Rockets Raising Eyes to Heaven

“Tell me how to make a detonator from this,” the old man said, shaking the old cellphone in his fist.  “You know, yeah?”
“I know how.  But what for?” the young man asked.
“No one comes to our old hotel any more.  Let’s leave and blow it up so we can never come back.”
A rocket slammed into the hillside across the valley.  Chunks of clay pattered among the trees.
“We can go tomorrow,” the young man said.  “But let’s leave the hotel in peace.  Perhaps it will forget the sound of war some day.”


Back in New Mexico, enjoying unseasonably cool weather and humidity approaching 50%.  The rains have come and the desert looks green, at least to my eyes.  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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12 Responses to Rockets Raising Eyes to Heaven

  1. I think the hills and hotels have to forget that sound eventually.. sad story really, but sometimes you have to go on without leaving burnt footsteps in your wake.

  2. Beautifully written, especially that last line.

  3. Dear Danny,

    I could feel the desolation. The last line told the story beautifully.

    One word of crit or at least a question. “A rocket struck slammed into the hillside across the valley.” Is it supposed to be A rocket struck the hillside or A rocket slammed into…? It seemed to be what I refer to as a backspace error.

    Aside from that, well done.



    • glossarch says:

      Thanks, Rochelle, I fixed that line. I’d been trying to decide between “struck” and “slammed into” and I guess I never made up my mind! I ended up going with “slammed into.”

      • That works. I picked up on that because I do it so often myself. Word processors are both blessing and curse, aren’t they? Beats a typewriter. I’d need to have stock in White-Out for that. 😉

  4. kirizar says:

    Response to Rockets Raised. It is funny, because you posted the picture below the story, I didn’t immediately connect your words to that image. I connected it to the header of your screen instead which shows a slice of space on the edge of a gas giant (I think). With that in mind, I was thinking of a frontier space station hotel and an interstellar war. Once I figured out my mistake, the story matched much better with the photo prompt. But somehow, I just can’t let go of the first translation. Funny how the mind gets set and won’t let something go, even when it knows it is wrong.

  5. Danny, The house may forget if it lasts long enough. So much gets destroyed in a war like that. Let’s hope peace comes to those areas. Well written. 🙂 —Susan

  6. Perhaps it will forget the sound of war Lovely line!!! (our old hotel / the old man / old cellphone maybe a wee bit of overuse of “old” in the beginning of the story.)

  7. I liked the “patter of clay chunks” sound, the juxtaposition of a commonplace sound, maybe one you associate with children playing in the mud, with the violent anomaly of rockets striking hillsides. Kind of like Israel.

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