In the Morning You’ll begin to See the Light

26 Aug

100 words for Friday Fictioneers inspired by the photo prompt below from Claire Fuller, she of Our Endless Numbered Days. Though flash fiction ought to have a beginning, middle and an end, my story has an end and a beginning, but no middle. Think of it as a coda to a long and beautiful piece of music and please forgive me my taking liberties with the format.


(To all those of you who continue to read my work despite the above, and who have kept the faith with me these past months, thank you, always.)


Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 1.00.20 AM

(Copyright Claire Fuller)




A familiar and catchy tune issued softly from speakers somewhere in the room. Two men stood before a ponderous filing system, deep in conversation.

“The problem’s all inside our heads, it seems to me. The answer’s easy if we take it logically.”

Still, unexpected from such a long-termer. How did he leave?”

Slipped out the back…”

Don’t say it….. Did you see him earlier in the day?”

Briefly. We didn’t discuss much. He dropped off a key.”

What files were taken?”

Solitude, Mystery, Love and Beauty.

Sounds like he has a new plan.”




Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 2.04.08 AM

“He’s got away from us, Jack.”

“Yes, I think you’re right, Mr. Helpmann. He’s gone.”

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 2.36.17 AM


42 Responses to “In the Morning You’ll begin to See the Light”

  1. J Hardy Carroll August 26, 2015 at 10:15 am #


  2. rochellewisoff August 26, 2015 at 11:15 am #

    Dear Doug,

    I’m GLADD you posted this week. Great take on the prompt and has me singing fifty different melodies. Clever writing as always.



  3. Sandra August 26, 2015 at 11:37 am #

    Sounds like a brilliant new plan. I’m sure it will work, and I’m equally certain he’ll enjoy perusing those files for a good while. It’s lovely to see your delightful work on here again. Don’t be a stranger.

  4. jwdwrites August 26, 2015 at 11:43 am #

    I can’t help wondering what this new plan is. Always a pleasure to read your work 🙂

  5. ceayr August 26, 2015 at 11:44 am #

    Intriguing tale, Doug.

    Please forgive my ignorance, but to what do the pictures at the end refer?

    • dmmacilroy August 26, 2015 at 10:40 pm #

      Dear Sir,

      See my response to Jennifer (Elmowrites) for ‘clarification’. I live in the Obscure and am only let out every now and then. Nice to make your acquaintance.



      • ceayr August 26, 2015 at 10:51 pm #

        Ah okay.
        I know the song, of course, but did not make the connection.
        Don’t know the film.
        You made my acquaintance long ago, when I was heavily disguised as a pink pachyderm.

  6. Sandra Conner August 26, 2015 at 1:59 pm #

    Oh my goodness I love this!!!

  7. patrickprinsloo August 26, 2015 at 2:43 pm #

    He seems to have his head sorted. Good for him. (Is there a Return by date stamped in the files – I’d like a peek, myself.)

  8. Claire Fuller August 26, 2015 at 4:29 pm #

    Very clever. Always very clever and beautifully written. (And thanks for the OEND mention and link)

  9. Joy Pixley August 26, 2015 at 6:16 pm #

    Clever on a few different levels (if not, perhaps, fifty ways…). I read it several times to make sure I got them all, and enjoyed it every time. Sweet!

  10. elmowrites August 26, 2015 at 6:51 pm #

    I’m going to be the dummy here, Doug, and admit I haven’t a clue what’s going on. Perhaps it would help if I’d seen the movie? Anyway, I’m certain it’s excellent, clever and witty – you on top form and me crawling around in the sludge.
    Good to see you’re still around the blogosphere occasionally anyway. I saw a disc golf course the other day and thought of you!

    • dmmacilroy August 26, 2015 at 10:33 pm #

      Dear Jennifer,

      Let me start by saying that I love you. You have been and continue to be a good friend and those are rare and precious. Thank you. Thanks also for never giving in to the temptation to say “Hahahahahaah, great story, of some such safe comment when you don’t get ‘it’. I would be very disappointed if you did (though I would never know if you didn’t tell me, so thanks also for that).

