Where To From Here?

November 11, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the phrase “carry on.” It can be an expression of perseverance or behaving in a particular way. It can even be luggage you take when travelling. Go where the prompt leads!

Where To From Here? – by Hugh W. Roberts

After witnessing the solstice, Richard asked, “What do we do now?”

“We carry on what we’re doing,” replied Adrian.

“But what if—“

“We’re young; we carry on who we are, not what others want us to be. Nothing and nobody can ever change us.”

“But my father, he’ll try. He’ll kill us. He’d never cope knowing I’m carrying on with another guy.”

“Carrying on? Another guy? Who do you love more, Richard?”

A long pause was interrupted when both young men turned and faced each other and spoke simultaneously.

“Let’s carry on being who we are. I love you.”


Richard and Adrian first appeared in Edge Of Summer – another piece of flash fiction written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge.

Image of an open road going towards the mountains
Image Credit: Charli Mills

Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch. Click here to join in.


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44 thoughts on “Where To From Here?

  1. I’m guessing this: ” Who do you love more,” has to be one of the toughest questions that can be asked, and one of the most difficult to answer. How much love has been lost because someone couldn’t, or wouldn’t, answer it? Or because someone never had the strength to ask it?

    1. ‘Love’ is such a strong and powerful word, yet I’ve encountered several people during my life who couldn’t say it because they felt it would make them look weak. It’s led to lots of problems in their lives. However, some of them have gestures rather than words, so that seems to help. And I guess some people won’t ask the question for fear of rejection.

    1. Thanks, Debby. I’m thinking of putting all these Adrian and Richard stories onto a page on my blog to put them in their proper order. It’s something I’m going to do over the festive period when things are quiet in the blogging world.

  2. Your story of Richard and Adrian continues to unfold with beauty and grace. When faced with threats, they know to face each other and utter the most powerful words that exist. Well done, Hugh.

    1. Those three words can conquer anything, Charli. I’m glad you’re enjoying these snippets of the lives of Richard and Adrian. I have plans for them and will feature them on my column at the Carrot Ranch next week.

  3. That’s great. My ex-husband’s younger brother is gay. I think it was difficult for him with his parents. He spent a lot of time with them after he graduated from college, but after he came out, he didn’t see them for five years. His mother is still alive. I don’t know if he’s ever allowed himself to enjoy a relationship.


    1. How sad about your ex-husband’s younger brother. I always feel for those who have to live their life as a lie because of what others may say or do. When I came out to my parents, my father wanted to have nothing to do with me. However, I saw it as his loss, not mine. Some 35 years later, he finally accepted me for who I was and not who he wanted me to be.

  4. Tightly written but very powerful. I could feel the pain. I have to download your book so I can read these all together. Spend an afternoon with Hugh so to speak! Have tea and cookies and snuggle up in a blankie!

    1. Alas, Richard and Adrian don’t appear in any of my books as I only created these two characters this year. But they will do in the future. Nonetheless, any reading you do will go down very well with cookies and tea. I hope to join you.

  5. It’s both, inspiring to see how brave Richard and Adrian are, and sad that they have to be. Love shouldn’t be that difficult.

    1. I agree it shouldn’t, Aimer. But even in the world of today, there are some things that many of us would class as normal behaviour that LGBTQ people wouldn’t do in fear of the reaction. However, we’ve come a long way since the dark days of being gay being considered a crime.

      1. It’s not easy, even now. I have to admit, I worry sometimes when we’re walking about as a family and my daughter holds her wife’s hand, or wraps an arm around her waist. I’m proud of her, but I worry…

        1. It’s a shame, but the threat is always there. Nonetheless, we must be thankful that we’re allowed to have same-sex marriages now. And we get the same rights as a married heterosexual couple get.

