Countdown

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers!  We are a community of writers from around the world who post 100-word stories every week, based on a photo prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog.

This week’s photo by Madison Woods reminded me of a story that was in the news earlier this week. Two reporters were taken into custody during the Ferguson protests a year ago, shortly after police shot and killed Michael Brown. They were eating and working at a McDonald’s a couple blocks down the street from the main protest group. 

They were released without charges–until this week, when charges were finally pressed a few days before the one-year statute of limitation deadline. Needless to say, the reporters and their news organizations were outraged. They believe the charges are over-reaching and indicative of a desire to limit press coverage. This is particularly concerning, given the new protests that have been engaged over the last week.

What follows is fiction. I hope it conveys the spirit and the feeling of the journalists’ experience, but it is not intended to be a factual account. Real names of the parties involved are not used in the story.

Photo Copyright: Madison Woods

Photo Copyright: Madison Woods

Countdown

by Jan Brown

“Five.”

Rex quickly unplugged his chargers, his phone and his two laptops. He swallowed the last bite of his McChicken.

“Four.”

Jared started stuffing his computer equipment in a duffel bag.

“Three.”

The SWAT officers looked at each other, nodded, and turned their watchful eyes back to the two journalists, who were recording the officers on video.

“Two.”

Rex and Jared understood the intimidation tactics that police officers used to control crowds. But they had never seen these tactics used to harass reporters.

“One.”

Five seconds just wasn’t enough time to pack up and clear out.

“You’re under arrest.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For more information about the actual events that inspired this story:

Article in politico.com August 2014

To read other Friday Fictioneers’ stories, click the link below:

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25 thoughts on “Countdown

  1. That was a very convincing fiction 🙂 (My link is no longer “fantasy” but is “fiction.wildozark.com”) I found your story this evening because I’d gotten a broken backlink notice and was delighted to ramble around in some fictioneer stories! Didn’t know this old photo had surfaced once again. Now I’m going to wander around some more 🙂

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