      My story is simply a riff on my life right now and the song Fifty Ways to Leave your Lover by Paul Simon. It also refers obliquely to my workplace and finally references the movie Brazil’s final scene in which the hero ‘escapes’ his interrogators by losing his mind (and going to his happy place).

      I tried to absolve myself in my introduction for the lack of coherence in my ‘story’ but perhaps absolution must be conferred by an outside entity. In any event, I shoehorned as much of the lyrics of Fifty Ways into my story as I could and the coda from Brazil to my coda about my life seemed to fit.

      There’s going to be a sigh of unspoken thanks to you from future readers of this post for speaking the truth. Such is the illuminating power of honesty.

      I am still around and review stories every week and think about writing all the time. I shall return in full force and bloom soon, blogging at the speed of light from wherever it is that I land. Thank you for visiting and commenting. You’re one of the guide stars in my universe.



      • elmowrites August 27, 2015 at 2:00 am #

        If I don’t understand a story, always start with the tags, google anything I think might be a clue and then read the other comments. In this case, the clues didn’t really help but for those who get the references, it obviously worked.
        I always try to be honest though, especially in writing critique, and extra-especially with those I trust not to flip out in response.

        Anyway, thanks for the explanation. I look forward to your return, and your comments wheny ou do

  11. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) August 26, 2015 at 8:22 pm #

    Great to see you Doug ,, Somehow I think that any archive would include those few treasures that could reshape your life.. in the end it pays off to be a librarian.

  12. mjlstories August 26, 2015 at 9:48 pm #

    Inspiring story Doug – quite literally. I read this this morning as I was cooking up my cupcake story and yours stuck with me. (Yours tells us the secrets of the universe whereas mine gives, I hope, a useful insight into cupcakes, but there you go…)
    Your fine tale reminds me of the late, great Philip K Dick.
    And that ending to Brazil gets me every time.
    Nice to see you.

  13. sustainabilitea August 26, 2015 at 10:51 pm #

    Wonderful to see/hear from you, Doug. I do hope all’s well. I can’t believe I didn’t get this to start with, as I had a great friend named Roy (no need to be coy.)


    • dmmacilroy August 26, 2015 at 11:44 pm #

      Hi Janet,

      Yes, I thought about figuring out how to have the opening rhythm section of the song playing in the background but that sort of wizardry is beyond me. Nice to see you, too. I hope you are well and planning your next adventure.



  14. lingeringvisions by Dawn August 27, 2015 at 1:20 am #

    I knew from your first line.
    I have always loved that song!
    Thanks for the fun way you have put it in my head 🙂

  15. August 27, 2015 at 5:20 am #

    It sounds like you’re working on a new plan, …. to set yourself free? That tune is stuck in my head now Doug. Interesting take on the prompt and glad to see you back. I’ve been struggling lately. My muse has been on vacation. Be well, Tracey

    • rgayer55 August 28, 2015 at 10:49 am #

      The tune will be stuck in my head too, but at least it’s one I like. I hate it when a song you detest gets stuck in there and plays over and over for 20 hours.

  16. micklively August 27, 2015 at 8:48 am #

    Fifty ways: very clever!

  17. draliman August 27, 2015 at 12:53 pm #

    Sounds like it’ll be a good plan, judging by the files which were taken. Nice story, and good to see you back!

  18. Amy Reese August 27, 2015 at 4:23 pm #

    Doug, it’s good to see you. I didn’t make all the connections as I am not very familiar with “Brazil.” I could recall of few lyrics though. Lovely piece of writing anyway. The files he took are good ones to walk away with.

  19. rgayer55 August 28, 2015 at 10:53 am #

    I recognized the Paul Simon reference right away, but have not seen “Brazil” Although, I once saw a large section of northern Minnesota and a small part of Canada. Both of which were beautiful, but left me itching from misquito bites. Your story brought a smile to my drone face.

  20. Snow's Fissures and Fractures August 28, 2015 at 11:29 am #

    I don’t know what to say…Your story left me quite emotional. I love “Brazil”, didn’t fully understand it the first time I saw it, I think I was around 13. But now I see it with clear eyes and appreciate even more Terry Gilliam’s genius mind.
    Solitude, Mystery, Love and Beauty…what a beautiful combination, adds so much layer to the story. I do hope you have a new plan.

