The Fire of Progress – Friday Fictioneers Flash Fiction

I pledgeEvery Wednesday we get our weekly picture prompt for the Friday Fictioneers, graciously provided by our Fairy Blog Mother Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. There’ve been reruns of old prompts for a few weeks now, which is a nice break for the ‘founder-fictioneers’ because they can re-post their old stories. Newcomers like me get an interesting glimpse into the Friday Fictioneers’ past. The reason for the reruns is Rochelle’s third book, As One Must, One Can, which has a deadline in July.

The task is to write a story: beginning, middle, and end, in 100 words or less. You can find all the Fictioneers’ stories when you click on the Froggy. Please read, comment, and if you like, join the fun. Everyone is welcome.

The Fire of Progress

Waves thump against her pedestal with a steady beat but she doesn’t flinch. Right arm pointing towards the sky, she brandishes her torch at a sinking civilization.

It’s only been six feet over the last fifty years. That’s not much, but enough to submerge her island. Coastlines change. Islands disappear. People on the move create a flood of a different kind.

This will go on for centuries, but she doesn’t care. She stands tall. Her fire of progress illuminates the other building that will stand: the stock exchange. Even at maximum sea level, both will prevail. Until their bases crumble.

(100 words)

<begin eco-freak sermon>I don’t care if you ‘believe’ in human-made climate change or not, fact is that the ice melts and sea levels rise. Earth’s climate is a very complex system, difficult to understand. That isn’t an excuse for not adapting the things we know have an effect and can be changed. If you like to play around with a sea level map, go here. Of course it isn’t 100% accurate, but it gives you an idea how different places could be affected.</end eco-freak sermon. 😉 >



Featured image ©Jan Fields. Used with permission for this Friday Fictioneer Challenge only. Any other use of this image requires Jan Field’s permission.



62 thoughts on “The Fire of Progress – Friday Fictioneers Flash Fiction

    1. Thank you, Neil. I need to get my head away from politics. Next week I’ll try to write a fairytale… 😀


    1. Fortunately these things mostly happen gradually, so I’m pretty certain that they’ll move her somewhere else. But yes, if you look at the melting of Greenland ice, it’s getting alarming. We certainly live in interesting times.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Anything or anyone living my the coast really – which means here in Bristol we’ll be under the waves, the tops of our harbourside cranes waving to Liberty across the Atlantic.
    A great use of imagery, Gabi – she and money stand tall until the environment corrodes them. Sobering and very well written

    Liked by 1 person

          1. Haha! I knew what you were trying to say.
            I like the word ‘cowaslines’ and was wondering what it could mean. Sounds like a rural word – maybe from northern England – meaning the paths in the landscape that herds of cows made as they graze.
            ‘See the cowasline on yonder hill, son?’ ‘Aye, father.’ ‘Thas been there since my father and his father before ‘im.’
            Nice word 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

              1. Love it! we should start a whole new thread of posts using made up words, passing them off as real dialect or obscure examples that are dying out we’re trying to rekindle them. Could make up anything … 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

                    1. It’s a made up dialect, but since I was born in Bavaria, I’m entitled. Do you see the cowasline there? is the rough translation.


  2. We’ll probably see the Statue of Liberty lifting up her skirt to keep it from getting wet or, at best, sitting on the roof of the New York Stock Exchange trying to hail a helicopter.

    Nice take on the prompt, Gabriele. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d think they move her if it comes to that. I never realized how high that pedestal is, but with a maximum sea level rise of around 60 meters (if all the ice on Earth melted), she’d barely have her toes wet. Thank you!


  3. For the past two hundred years there have been plenty who were willing and happy to rape the environment for quick, easy money. They speak of building a better place for their grandchildren while destroying the natural resources that sustain life on earth. Well said.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely. But, to be fair, for a long time the consequences weren’t clear (if you don’t look at shooting buffalo to near extinction and other quick-effect things). What irks me is that when people know about the consequences of actions, and still do nothing because it’s inconvenient… Ack. I’ll stop ranting now, thank you, Russel. 🙂


      1. Dear Gabriele,

        It goes without saying that I’m thrilled to pieces you’re reading my books. From Silt and Ashes really could use some reviews. I’m getting great comments from people on it but no one seems to be going to Amazon to review. The next book looms on the horizon. 😉

        Thank you and Shalom,


        Liked by 1 person

        1. I haven’t bought much on Amazon yet, I usually get my ebooks through ibooks. I hope I do it right, it’s been ages since I wrote a review… but we’ll get there.


    1. So am I. And of the arrogance with which the ‘I don’t believe that’ statements are uttered. Thank you, Tracey. Heading over to your place…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s the spirit. Bleeding heart environmentalists know nothing. 😛 Because the sun’s going into hibernation… (No,no,no, can’t write that…nonono XD ) Thanks.


  4. Good writing, Gah. On the other hand, I’ve read that more cold water in the oceans could “lower” the temperature. A piece said Alaska’s temperature has gradually lowered. Another ice age would be a switch a little like the movie “The Day After Tomorrow”. Neither outcome is very cheery. 😦 — Suzanne


    1. Problem with the oceans is that different temperatures either cause stagnation or mixing of the water layers, thus influencing the big streams in the oceans and they affect the regional weather. It is all linked and very difficult to interpret. Overall main temperatures are on the rise though. Thank you, Suzanne.


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