Left Out In The Cold

April 22, 2015 at 11:16 am 42 comments

For Friday Fictioneers 100-Word Challenge: 24 April 2015

Douglas M. MacIlroy
Photo Credit: Douglas M. MacIlroy

Anne was in front of our office building when I arrived. I tried to sneak past her, but she saw me.

“Jeremy, I don’t have my badge and I can’t get in,” Anne said shivering in winter’s cold. “Tell Kate that I’m down here.”

Kate was our supervisor in the filing department.

It seemed like yesterday, but that was ten years ago. Kate retired and I left the department after getting promoted.

“Sure, Anne,” I told the co-worker who lost her job after being diagnosed with mental illness.

She smiled, grateful and relieved at the thought of help coming shortly.


Entry filed under: Blogroll, friday fictioneers. Tags: , .

Wordless Wednesday: Spices for Life Top 10 Reasons She Went Away

42 Comments Add your own

  • 1. FabricatingFiction  |  April 22, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Very sad.

    • 2. plaridel  |  April 22, 2015 at 2:10 pm


      it was sad, indeed. when management discovered her mental illness, it was tolerated at first. but when it got worse, she was let go depriving her of the job that no matter how humble gave meaning to her life.

  • 3. Francesca Smith  |  April 22, 2015 at 11:55 am

    I can imagine something like this happening to an unfortunate soul. His reaction is very true to reality, for we tend to avoid things which are unexplainable or like this.
    Good story!

    • 4. plaridel  |  April 22, 2015 at 2:11 pm


      it was based on an actual event. it broke jeremy’s heart that he had to tell a lie and for giving her false hopes. he cried in his cubicle that day.

  • 5. ansumani  |  April 22, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    Sad Story. Written with compassion.

    • 6. plaridel  |  April 22, 2015 at 2:12 pm


      mental illness is living through a field of snow where all the beautiful memories lay hidden underneath.

      • 7. ansumani  |  April 22, 2015 at 2:14 pm

        That’s a beautiful and poignant explanation of mental illness.

        • 8. plaridel  |  April 22, 2015 at 7:37 pm


          thank you.

  • 9. Sandra Conner  |  April 22, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Very creative take on the prompt, but how sad that it is based on a true event. I hope the real lady got good help.

    • 10. plaridel  |  April 22, 2015 at 7:38 pm


      i lost track of her. hopefully, she didn’t end up being a number or statistics.

  • 11. micklively  |  April 22, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    Poignant piece: well done.

    • 12. plaridel  |  April 23, 2015 at 9:40 am


      the mentally-ill deserve better.

  • 13. Sandra  |  April 22, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    That’s a really interesting take on the prompt. And sad.

    • 14. plaridel  |  April 23, 2015 at 9:41 am


      when i saw this week’s prompt, i thought of the mentally-ill and how cold and desolate the world they live in must be.

  • 15. gahlearner  |  April 23, 2015 at 12:33 am

    Very sad story, very real. I know similar cases, too.

    • 16. plaridel  |  April 23, 2015 at 9:41 am


      the mentally-ill are the new untouchables in society.

  • 17. draliman  |  April 23, 2015 at 12:46 am

    Poor woman, very sad.

    • 18. plaridel  |  April 23, 2015 at 9:43 am


      it’s all the more sad that many like her are living out there on the streets

  • 19. afairymind  |  April 23, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    I found this very sad even before I learnt that it’s based on a true story. Well told.

    • 20. plaridel  |  April 23, 2015 at 10:48 pm


      it’s been on the back of my head for sometime. it needed to be told.

  • 21. wmqcolby  |  April 23, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    Ohhhh, target took a hit. You nailed it, Plaridel. Nice one!

    • 22. plaridel  |  April 23, 2015 at 10:48 pm


      thank you for reading. much appreciated.

  • 23. Nan Falkner  |  April 24, 2015 at 1:45 am

    Dear plaridel, you have such a great way with words. I always enjoy your stories and this is a sad one. Nan

    • 24. plaridel  |  April 24, 2015 at 2:49 pm


      what a great compliment. english being my second language, i’m still struggling learning the nuances of the language.

  • 25. rochellewisoff  |  April 24, 2015 at 2:50 am

    Dear Plaridel,

    So much story here in a compact space. Well done.



    • 26. plaridel  |  April 24, 2015 at 2:49 pm


      with so many details deleted, i’m glad it still worked for you.

  • 27. amiewrites74  |  April 24, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Sad story, beautifully told. I’m glad that you shared this.

    • 28. plaridel  |  April 24, 2015 at 2:50 pm


      thank you for your comment. i’m glad you liked it. 🙂

  • 29. Margaret  |  April 24, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    So tragic. Your narrator’s conflicted emotions come through really strongly. He did what seemed best at the time, but wished he could have done more. Mental illness is a dilemma for all of us, whatever contact we have with it. Sensitively told.

    • 30. plaridel  |  April 25, 2015 at 9:53 am


      that was an excellent comment. thank you kindly.

  • 31. subroto  |  April 25, 2015 at 4:36 am

    Sad story and made even more poignant because is based on a true incident.

    • 32. plaridel  |  April 25, 2015 at 9:53 am


      thank you. i appreciate your comment very much.

  • 33. The Writer's Village  |  April 25, 2015 at 5:32 am

    Why didn’t you let her in?
    Thought provoking piece. Randy

    • 34. plaridel  |  April 25, 2015 at 9:54 am


      it’s a highly-secured place.

  • 35. milliethom  |  April 25, 2015 at 11:34 am

    A sad story, Plaridel, which I see from comments above is based on a true one. Mental illness is one of those things that people don’t know how to react to. I can understand Jeremy’s attempts to avoid her.It’s also very poignant that Anne clung onto the job that gave meaning to her life, even after she was let go. A story well told.

    • 36. plaridel  |  April 26, 2015 at 12:52 pm


      it’s still one of the least understood diseases despite the fact that it affects millions of americans. as a society, we must find ways to deal with it with compassion rather than sending the mentally ill to the streets.

      • 37. milliethom  |  April 26, 2015 at 1:38 pm

        It’s the same over here, and I agree about dealing with the illness with compasssion.

        • 38. plaridel  |  April 28, 2015 at 2:33 pm


          at the end of the day, that’s the best we can do.

  • 39. Amy Reese  |  April 26, 2015 at 11:05 am

    Very sad. I hope that she would have received help and not be punished by losing her job. This is not fair. Mental illness is often misunderstood.

    • 40. plaridel  |  April 26, 2015 at 12:52 pm


      sometimes, life’s not fair. i lost track of her. hopefully, she’s a better situation now.

  • 41. Suzanne Joshi (@PaSusan2)  |  April 27, 2015 at 10:53 am

    What a shame. From the comments, I guess this really happened to someone. It’s sad enough for an older person, but with someone young enough to still be working, it’s doubly sad. There’s no way to explain to someone in that condition. It’s a shame she had no one to look after her who could control it. Well told, Plaridel. — Suzanne

    • 42. plaridel  |  April 27, 2015 at 2:09 pm


      what made it doubly sad was that she was already in her 50s when it happened making it almost impossible to find a job even without her condition.


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