Wanting

Qingshan stood in ankle-deep waters of the rice paddies. The train approached.

What must it be like to go somewhere?

Xiaojian squatted in the packed cargo car. He leaned out an open door for some air.

What must it be like to ride in a seat?

Zhuli sat in a second-class seat with a cool breeze in her face. Her back felt tight from sitting so long.

What must it be like to travel first-class?

Laiyuen lay disgruntled on her bed. Her first-class cabin was stuffy and the wheels too loud.

What must it be like to fly to Shanghai?

~~

“Friday Fictioneers” is a weekly challenge hosted by the lovely Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, to write a story using only 100 words in response to a photo prompt. This week’s photo was provided by Dawn M. Miller. For nearly a year now, I have enjoyed starting off my weekend by writing a story. If you would like to join in with this encouraging group of writers or read their stories from this week, visit HERE.

66 Comments Add yours

  1. Iain Kelly says:

    Loved the structure of this, each just wishing for that little bit more, none realising they are not the least fortunate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Iain, your comment means a lot. I think we all do this, I know I do for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. neilmacdon says:

    Want expands to fill the money available for its satisfaction

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Always! Thanks so much, Neil, for the true and profound comment.

      Like

  3. 4963andypop says:

    The grass is always greener–no one is ever satisfied with their lot. Nice parable. In the last para I would change lie to its past tense, lay.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the catch. The forms of lie & lay often trip me up. =) We are indeed a discontented lot for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jade M. Wong says:

    This was so clever and I absolutely love the way you structured the narrative! A prime example of how we always want the things we don’t have and how the grass will always seem greener on the other side,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jade! I’m so glad you enjoyed. =)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. lisarey1990 says:

    We always want what we don’t have. Great piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true! Thanks so much, Lisa. =)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved this. It is our world in a nutshell.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It sure is. Thanks so much, Tina! =)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. trentpmcd says:

    Nobody is ever content with what they have…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is certainly a challenge to be content.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Goodness! I love the step-by-step progression of your story. Simple but so very well told. Kudos!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Alicia, your comment is very encouraging! =)

      Like

  9. jillyfunnell says:

    Really well-structured story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Jilly! =)

      Like

  10. ceayr says:

    All this hassle at airport security, what must it be like to stay home?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I suppose the next progression is, “What would it be like to travel on my own jet.” Unfortunately, I guess you’d still have to take off your belt and shoes.

      Like

  11. granonine says:

    Beautifully built, line by line. The dissatisfaction of the human soul.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Linda! I think the key for the last two especially is contentment. It is a challenge for us all!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Dear Brenda,

    I love the way you took us on this journey from the rice paddies to first class. Beautifully told.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Rochelle. When I see a train, it often reminds me of the many trips my family and I took through the countryside in southern China decades ago.

      Like

  13. I’m laughing much too loudly at a ridiculous hour of the morning because this is so true. Perfect snapshots into the human condition (and all the grumbling that comes with it).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Magaly, for reading and commenting. Our lack of being satisfied seems to be the human condition, for good or for bad.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. That is such a brilliant take. The grass, as they say…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Abhijit Ray says:

    A nice attempt to show there is no end to human aspiration. But at some point one has to realise there is a limit that has been reached.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Though there are those who truly need more, for many of us it is an issue of want. The key is contentment, even if we seek more.

      Like

      1. Abhijit Ray says:

        True.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Sandra says:

    Excellent. I was, like your characters, left wanting more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A compliment indeed. Thanks so much, Sandra.

      Like

  17. Kestril Trueseeker says:

    Humans will always find something to grumble about! The person traveling by plane might well wish for their own jet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, and complain it is too small. My daughter likes to say (tongue in cheek), “And my gold slippers are too tight.” Thank you for stopping by! =)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kestril Trueseeker says:

        LOL, I love that expression! I may have to start using it.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. This really got me thinking. We are always drawn to next rung on the ladder. Brilliant.

    Click to read my FriFic tale!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s very true, Keith. Thanks so much for your encouraging comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. draliman says:

    Nice little step-ups as we view the thoughts of those on different rungs of the ladder.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. plaridel says:

    like they say, the grass is always greener on the other side. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true, we often feel others have it so much better. =)

      Liked by 1 person

  21. pennygadd51 says:

    Beautifully crafted, Brenda! I particularly liked the first aspiration “What must it be like to go somewhere?” That really surprised and intrigued me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Penny! =)

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Violet Lentz says:

    Very creative take.. The natural progression of the human desire.. Very nice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Violet!

      Like

  23. Alice Audrey says:

    LOL – “the fly”. I love that.

    Yeah, so much of comfort is a state of mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For sure. Thank you so much, Alice, for commenting!

      Like

  24. michael1148humphris says:

    We think the grass is greener else where

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is the human condition I think. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  25. I love the leap-frogging of the storyline. Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Maybe in the end there are those who would love not to travel at all… the structure of this is wonderful

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s true, there are those who are content not to. Thank you so much, Bjorn, for your kind comment. =)

      Like

  27. magarisa says:

    No matter what we have, we always imagine what it would be like to have more. Love the progression of this piece!

    Like

    1. Sadly, very true. Thank you so much for your comment on the piece.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. magarisa says:

        You’re welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

  28. Ann Coleman says:

    Well said! My husband and I were just talking about this the other day: how easy it is to fall into that trap of always wanting “more.” I know I’ve been guilty of it more than I like to admit!

    Like

    1. Same here. The key is contentment for those of us who have enough. I suppose the question is, “How much is enough?” Thank you so much for stopping by and for your comment, Ann! 🙂

      Like

  29. They sound like a bunch of malcontents to me. I’ve never heard a first class passenger grumble on an airline, but I suppose there are some who wished for a faster means of transportation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A friend of ours gets ferried around Asia by his company in first class. He once complained to us after a flight from the States to Hong Kong that the seat / bed had a slight curve to it so it was very uncomfortable. For someone who has never ridden first class on a plethora of cross-ocean flights, only to enviously walk through on my way back to the cattle car (haha), I was flabbergasted by his complaint.

      I suppose another one could be, “Could Elon get me there faster?” 🙂

      Like

  30. Irene says:

    Love this! Never satisfied, are we? ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s certainly true, Irene. Thank you so much for reading and for your lovely comment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Love the way you structure the story, each person’s question adding a layer, intimating a world where some citizens never leave their remote rural villages til now. Good writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank so much for reading and your lovely comment!

      Like

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