Great Escape

Mary-Jane placed her small bag of belongings in the little rowing boat that rocked on the lapping water at the edge of the jetty. She had brought her favourite things; her fluffball-topped pen, her unicorn notepad, and the jewellery box with the dancing ballerina.

She only had to make it to the island. One and a half miles of water, and the monsters would never catch her again.

She picked up the oar and paddled, firm and smooth, keeping her body low. A black shadow formed below her. A white light beckoned from the island.

Not much further.



This piece was written for the Friday Fictioneers hosted by the lovely Rochelle Wisoff-Fields – Addicted to Purple.

Each week a photo prompt is given and the challenge is write a flash fiction piece of no more than one hundred words.

Find other Friday Fictioneer stories here.

Author: Jennifer Kennedy

Mother, teacher and writer. I love all my jobs but writing holds a special place in my heart. I hope you enjoy reading my short stories as much as I enjoy writing them!

42 thoughts on “Great Escape”

  1. neilmacdon – I have published stories in several magazine, including Structo and Gold Dust. I am the author of five books about Latin America and the Caribbean, and most recently Cautionary Tales for Development Folk, a collection of humorous and instructive stories drawn from a career in international aid. I have had a varied working career including science, journalism and publishing until I settled into the aid world. He is now turning to fiction writing full time, and have been serving an apprenticeship to the craft. I was born in Scotland, raised in Jamaica, and have lived and worked in England, the US and South Africa. I now live in a cottage in Surrey, England together with my wife and the obligatory cat and dog.
    neilmacdon says:

    I liked the atmosphere in this and the way you evoked the child’s mentality

  2. Nicely built tension, and we are left wondering.
    Are the monsters real?
    Does she escape?
    Neatly done.

  3. Iain Kelly – Canonbie Ave, East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire G74 4, UK – 41 year old writer, avid film viewer and book reader, employed in the media industry as a television editor.
    Iain Kelly says:

    Lovely little childhood fairytale. I wonder if the physical monsters are a manifestation of something worse that she is fleeing.

  4. rochellewisoff – Missouri – A Kansas City native, Rochelle's been married to her first husband Jan for nearly 50 years. A trained graphic artist, her passion is creating not only watercolor paintings, but word pictures as well. Her most recent novel about a middle-aged woman battling anorexia is under contract with literary agent Diane Nine
    rochellewisoff says:

    Dear Jennifer,

    Ominous. By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes. Good build of tension.



  5. Great story, with hints of hope through a lugubrious sense of foreboding. Did she make it to the island?
    Well done.
    Best wishes,

  6. Stu – I am 100% Creative. I follow my passions: Conceptualizer, Professional Storyteller; Published author, NYS Certified Drama Teacher, Teaching Artist of Theater Arts, and Creative Writing. Arts organizer with an entrepreneurial spirit.
    StuHN says:

    Eerie story. The dark shape above her head. I’m assuming Dragon, but…
    And funny thing, I don’t see this as a young girl/child. More like a teen/early 20’s feel, for me.

  7. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) – I love to write poetry in all forms and matters. Almost unpublished but busy writing poetry daily. Love to see the music and color in words and grab my poetic license with English.
    Björn Rudberg (brudberg) says:

    The shadow below sounds so ominous… maybe the monsters are for real… some actually are. I loved how you used the symbols of a small girl to show how the reality.

  8. pennygadd51 – United Kingdom – I write. I've written many pieces of flash fiction, dozens of short stories and two novels, with a third in progress.
    pennygadd51 says:

    Well written; I like the way you use favourite possessions to let us know the approximate age of the girl. The monsters are more frightening for being nameless. You imagined well how the girl might think this was a way of escaping those threatening her.
    Awful that so many children flee from ill-treatment and abuse.

  9. 4963andypop – Florida, USA – My name is Andrea LeDew. I write poetry and short fiction and try my hand at longer works, all while acting as caretaker for my adult son with autism. I live in North Florida and blog on For Random Learning Comes. My blog is a window, looking into our ten-year homeschooling journey; my experiences parenting and caregiving in the orbit of disability; our joys and sorrows as a large family, and my take on the crazy world going on around us. I value family and friends, beautiful gardens, reading, fine chocolates, and travel. Way back in college, I studied English, German and law and now I consider myself an eternal student. I believe we must always be ready to learn, For Random Learning Comes!
    4963andypop says:

    I wonder what safety awaits her on the island. We feel like we know her from her careful handling of her possessions.

  10. Sandra – I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
    Sandra says:

    Nicely paced. I hope she makes it.

  11. Russell Gayer – NW Arkansas – Russell Gayer has two fans. One is a 12” 3-speed oscillator made by Westinghouse in 1967 and the other features a tongue-depressor handle and picture of Jesus. Most of his life has been frittered away in the pursuit of laziness and procrastination, both of which slip through his grasp since he refuses to put forth the energy to close his palm. In his made-for-tv-reality-show lifetime, Russell has been a dashing rock-star wanna be, a starving carpenter, a Hall of Shame softball player, and a poor excuse for a fisherman. His only saving grace is marrying way over his head. The fact that poor, sweet Connie has tolerated his antics since 1975 is a testament to her angelic patience and sympathetic heart. His grown children, Greta and Jesse, look at their Dad and shake their heads, praying that most of their DNA came from Mom.
    Russell Gayer says:

    First of all congratulations on being #1 on the Hollywood Squares of FFF authors this week.
    Excellent story. You built the tension well. We’re all pulling for her.

  12. Carol J Forrester – Carol J Forrester is a writer and a history geek. Her debut collection 'It's All In The Blood' came out November 2019. She has a 2:1 BA degree in history from Bath Spa University, enjoys judo at least twice a week, and tries to attend poetry events around the Midlands when she can. Her flash fiction story ‘Glorious Silence’ was named as River Ram Press’ short story of the month for August 2014 and her short story ‘A Visit From The Fortune Teller’ has been showcased on the literary site Ink Pantry. Her poems ‘Sunsets’ and ‘Clear Out‘ were featured on Eyes Plus Words, and two of her poems were included in the DVerse Poets Pub Publication ‘Chiaroscuro’ which is available for purchase on amazon.Her poem ‘Until The Light Gets In‘ was accepted and published at The Drabble and her poem ‘Newborn’ was published by Ink Sweat & Tears. She has been lucky enough to write guest posts for sites such as Inky Tavern and Song of The Forlorn and has hosted a number of guest bloggers on her site Writing and Works.
    Carol J Forrester says:

    A lovely balance between the ominous and the hope. Wonderful writing

  13. James McEwan – I enjoy writing short stories as they take a concentrated discipline to write. I also like reading a well crafted piece that give provide pleasure through the words. I am the author of two short story collections, The Case of the Mahjong Dragon and The Listener. I have also published on CafeLit, Literally Stories and Fiction on the Web. My aim as a writer is to entertain and captivate readers with enjoyable moments of escapism in an imaginary world. Read my Flash Fiction on my site: Fiction illuminates the truth.
    James McEwan says:

    Lots of points of tension, I thought: is she running away from someone or home -both.
    Of course we are left wondering if Mary-Jane will make it across the water.

  14. Great writing that leaves you intrigued as to what will happen next.

  15. Dawn M. Miller – Strasburg, Virginia – I began writing in the third grade, took a break for 30 years but now I am back and I hope I get better at it before I die.
    Dawn M. Miller says:

    Nice take on the prompt.

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