#FridayFictioneers – Behind the Curtain

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

The papers would all say that it was their greatest performance. One for the ages.

The cast would never forget it.

Devon locked arms with his fellow performers and bowed low. The applause was deafening. Their smiles wide. The curtain fell as they waved enthusiastically to the adoring crowd.

He was found slumped against a wall in his dressing room the next morning. A spent pill bottle on the floor. Vodka bottle clutched in a fist.

A crumpled paper lay beside the stage make-up. He had scrawled one word.


The papers reported that he showed no signs of depression.

WC: 100

I honestly had nothing for this photo when I first saw it earlier today. That blankness continued for hours, then it hit me. So many people look happy, but they are really anything but. I thought about Robin Williams and the tragedy that surrounded him, but more than that, I figure there are people in all walks of life just “putting on a happy face” everyday.

I was told a long time ago that “you never know what someone is going through. Everybody is struggling with something, so be nice.” It was some darn good advice too! You never know how you may influence someone.

Thanks for reading!

Oh yeah, I made a podcast with this post using Anchor! It’s very exciting to be experimenting with something new. You can hear it here!

#FridayFictioneers is a weekly blog link up hosted by Rochelle over at RochelleWisoff.com, where our gracious host challenges us to fathom a story based on that weeks photo prompt in just 100 words. Thanks Rochelle! You should totally check it out and perhaps try your hand at your very own 100 word story!

Post your own 100 word story here!

30 thoughts on “#FridayFictioneers – Behind the Curtain

  1. Shoot… I started writing my comment, decided to go check out your podcast (or part of it), came back and my comment was gone. Sigh.

    Excellent take on the prompt, Russell. You are right, we don’t know who around us could be hiding their depression behind their smiles. The celebrities we hear about are only heard because of their status.

    Cool hearing your voice. Never, ever imagined you for a southern boy! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dale! Yes, I am a southern boy. Guilty as charged. It’s mostly warm here though, and like one of my faves Jimmy Buffett, I like to be where the weather suits my clothes! Also, thanks for the photo and the listen. I’ve got a ways to go before feeling comfortable talking online. It makes my super nervous for some reason. Maybe one day the podcast thing will smooth out. Either way, it’s fun to play with!


  2. Dear Russell,

    Some are better at putting on that mask than others, aren’t they? I remember the shock I felt when I learned of Robin Williams suicide. We had a similar shock in Kansas City when a local weatherman committed suicide. He was the “class clown” and the city adored him. He was only 41…no one had a clue about his depression.
    Well written and evocative story.



    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Rochelle! There are truly some talented actors out there. Some of them we see everyday in our own lives I’m afraid. It’s always so shocking and sad when they decide to end it all.


  3. I enjoyed your story as it highlights an important truth. Especially in electronic media it is difficult to tell what state of mind a writer or reader is in. Nice is the best “standard practice.” I enjoyed your podcast segment. Not sure how to comment or go to your podcast site, was able to listen right after clicking in your post above.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! You’re so right. In this age of texting and status updates, there is so little context to determine someone’s mental state.

      Thanks for the listen as well. I’m still learning how everything works, and honestly haven’t put all the time into that I need to, but I’ve put off actually recording for over a year, so I thought I’d go ahead and get recording. (Learn on the fly) I know Anchor distributes the podcast, so it’s in other places, such as Spotify and Google Podcasts. Not Apple yet though. I’ll share more as I learn. Thanks again!

      Liked by 2 people

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