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SoCS: Screaming Fire in a Crowded Theater

Have you ever thought of screaming “FIRE” in a crowded theatre?


I’m back for this week’s prompt, after being away on vacation last week.


She wanders, aimless, through a huge crowd of preoccupied people, all focused on their own troubles.

She can’t say she entirely blames them for this. She is doing the same.

She feels her smallness in all their size. She feels bodies shoving her, this way and that, like a vessel being tossed about on a restless sea.

When will it end? What will it take?

Invisible is she, though she exists like the rest. Her desire to be heard and seen battles with her need to be left alone, to hide away from all of them.

The urge to jump, step, fly from the subway platform.

The fleeting thought when standing at the railing, at a waterfall, bridge, or river’s edge.

Who would notice? Invisible is freeing.

When she screams in that theatre, for someone to notice the flames, does anybody actually look away from the action going on on the screen in front of them?

As she ambles through the crowd, out somewhere, but still in a sea of bodies – who sees her amongst themselves?


I hesitated to write this the way I wrote it, with the terrible events having taken place in a movie theatre in Louisiana, but I wanted to grab my own attention to the helplessness of life, if nobody else’s.

I simply read the prompt for this last SoCS in July:

We can’t even go to school or watch a movie now?

What is this world coming to?

And still my voice feels muffled and silent, but I keep writing and I don’t remain quiet.


15 thoughts on “SoCS: Screaming Fire in a Crowded Theater

  1. Suzanne says:

    This will probably start a controversy but as an Australian I am continually perplexed as to why Americans don’t have tighter gun laws. Our guns laws changed after a terrible massacre in the 1990s. There had never been an event like that sice. Criminals still get illegal guns and use them in gang warfare but there are not the random shootings that occur in the US.

    • Oh, believe me, it’s already started. I’m Canadian and I do agree. I was writing this from several angles. I just so happen to include it because it is on my mind.
      I don’t know when enough will ever be enough, but I know, until then, I won’t ever stop the conversation. Glad to hear your POV about it.

    • Americans take the freedoms spelled out in the constitution very seriously. We do suffer at times but on an overall basis embrace the founding fathers and mothers desire to make sure the government would keep its service role and not dictate the terms of life. We (constitutionally speaking) believe that tighter laws will infringe on individual rights.

      • Suzanne says:

        Intellectually I see your point. What I have difficulty is the way this individual freedom is interpreted. You are a very god fearing nation yet the commandment to not kill each other is ignored.

      • The constitution proscribes a separation of church and state. Although most God fearing folks would agree on the commandment principle the government is still mandated to protect those rights of Americans to bear arms. (BTW I totally agree with you.)

      • Suzanne says:

        I did wonder about the separation of Church and State which is very important over here. We hear so much about how important the Christian religion is in America I had mistakenly assumed it was somehow part of the constitution. Thanks for setting me straight. I do hope your country finds some way to resolve the gun ownership issue though.

      • Most of us are weary of the slaughter. It is not so much the guns that are a problem but the lack of application of system controls that are in place to prevent the slaughter in the first place. Thank you for the dialog.

  2. myzania3350 says:

    Just keep speaking. “Rage against the dying of the light”!
    While I don’t always like hearing that poem relating to its original meaning of raging against death, in this situation and that of other injustices it applies.
    We can only keep speaking and sometimes are able to do & say more than that. 🙂

  3. Thank you for sharing . I really wish the gun controls laws in the U,S. were stricter . However the gun lobbyists have not only powerful political backing , they also do have a significant popular support .

  4. I am completely unfamiliar with gun law as in India we don’t really have a structure in place. I can walk in and for a few green notes, I will walk out – no questions asked. This raises good questions!

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