Uncomfortably numbed, or Click Click Click

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright Janet Webb

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright Janet Webb



Excepting one finger, I am frozen. Unmoving and unmoved.

The cursor scrolls down selecting links at random, directionless.


“Parents starve child to death…”


“Miracle baby survives…”


“Police-related death sparks riots…”



“School shooting…”


Click, click, click.

Clicking. Hunting for meaning. I want to be filled with something; horror, beauty. Anything…

Anything to shrug off this paralysis.

The emptiness remains. Glutted on emotionless truth, filled with cold and hard facts.

I am numb from endless horrors and hollow beauty leaving only… indifference.

I connect to the world.

I connect to nothing.

Click. Click. Click.

…ok. This one got a little bleak.

(Word count: 100)

Welcome back to my blog for another Friday Fictioneer’s 100 word challenge with a prompt put forward from Rochelle’s blog (this link will take you to all the stories), although I wonder if it is ‘strictly legal’ as I’m not sure my post comes with a beginning, middle, and end. If that’s the case, then I apologise and understand if it gets removed from the story pool (no hard feelings Rochelle 🙂).

This might be another poem… Is it weird that I can’t be sure?

My ‘take’ on the prompt has a lot to do with what I was doing when I saw the picture. I was eating lunch, casually surfing the net, indifferently reading the various highs and lows (and very, very lows) in the news, on Facebook and on Twitter. I was struck mid-munch that I’d actually read a lot of really quite terrible news, and that if this stuff had happened to someone close to me, perhaps I wouldn’t be quite as nonchalant.

Contrast this news-apathy to my response to an artistic medium – a novel, a movie, music – all of which have the capacity to strike an emotional chord, even when fictional. The difference is (of course) the empathic connection you can get though a work of art, is not something you get through the news – which is frequently a reduction of events to mere facts absent the surrounding context.

So perhaps I was in this contemplative frame of mind when I saw the frozen flower, or perhaps the frozen flower influenced how I was seeing things… anyway, I guess I took ‘numb’ tangentially from frozen. I think so anyway.

Who knows.

Let me know what you think in the comments, and I promise I will try to read more links this week – last week was madness, so I didn’t get to as many as I hoped!



(Reading it again, I’m pretty sure this is a poem).




35 thoughts on “Uncomfortably numbed, or Click Click Click

  1. Dear KT,

    Anything goes as long as you use the prompt. Sometimes some to the best stories each week are the stories that tell how the story was conceived and not the story itself.

    Yours was a perfect reflection of our sometimes bleak information feeds. Conflict sells and talking heads are all vapid liars at best. It is a wasteland out there save for writers like you who inject a shot of light and life into the pipeline. Well done,



    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Doug – I’m figure I’m pretty new to the FF’eers and still learning the rules 🙂

      I agree – reading about (or just figuring out sometimes) how a writer got to their tale is part of the enjoyment.

      As for the news, and the talking heads… we are inundated with data, with facts, with unbelievable miracles and shocking terrors… and it washes over us, its background noise.

      Thanks for the kind words, and for reading 🙂


  2. Dear KT,

    Remove your story? I should say not! It’s the perfect example of what I try to extract from people week after week. You took the frozen flower and came up with numb. Brilliant. (And I don’t use that word lightly or arbitrarily.) You’ve captured the collective mindset in our high tech world today. I’m as guilty as anyone of this kind of apathy. Click. Click. Click.

    Well done.



    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rochelle, I appreciate these kind words – this sort of feedback is very encouraging! 🙂

      I’m glad this one wont get removed – I was pretty happy with it in the end, even if it ‘stretches’ the rules a fraction.

      Thanks (again) – firstly for setting the challenge, and secondly for reading my 100 words for another week.


      Liked by 1 person

  3. I thought it was a excellent story, KT. It really hit a chord with me. We get inundated with so much stuff (most of it negative) that after a while we don’t even pay attention any more. I once wrote a poem entitled “You Don’t Shock Me Anymore” which covered the subject–not quite as eloquently as you–but conveyed the same message. This one was a home run in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Russell, thank you very much, I really appreciate the kind comments – its awfully encouraging 🙂

      Is your poem online? On your blog?

      I think this detachment we all seem to generate is a protection mechanism, something we must have to shield us from collapsing in horror or simply going mad in the face of relentless awfulness. And the awfulness is relentless – the news cycle is 24/7, and we are barraged with only the juiciest tidbits of extreme behaviour – because it has to be shocking to get past our ‘walls’… which of course forces us to build the walls a little higher, a little harder…

      I think I am getting philosophical in my old age.

      Thanks for reading


  4. I think you’ve captured the moment perfectly – at least for me. That’s how I feel about all the horrendous things that’s happening in the world today – numb. Friday Fictioneers is good therapy for me.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. K.T. I don’t believe there are any hard and fast rules in FF. Go with the muse.
    This was very poignant and, I fear, all to true. Sometimes I wish there was a news hour that relayed only good, Norman Rockwellian stories. “Anything to shrug off this paralysis.” Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “information overload” from a picture of a frozen flower, Wow! What an imaginative and creative mind. I simply loved the look and feel of you 100 words. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Bjorn – this is an excellent point. Crime, poverty… things are progressing and in many instances getting better. Sadly, these statistics don’t make good news however.

      I will have to check out Hans’ youtube channel.



  7. This is wonderful, KT — really a wonderful take on the prompt. I think we can all relate to that numbness — the overload from seeing bits and bobs and pieces of everything-and-nothing.

    Not bleak so much as realistic.


    Liked by 1 person

  8. KT, It’s hard to escape bad news these days. I know it’s always been there, but more of it gets published ahead of the good news because: (a) it’s sensational and draws attention, and (b) because we receive news from more sources these days. .To be physically challenged as your character seems to be would make it even worse. Good and well-written story with sensitve meaning that makes the reader stop and think. — Susan.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. An acquaintance of mine in her 80s commented recently that she couldn’t make herself care any more. She didn’t want to hear the news – she knew it was all still going on out there, but she just felt she’d listened and felt the pain long enough, especially since she was powerless to do anything about it. I was intrigued by this perspective, from a lady who obviously had a good heart. The numbnesss you so eloquently portray reminded me of her. Your story works really well.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi, Kristian, thanks for the follow. Not sure how you found me but after reading this I’ll have to follow back. The media is out of control. My home city has been hit hard for the last few months, so I’ve witnessed the outrageous spin they put on stories firsthand. “News” delivered as entertainment, all for clicks. I feel I’m part of the problem. Why do we keep clicking?! Your writing here hit home.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks – Im pleased with how this one has bern received – I think this is a common feeling of news exhaustion.

      I clicked through a comment on terribleminds to your page – followed to read some of the flash fic later. Enjoyed the spacesuit death – great imagery 🙂


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