Breaking the News

san juan island

© Ted Strutz

I took Mom and Dad to their favorite restaurant at the end of the pier. We ordered what we always order, creatures of habit and all that, and I admitted to myself I was going to miss it.

“I don’t know how to say this, but we’re moving away.”

“Moving? Tom, did you get another job?” It came as quite a shock to Mom.

“You’ve lived here all your life, son.”

“I know Dad, but it’s gotten so expensive. The cost of living here is out of control. I’m moving the family to Idaho. I promise we’ll visit often.

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields flash fiction challenge. The idea is to use the image above to craft a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 99.

I feel I’ve written half a story. When I saw that the photo credit was Ted Strutz, I looked him up and found he lives in San Juan Island, Washington. I’ve read about how the exceptionally high cost of living in major western population centers such as Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco is driving people to other communities, including Boise and its suburbs. The story sort of put itself together after that, and an expanded version would probably tell a more complete tale.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit

43 thoughts on “Breaking the News

    • Thanks. Among other places in the country, Southwestern Idaho seems to be a destination for folks trying to escape the urban mess some of the west coast has turned into. I know we moved here over 20 years ago when the closest drive-by shooting to our home in Southern California was just over a mile away. We didn’t want our kids to get killed. All in all, especially seeing how California seems to be imploding on so many levels, it was a pretty good move.


  1. This could be situated in most big cities and coastal towns around the world. People who have grown up in an area forced to leave because they can no longer afford to live where they were born.


  2. i’d been to boise. it would be a big change for him. there would be some adjustments, but i’m sure he’d fit in. as the sayings go, if you don’t like it, change your liking 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.