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Ecstasy in a barn

A-Z blogging: Ecstasy

Writing prompt: ECSTASY

Provided by: Talli Roland, a cool writer and fellow A to Z challenge participant. Go visit her! ( If you like my A-Z posts, drop a word-prompt in the comments, please. ) Thanks also to Sarah Ketley for the picture prompt. She is aiming to encourage writers, and that is a good thing.

Genre: Fiction/Flash


There it sat, a barn in the middle of nowhere. Not exactly nowhere, thought Dina, this must be somewhere, only she did not know where. She heard no crickets or birdcalls, no bells or creaks: the absence of sound was itself a sound.

Overgrown by grass, this barn looked abandoned, forbidding, in the afternoon light. She did not want to step inside, but she had no choice. She could not walk much further and it would be evening soon.

She had survived three days on water from random streams and puddles. She had walked without pause ever since that night they pushed her out of the truck, her bruises swelling. When she raised her wounded hand to wipe off sweat, the cut, which she had wrapped in a piece of her shirt, smelled like very old meat pie.

“So, have you made up your mind?”

Dina whipped around at that voice of a testy bus conductor to find a tiny old man, hands on his hips, who looked and smelled as if he lived in a dustbin.

“About what?” asked Dina, before she could stop herself. She stared at his eyes, the silver-and-blue pupils, limpid pools of light so out of place on his dark, leathery face.

“Ecstasy, of course,” snapped the man.

“I’m no druggie,” said Dina. Exhaustion talking, she knew. She should ask who this strange little man was, and the name of this place. Her tongue scratched against her palate as she tried to speak again, but could not.

” A dimwit, then. This is not your time to step into the barn, I can see that. But you can experience it a little, so you’re not afraid later. Lie down.”

The compelling blue eyes bored into her own, and as her knees sank at the barn’s doorway, Dina wondered if this was it, if she were dying.

” Ecstasy is not death. It is relief from pain, a way into light. You don’t believe in it, nor me, so doesn’t matter.”

How did he hear that? Dina wanted to shake him, but found herself on the floor, hands tied behind her back.

“They’ll let you go, you know,” the voice came floating into her head. Gentler.

“Then all you have to do is not stop. Keep walking.”


I’m tweeting A to Z posts at #atozchallenge.  And there’s also the Twitter A toZ Challenge Daily.

Thanks and shout-outs to organisers Arlee Bird (Tossing It Out) , Jeffrey Beesler’s (World of the Scribe),  Alex J. Cavanaugh (Alex J. Cavanaugh) , Jen Daiker ( Unedited), Candace Ganger (The Misadventures in Candyland) , Karen J Gowen  (Coming Down the Mountain) , Talli Roland ,  Stephen Tremp (Breakthrough Blogs )

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her next literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and was published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • rick mobbs says:


    I just got a call from another show wanting me to start tomorrow (which I can’t do). I have to figure out how to do this kind of work, crazy, wonderful and discomfiting as it is – and live a balanced life. A life that is about more than work and sleep when I am on a show. I’m making headway. I think it has to do with developing resilience and hardiness. Talk to you soon.

    Rick, like I said, take your time. You know I won’t go away. As you can see, I haven’t given up on short pieces. And I know you won’t ever give up on the excellent work you do. Sooner or later, the project will happen. Will wait for your mail.

  • rick mobbs says:

    B is for Bewilderment, private language, finishing a movie, returning home again. A playground wind-storm dying around me. Feeling like a kid flung from a swing, dust lifting from dusty jeans, landing hard among pebbles, rocks, confusion of colors, confusion of friends , confusion of things.

    A couple more days to sort things out, catch up to myself, respond to family, children and friends.

    Best wishes


    I understand, RIck. Take your time, relax a little. You deserve it.

  • indigo bunting says:

    It’s all so chilling…

  • Sheilagh Lee says:

    Creepy story but oh so good.

  • Damyanti says:

    Thanks to everyone who visited and commented….and thanks for bearing with a creepy version of Ecstasy!

