Fiction Challenge – Doubble


“What are all those bangs and lights?” she asked.

“It’s your birthday, Sadie, you’re 100 years old today. See, the Queen has sent you a birthday message.”

The Nursing Home staff were used to old people with Alzheimer’s, and Sadie was a special case; celebrating her century on 5th of November.

Jean smiled at Lisa. “Let the old duck think it’s all for her. There’s not much excitement in her life these days.”

“There were bangs and lights when I was younger,” said Sadie with a sudden burst of lucidity. “There was a war on then. Is there a war now?”

“No, dear, there isn’t.”

 “In the war you saw all the men in uniform; you’ve never seen so many handsome men in your life. Then they went and died, all the young men, although some did come home. Many girls were left behind. Some married Americans, but I stayed at home and never had a man or children. We were a lost generation, really.”

There was a sudden, very loud bang, and a greenish light showed through the drawn curtains. The women were startled, then looked at Sadie. She was clutching her message from the Queen, and had quietly died.


© Victoria132 2023
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critique and comments welcome.
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A poignant story pointing out the frailty of the human mind in old age.
It precisely meets the challenge’s brief, 200 words and a mention of the date 5th of November. Well done, Victoria.


This is a nice little story in 200 words. if I may make an observation, and that’s all it is, not a criticism at all, but “sudden very loud bang” stood out when I read it and was still in mind when I read “had quietly died” I can see what you mean of course, but it just felt a little confused. Its probably just me.


Such a nice idea that Sadie would think the fireworks were for her, A good, little read.


I enjoyed the read Victoria, and you capture the whole piece in such a short piece, poor Sadie but nicely done. Keith

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