The Bridge – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by the wonderful Rochelle, the undisputed master of what I call Sound Bite Fiction.
She sets the weekly challenge, and the standard.
The darkness in thereclininggentleman’s atmospheric photo did not, I confess, take me anywhere near a Hawaiian beach.
The idea here is to write a story of around 100 words based on the picture, below.

© The Reclining Gentleman

© The Reclining Gentleman

The Bridge

He gets great pleasure from bridges.
His enthusiasm for such boyish things is among his most attractive traits, one of the reasons we have been together so long.
We stroll hand in hand across the river, pause where the parapet is broken.
The dark water is far below our feet.
A sudden thought crosses my mind.
Quite abruptly I feel nervous, start to walk.
We stop for a coffee.
Did you think about…, he asks, head tilted, miming a push.
I redden, stammer denials.
His lips turn up, the smile not quite reaching his eyes.
Neither did I, he says.

About ceayr

A Scot who has discovered Paradise in a small town he calls Medville on the Côte d'Azur, C.E. Ayr has spent a large part of his life in the West of Scotland and a large part elsewhere. His first job was selling programmes at his local football club and he has since tried 73 other career paths, the longest being in IT, with varying degrees of success. He is somewhat nomadic, fairly irresponsible and, according to his darling daughter, a bit random.
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91 Responses to The Bridge – Friday Fictioneers

  1. Scary! Having such a partner would give me pause around bridges, stairs, tall buildings…or maybe around the partner period.

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  2. ansumani says:

    The man in the story seems like a great guy….He intuitively understood her thought at the low parapet and openly asked her about it. Maybe if she had been honest…the smile would have reached his eyes? Very well written story showing the layers of tension beneath a benign stroll.

    Like

  3. wildbilbo says:

    Lovely work. A bright start getting quickly darker. Nice.
    KT

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  4. Sumana Roy says:

    it’s chilling when the dark surfaces and relieving when subsides…i wonder who doesn’t have this dark sides…nice powerful write…

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  5. Francesca Smith says:

    I can tell that if one were to scratch away the surface of their relationship, dark tendencies would emerge. There is more to them that meets the eye. Great take on the picture.

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  6. mjlstories says:

    Intriguing ambiguity here. Is it better to be in tune with the darkness or hide it?
    I like the abrupt change from discussion of boyish preoccupations. Could feel that dark water.
    What is it about this photo this week?

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  7. The dark water is far below our feet. Beautifully framed.

    And dark thoughts should not hover around their minds. A very different take on the prompt ;bridge.
    http://ideasolsi65.blogspot.in/2015/09/road-to-freedom.html?m=1

    Like

  8. rgayer55 says:

    Add one more to 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover. Just chunk him off the bridge, Midge.
    It sounds like they have a lot in common. A great piece, CE.

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  9. nonnaci says:

    Good thing they weren’t drunk!

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  10. plaridel says:

    i wonder what bridge they’re crossing this time. hopefully, it’s one they’ll both enjoy. 🙂

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  11. Dear CE,
    One wonders, how many couples walk a bridge with dark thoughts on their minds but never voice them. A bit sinister with a cloud of spine-chilling lurking around them. Great interpretation of the photo prompt.
    Adios,
    Isadora 😎

    Like

  12. Thank you for trusting us with this tale. I could go so many places from here.

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  13. Bodhirose says:

    Gulp…ominous. His smile didn’t quite reach his eyes…very telling. I would be paying attention…

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  14. Amy Reese says:

    Wow, that’s an interesting bit of tension and definitely a dark undertone. I think I’d skip bridges and high places with this guy. Great story, CE.

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  15. Gosh I don’t think its her that has to worry but him. He is at least out in the open about his thoughts. She on the other hand is not letting on that she wanted to badly, more than just a passing thought and she had to hurry on or else…….. I think if I were him I’d change my love of bridges to perhaps merry go rounds. Enjoyed the swirling depths.

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  16. draliman says:

    Dark undertones here – trouble in paradise? Maybe they’ve been together too long. Great story.

    Like

  17. Margaret says:

    ‘Boyish things’? I don’t think so. Fascinating dynamics between these two. There’s a dark undercurrent, but if they’ve been together for ‘so long’ then they must know each other’s dark places, and I suspect there’s a bit of a game going on. I love the ambiguity.

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  18. And they had been together a long time? Hmmm ….. The gradual building up and final denouement were great.

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  19. When ever hubby and I hike a high trail with dangerous possibilities, he always describes to me how he’ll stage my death. I told him yesterday to make sure he doesn’t mark the spot with an X or visit the place 9 times before hand and maybe he’ll get away with it. LOL
    Loved it!

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  20. And did I think that while visiting the Grand Canyon with my husband. No. Or not. A dark side we all have.

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  21. An excellent story and interesting moment in time. Love the “push off” line.
    Happy trails! TMWR

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  22. emmylgant says:

    Superb scary tale.
    You lead us to darkness allin light touches.

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  23. Splendid. Enjoyed this bit of darkish very much.

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  24. k rawson says:

    Delightful dark subtext, really well done!

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  25. Time not to walk the bridge together; both at risk. Great piece, full of anticipating doom.

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  26. Great story CE. Loved the connotation.

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  27. Dale says:

    Neither did he…. I think she should avoid crossing said bridge with him in the future…

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  28. misskzebra says:

    I really like how subtle this story is. Some very dark implications!

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  29. Jezz, what a delightfully dark story.

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  30. Interesting that neither wants to discuss their negative thoughts. Nicely done!

    Like

  31. Ooh, lots going on beneath the surface of that conversation and relationship. Nicely written.

    Like

  32. Sandra says:

    They both sound like fairly complex characters. They might be better going their separate ways. You crafted his eeriness very well.

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  33. Niki says:

    nicely creepy – well done!

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  34. I think they at least have some common ground… it could be a new beginning to an end.

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  35. Temptingly implied. The smile didn’t reach his eyes because he was lying. So was she. I wouldn’t feel comfortable in that relationship. Very well told. It gave me the feeling without the details to make it explicit.

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  36. This is brilliant… and very creepy.

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  37. colonialist says:

    Good spot of innuendo about the relationship, there. They should both push off, but not on a bridge.

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  38. Dear C..E.,

    The smile doesn’t reach his eyes. Good line. Lot of inner thoughts not voiced but understood. I’m glad neither of them acted on it. Nice one.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  39. Reblogged this on anelephantcant and commented:
    AnElephantCant go out after dark
    There are so many scary things that lurk in the night
    If he gets the itch
    To fling himself from a bridge
    He prefers to do it in sunny daylight

    Like

  40. micklively says:

    A perfect synthesis of dark and light. Well done.

    Like

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