    I use two or three writing prompts along with the word prompt to come up with these pieces, and the barn picture by Sarah in this case added a kind of dark element, its doorway became for me a portal between life and death. Dina, the woman making her (as it turns out, spiritual) escape from torture is tempted to give up to the comforts of restful death, but her time is not yet come.

    To Pencilgirl: I’m glad the tones are different because that is what I’m aiming for. Since these are pieces where I’m just giving myself absolute creative freedom, with no plot demands, or editor demands..I’m going experimental.

    Some of the forthcoming pieces are attempts at tenderness, the surreal, the fantastic, the folklorish in urban settings.

    The kind comments and encouragement I’ve received so far are a tremendous bonus, but they are all from fellow-writers, and writers are generally loving towards their fellow-sufferers 🙂 .

    I’m sorry I’m not individually responding to comments, but I’m trying to visit back as often as I can. If I have not had the opportunity to read you and comment, please let me know.

  • Belle Wong says:

    Great read! And I have to echo the previous commentor – not what I expected from Ecstasy.

  • Cindy says:

    Whoa! Not where I would have expected it to go from the word Ecstasy

  • As always, a wonderful piece of flash fiction! I love reading your AtoZ posts. You’re an amazing writer! Keep it up!

    Oh, and a prompt… I suppose I can throw one out there for ya: fraud. I almost said flatulence, but… I’m not sure there’s a lot one could write on that one.

  • Cherie Reich says:

    Oh, wow! This was a great flash piece. Creepy. I felt for the MC. Great job!

  • Wow, that was strong. Great job on this!

  • Rekha says:

    Spooky and disturbing but the suspense and the way you have written it makes for a engrossing read.

  • PencilGirl says:

    Hmmm… That was a little disturbing, and definitely not what I’d ever have associated with Ecstasy. But, it was interesting. It made me think a little.. 🙂 🙂

    And I’m going to comment again, on the difference in the tone.. This one was almost surreal.. How do you manage to write 5 pieces of fiction, and manage to keep each one so different from the other? 😐 😀

  • Summer Ross says:

    a prompt word- for F I presume tomorrow- how about an alliteration: Favorite Forbidden Fantasy

  • Tara Tyler says:

    Eerie to the Extreme – had to use E!
    I like the twist of ecstacy and I enjoy seeing how you will surprise us with your prompts.
    Happy E Day!

  • Very chilling. Not at all my image for “ecstasy” but very vivid imagery.


  • Hart says:

    Oh, this was a nice piece! I like your image of that space on the edge between life and death.

  • Laura Eno says:

    Spooky, creepy, leaving the reader to wonder about reality. Awesome!

  • K.C. Woolf says:

    Great way of using the prompts!

  • Talei Loto says:

    Oh, I love this! E is indeed for ectasy! Nicely written. 😉

  • Trippy, lol, no pun intended.

    Glad that you have taken my idea and “gone with it”

    It’s so important just to try some writing that has no real purpose other than to hone your skills and your book doesn’t hang in the balance.

    Great job.

    I will be doing more of these now that my posts about India Drummond’s new book are over. So pop back for some more prompts.

    Best of luck


  • Alex Fayle says:

    You did a great job going the opposite direction from what I was thinking for Ecstasy and yet it still flowed as a story.

    Well done!

  • Barbara says:

    I like how you work with the prompts, it’s never something that I would’ve expected! I like your work, Thank you for sharing!

  • A disturbing tale indeed. A FLASH of the sinister, fragmenting the reader’s senses.

    G is for gravitas

  • Toby Neal says:

    Interesting, again. Good strong turns of phrase.

  • L'Aussie says:

    I love this E post. I’m still wading through Ds. Will be getting my E up in a few hours.

    Great pic of the barn/shed. Great story from the stimulus.


  • Creepy…but a great read.

  • clew says:

    Really nice. I love your voice – looking forward to future visits 🙂

    A to Z visitor xo

  • Lindsay says:

    Great post for E!! Ecstasy – perfect:) Good work with your descriptives because the line about the wound smelling like very old meat pie was really gross LOL!!!

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