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Break Down (flash fiction)

June 27, 2013

Fleeting by Indira Mukherjee

“If life’s all about the journey, what happens when you break down?” Derek asked.

“Relax,” Carter replied. “The tow truck’ll be here soon. We’ll make the gig.”

“We need a break, man. It’s been a long trip.”

“But we’ve made new fans. Good buzz for us. Maybe we’re closer to doing this full time.”

“More road trips?” Derek asked.

“More mind-blowing shows,” Carter replied.

“I’m gonna walk to the next town.”

“You serious?”

“It’ll be a break. Maybe good inspiration for a song.”

“Bring your phone, man.”

Derek nodded, and his bandmates watched him walk slowly into the distance.


Friday Fictioneers prompt given by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. For other stories inspired by this photo, click here.
Photo copyright Indira Mukherjee
Story copyright Dave Williams

24 Comments leave one →
  1. June 27, 2013 6:26 am

    Nice story.

  2. June 27, 2013 6:47 am

    good piece.
    liked the opening line:
    “If life’s all about the journey, what happens when you break down?”

    The stones “Here comes your 19th nervous breakdown” came to mind.
    Liked the last line – bring your phone, man

  3. June 27, 2013 7:27 am

    what i liked most about this story is the feeling of optimism… the feeling of starting out, hoping to make it big…

    “If life’s all about the journey, what happens when you break down?” loved that line 🙂

  4. June 27, 2013 10:30 am

    Have had friends who did road trips like those in this story…you convey some of their emotions well here.

  5. June 27, 2013 12:57 pm

    good thing that its not about the wheels that makes someone succeed

  6. June 27, 2013 1:29 pm

    A simple, believable story with thoughtful overtones. Good job.


  7. June 27, 2013 3:46 pm

    I could totally understand where this fella was coming from. That’s a wonderful accomplishment in 100 words.

  8. June 27, 2013 5:46 pm

    A good, hopeful story! He will definitely come up with some new song ideas after that walk.

  9. June 28, 2013 3:13 am

    Nice story, someone sounds to be questioning the lifestyle more than the others. The use of the word ‘bring’ (as opposed to ‘take’) in the penultimate sentence pulled me up. I wondered if I was entirely ‘getting’ the story. The image of him walking off into the night is quite compelling.

    • June 28, 2013 7:28 am

      Not sure what you mean by using ‘bring’ as opposed to ‘take’ in the sentence, and how that caused you to not get the story. The meaning I tried to convey by ‘bring’ is to ‘carry the phone with you.’ How is ‘take’ different in this case? And how would it change the story for you?

  10. June 28, 2013 3:24 am

    a story of hope… 🙂

  11. June 28, 2013 7:15 am

    Break Down, go ahead and give it to them … Yeah, bet it will be good inspiration for a song.

  12. June 28, 2013 7:24 am

    “If life’s all about the journey, what happens when you break down?” You walk on, of course. Derek’s right – I predict a brilliant solo career 🙂

  13. June 28, 2013 7:50 am

    Ah yes, the days when your mind said simply “walk,” and that in turn, is simply what you did.

  14. June 28, 2013 1:12 pm

    Inspiration can gleaned from anywhere… sometimes a breakdown gives us the opportunity to use our feet, and give our minds a break. Unless you end up walking into the Twilight Zone 🙂

    My take was that Derek liked the writing, and even playing, but maybe not so much the traveling. Sometimes it is hard to stand still while waiting.

    Thanks for your visit, glad you enjoyed the bit of background. Cheers.

  15. June 28, 2013 3:26 pm

    Is this where the song “Breakdown Cruise” came from? I played in bands for a long time. Fortunately we never had an automobile breakdown on the way to a show, but we did have to carry on a few times when members got sick, etc.

    • July 1, 2013 9:30 pm

      I must admit, I’ve never heard the song “Breakdown Cruise.” Is it a good one?

  16. June 29, 2013 3:23 am

    Great little riff.

  17. June 29, 2013 7:39 am

    Dear Dave,

    I enjoyed this one. Hope they can make it to their concert on time. At least we live in a world of cell phones and media communication. Of course, if they’re stuck where they can’t get a signal there’s a problem. Good job.



  18. June 29, 2013 7:50 am

    I take it they might not see Derek again. I read that he needs the break, even if the others don’t? In that way your story came across as touching, with annoyance that his bandmates aren’t listening

    • July 1, 2013 9:32 pm

      Derek did need the break, but not sure about all of the band members — he’s the only one who spoke up about it. Maybe a break from being so close during the road trip would be good for everyone. Thanks for reading!

  19. June 29, 2013 7:47 pm

    I’m singing “On the Road Again” to myself…

  20. June 29, 2013 8:44 pm

    I agree with Derek: I’d rather walk than wait.

  21. July 1, 2013 3:39 pm

    I agree with David. I will walk if I get the opportunity. Some of my best inspiration comes out in the fresh air and sunshine.

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