Friday Fictioneers 100 Word Flash Fiction Challenge: The Beyond

(c) Rachel Bjerke 2015

(c) Rachel Bjerke 2015

Every Friday writers worldwide gather round the virtual fireside of Rochelle Wisoff and share stories of 100 words, prompted by a common photograph, and exchange constructive criticism. You don’t have to write to read. Click on the blue frog at the end of my story to access all the other stories written to this week’s prompt. Readers’ comments are welcome. This week’s photo prompt is courtesy Rachel Bjerke. Thanks, Rachel. Here’s the story your photo inspired:

The Beyond

These circular kitchens were scattered throughout the vast wood. Each had stone chimney, oven, well. Doors descended to a stone honeycomb – each settlement’s quarters. We cooked, kept warm, socialised. For food, we hunted to the wood’s perimeters – an encircling fence, beyond which was further woodland – but it was accepted that we never crossed over.

“Why go into The Beyond, Sanai?”

“It is there, Fatwa.”

“And forbidden.”


“Think of our children!”

“We have none. You know few can.”

Weeks of walking brought him to a wall, so tall its top lost in mist.

He would ascend, somehow.

(c) Ann Isik 2015
100 words

In respect of my hero’s name, in case you’re interested, Sanai was an 11th-12th century Persian poet. His master work is the epic The Walled Garden of Truth, the first Persian mystical epic of Sufism. A contemporary of Sanai was Attar – is one of the pen-names of Attar of Nishapur (c. 1145 – c. 1221) – Persian sufi and poet. Both Sanai and Attar were major influencers of 13th century mystic sufi poet Rumi. Of Attar Rumi wrote in a poem, “Attar has traversed the seven cities of Love, We are still at the turn of one street.”  Attar translates to The Perfumer.

About AnnIsikArts

Artist/Writer/Chess Enthusiast/Musician (Singer)/Gardener
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24 Responses to Friday Fictioneers 100 Word Flash Fiction Challenge: The Beyond

  1. Persistence, one of our best qualities. You portrayed it so well in your story, the mix of ancient mythology and dystopian future.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Indira says:

    I’m late here and you have got very nice comments here for a very interesting story. Thanks for the links and background. Learned something new.


  3. rgayer55 says:

    This story is a nice teaser. Everyone is waiting to see what is beyond their known world. Good one, Ann.


  4. Come late and all the perceptive comments have been used. “Fatwa”, in this day and age, got my attention, though. Thanks for all the background and links.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. hafong says:

    The beyond and forbidden always evoke temptation. Your story does have sci-fiction to me. I get the sense the people have mutated as few can have children.


    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think the mystery setting here is almost like a mythology. The closed world with a clear border has some resemblance to a story of creation, and somehow I imagine a transformation to occur when the walls are scaled…

    Liked by 1 person

    • AnnIsikArts says:

      Yes, I wonder what is on the other side of the wall? I must develop this story and find out! The photo was very inspiring this week. I am a gothic type at heart! Thanks for reading and commenting Bjorn. 🙂


  7. This feels quite ancient in the telling.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. i b arora says:

    intriguing but i think you intended it that way

    Liked by 1 person

    • AnnIsikArts says:

      Thanks for reading. It’s meant to be a sci-fi (I have failed to show this of course!) setting and I’m attempting a story with more than one layer of meaning. Intriguing is good! 🙂


  9. Dear Ann,

    I enjoyed the mystic quality of your story. It felt futuristic and dystopian, yet ancient. Nicely done.



    Liked by 1 person

  10. mjlstories says:

    Very atmospheric. The opening reads like an old account from before the ascent of the wall – or am I just projecting this because the kitchens are now moss-covered in the photo?

    Liked by 1 person

    • AnnIsikArts says:

      The description at the beginning is ‘narrated’ (not attached to a character – well, as it stands, within 100 words). Who knows, it may turn out to be ‘an old account’ someone is reading. The dialogue’s in the present. Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂


  11. Mystical indeed. And some great names introduced here – thank you for this.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sandra says:

    Interesting story, nicely executed. And thanks for the background. Hope all is well with you Ann.


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