Virtual Reality

For Friday Fictioneers, writers from all over the world come up with a 100-word story or poem inspired by a random photo. Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting and to Renee Homan Heath for this photo that taunts us with the promise of warmth during these frozen days.


This one stirred her heart with the rustle of palm tree leaves. She could feel the sand between her toes and the warmth of the boardwalk. Her feet made a hollow echo while the waves sounded out their own rhythms.

Just as she was about to step onto the warm sand, everything changed and her feet squished onto a muddy jungle path. Monkeys screeched instead of seagulls and the leaf rustling felt much more menacing. These virtual realities never lasted long enough, but she knew if they did last too long, any fantasy could turn into a nightmare. She began to run.

52 thoughts on “Virtual Reality

  1. Way to take a lovely picture and turn it into a nightmare! Good job! I think whoever makes these “realities” should work on the length of the experience, although if you were in a bad one, I guess it would already be too long.


    • Hahah – thank you! I really wanted to stay in that beach picture for much longer. Whenever you’re at a beach like that, it should last for the whole day at least.

    • Thanks Char! I don’t know what happened. When I started writing it, I thought it would just be about the beach but then for some reason monkeys entered into it. 🙂

    • That’s true – I wonder if she’d be forced into running faster then. Any beach reality should last as long as possible. I’m ready to crawl into that picture right now and stay there.

    • Yes, I guess it would keep things interesting though if the realities kept changing. I’m glad you liked it – thanks for visiting!

  2. Ah, as you can tell from my stuff, I’m a huge fan of seeing things turn to the worst…but then maybe she runs to a place not so bad after all? I like a little hope too, but like Terry Brooks, I tend to stick to the grittier reality of things. I like how you flipped the script a little and made my stomach do a turn in the process. Well done!!

    • That’s true, if the realities keep changing, there’s always the chance that the next place won’t be so bad. It makes things a little more interesting then too while never knowing what might happen next. It’s good to keep hoping anyway! 🙂

  3. Living in a world of changing realities would be a bit unsettling, to say the least. I like “Her feet made a hollow echo”–good description.

    • Good question – it just seems more interesting that way. 🙂 If a reality lasts too long, it could turn into a hell of sorts although the beach realities should definitely last longer.

  4. Very good Sheila, halfway through the paradise turns to nightmare. What will she do but run. Run to safety, or run to the next challenge. Don’t we all do this?

    • Yes, I think so. It seems like we’re always running around to one challenge after another. I guess that keeps things interesting though.

  5. Dear Sheila,
    Must be very jarring for her to go from one reality to the next. Then one has to question, is either scene reality? Nice job of perplexing me. Entertaining and well written.

    • She could be anywhere but then I started thinking if she’s on a treadmill those scary realities could help give her more exercise.

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