Friday Fictioneers: Budget Cuts

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields who provides us with a photo prompt. Each week’s challenge is to write a 100-word story inspired by the photo. Click here to play along or just read more stories.

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Friday Fictioneers: Budget Cuts

Victoria took the long way to work. The closer she got, the more she shook. It was her first day in 18 months. Her first day since the budget cuts.

Larry Butterfield. Victoria would never forget that name. His red face and bloodshot eyes haunted her dreams.

After 45 minutes in the parking lot, Victoria exited her car. Her limp made the walk a marathon. The scars on her soul were worse. Victoria was one of the lucky ones.

An AR-15, easily convertible to fully automatic, was less expensive than most handguns. Budget cuts meant Larry had to be frugal.

33 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers: Budget Cuts

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    1. I know someone who was in that situation. Fortunately, she wasn’t physically hurt. It’s been years, and it’s still a touchy subject. We’re nearly globally desensitized to gun violence. It’s almost become a blasé thing. “Biden made a speech. Gas prices are up. Another mass shooting. Amazon stock went down. Sports team wins its fourth in a row.”

      Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I was *not* expecting the sound effects at the end. Powerful storytelling, Nobbin. I feel so bad for Victoria, having to go back into that building. I feel worse for those who didn’t survive. I hope Larry was taken out by the police. No need for a trial on these kinds of cases.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Somehow it seemed wrong to put the sound effect under a picture of Charlie, but it felt necessary at the same time.

      It takes a lot of strength to return to the scene of such an atrocity. Maybe it’ll help her heal. I think the common response is to go elsewhere.

      I imagine Larry being on of those guys to turn the gun on himself. Maybe suicide by cop. There’s something broken in people like that that defies rationality.

      Thanks, Lisa.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A powerful story, and a very inventive use of the idea of ‘budget cuts’. I get a strong sense of Victoria’s state of mind, and the trauma that she carries, through your portrayal.

    Liked by 1 person

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