Five Photos Five Stories — Day three

Back to Day one (books) and introduction to the challenge

Back to Day two (writing)

Break out!

With this post I am going to “kill two birds with one stone” (though why I would want to kill any birds is beyond me).

I am posting a Day three photo and story in response to the challenge set by Geoff Le Pard, and responding to the flash fiction prompt set by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about an animal rescue.


My children had pet-deprived childhoods. It could hardly have been any other way. Both their parents also had pet-deprived childhoods. I know all the theory about pets helping to develop responsibility, caring for others and compassion and I’m all for it. But with that responsibility comes restriction, and I’m not all for that. For me, a pet-free childhood led to a pet-free adulthood. I’m not certain that I am any less responsible, caring or compassionate as a result.

While Rob may have had the occasional goldfish or Siamese fighting fish and Bec may have had guinea pigs, mice and rats at different times they never got over the deprivation of not having a real pet, of not having a puppy. As soon as the opportunity arose, they each adopted their own puppy. This is a photo of Bec’s puppy.

My flash fiction deals with a situation in which a rescue is required. I realise that once again I have gone dark rather than light. Apologies. I hope you enjoy it.

Break out

Your wide-open eyes fix on me through bars, imploring and accusing at the same time.

Why am I here? Don’t leave me! I don’t – want – to be here! I want – to go – home!

My heart tightens in a vice-like squeeze. My palms sweat and hands tremble.

I meet your stare with overwhelming hopelessness and helplessness.

I didn’t know . . . I thought . . . I never meant . . . I thought it would help. 

They close the door, turn the key and lead you away.

“Damn those rules!” I scream silently, futilely planning your rescue.


Today I nominate the lovely compassionate Bec who blogs intermittently at There’s No Food and engages in discussions with challenging suggestions and new ideas in comments on my blog while working diligently towards completing a PhD in Environmental Management.

! also nominate the wonderful awe-inspiring multi-tasking Charli Mills to take up the challenge if she so wishes. As well as being a very talented writer and generous supporter of my blog, she also posts beautiful photo stories on a second blog Elmira Pond Spotter.

The rules of the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge are:

1) Post a photo each day for five consecutive days.
2) Attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or a short paragraph. It’s entirely up to the individual.
3) Nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the invitation. This is fun, not a command performance!

Thank you

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts about any aspect of this post or flash fiction.



20 thoughts on “Five Photos Five Stories — Day three

  1. Pingback: Rescue Me « Carrot Ranch Communications

  2. Charli Mills

    Love the story of Ziggy and catch glimpses of it on Bec’s blog! What a dog and what dog-companions! Oh, but your flash breaks my heart. That was one thing the Hub and I agreed not to do — abandon our two paw-companions when we lost our house. In fact, it led to me resigning from my job because I could not find a place that didn’t have the no-dog rule. So I went wear my dogs were welcome and i picked up my writing instead. I feel so deeply for those who make that choice or have no choice but to leave their pets behind. You’ve caught that emotion and dynamic so well in this piece. And thank you for the nomination. Give me a few days to catch up and I will accept. I just got home late Tuesday night and am wrangling late at Carrot Ranch!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Norah Post author

      Hi Charli, Thank you for your lovely detailed comment, especially appreciated as I know you have had a very busy week and many more important things to think about and deal with for a while. I’m pleased that you were able to make the choice you wanted for your dogs and that you have picked up your writing instead of working where you pets weren’t welcome. The challenge is not compulsory, but you do very well with photos anyway, and seem to write at a million miles an hour as it is! 🙂


  3. Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

    Ziggy was lucky to find Bec and Glenn and I bet they were also the lucky recipients although it sounds as though their pockets may be a bit lighter due to all her surgeries.
    Your flash is powerful but has created so many questions that I’m not sure if I understand the story. It has allowed me to imagine my own narrative and it is pretty frightening but I don’t know if it is the story you were writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Norah Post author

      Hi Irene,
      Thank you so much for you comment. I apologise for my tardiness in responding.
      Ziggy was very lucky to find such loving “parents” as Bec and Glenn; and you are right, their pockets are considerably lighter, which makes it difficult for a couple of students. They wouldn’t swap him for the world though. 🙂
      My ff is very dark and I know it was obscure. It was a very tragic and sad situation from which no rescue was possible. It was very frightening and I still feel very sad about the event. One day I might share what happened. It is probably important that I do, but I’m not yet ready. This was a beginning. Thank you for your comment on it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

        Hi Norah, When your doggy pal is family you don’t care about the money (well perhaps a little but you spend it anyway). Glad they are getting a lot of joy from Ziggy.
        When you are ready to share we’ll be ready to support you but don’t do it until you are ready. As you say this is a beginning and you probably feel a little lighter for having written the start, no matter how obscure. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Norah Post author

          Thanks for your support, Irene. It is true what you say about a doggy pal being family and you just wear the cost. They are very fortunate to be getting some support from others for his treatment.
          I also appreciate your support for my “memoir” reluctance/beginning. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Bec

    Hi Nor, thanks for writing about Ziggy, he is such a special dog and we’re so lucky to be with him. Thanks for sharing the love! We’re also lucky that so much is being done to help him have a good life. You forgot about the crayfish and silkworms from when I was little! I did think of my rats and mice as ‘real pets’, but yes you’re right as you know I couldn’t wait to have a dog in my life, and I can’t imagine anyone better than Ziggy! Hopefully there will be more happy stories in the future once his surgeries are over.

    Your FF is very dark, I agree with Geoff. I would like to know more about the story, is this part of Marnie’s life? It is a very upsetting but powerful piece.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Norah Post author

      Hi Bec, thank you for you comment. I apologise it has taken me so long to respond. It has been a busy week.
      It was a pleasure to share Ziggy’s story. As you say he is such a special little puppy and has very special “parents” who helped him find joy in living. I am looking forward to improvement and happy stories after his next round of surgery.
      The ff wasn’t from Marnie’s life – just a tragic situation where no rescue was possible.


  5. Annecdotist

    Thanks for speaking out for the pet-less, Norah. I’ve occasionally popped into Bec’s blog on Ziggy, but my closest connection to dogs is out in the national Park, asking people to put them on leads to protect the wildlife. Well done with the flash, despite your own dog-less state. Time’s rapidly running out and I don’t think I’m going to manage this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks for your comment, Anne. You are doing a good job in the national parks encouraging others to protect the wildlife. 🙂
      There was no need to do the challenge. The invitation was just there if you wished for a diversion. I know what you mean about time. I have had a busy week too, and apologise for taking so long to respond to your comment, and for being behind in reading your posts. I’m hoping to do some catch-up today. 🙂


    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks Geoff. Ziggy is a beautiful little dog with general good health, but as he has only three legs he does have serious mobility problems, especially since his remaining front leg has a growth disorder. He has already had a couple of lots of surgery and there is more to come later in the year. He has very loving “parents” who look after him and his needs very well, but it does cause them a lot of stress and sadness that he is unable to have the life that other puppies have. They were a bit misled, I think, about his needs when they rescued him, but they wouldn’t swap him for the world. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person


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