One-way ticket

This is a submission for Friday Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, It was prompted by the photo below, kindly provided by Ted Strutz.

To view other people’s stories and add your own please click on the link:

One-way ticket

When Josh came to, he was on a ferry, among strangers, crossing an unfamiliar river.

He thought about Carter’s words at the party, “Forget smoking, use the needle. It’s time to cross the Rubicon.” Maybe Josh was still high.

The ferryman turned and studied Josh, with a grimace on his gaunt face.

“Don’t worry,” he said, “It’s warm over there, real warm.”

“When does the ferry return?” Josh asked.

“Strictly one-way,” the ferryman answered.

“But … ‘crossing the Rubicon’ … that’s just a metaphor, right?”

“You picked the wrong river, friend. No more kicks when you cross the River Styx.”

100 words


I would like to thank J Hardy Carroll for giving me a supplementary prompt (kind of).  I’d given up hope of finding an idea for a story of my own when I read his, On Bainbridge Island.  It described the kind of road trip from Hell that many of us will have been on too many times.  That gave me the idea of writing about a boat trip to Hell.

Plus I must apologise to:

– Charon for referring to him as “the ferryman” instead of using his name, for fear of giving the game away too early.  I know Charon’s mythical, but I live in a superstitious neck of the woods and you can’t be too careful.

– Bobby Troup for the appalling play on the lyrics of Route 66.

This entry was posted in Flash Fiction. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to One-way ticket

  1. neilmacdon says:

    I’m always a sucker for incorporating mythology

    Liked by 1 person

    • JS Brand says:

      Me too. Myths and legends were a childhood obsession, but sadly very little has stayed in the memory. When it pops up I like to use it (I think there’s an unintentional double entendre there, but if I’m in luck, no one will notice it).


  2. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover says:

    Love that last line. This was a really creative take on the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. michael1148humphris says:

    This is perhaps a story a story which should read a every drug rehab

    Liked by 2 people

    • JS Brand says:

      Thank you Michael. It’s a depressing thing to say, but I think any messages that set out to discourage substance misuse are usually cancelled out by the “yeah, but that won’t happen to me” syndrome.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. yarnspinnerr says:

    A great take on this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear JS,

    Really nice use of the prompt. I knew where you were going but that didn’t detract from you story. Well done.



    Liked by 1 person

  6. Good one. I really liked the direction, :o)


  7. James says:

    Ha. I just wrote a story, albeit a much longer one, about the River Styx inspired by a game my grandson and I play.

    Liked by 1 person

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s