The park – 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 is by yours truly, a little doorway set back from a cobbled lane in Gassin, a small but spectacular hill town a few miles from Medville.
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 this 1-minute story:
The
Park

The children bring back the memories.
I have not visited this park, or indeed this town, since my kids were tots.
That is over twenty years ago.
But I still remember watching them play on the swings, the slide, and the roundabout.
And I still can picture some of their friends.
Like the little curly-haired blonde girl who went missing.
We had left town long before her body was discovered the following spring.
It was in the gardener’s little cubby-hole, among the mowers, the trimmers, the shears, the spades.
Dixie, her name was.
My late wife thought I killed her.

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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72 Responses to The park – Friday Fictioneers

  1. Thanks for the great picture, C.E. That was a creepy twist at the end. it still left me wondering which I’d guess it was supposed to. Good writing as usual. 🙂 — Suzanne

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    • ceayr says:

      It is quite a cool photo, I agree, and selected by our omniscient leader for our prompt.
      Yep, creepy twist and wondering, that is what I aim for!
      Lovely to see you here, as always, Suzanne

      Like

  2. Margaret says:

    What an ending! I love how much meaning it adds to the whole story – masterful.

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  3. IB Arora says:

    the last line was least expected, nice story

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  4. Michael Wynn says:

    Sounds like his late wife had suspicions about him, but did they have foundations? Had they left the area to get away from his crime or was it coincidence, was it the gardener after all? Nicely crafted.

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  5. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover says:

    Such a beautiful story at the start. You brought back memories of when my son was a child. Then the dark turn. Loved the mention of the “late” wife.

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    • ceayr says:

      In 100 words it is not easy to build characters, unless you are extra-talented like Rochelle, Sandra or Claire.
      So most of us try to create a scenario, and then give it a twist.
      I am very happy that it worked for you.

      Like

  6. Rowena says:

    You really pulled this off well. Taking too much interest in the children in the park. His wife is suspicious and disappears.
    I related immediately to your photo, by the way. My parents’ had a holiday house on the Pittwater side of Palm Beach in Sydney. That’s where they film Home & Away. I noticed a house with a sandstone cave with a door built into it and it immediately captured my curiosity. I thought about using it as a pirate’s cave in a story but in this prompt, I turned it into a man cave for a retired gent to retreat from his wife.
    xx Rowena

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    • ceayr says:

      One of the great joys as a writer and a blogger, Rowena, is to welcome a new reader.
      And especially one who relates to the story to the extent that she takes the time to comment.
      And then, as a bonus, at length on the photo which, this week, is my own submission.
      I was about to say I have been to the beach where they film Home & Away but, in fact, it might have been Neighbours.
      I am happily ignorant about both of these series, and any difference between them.
      But it was a beautiful spot, on a beautiful coast, in a beautiful country.
      I look forward to seeing you here again.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Thing My Grandmother Taught Me | MJL Stories

  8. mjlstories says:

    All circumstantial. I’m with Neil on this.
    If ever you, I mean your character, needs a good lawyer…

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  9. How dare your late wife think such a thing!:/

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  10. Dahlia says:

    Ouch! Err I am quite sure you didn’t kill either of them…😀

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  11. wmqcolby says:

    Nailed it, sir! But, what I really like is the style and approach to the material. You’re always trying for something different in those terms. Way to go! 😉

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  12. Ouch I think that as long as there is suspicion I think it opens up many possibilities… reading it was like opening a can of worms (in the best of ways)

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  13. That last line is brilliant. Certainly got me thinking!

    My story is called Sally’s Secret

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  14. The fact that she is his ‘late’ wife makes me wonder if she was right!

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  15. rgayer55 says:

    Ah, such memories. He seems to enjoy these pleasant recollections.

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  16. gahlearner says:

    When you start out with lovely images of playing children, I immediately expect the worst. And you never disappoint. I wonder what his wife died of. And thank you for the great picture this week.

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  17. mandibelle16 says:

    This is clever an creepy. You expect the speaker killed the child, but not his wife. Great job CE. Hugs

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  18. michael1148humphris says:

    Sadly I think that he did it.

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  19. paulmclem says:

    Late wife? Missing child? This one gave me the creeps, and that takes some doing. Kudos!

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  20. Dale says:

    Yes, do bring us along, thinking all is so lovely and sweet… really, do. And then, do what you do best. Rip it all away! Well done, sir, well done.

    Like

  21. Wow, great story. I’m not even sure what to think of that last line, but it opens up so much more mystery. I love it. Great touch to record yourself reading it, as well.
    -David

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  22. Brilliant. I am a huge fan of your writing style. The killer last line was a shocker, as truly it was meant to be. Masterful.

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  23. Lynn Love says:

    Ooh, I knew there was going to be a killer line to finish, but loved how you gave it a twist – instead of ‘I killed her’, ‘my late wife thought I’d killed her’. So he might have done, might not, but his wife died thinking he did. Wow – years of pain and distrust in one sentence.
    Nicely done. And lovely photo – where did you take it?

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      Thanks, Lynn, even when you know there is a twist, the secret is to spot it!
      ‘Today’s photo is by yours truly, a little doorway set back from a cobbled lane in Gassin, a small but spectacular hill town a few miles from Medville.’

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lynn Love says:

        I looked up Gassin and it does look beautiful – possibly all the more so as it’s been so overcast and chill here and all the pics I saw had clear blue skies! Always a pleasure to read youe stories🙂

        Like

  24. Iain Kelly says:

    Killer last line. Great photo as well, thanks.

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  25. Al says:

    Nicely done. As usual. I love the “late wife” statement.

    Like

  26. Pingback: Friday Fictioneers – Noisy Neighbours | A Mixed Bag

  27. Sandra says:

    Such creepiness. The ‘watching their friends play’ and the coincidental lateness of his wife. You say such a lot without actually saying it. Good one.

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  28. Oh, that last line is very clever. Wonderfully chilling.

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  29. neilmacdon says:

    Personally, my guess is his late wife was wrong, and that he was just dogged by unfortunate coincidence

    Liked by 1 person

  30. CE,

    Late wife? Hm. Do I see a pattern here? Apparently his spouse knew him all too well. And your story started so lightheartedly.😉 Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  31. This one hits hard, so many emotions overlapping. Masterfully done, indeed.

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