Cast Adrift

They said it was the law that turned him out of the house.

They lied, saying he could have stayed if it was up to them.

They didn’t exactly blame him for her death.

They just didn’t want him around as a reminder of her decline.

He blamed himself, of course.

For a while he drifted up the coast, working odd jobs, staying a week or a month.

He sent postcards every so often.

A cannery in Monterey, a trawler in Moss Harbor.

A sailor saw him in an opium den in San Francisco.

That was the last anyone heard.


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  1. Iain Kelly

    A full tale of decline and fall, nicely done. I’m a bit confused about the opening three of lines – if it was up to them he could’ve stayed, but then it was them that didn’t want him around as a reminder – not quite sure who wants him to stay and who wants him to go?

  2. James

    Interesting that he sent postcards home. I’d have thought if he’d been turned out, he’d stop letting people know where he was…unless he was hoping for reconciliation.

  3. pennygadd51

    At the very time he most needed his family, they turned on him. A tragedy, and a needless one.
    Some comments have mentioned confusion from the repetition of ‘They’. It’s not confusing, though. ‘They’ always refers to his family, and it tolls like a great bell of mourning – jolly good writing in my opinion, and a really risky trick when you’ve only got 100 words to play with!
    Well written, Josh!

  4. Susan A Eames

    So much more I want to know – which is what good writing is all about! The only thing I didn’t get was the link to the photo prompt – but I enjoyed the story.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

  5. Lynn Love

    SAd to be parted from the family home, just when he needed stability. But perhaps his decline was inevitable after she’d gone. I wonder, was he a little to blame? Perhaps that’s why he vanishes into that opium den. Nicely done Josh

  6. Nan Falkner

    An opium den will do it every time. There will always be heartless people around. Great story – well,l thought out – you are excellent at this writing thing! I truly mean this.

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