  6. High, linking up the stories of Adrian & Richard would be great. Helpful to understand their relationship challenges are similar to other couples, regardless of gender. You are an incredible writer, and I enjoy reading all of your blog posts. 📚🎶 Christine

    1. Hi Christine, linking up these stories of Richard and Adrian is something I intend to do. I’m also going to create one page with all the stories and slot in new stories every week. By the time I finish, maybe I’ll have a new novel on my hands?

      Thank you so much for visiting my blog and reading my posts. I feel you’re one of my longstanding friends here in the blogging world, so it’s always great to hear from you.

      1. Thanks so much, Hugh. I’m glad we’re virtual friends for some time now. Your posts are worth reading. I can see you will have a book of Richard & Adrian. Linking up the stories, scene by scene. 📚🎶 Christine

  7. Hi Hugh, thanks for sharing these although I’m not a massive fiction reader, your getting me into reading flash fiction.

    Just as a heads up I’ve clicked the image to your latest carrot ranch post but it’s only taking me through to the image.

    1. Hi James, I’m delighted to hear that these fiction pieces are getting you into reading flash fiction. I love writing flash fiction more than anything else.

      Thanks for the heads up about the broken link. Which image is it that you’re clicking on? Is it the Diversity With A Twist image in the body of this post or the one on the widget bar that, when clicked, only leads to the image rather than my latest post at the Carrot Ranch?

      1. Apologies Hugh I realise it’s only doing that in wordpress reader. I’ve clicked the Web view and am now able to access the link!

        I’ll check it out!

        1. Thanks, James. One of the reasons I don’t use the Reader much is that links don’t work from it. But I’m glad there is no problem with the web-view of my blog. Thanks for checking.

          I have a new post due for publication on the Carrot Ranch next week. My final one of 2021.

  8. This post is a sign of our modern times, Hugh, and I’m thankful for writers like you who illuminate the fears that still surround our relationships. I read your comment back to Liesbet that you are still hesitant to hold your partner’s hand in public. I get it and our society is not always ready to see affection from same-sex couples. I know my bother and his husband dial it back appropriately but their affection for each other is unmistakable, as I’m sure yours is!

    1. It is, Terri. Even though we’ve come a long way since it was illegal to be a gay man in the UK (strangely, it was never illagial to be a gay woman), many LGBT people are still hesitant in their actions. The strange looks we get when entering a restaurant together still happen. And I still recall being asked if we’d made a mistake in booking a room with a kingsize bed instead of twin beds a few years ago. But these are rare events, and I’m thankful that we can live most of our lives without any judgement.

      Richard and Adrian live during current times, so it’s good to know that you can see the fears I’m sharing in my writing of what being gay in today’s world is about.

  9. The beauty of the current times is that we can carry on being who we are and doing what we love most. Hundreds of years ago, this wouldn’t have been possible. Cheers to the freedom and diversity of being individuals with different desires! 🙂

    1. That’s almost true; we can, Liesbet. I agree; current times are much better. However, unfortunately, it still doesn’t apply in all countries. There is still so much to be done, not just for LGBT folk but also for many such as women and girls in Afghanistan. I’m thankful that I can live my life. However, I’m still too scared to hold hands with my partner when we’re at events or even when out walking together. We have indeed come a long way since being gay was a crime in the UK. It’s something I’m very thankful about – that I can enjoy the freedoms of today, whereas those living nearly 60 years ago had none of the freedoms I enjoy today.

      Adrian and Richard live in today’s world, yet Richard feared his father’s reaction when both came out to each other. How will he react? If the right prompt comes up, we may find out one day.

      1. So true, Hugh. I should have specified that our freedoms are possible in the western world. I have a problem with the word “lucky” as I find lots of what you do in life is a choice, but the one area where I/we have been lucky with is where we were born. Growing up in Western Europe or the US gave us privileges and liberties that allow us to live the way we do.

        Nice to hear these stories are still laced together and might lead to more.

        1. Thanks, Liesebt. This piece is a continuation of the very first piece of flash that Adrian and Richard appeared in (Edge of Summer). I’d love to link the other parts up with future pieces. . We’ll see if it’s easy to do.

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