    • dmmacilroy August 28, 2015 at 12:07 pm #

      Dear Lore,

      It makes me feel good to know that my story touched your heart and mind in a good way. I agree with you re Terry Gilliam’s visionary movie and can only stand in awe of his storytelling skill. I have a firm grip on the four files and will not let them slip from my grasp. (That’s my plan and I’m sticking to it. Stay tuned.)



  21. Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist August 28, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

    I am one that is thanking Elmo. Once explained it partially made some sense to me but don’t get the Brazil connection although perhaps if I had even heard of Brazil I’d be a bit wiser.

  22. Perry Block (@PerryBlock) August 28, 2015 at 9:21 pm #

    Hmmm. Love the Paul Simon lyrics throughout and the promise of a new life plan based on those four life qualities, but not quite sure I get it all. I’ll just drop off the key, Lee, and think about it.

    • dmmacilroy August 29, 2015 at 2:00 am #

      Hi Perry,

      It’s a story about someone who left and what he took with him when he went. Pretty obscure all in all. Don’t devote much time to it. Just hum the tune and smile.



  23. gahlearner August 28, 2015 at 10:24 pm #

    Friday Fictioneers make me want to see so many interesting movies. I’ve read about Brazil, now I have to see it. With the files the mysterious person took, that plan can only be a good one.

    • dmmacilroy August 29, 2015 at 2:02 am #

      Dear Gahlearner,

      The plan is solid as a rock. And the movie is well worth watching. Pretty intense and in your face, but in a thought provoking way. Let me know what you think. Thanks for reading and commenting.



      • gahlearner August 29, 2015 at 9:43 pm #

        I will. I try to get it next week. Thank you.

  24. Margaret August 29, 2015 at 11:15 pm #

    I was thinking the whole thing was about writing! The speakers were readers discussing how to interpret a story (it’s all inside their heads), and looking forward to the writer’s next story (new plan). Then I got really deep and decided the speakers were us and the escapee with the plan was you, and ‘the key’ was a clue you had placed so we could figure it out. Then I read your reply to Jennifer. Oh well – I loved it anyway, and it’s a great song.

    • dmmacilroy August 30, 2015 at 8:06 am #

      Dear Margaret,

      I wish my imagination was as rich and vibrant as yours. No way I could keep track of all the symbolism. Thanks for reading and commenting.



  25. Suzanne Joshi August 30, 2015 at 1:29 pm #

    Like Jennifer, I was waiting for a comment to make it clearer. Thanks for explaining Doug. I would have never gotten it otherwise. I remember the song. I hope both you and your character find what you’re looking for. Welcome back for this story anyway. Well done as always. 🙂 — Suzanne

  26. Inside the Mind of Isadora August 30, 2015 at 6:59 pm #

    A great many things said in so few words. I’m thinking about what he’ll do with those files.
    Mysterious … loved it !!!

  27. Dee September 1, 2015 at 4:05 pm #

    Dear Doug
    It is always a pleasure to see your name in the linky-thing. Thank you for this piece on leaving without a fuss, or taking anything much. Paul Simon has written some great songs and now I am humming along…
    Don’t stay away too long

  28. adamjasonp September 6, 2015 at 12:51 pm #

    I thought of Brazil when I saw the images below. Turns out, I thought right…

  29. wildbilbo September 9, 2015 at 3:42 am #

    Missed this story the first time round! Glad I caught it here. Love the idea of taking the elements you want in a life from storage & then escaping… sounds awesome.
    Also – top marks for the Brazil reference.

    • dmmacilroy September 9, 2015 at 4:54 am #

      Dear KT,

      Thanks for dropping by and for leaving such fine comments. Yes, those files are precious to me and will be used wisely.

      Brazil…what can one say? Terry Gilliam at his best. Thanks for noticing.

      Will look for you tonight.




  1. The Cupcake Factory | MJL Stories - August 26, 2015

    […] confectionery on the brain this week (don’t ask!), but I will also acknowledge a huge debt to Doug’s fine story (of Solitude, Mystery, Love and Beauty) that I read earlier today and somehow just […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: