun to try!

35 thoughts on “Off Course

  1. rochellewisoff October 29, 2015 / 8:20 pm

    Dear Lillian,

    Welcome! Welcome! You’ve certainly made a splash with this stunning story. I only hope she can outrun the three girls. So much for Jane Austen. Good job.



    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 29, 2015 / 8:22 pm

      Many many thanks for your kind words, Rochelle….truly appreciated. I really enjoyed the challenge. Suspect I’ll be joining you in the Friday Fictioneers again!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dale October 30, 2015 / 4:47 am

    Welcome indeed! Those darn time-machines are just so testy… can’t be trusted!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 30, 2015 / 11:49 am

      Many thanks for the warm welcome! Love your reply 🙂
      Have a wonderful Halloween weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 30, 2015 / 12:04 pm

      ooooh, just realized, this is your photo! Funny me…..I looked at it and immediately saw a time machine….or a huge snake. And I hate snakes so the choice was obvious 🙂 About an hour later, showed the pic to my husband (granted, he pulled it up on a big screen and I’d pulled it up on my phone original) and said, “it’s a chair” — to which I said “where?” I must have been initially so convinced it was a time machine, I never even saw the chair! 🙂 Funny what the imagination will do. Anyway, loved the photo!! So glad you took it and so glad it was used for this prompt!
      PS: Nice to meet you, Dale!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dale October 30, 2015 / 12:36 pm

        Nice to meet you.and…as written on.Rochelle’s page – “it’s not what you look at, it’s what you see!”
        Glad you had such fun with it!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. micklively October 30, 2015 / 7:30 am

    Genteel for a tiny fraction of the population. A disease-ridden, half-starved drudge for everyone else.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 30, 2015 / 11:51 am

      Thank you for your reply. Yes, the times Jane Austen wrote about were indeed divided in terms of those who lived “upstairs” and those who lived “downstairs” — and those who lived in hovels and/or on the streets. Point well taken.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Misky October 30, 2015 / 9:53 am

    Oooh, good Halloween material! >


    • lillian October 30, 2015 / 11:52 am

      Glad you liked it. Have a hobgoblin Halloween weekend my friend! 🙂


      • Misky October 30, 2015 / 12:06 pm

        It’s not celebrated with the same enthusiasm here. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • lillian October 30, 2015 / 12:09 pm

        Ah…..the candy industry must be disappointed! However the grade school teachers don’t have to deal with those sugar highs so much 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. AnnMarie Roselli-Kissack October 30, 2015 / 10:03 am

    I love the lore of witches and all that they represent. Your words this am, Lillian – gave me a H.G. Wells shudder into Salem. What cool and unusual thoughts to magic together into an eerie tale…oooooo
    Happy Friday

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 30, 2015 / 11:54 am

      Thanks, Ann Marie! Tis the season of witches and hobgoblins…….. Happy Halloween to you!


  6. Caerlynn Nash October 30, 2015 / 12:40 pm

    Love this. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 30, 2015 / 12:46 pm

      Ah, many thanks Caerlynn. So nice to meet you this morning over my second cup of coffee!


      • Caerlynn Nash October 30, 2015 / 12:47 pm

        Second. Really? I’ve got some catching up to do. Have a great day!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. gahlearner October 30, 2015 / 10:07 pm

    What a great story. And what happens then? Will the red haired woman be rescued? Will the time machine be destroyed? Stranded in that superstitious world is a horrible thought. 🙂 Welcome!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 30, 2015 / 10:22 pm

      Many thanks! So glad you liked it……maybe you should write the sequel 🙂 Thanks for the warm welcome……I suspect I shall be back next week!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Amy Reese October 31, 2015 / 7:42 pm

    Oh wow! I love it. Will they catch the red-haired witch in time? I guess you never know what kind of world you’ll enter into. Nicely Written, Lillian.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 31, 2015 / 7:44 pm

      So glad you liked it Amy. Nice to meet you this Halloween day — and the red-haired witch’s spirit is roaming the streets tonight in Salem!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Amy Reese October 31, 2015 / 7:46 pm

        Good to meet you, too. Welcome! Yikes! It’s a good thing I’ll be under a blanket with a bag of candy. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Melanie November 1, 2015 / 7:28 pm

    Absolutely glorious! I love the mesh of future and past, the craft with witchcraft.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 1, 2015 / 7:36 pm

      So glad you like it Melanie. I thought it good timing with Halloween 😊🎃. Many thanks for your reaction here! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Melanie November 1, 2015 / 7:57 pm

        Halloween or otherwise, it’s a good story. Welcome to Friday Fictioneers!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. hafong November 2, 2015 / 12:13 am

    A witch story – nice, in time for Halloween. I was a witch for Halloween in Grade 4. Won first prize for my costume. 🙂 Welcome to FF.


    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 2, 2015 / 12:17 am

      Thanks so much for the welcome! Had fun with the story…a bit of time travel back to the Salem, MA witch trials. Read there were 80,000 tourists in Salem yesterday!!!
      Hope to see you again!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. jenniesisler November 3, 2015 / 9:56 pm

    Great story! I didn’t see it going to the witch trials so I liked the little twist there at the end. Please write more of these!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 4, 2015 / 12:38 am

      My fist time in FF….really enjoyable so sure I will step up to the challenge again. So glad you liked it! Stop by again 😊


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