The River – 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.
Today’s photo of a magnificent tree in a beautiful setting is by C. E. Ayr.
Hooray for me!
It is a happy memory of a wonderful visit to a fabulous city.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on the picture, below.

© C. E. Ayr

© C. E. Ayr

Click here to hear me read the story:
The River

I tell my wife I will not take the children today, it is too dangerous by the river.
She is unconcerned about me, she knows I am indestructible.
But the dog, as always, needs to be exercised.
I say goodbye with a kiss.
Twenty minutes later I am plunging into the freezing torrent to rescue a child who has slithered down the far bank.
Almost exhausted, I grab an overhanging tree, a dozen or so metres before the falls.
Then I realise I need two hands to lift the limp boy on to the branch.
One of us will die.

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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74 Responses to The River – Friday Fictioneers

  1. gahlearner says:

    Hm. Hmm,hmm… If this narrator were one of the people you often write about, the papers would write about how the child slipped through his fingers when he heroically tried to rescue him. Since no one is around, who’d tell him a liar? If someone were around, there’d be help. Or he could be a hero and die. Great story for a beautiful picture. I, too, love Vancouver.

    Like

  2. I do not even know who to root for. You’ve certainly left me thinking.

    Like

  3. Good story, C.E. Thanks for the great picture. Perhaps your character will survive going over the falls. Indiana Jones and his group survived going over two of them. I hope someone comes along and takes the boy off the limb. Good writing as always. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Like

  4. Hooray for you indeed CE! A wonderful, inspiring, pic and a well-told cliff-hanger tale.

    Like

  5. Enjoyed your reading and the completeness of this tale! Very poetically told.

    Like

  6. hafong says:

    I wonder how he will choose.

    Lily

    Like

  7. Patrick Prinsloo says:

    Ah, and you don’t give us an ending! It makes one wonder how one would act in those situations.

    Like

  8. Indira says:

    I forgot to say I loved the photograph, calmness and serenity of the place. Where is it?

    Like

  9. Amy Reese says:

    How horrible, CE. I hope someone is nearby who can help.

    Like

  10. mjlstories says:

    Truly tense and tragic story, and then all your comments get me chuckling.
    Oh the roller coaster of emotions that is Friday Fiction!

    Like

  11. Oh my, what a story! I hope someone comes to their rescue.

    Like

  12. mandibelle16 says:

    Doesn’t seem like a good situation to be in. Of course, he’ll put the boy on the branches with both hands. I guess he’s not so indestructible? Sad for his kids. (notice – short comment 😀)

    Like

  13. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover says:

    What a horrifying ending to such an upbeat story. I loved that the child “slithered” down the embankment. Great word choice. I think there is no choice in the end and your hero knew it. I just want to know what happened to the dog.

    Like

  14. Great story, touching, but wait… up in the sky… it’s a bird, no a plane, why it’s superman!
    Randy

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  15. Sonny Price says:

    Phenomenal story! I’m so impressed, especially with the ending. What a horrible choice.

    Like

  16. jademwong says:

    Oh don’t leave us hanging there! What happened next??

    Like

  17. draliman says:

    Ooh, a suspenseful cliffhanger. What will he do? Nice one! And thanks for the photo.

    Like

  18. rgayer55 says:

    . . . and now a word from our sponsor. Your ending is a great spot for a commercial break. Perhaps a rug cleaner that will remove blood stains, or the benefits of pre-planned funerals.

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      Like Tarzan, back in the day, falling off the cliff every Saturday morning, only to cling on by his fingertips the following week.
      That is why I prefer Wile E. Coyote, much more true to life.

      Like

  19. There are always choices to be made, some tougher than others.

    Like

  20. tedstrutz says:

    So much melancholy coming from that photo today, C.E., yours with a cliffhanger. Thanks for the prompt. What fabulous city is this?

    Like

  21. One can just hope we will never end up having to make a choice like this. Great writing!

    Like

  22. I guess there is not a lot of time for a choice either… as long as there is life there is hope… what a tension you built in the end.

    Like

  23. paulmclem says:

    Look on the bright side, one will also live!

    Like

  24. Sandra says:

    I shall tell myself that someone else happened along to help him out. After all, you said he was indestructable. Maybe the dog went to get help for them both… ?

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      I think Lassie is trying to tell us something.
      Yes, Timmy has fallen down the mine shaft again this week and broken his left leg in two places.
      But he has water and his pocket chess set, and that picture of the girl he likes, so he is good until we finish ploughing the field and shooting a few buffalo.
      Good dog, have a biscuit.

      Liked by 3 people

  25. Lynn Love says:

    Good Lord, C! That’s a tragic, tormenting tale. I wonder if your narrator will be indestructable, or if his luck has run out? Really well constructed and dramatic. Where was the picture taken – near you?

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      Laughing, Lynn, at your opening words!
      Glad it got to you.
      Taken in Vancouver BC last year when I spent some time there, fabulous city, wonderful people.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lynn Love says:

        See what you did to me – made me go all 1950s Received Pronunciation! Did you enjoy Canada? Good place to practice your French 🙂

        Like

        • ceayr says:

          I loved Vancouver and its environs once again, but that is easy, there are people I love there.
          And it is a beautiful city, with superb natural beauty only an hour away in different directions.
          No French spoken in BC, sadly, or anywhere else in Canada, if you believe French people!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Lynn Love says:

            Haha! Is there a rivalry between the French and French Canadians then? In some areas of Canada I know
            there were strict rules on incomers having to learn the language if they didn’t already. Maintaining the culture, even if it is an imposed one 🙂

            Like

  26. michael1148humphris says:

    So sad, a no win situation.

    Like

  27. Dale says:

    Oh the irony! Life is full of them, isn’t it? Now… there you go, just leave us hanging as to what choice he made. Love it!

    Like

  28. Pingback: What I Know For Sure – Friday Fictioneers | A Delectable Life

  29. This highlights how unpredictable and fragile life can be – snatched away in an instant with no prior warning. Being an optimist, I want someone to walk by and rescue them both!

    Like

  30. Iain Kelly says:

    What a cliffhanger! Save the child and be a hero is the obvious out, but if you were writing a longer piece maybe it would be more interesting if he chose to save himself…

    Like

  31. Wow. This is so strong. Amazing. I wonder if we are to read his wife’s thought about him being indestructible at face value, then we know what happens next. Brilliant writing (and reading).

    Like

  32. neilmacdon says:

    you set out, never expecting such a choice, And there it is. Bang. Great dilemma!

    Like

  33. Dear CE,

    What a choice to have to make. Methinks he’s not so indestructible as his wife believes. A hero’s story. Or is it? So much story in so few words.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  34. Christa chn says:

    Left me in need of reading more, that was beautiful.

    Like

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