From order, chaos

06 Sep

treasure boxPhoto copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Daisuke’s life had been so orderly, a time and place for everything. The 5:37 train to his Sendai office six days a week. Monday night movie dates with girlfriend Hiroko. English lessons every Tuesday and Thursday after work. Obligatory drinks with coworkers at the izakaya on Fridays. Saturday night karaoke. Dinner with his parents on Sunday.

Then came March 11. Every neatly compartmentalized aspect of his life shaken to its core. No electricity, little water, dwindling fuel. His office declared unsafe for occupancy. Hiroko dead, three coworkers missing. The izakaya swept out to sea.

Disorder has become Daisuke’s new reality.


I’ve been away from Friday Fictioneers for a month, and I’m feeling pretty rusty!


Posted by on September 6, 2013 in Challenges, Fiction



13 responses to “From order, chaos

  1. rochellewisoff

    September 7, 2013 at 7:04 AM

    Dear Michelle,

    Always a pleasure when you show up with one of your well written stories. This one is no exception. A most unique take on the prompt. Beautifully tragic with many layers to it. I’ll say no more so as not to detract from your piece.



    • dreaminofobx

      September 8, 2013 at 9:04 PM

      Thank you, Rochelle. It was one of those great photos that immediately inspired a story, so I have you to thank for this piece!

  2. lewis cave

    September 7, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    That is quite a change to get used to!

  3. Dee

    September 7, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    This is such a tragic tale, beautifully written. It must have been an unimaginably horrific time, you capture the sadness and sense of loss so well.

    • dreaminofobx

      September 8, 2013 at 9:03 PM

      Yes, tragic, and for so many chased from their otherwise undamaged homes by the nuclear disaster, the loss, anger, and helplessness continue. My heart goes out to everyone affected.

  4. dmmacilroy

    September 7, 2013 at 11:59 PM

    Dear Michelle,

    I was told by a friend to save this story for desert, so naturally I ignored their advice and dashed to my linkythingy icon to check it out. Glad I did. The minute I read the word Sendai I knew where you were going but was pleasantly swept out to sea with your protagonists orderly life by your tight, descriptive writing and stellar imagination. Thank you for writing.



    • dreaminofobx

      September 8, 2013 at 9:01 PM

      Thanks for your kind words, Doug. The tragic Great Tohoku Earthquake of March 11 affected me deeply…not because I was in any personal danger from the disaster, but because of the way they impacted people I cared about while living in Japan at that time. For example, I had a student who knew that at least four of his family and friends were missing…yet he could not be released from his duties in the MSDF to go and search for them. I don’t know any other way to express my heartbreak over March 11, or my admiration for the way the people of Japan have dealt with it, except to include it in my writing.

  5. Sarah Ann

    September 8, 2013 at 5:38 AM

    Like how the sparseness of your language reflects the order and compartmentalisation of Daisuke’s life.

    • dreaminofobx

      September 8, 2013 at 8:54 PM

      This order was so true of many of the Japanese I met while living there…at least on the surface. Once I got to know them more personally, I saw their lives could not be so easily compartmentalized.

  6. lingeringvisions by Dawn

    September 8, 2013 at 12:12 PM


  7. The Bumble Files

    September 8, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    Really powerful. I loved where you took this prompt.

  8. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

    September 8, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    This was a real tale, and by using the Japanese names you took me to Fukishima .. great writing

    • dreaminofobx

      September 8, 2013 at 8:49 PM

      Thanks. I was well south of the devastated region at the time, but the impact of the quake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster on the entire country were unforgettable.


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