Out of Reach


He shuffled by the statue on his way to work. He tried not to look but always did.

On the worst and grayest days, a demon grasped and pulled at his ankle. Sometimes the demon was love and then it wasn’t so bad. Still, the man kept reaching. But for what? Salvation, freedom, a better life in some other, faraway place? All that reaching could turn into too much. All that reaching could make a man fall. The statue showed him that. He ducked away from the drizzle and went to work.

Still, the man kept reaching.

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 David Stewart for this photo.

66 thoughts on “Out of Reach

    • Thanks Dianne! I usually try to do more humorous ones for this but this photo had such a desolate feeling to it. I’m glad you liked it.

  1. I like “all that reaching could make a man fall.” Reaching can be good but when does it become over-reaching, loss of balance? You gave us some things to think about and I think your narrator and mine share somewhat similar feelings.


  2. “He tried not to look, but always did.” Such an important line. How many of us do this? We don’t want to look, but can’t look away. Excellent story that comes full circle. Nice work.

    • Thank you! It’s funny that it is one of those things we do. This photo just made me wonder what it might be like to walk by it every day. It’s such a crazy statue and seems to be trying to tell people something.

    • Thanks Rochelle! Yes, and this made me wonder what it would be like to have to face those demons every day while walking by a statue like that.

  3. You’ve given us a wonderful, thoughtful interpretation, Sheila. I believe that reaching is a good thing, but your subject does seem to be overdooing it a bit.

    • It does seem to be one of those things humans do. Thank you for this photo – I love the whole feel of it and it was fun trying to imagine the story behind it.

  4. I am sure different days reveal different conflicts and some days the statue speaks in other ways to him. That is the allure of these types of art. It is a platform for beginning a thought, but can be so many things depending on the mood.

    • It made me wonder if that would happen too – depending on his mood or the weather. Maybe on a sunny day it wouldn’t look as creepy.

    • Thank you! This was a really intriguing one. I might have to try to find out what the real story behind it is. It’s fun imagining all the possibilities.

    • Yes, those rainy, gray days can take their toll and this photo definitely has that kind of a feel to it. Thank you – I’m glad you liked it!

  5. It is nice to have the time this morning/afternoon to peruse so many of the stories written. The perspectives of participant, observer, instigator, etc… are wonderfully displayed. This is my first read of the observer perspective and I found it refreshingly real. 🙂

    • Thanks! It is a lot of fun to see all the differences in the stories. It’s funny how statues and stories can be interpreted in so many different ways.

    • That’s a great idea. I did feel like I wanted to keep going after those 100 words so I might have to try that out. Thank you for visiting.

  6. well done and optimistic. consider a comma in this line: “Sometimes the demon was love(,) and then it wasn’t so bad.” it allows a slight pause, allows extra thought before the second part. it’s grammatically better but it also helps too.

    • Thank you for that suggestion! It’s funny because sometimes I feel like I add too many commas, but a pause probably would be better there. It reminds me of this Oscar Wilde quote: “I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.” 🙂

  7. Nice job. I really like ‘all that reaching could make a man fall” It makes me think about how often we strive for things that may not do us well in the end.

  8. Great art and so it is great finding by David. I am art lover and if I would meet this statue, would shoot photos from it immediately. Thank You for this post.

    • I know what you mean – I love stumbling on statues like this too. They have so much feeling to them, so it’s a perfect photo to inspire different stories.

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