Photo Copyright: Al Forbes

This story was written for Sunday Photo Fiction–May 21st, 2017. Each week the host, Al Forbes, provides a picture prompt donated by himself or one of the other writers in the group. The challenge for each member of the group is to write an original story or poem with no more than 200 words, not including the title and inspired by the prompt. This week’s prompt was from Al Forbes himself.

To read the other stories written by group members, just click on the link below, then on the little blue frog in the blue box.

The link to the other stories this week is as follows:

Genre: Dystopian Fiction

Word Count: 200 Words


Chand and his Section Ten patrollers were now in a desolate land on the edge of their assigned territory. The single good thing about this area was the lack of mutants. There were no caves for miles, nowhere to hide.

Up ahead there was a stone wall. It seemed to have been part of a compound at one time, perhaps used during the Greatest War that ended about two hundred years before.

As they approached they saw words on the gate in the wall,  TRAITOR’S GATE. There were terrifying stories about people crammed into walled areas as punishment for doing even the slightest act considered as disobedient. Anyone trying to escape was shot on sight.

Before peace came, some mutants climbed the walls and killed captives before the guards could shoot the creatures. They were bloodthirsty and didn’t  think about getting out, only in.

When the war ended, there was insufficient medicine and caregivers to save many prisoners so they rapidly died. The bodies were burned to keep the ravenous mutants who roamed the area during the war and hid in bombed-out buildings from consuming the remains.These appalling places were deserted, falling to ruin as seemed fitting to all.

Note: An ominous feeling still hangs over the place even after two centuries. The patrollers, even though hardened, are reluctant to enter the area. Strange rumors circulate about continued unnatural occurrences even though the place is thought to have been deserted.


19 thoughts on “BEYOND THE GATE

  1. Now I am wondering about the mutants, who and what they are. So often society creates but will not take responsibility for what it makes.


  2. Thanks, Mike. The mutants were caused by substances in the bombs used during the Greatest War. Some of the population was more sensitive to these than others. It caused mutations in future generations. The mutants are actually mutated humans who are no longer considered human by the present-day population. I’m pleased you liked the story. I hope that answers your question. I’ve also added a Note to the bottom of the story about the atmosphere of the place. 🙂 — Suzanne


  3. Thanks, Diana. I wouldn’t want to go through either. They’re patrollers, though, so they have to inspect everything. I suspect there’s something that keeps those strange tales alive. I’m glad you liked the story. 🙂 — Suzanne


  4. I enjoyed your futuristic setting. The mutants seem very frightening and you feel terrible for those prisoners in the past, locked up for really, no reason. What a terrible way to die. I would agree, places
    Ike this should fall to ruin. Then again, perhaps we need some things such as this to remember so people do not do the same thing again. Such as the concentration camps from the Holocaust.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks, Mandi. I agree we need to remember. This is the future and the Greatest War did terrific damage to civilization, killing much of the population. It’s probably for that reason people have grouped together and aren’t able to repair or replace buildings in some areas. There’s also the problem of the damaged humans, the mutants. They run wild and no one wants to risk rounding them up and confining them. They’re worse than wild animals. People just gather together in settlements for safety. They send out a patrol for each sector so they know what’s happening. I’m glad you liked the story. 🙂 — Suzanne


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