Friday Fictioneers: Staircase to Nowhere


PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright-Björn Rudberg

On a wind-swept cliff overlooking the Pacific, a stone staircase is all that remains of an ancient cottage, long ago crumbled into the ocean. In childhood, the staircase fascinated her. As she grows old she carves messages in stone, beginning at the bottom step.

“Me & Yoshiro 4ever.”

“Am now Mrs. Steven Miller!”

“Our first child! Amber. A girl.”

“Lost Steven to cancer.”

“Soldiers took our two sons.”

“I cannot live like this anymore.”

At the very top of the staircase, if you look closely, you will see a few words in a tinier script. “Mom, I forgive you.”


My submission for Friday Fictioneers, where every week we write 100 word stories. It’s fun! Even when I’m sort of half-awake like today.

28 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers: Staircase to Nowhere

  1. I like the creative but sad tale you’ve spun.
    Forgiveness is difficult, but so important. It implies understanding.
    In a child’s case, it is more than painful, it is overwhelming. But it implies a level of insight that only a fully developed individual can achieve.
    That the pain of loss for a living person, in this case a mother, had become so unbearable, that it had overwhelmed the reality of the need to still care for other living people, in this case her daughter.


    1. Randy, that’s a really interesting insight. In my mind, I was thinking it would be one of the sons, after coming back from war (having been forcibly enlisted.) It makes even more sense if it was her daughter and there was this process of thought for her – maybe even ending the same way as her mother. That is powerful and one of those accidentally on purpose things, where something works without meaning it.

  2. A really powerful way to tell a family’s story – wonderful. Until I read your response to The Writer’s Village I certainly read it as the daughter writing the last inscription. The line ‘soldiers took our two sons’ didn’t mean for me, that the soldiers had taken them to be soldiers, but they had abducted them and the boys disappeared. But, it works both ways. Lovely.

  3. Indeed Anne, as so many others have commented, wonderful story with such a unique twist. I too, had read it as the daughter forgiving the mother, not as a “prodigal” son – but as you’ve said, it works both ways, and certainly leaves one captivated and held fast in the words. 🙂

  4. Anne, A sad, but well-written story. It progresses with the steps, a creative take on the prompt. I also thought it was the daughter writing on the last step, but it works even with one of the sons. Well done. 🙂 —Susan

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