Cigarette Break

My second Friday Fictioneerssubmission this week. Not sure if that’s bad form but I wanted something less frivolous to complement my other story. This began as a poem but I couldn’t sustain the structure.

Photo Copyright Claire Fuller

100 words

Rosie takes a drag on the cigarette; it smoothed out the lines around her mouth. For a moment, she looks her age. She exhales, stomps last year’s boots on the asphalt floor.

“There’s layoffs at the steelworks,” she says, “Not looking good for the factory”

She’s right. There’s been no overtime in months; the town’s dying around us. Nobody needs overalls, anymore. I give this place a year at most.. I’m thirty-nine, too young to be on the scrap heap.

I light another. Soon, I might not be able to afford to smoke. For now, though, it gets me through.




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28 responses to “Cigarette Break

  1. This one works.. very well. I sensed also that business gone in the picture.

  2. I hear the looming doom. Good writing.

  3. It astounds me how people with barely money to pay their bills always manage to find money for cigarettes!

  4. Very poignant! Way to show how it’s the simple pleasures (even if they are vices!) that get us through.

  5. The photo definitely give the impression that things are on their last legs. A once-boomtown fallen on hard times.

  6. Dear Prolific 😉 Etienne,

    This story felt hot, gritty and all to real. Good one.



  7. It was a very realistic story and a situation that many may have experienced in recent years.

  8. camgal

    Apparent addiction that makes me remember how i feel when i see some of my friends dying for a smoke. I meant to leave a comment- well done. 🙂

  9. You have a complete thought here that is well written. Personally, I liked the other one better, but you, my dear, are no slouch of a flash-fiction writer. Well done.

    Marie Gail

  10. A sign of the times. Great story on the photo prompt!

  11. A very real story. I could see the character and feel her anxiety.

  12. Etienne,
    The tension and despair run right through this story from beginning to end. Nice job.

  13. Despair is right.It’s happened so much of late. Great writing. Bravo.

  14. Wonderful story and the details are good! Thanks, nan

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