Christmas – Sunday Photo Fiction

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge presented by my old friend Al Forbes.
The idea is to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by what you see in his picture (below).
I have to confess that, due to no shortcoming in today’s topical photo, I am re-running an old post.
I have had three different ideas for stories, and have failed to make any of them work.
What can I say.
Click on this link to enter your tale, and see what others have written.

Copyright Al Forbes

Copyright Al Forbes


Life in South Africa five decades ago is quite different from the 21st Century.
There is no television.
Even Science Fiction has not invented video games.
Giants such as Orwell, Huxley, Bradbury cannot conceive such things.
Entertainment is home made.
But it is Christmas.
Hands trembling, I unwrap the long thin parcel.
My heart leaps.
A bow!
A real bow, not a stick with a string on it.
A bow of polished wood, a shaped hand grip, coloured cord.
And arrows, sleek and shiny.
For a pre-teen boy, it is a gift from the gods.
My father follows me outside, smiling, laughing as I fumble with the string and the arrow’s notch.
Let me show you, he says.
I am disappointed, but I worship my father.
I hand over my treasure, reluctant but obedient.
My father, an engineer, a powerful man, extends the string fully.
Too fully.
The bow snaps.
Christmas is over.
I never again feel quite the same about my father.

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17 Responses to Christmas – Sunday Photo Fiction

  1. rogershipp says:

    Poor kid…. Santa needs to go more high-tech with a crossbow next year?


  2. Steve Lakey says:

    Superb. And I can relate. I had a similar experience as a kid, though not as dramatic!


  3. Graham Lawrence says:

    It’s not easy being a dad these days sometimes.


  4. Wonderful story telling but such a sad ending! Poor guy. What a huge disappointment.


  5. Danny James says:

    And I bet his father felt bad .Probably a memory he can’t shake himself in old age.



  6. Dave says:

    Er, oops? Say, Charlie, how would you like a rugby ball?


  7. niasunset says:

    So beautiful. Happy New Year, and Merry Christmas, dear Ceayr, Thanks and Love, nia


  8. mandibelle16 says:

    I can understand how the boy would feel. It was probably rare for him to have a present never mind a good present at all. It’s sad that the bow breaks. You have to be careful with another’s stuff, especially if that person is your son. The Dad didn’t mean to be mean but it feels like what he did was because he was arrogant.


  9. Dear CE

    Beautifully constructed and well layered story. I went from excitement to abject disappointment with the boy just a few lines. Bravo!



    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dale says:

    I like the rhythm of this one and could feel the boy’s growing excitement. I was so hoping my feeling of what would happen, wouldn’t happen! Alas…


  11. Bummer. The kids gonna need therapy. Just another way that we can mess up our kids.
    Merry Christmas to you and the pachyderm.


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