Fiction logo

Splintered Hope

An Ekphrastic Challenge

By Oneg In The ArcticPublished about a month ago Updated about a month ago 3 min read
Top Story - January 2024

“You’re hopeless! Nothing anyone does is good enough for you. Don’t you see how you’re destroying this family?”

Glass flew by my head and in the moment between shatter, I could almost see through to a better outcome. But gravity didn’t leave me enough time to consider hope before glass made contact with the wall in an explosive production.

“I want you out of here! I can’t take your chaos anymore! Get OUT!”


I sat on an upturned crate by the bar’s dumpster, debating my existence and how some things never really changed. Even though I had tried desperately, after a brutal year, the divorce papers still showed up on my doorstep.

Even though I did the program, the steps, the apologies, I remained unforgiven. I still turned up by the trash of a bar.

And I wasn’t even drinking this time. But it didn’t matter.

My life continued to shatter; the splinters had been embedded long ago.

- - -

A bottle was long empty by morning though. The trash got to me. And maybe the view of all the other drunks stumbling out at last call. A part of me knew that I’d still end up a bum like them. It was inevitable. And hey, I guess my wif-ex was right, just like always.

I couldn’t commit. Well, not to anyone but a drink.

My tongue felt blistered the whole time.

My head pounded as if all the times I hadn’t drank came back with a vengeance.

I got weak.

I stumbled like the rest of them.

But somehow, my legs led me to my brother’s doorstep. Easily an hour’s walk away. I swayed in hesitation and exhaustion, debating if I was even worth being answered to. My fist finally decided for me, and I thumped it hard on the boring brown door.

It took quite a lot of banging before the porch light turned on, but the bulb that lit finally brought some relief and hope.

“I fucked up again man,” I groaned into the doorframe. I could see him standing there pausing, contemplating whether I was worth opening up to.

“I know I’m pathetic man, just, you can’t give up on me too. C’monnn. Please.”

Logan finally turned the deadbolt, the click registering in my mind as possible acceptance. But before I could even see his disappointed face, he tossed something out past me, then shut the door and the lights and left.

I turned to see what was thrown, it lay on the lawn begging for company too. A one-by-3 stick of wood. Another stick in the mud, or grass I guess.

Even in my state of despair and blurriness, I knew what Logan was saying.

Come back when you have something to show for it.

By Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

I hope you enjoyed this story I wrote for Makenzie Davis’ Ekphrastic Story Challenge!

It was pretty fun participating, and I’m glad I actually did it. I don’t often participate in a lot of challenges, but have been struggling with inspiration lately. So finishing this story definitely gave me a bit of a boost.

I wasn’t too sure how to approach the image, and I also didn’t want to write a story that was too long. More of snapshots to a snapshot if you catch my drift~

If you enjoyed this story, you’re always welcome to leave a heart, a comment, or even a tip. Any support for you is always graciously appreciated. Your engagement and interactions help small writers feel seen and that our stories matter.

Thank you as always~

Short Story

About the Creator

Oneg In The Arctic

A storyteller and poet of arctic adventures, good food, identity, mental health, and more.

Co-founder of Queer Vocal Voices

Some other rad writers to check out:

James ❄️ TheDaniWriter ❄️ Melissa

RiverJoy ❄️ J. Delaney-Howe ❄️

Water is Life ✊

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments (20)

Sign in to comment
  • Leslie Writes4 days ago

    Sorry it took me so long to read. Poor MC. Totally get where the brother is coming from though. Well done!

  • The story left me feeling a twinge of melancholy and hope, very relatable and very well deserved top story

  • Toby Heward29 days ago

    Quite the unique story.

  • Babs Iversonabout a month ago

    Melancholy & emotional!!! Love it!!!❤️❤️💕

  • Shazee Tahirabout a month ago

    amazing work please check my profile also

  • Mattie :)about a month ago

    Hello there. Really good story. Finding inspiration can be difficult, yet it's so rewarding once you find it. Congrats!!

  • Naveed about a month ago

    Kudos! Keep excelling in your work—congratulations!

  • Kodahabout a month ago

    ❣️ Congrats on ts!! ❣️

  • Lamar Wigginsabout a month ago

    Some tough lessons you dealt with in this one and executed the story so well! Congrats, Oneg!

  • Cathy holmesabout a month ago

    Congrats on the TS.

  • Mackenzie Davisabout a month ago

    I really like how you structured this one. The snapshots are so effective in leading the MC to make that slow walk of shame to the brother's door...and I feel like his response was exactly the right thing to get the MC back on track. Hardness is sometimes best for correcting a direction, especially for the directionless. I had just assumed the picture was a message in a bottle! But I guess it does look like stick, lol. Great interpretation of the image! I was looking forward to this one. Oh and congrats on TS!!

  • Heather Hublerabout a month ago

    This was so packed with emotion. And when that door shut in his face, I felt like it shut in my own. Great storytelling! Congrats on top story :)

  • Dana Crandellabout a month ago

    Sometimes that's what it takes. An excellent story, Oneg and a very worthy Top Story!

  • Daphsamabout a month ago

    Wow, this is so good! Great writing piece.

  • Stephanie Hoogstadabout a month ago

    OMG that got me right in the feels. Tough love is needed sometimes, but man that really hit me in the heart. So, so well done. 💜

  • Cathy holmesabout a month ago

    Great story. Sometimes tough love is exactly what is needed. Well done.

  • Celia in Underlandabout a month ago

    So cleverly written, I think you did a fantastic job with the image Definitely thing that is the kind of response that only a brother could give and for it to be heard. Great entry!

  • The Invisible Writerabout a month ago

    Another great entry into this challenge. I liked the direction you went with this. The brother's lesson. Go wittle this wood. The time will sober you. The work you put in will bring back a small piece of your worth and give you time to think about what you really want to do next.

  • Scott Christensonabout a month ago

    Good writing, the picture was a bit of a tough one to loop in but it sort of works.

  • Tough love is..., tough. But usually it's needed for the addict to hit rock bottom & seek help. Or it could just be that the brother has had enough & really has given up on him, too. Either way, it might convince him to seek out his or at least a sponsor.

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.