The Fortress


PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Al stepped towards the woman and the children.  He unconsciously congratulated himself for keeping a rigid face, for not flinching.

“Ma’am, you will have to come with us.”

Wide eyed, the woman jerked back, but was grabbed by one of the officers.  The smallest child began to cry as he was lifted, none too gently, and carried away.

Al glared at the onlookers then led the officers to the car.

“Papa, you look sad.”

Al forced a smile.  Toby was about the same age as the child.

“Heart of stone,” someone had yelled.

No, it was all too much flesh.

— —

Word count = 100

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This week’s prompt is here and uses a photo © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  Read more or join in by following the InLinkz “linky“.

I was out of town last week so visited only a few other FF stories.  I hope to catch more this week.

When I saw the photo my first thought was a fortress around someone’s heart, allowing them to be cold and mask their true feeling.

34 thoughts on “The Fortress

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I can’t imagine that it is easy to be involved in a type of work were your actions cause people emotional pain. As to the woman, it is possible she was a criminal, but perhaps she was an asylum seeker (big in the news this year…) or that something even more sinister is going on, like she is being taken for her beliefs, skin color, etc.


    1. trentpmcd Post author

      A lot is left up to the reader’s imagination, but… Al is an officer in a law enforcement squad. They are arrest the woman. Why? It could be anything. She might be a real criminal or she might be an asylum seeker (huge in the news lately). It is possible it is something even more sinister, like perhaps she is going to be sent to an internment camp for her skin color or her beliefs. The import thing is that on the outside Al does his job as he is told, but on the inside it is tearing him up.


    1. trentpmcd Post author

      It is sometimes necessary. Even in this story we don’t know why they were taking the woman in. Was it that she was an asylum seeker and they were going to hold her and her children in separate pens, or was she a hardened criminal who murdered without a thought and exposed her children to her awful lifestyle? There are a lot of jibs I would not like to have!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks, Dale. No, not a dilemma I would want to face either! On the other hand, in some ways we (or maybe not Canadians like you) have a similar dilemma in what do we do if we think our elected government is doing something immoral, like separating children from their parents? Do we just keep that poker face and deal with it or act out? Not easy…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I would call Al something of an anti-hero. He is not innocent, despite his breaking heart. “Doing my job” is no excuse for doing evil. So yes, he might be hiding a lot behind that protective wall of his…

      Liked by 2 people


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