Alex’s boss finally cornered him.
“You wouldn’t believe the fish I caught in Alaska,” he said.  “The guide said he’d never seen…”
As his boss continued talking, Alex’s mind wandered off.
Back to that summer twenty years ago, to that hostel in Anchorage with the writing on the walls.
Youthful platitudes, all of them – written in permanent marker.
When his boss was finally gone, Alex took the sharpie out of the coffee cup stuffed with pens. He pressed the felt tip to the cubicle wall.
“Goodbye,” he wrote.
He walked out of the office, seventeen again.

I’ve spent the last few days in Anchorage, Alaska, at the annual Seismological Society of America meeting.  It’s strange to be back here.  The last time, I was seventeen years old, having just cashed in all my state fair winnings (New Mexico state fair chicken grand champion…twice! Woohoo!) for a one month expedition in the mountains and glaciers of Alaska.   Right now, I’m staying in Alaska Backpackers Inn, and it does have lots of youthful platitudes written on the walls.  I think I will add mine soon (but am I still a youth?).  Anyway…Every Friday, writers from all around the world write 100 word (or thereabouts) flash fiction based on a photo posted that Wednesday on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog.

I welcome constructive criticism; without it I cannot grow as a writer.  The weekly photo that inspired this story is below:



About glossarch

The word "glossarch" doesn't exist. At least, not yet. But let's pretend it does for a second. The first part is "gloss," a word that comes to us from Ancient Greek via Latin and English. It means "language." The second part also comes from Ancient Greek and can mean "having power over." So "glossarch" means simply "language controller." So what am I doing making up words? Well, I made up an entire language once. It's called Angosey. So I'm the Glossarch of Angosey. I'm currently a doctorate student in volcano seismology (a branch of geophysics). I enjoy writing fiction and poetry, launching balloons, programming, and hanging out with my lovely wife! Follow me on Twitter! Writing and language creation: @glossarch Balloons and science: @bovineaerospace
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8 Responses to Seventeen

  1. Good job! Maybe “stuffed with pens” needs a reword.

  2. elappleby says:

    Loved this – especially as I have a knack for letting my mind wander when my boss is talking!
    Just one question, though, what’s a chicken grand champion? The images in my mind are quite varied 🙂

  3. I’m not sure how the story relates to the pic, but I really enjoyed it. Would that I had the courage. But then I never had to put up with a boss talking fishing, thank god.

  4. Dear Danny,

    At least his boss wanted to talk to him of pleasant things. 😉 I had to cheer when he just walked out of the office, seventeen again. I wanted to follow him out the door. Nice one,



  5. It’s never too late to follow your dream. (I suppose it is sometimes but mostly not.) Good for him and a wonderful use of your experiences. As for the NM championship, you must have made some serious money to spend a month in Alaska! A grand adventure then, I’m sure, and hopefully one now. Enjoy.


  6. Good story. I would guess your character doesn’t earn all that much and has hopeful prospects for another, better job. I’m not sure I’d have that much nerve and confidence with employment statistics what they are today. That’s the good thing about fiction though. Our characters can be daring and come out winners in the end. 🙂 Well written. Enjoy the rest of your trip. 🙂


  7. Good story! Alaska is a wonderful place in itself and tends to make one want to write on the wall with sharpies. And of course, you’re as young as you feel.

  8. Sun says:

    happy for your character walking out with a youthful attitude…sometimes it’s a great energy booster.

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