You call this what? #flashfiction

Miami, 2002.

‘Come through.’

A spacious rotunda room was immaculate. Even the air felt sterile and controlled. The space commanded our full and undivided attention.

‘We have individual cubicles on each floor.’

I looked up and there were pale grey doors everywhere.

‘Do they stay there alone?’ A human rights defender from our delegation broke the silence. He was towering over seven other delegates, distinguished Azerbaijani judges and lawyers.

‘Federal inmates are kept in isolation,’ the American colleague explained.

‘I’d speak up more often, if Azerbaijan had facilities like this. You call this a prison? This is a holiday!’

This is a 99-word flash on the theme of showing someone around a property. Here is the prompt: ‘Who’s showing whom, and how do they feel about it? Is it a country house, a garden shed or something in between? Is it even a building or is it a piece of land or a virtual property like website or blog? Don’t let your imagination be constrained by four walls.’A big thank you to Anne Goodwin for the prompt. You can read more on Carrot Ranch website here.

I also want to take this opportunity to say a huge thank to a man who made this trip possible for me back in 2002. A trip to Miami was a dream come true. Today is his birthday. I’m blessed to know such an amazing and generous person. He changed the course of my life. Happy Birthday!


18 thoughts on “You call this what? #flashfiction

  1. I’m so pleased you have joined in again, Gulara. This is a great piece of flash. Makes me wonder how effective the prison system is if a stay could be considered a holiday!
    What a lovely tribute to a special man. I hope he is enjoying a wonderful birthday.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with Norah 😉
    If the Azerbaijan would visit a Dutch similar facility, I think he would call it heaven. It amazes me, but at the same time I find it very interesting, to read about the difference between cultures and the different opinions ‘inside’ (among? can’f find the right English word) cultures.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Azerbaijani prison system is dreadful. I won’t even start getting into detail, but yes, Dutch facilities are likely to be considered heaven. Sadly, you don’t need to be a criminal to end up in prison. Just speaking up is enough sometimes.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Doesn’t that depend on in which country you live?
        Although I believe in freedom of speaking/writing, at the same time I also think it’s important to stay decent at all times and think twice before you speak up.
        In the Netherlands there are people in high places who seem to get away with a lot of hurtful sayings and/or discriminating actions. The other side of the medallion 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • I guess every medallion has two sides, some are shinier (or grungier) than others. Prison, however ‘nice’, is not a place I ever want to find myself. Visiting as a part of a delegation in Miami was quite enough. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What a fascinating take on the prompt, Gulara, and so glad you joined in. I thought at first it was a library (!) with individual spaces in which to work. There is a lot of shame in our prison systems all over the world, but some are undoubtedly less humane than others.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great job with your Flash Fiction story. I take my hat off to you for continuing after the Challenge. I’m so tired I could sleep for a week! Part of me is happy to be done with the Challenge and the other part of me is sad. How do you feel about surviving the Challenge?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I enjoyed it immensely, and I’m delighted it’s over. Time to have my life back. I’ve been thinking a lot how to take the blogging forward now that I’m back at work. Most of my blogging took place while I was on maternity leave. I’m sure the right rhythm and I will find each other 🙂 I’ve been experimenting this week with flash and other odds and ends. I don’t think much will change, except for slowing down. But it’s good to consider the bigger picture. Lovely to connect, thank you, Gwynn.


  5. Thank you for adding your perspective to the ranch! That’s been a compelling reason for the community, to add many voices to a single theme. It’s also been a community that helps in a time of need. Authenticity. Through that lens we can open our minds to the world around us. Great flash!

    Liked by 1 person

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