100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups – Week #5 – Help? No Thanks.

09 Aug

A man lay prone on the ground. A crowd gathered to look on.

“Has he fallen?”

“Did he trip?”

“Is he praying?

Finally one onlooker bent to ask, “Are you okay?”

“Yes,” came the answer, nothing more.

Not satisfied with the short answer, the onlooker moved closer, “Why are you lying on the ground that way?”

“I’ll be okay,” came the answer. “Just leave me here.”

The onlooker was persistent, “I can help you but I need to know what’s wrong.”

The prone man turned his face to speak to the onlooker, “I have an extremely bad case of acrophobia.”


24 responses to “100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups – Week #5 – Help? No Thanks.

  1. Lisa (Woman Wielding Words)

    August 9, 2011 at 11:26

    Clever. I guess he is stuck down there. 😉

    • Ross Mannell

      August 9, 2011 at 13:05

      Thanks for the comment. He does have a problem. 🙂

  2. Lynda Dixon

    August 9, 2011 at 18:00

    I bet he was drunk and just didn’t want to admit it! Another interesting take on a strange prompt!

    • Ross Mannell

      August 9, 2011 at 18:09

      I hadn’t though of the drunk possibility. 🙂 Good idea. Don’t drink alcohol myself so it didn’t come to mind. Too innocent a mind? 🙂

  3. Sally-Jayne

    August 9, 2011 at 20:26

    I liked the way you told the story through dialogue – and what a fantastic punchline. I woud never have thought of that. WIll spend the rest of the day worrying about that poor man now – how did he get there and how on earth is going to get home again?

    • Ross Mannell

      August 9, 2011 at 21:48

      Thank you for the comment. With a 100 word limit, I suppose we’ll never know what happened to him. 🙂

  4. Emma Collins (@EmTeaches)

    August 9, 2011 at 21:48

    I agree with Sally-Jayne. Telling the story through dialogue in only one hundred words is very well thought out. You have done this really well.

    • Ross Mannell

      August 9, 2011 at 21:52

      Thank your for the comment. It’s a good thought exercise to write short stories in a very limited number of words. I always try to hit right on the mark as an added goal. 🙂

  5. jfb57

    August 10, 2011 at 02:24

    What a great conversation Ross! I can imagine the tine of voices changing as it progressed. Thank for taking up the challenge again!

    • Ross Mannell

      August 12, 2011 at 12:48

      Thank you for the positive comment. Been busy editing video for schools at the moment but took a break to write.

  6. sparksinshadow

    August 10, 2011 at 07:32

    Great take on the prompt. I like the use of conversation, too. The poor fellow! How could he stand up again with that severe a phobia?!

    • Ross Mannell

      August 12, 2011 at 12:51

      Thanks for the positive comment. How did he get up? I was wondering how he got there in the first place but I didn’t have to explain that in the 100 words. 😉

  7. wcdameron

    August 12, 2011 at 12:41

    The dialogue kept me interested and I really wanted to know what happend. Well done!

    • Ross Mannell

      August 12, 2011 at 12:53

      Within the limits of 100 words, I didn’t have to explain what happened. Perhaps he would make news as he slowly inched his way home caterpillar fashion or perhaps his phobia only becomes severe when something triggers it. 🙂 Luckily I didn’t have to go further.

  8. Stromi

    August 13, 2011 at 07:48

    I love the way you leave us with many questions both about how the situation arose and what happened next. It’s akin to a prompt within a prompt.

    • Ross Mannell

      August 13, 2011 at 08:31

      Thanks for the kind comment. An advantage about the 100 word limit can be not having to spend time too much time explaining how a situation had come about or where it would lead. 😉 As suggested in other replies, I had toyed with the idea of something triggering a severe phobic reaction and method of getting home. 🙂

  9. Anna Halford

    August 13, 2011 at 21:34

    Really like this one; great use of dialogue and lots of unanswered questions.

    • Ross Mannell

      August 13, 2011 at 21:48

      Thanks for the positive comment. 100 word limits can often leave questions but are a wonderful restriction for the mind to work around.

  10. gsussex

    August 13, 2011 at 23:55

    I was thinking high and low (pun intended) what the punchline might be! A persistent onlooker ensured we all knew the reason. Enjoy this piece!

    • Ross Mannell

      August 14, 2011 at 06:43

      Thanks for the positive comment. It can be fun fitting an idea into 100 words and still having it make any sense.

  11. Han

    August 16, 2011 at 07:23

    I actually had to go and Google acrophobia – I didn’t know that was the technical name for a fear of heights. Good story 🙂

    • Ross Mannell

      August 16, 2011 at 07:45

      Thanks for the comment. With the need of some to label every phobia, it can be hard to know which is which. Many times I’ve had to look up a phobia name for some reason or other. I wonder if there is a word for a phobia about names of phobias?… there probably is or would be. 🙂

  12. brinkofbedlam

    August 16, 2011 at 07:47

    I didn’t know what acrophobia was, now I do! Fabulous bit of writing, very droll! ;O) Loved it

    • Ross Mannell

      August 16, 2011 at 07:59

      Thanks for the comment. Must admit I had to check if I had the correct phobia before writing it in. 😉


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