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.
PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz
I wrote two today. One, the second one, is very disturbing. I couldn’t post it alone. I needed a buffer. I’ve written and posted disturbing things, but this is beyond anything I’ve written or posted. The fact that it’s based on something that happens in reality, albeit a reality most of us thankfully never see, makes it… I don’t have a word. Disturbing? Sick? Depraved? Appalling? Atrocity? Unimaginable? It’s beyond what my mind will accept as reality. It’s unthinkable. It’s not something we want to think about, but it happens. The fact that it happens proves that humanity’s potential for depravity knows no bounds. Some American presidents, at least one, even referred to an individual known to partake in these atrocities as a “terrific guy.” Why did my mind go there? I’ve seen documentaries, some I couldn’t finish, and other stories relating to this recently. Why did I write it in the first person? I think it made it more real. I wanted the reader to look through his eyes, for it to unfold as he sees it. I think it makes it more powerful. I hope so. If the first one bothers you, don’t read the second. I think my introductory disclaimer is longer than both stories combined.
The pictures were piling up on my desk. The questions piled up just as fast. The clues… The clues were nonexistent.
There seemed to be no pattern other than they were young women, even girls. From prostitutes to socialites, they were all open game to him. He didn’t seem to care about skin tone, ethnicity, or background.
This case chewed up and spat out almost as many detectives as there were pictures. They threw themselves all in until they burned out like the cigarettes that piled up in their ashtrays.
Another picture. Another girl. She was… not just another girl.
The Great American Myth
Pictures. There were so many pictures. Young girls. Some taken from their families. Some fleeing bad situations. Some coming to America to chase the great American myth.
Hispanic, Asian, Russian, Middle Eastern… They were all represented, even American runaways. Blondes, redheads… They were there, too. Their ages spanned from 12 to early twenties.
They were no longer human. They were pictures. They were chattel to be sold to the highest bidder.
One stood out from the rest. There was something about her that caught my attention. She was blonde with blue eyes, about 13.
“This one. I’ll take this one.”