PHOTO PROMPT: Copyright Sandra Crook
PHOTO PROMPT: Copyright Sandra Crook

The storm had flushed the streets, expunging the city of years of accumulated garbage, but it had simply been carried to where the river narrowed. The homeless had been similarly relocated, and now waded waist-deep in swirling muck, picking though the floating trash. Building mounds of sad treasures.

I stood with Mark on the bridge, watching the winnowers gather their pathetic harvest.

“Look at that filth,” he said, “it’s disgusting.”

I scanned his face, wondering if he referred to washed up rubbish or the unfortunates collecting it. I kept silent, unsure if the question reflected on him or on me.

(Word count 100)

Vince Locke - Page 93 of Wraith: The Great War
Vince Locke – Scavenger Folk, Page 93 of Wraith: The Great War

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). I hope you enjoy this story – once I thought of the word detritus, I couldn’t get past the image of scavengers hunting through the garbage. The rest… well poverty rarely encourages the empathy it should.




30 thoughts on “Detritus”

  1. KT,
    Ewww . . . What a disgusting human being Mark is. I hope your narrator has the sense to cut any ties with him as soon as possible. In this situation, it’s time to be the solution.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear KT, Wonderful story you wrote and I don’t care for Mark at all. I do love your illustration of a winnower and this story made me think a lot about the world in general. Sad. Good story though! Nan 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Outstanding piece, KT. One of your best so far. I thought you choose the perfect words for the story as so many of the comments have reflected your skill with language. I cannot pass judgment on Mark or the narrator. I know there were times in my life when I made condescending remarks (or at least thought them) about someone less fortunate that me. Today, it breaks may heart to watch the homeless dig through trash looking for a half-eaten hot dog or an aluminum can to recycle.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like the image of the flood washing all the city’s garbage away. I couldn’t help imagining a sparkling clean city after the water has passed through. Of course the rubbish,of all kinds, is all still there, and the self-doubt of your narrator is convincingly portrayed. Good story.

    Liked by 1 person

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