Every Friday authors from around the world gather here to share their 100-words and offer constructive crit and encouragement to each other. This creates a wonderful opportunity for free reading of very fresh fiction! Readers are encouraged to comment as well.


Every picture tells a story. 455 is burning. The front door of 457 is open and the light is on, both as I left them as I ran out.
I’ve suffered from magic wand aspirations all my life. The beauty queens say work with children and world peace. Everyone knows it’s bullshit; they all want modelling contracts. I wanted to be brave; to be somebody; if only I had that magic wand.
This picture doesn’t tell of me frozen in terror in the back garden, listening to the screams of agony from within, longing to help and slowly dying inside.

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About micklively

Fifty-something, pacifist, six sigma black belt, lean implementer, brewer, vintner, guitarist, wood-turner, and slave to collies.
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28 Responses to Frozen

  1. Norma says:

    We all want to be brave but not everyone has the courage to pass the line of fire and for the some who do they leave a legacy of heroism for the world. A thought provoking story, Mick.

  2. milliethom says:

    I imagine many people might want to be brave but freeze when it comes to actually putting it into practice. Not everyone is a born hero. Then there are those who have never given a thought to the idea of being brave but react instinctively at a time of crisis. An interesting and thought-provoking story.

  3. rgayer55 says:

    I’d like a magic wand too, if you’re passing them out. Although, I’d look pretty silly in the dress and tiara.

  4. I don’t know that those he saved from their terror will thank him and he will have to live with it forever or was the terror within himself and he became increasingly unhinged until he gained the fame (or rather infamy) he desired by this dreadful act of arson.

  5. mjlstories says:

    I really think this is a thought many of us have – what would I do? The comments seem to confirm that! Very interesting take on the prompt. And does it bother men more – I mean you’re supposed to be, well men! Which is silly of course – to be afraid is human.
    Took a school assembly once on bravery after I’d seen an assembly where bravery was described as being fearless – I went in the opposite direction and described bravery as being scared silly but still having a go!

    • micklively says:

      Interesting point you make. Society is steeped in the “women and children first” attitude. I think it’s genetic: probably the price we pay for occupying the top rung on the species ladder. Our babies, pregnant and nursing females are incredibly vulnerable. Our defence against this vulnerability is the bond between sexual partners. Maybe bravery is just knee-jerk for a man.

  6. Alice Audrey says:

    A lot of tragedies would be avoided if our regrets worked like magic wands.

  7. The fear in both of your stories is palpable. There is something undeniable in those first instincts that call us to freeze, run or fight.

  8. Powerful, frightening, real…thanks

  9. gahlearner says:

    I’m afraid this could be me, too. Sometimes our masks come off. Great thought-provoking story.

    • micklively says:

      It is weird. I’ve seen folk interviewed who’ve run into burning buildings. Sometimes it seems they would have been just as cowardly as the rest of us, if they’d only taken a moment to consider the dangers. Who knows?
      Thanks for your feedback.

  10. Sonya says:

    I liked your other story, Fire, but this one is going to stay with me, I reckon. We all like to think of ourselves as heroes in waiting, but how many would actually be able to risk their own lives to save somebody else’s? Your narrator’s failed himself, and it comes across well.
    Nice work!

    • micklively says:

      Bravery is a strange phenomenon, undoubtedly. Folk expect “big” and “brave” to go together. Well I’m huge and I know I’m chicken. I haven’t had the practice you see: no-one throws a punch at the big guy.
      Many thanks for your input Sonya.

  11. Dear Mick,

    Great take and moment of truth. Well done.



  12. ansumani says:

    The agony of helplessness captured here…Well done.

  13. draliman says:

    I have a suspicion your protagonist could be me if I found myself in a similar situation, longing to help but frozen in fear. Nice story!

    • micklively says:

      I don’t think anyone can tell how they will react in such a situation. Heroes are found in the most unlikely places.
      Many thanks for your feedback.

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