Friday Fictioneers – Alone

Another opportunity to be a part of an international group of writers, enjoying the muse, by writing an 100 word (or less) ‘flash fiction’ from a photo prompt. For more details on how to enter, click on the link. Friday Fictioneers, my offering below.

If the photograph looks familiar to some, it should, a very similar photo was used recently for a Ligo Habun Challenge. It is a compelling view with the guard standing at rest and a challenge for writing creatively!





For a few solitary souls, being alone is a good thing. When standing “at rest” during duty, being alone is a part of the responsibility.

When you discover you are alone, by yourself and wishing it were not so, that’s when emotions run riot with all sorts of negative feelings.

Of all the things distinguishing the human experience on this planet, it is the emotional need to be wanted, of value, and loved. It is the strongest single emotional desire (after survival) that we possess.

And yet, in our highly interactive and connected technological world of today, the feeling of being alone is being felt “by the many”. Why?



Penny L Howe


73 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Alone

  1. i love your take on the prompt… it’s so spot on. beautiful, reflective piece. and a great question.. clearly, people can successfully “connect” but still fail to reach out.

  2. Very thoughtful Penny. We are alone sometimes because we choose to be. We are connected not only by real life, but virtual life as well. How many bloggers would really like us if they knew we left tooth paste in the sink, or that we didn’t clean our counters like they did?

  3. i guess this guard will have lots of time to think why this rampant loss of self awareness…☺ i like the different approach you used…a mind bender approach. ♥

  4. Loneliness is when we feel distanced from other people, and indeed you can be that behind a uniform or other shells we have or choose to wear. Sometimes it’s solitude which is a lot better IMHO… then you choose it and make use of your loneliness.

  5. It would seem that technology is
    producing a myriad of hermits 😦 Eek

    This is a great flash Penny, I like it a lot 🙂

    Andro xx

    • Thanks, it seemed to strike a deeper cord than I would have thought – based on the comments. But sigh, some truth there i suppose. Still it is fun to be online with everyone isn’t it? Thank you for the compliment Andro, 🙂 xx

  6. Interesting – especially for a bunch of artists and writers to read – a group who are prone to cutting themselves off at times to spend days on solitude island with just thoughts and fears for company. I liked where this flash went. And topical – as news items have been about this new mono-community that is developing – people who don’t leave the world inside for days or talk or communicate other than online.

    • Well it is “safe” in an unreal sort of way, if you know what I mean. Almost like we can still communicate, be creative and explore our inner selves without the barrage of critical “crap” (excuse my terminology there) that seems to be so omnipresent in today’s world. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if those online feelings could happen in our everyday real word lives! I stay hopeful! Thanks for your insightful comments! 🙂

  7. Alone – me? Hardly ever – especially now that I’ve joined this wonderful WP world!
    I’ve been there though & it ain’t no fun.
    xx 🙂 🙂 xx

  8. A thoughtful post Penny! I suppose that when you are alone, and have not chosen to be, and work as a sentry, you have more time to ponder than you really need! Nice take on the photo.

  9. Very excellent Penny – and a good question you ponder… why? Sometimes I think if we feel at peace with who we are when we are in solitude – we can never be lonely in life. Yet, so many are – and I too wonder why. I’m not often lonely – and I spend too much time alone given my situation…
    Will need to give this some more thought ~ I think unconditional acceptance of others is key though – if we love everyone for who they are – there is no such thing as lonely – right? — I babble – I will meditate on this for sure 😉 Love you ~ x RL

    • I guess it is one to meditate on. You never babble, Robyn! Just delightfully articulate! And I agree, if we love everyone for who they are – there is no such thing as lonely – right on!
      Love you too, xo

  10. Thoughtful. The feeling of being lonely in a crowd has become so common. We are probably scared to trust our emotions with others, worried that our feelings may be trampled on..

  11. We have more “friends” now due to our social media and we sacrifice ‘in the flesh’ relationships in our everyday world, forgetting that not only does the human soul need love and caring but the flesh needs touched; it will actually ache for the need. Sad that this happens, when the remedy to the majority of the lonliness felt today could be cured with another’s touch of flesh to flesh. So HUG your peoples, People!!!!

  12. A thought provoking post for the prompt, Penny. There’s being alone and then there’s being lonely. I think I definitely prefer the first option.

  13. Penny, I like where you went with this even if it’s not strictly speaking “a story” (not that I mean anything negative by that.) I think that people in this tecno-age substitute long-distance relationships for closer ones. You can keep in touch with friends or make news ones via technology, but you can’t go to dinner, for coffee, for a run or other real experiences via the internet. I’ve had great Sype times with friends while having tea, but it’s still not the same as having the real face time together. People even spend time with their electronics when they’re out with real people, which detracts from the experience as well.


    • Thank you Janet, I had recently written a story for the same photo for a Ligo Habun and honestly, today all I could think of looking at the photo was his standing there alone. The words came spilling out! And your comment is accurate too, speaking for myself. I recently met a blogger and went exploring in the countryside and city, had direct eye to eye conversation and laughter, etc. was a much richer experience, however my world of friends has expanded as the result of our technology, so I suppose the trick is finding a happy middle ground! Thanks again!

      • A correction here Janet, that’s not the same photo as the one I wrote the other story for (I’m going to bed early tonight, lol)! This one is most definitely a female, not a male, which was the case in the other photo in the same setting! Well apart from feeling very silly at the moment, I wanted to correct my error! 🙂

  14. We are alone by choice, but we do not realise it is a choice. We make ourselves alone by thinking we are. We all have someone to reach out to, but we shut off. We close down. We say we are alone, and then we believe it. I am more guilty of this than most people. I know I am. It is something I wish I could change easily. It is something I will change over time.

    Your story is perfectly fitting here Penny.

  15. Thought provoking Penny, I liked this.
    I complain about the lack of letter writing, I would much rather hold a notecard or a letter than read an email from a friend, but prefer email than no communication. I prefer to hold and read a book rather than hold an electronic gadget. Yet my days are filled with electronic conversations that I can’t avoid; I’m having one now though I don’t ever feel lonely thank goodness.

  16. “[A]t bottom, and just in the deepest and most important things, we are unutterably alone, and for one person to be able to advise or even help another, a lot must happen, a lot must go well, a whole constellation of things must come right in order once to succeed.” ~ Rilke

    • True, so very true. But the “one’s” that take the effort, whether successful or not in the moment, create tiny steps forward in humanities outreach to one another! Just my own thoughts of course! Thank you for your insightful and wise comments! 🙂

  17. Why.? Now that is a good question… when we have the ability to link and communicate through this media, with those all over the world, we should never feel lonely… lovely post Penny

    • Hi bulldog, it breaks my heart, you know, I just want to wrap my arms around the whole planet and give all the lonely souls a big hug! No one, should be or feel alone! Thank you my friend, xx

  18. your thoughts fit perfectly with the image…
    makes one think….
    Take Care…

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