The Last Goodbye – 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 the picture (below).
This week
Al has selected one of my photos as the prompt. It shows a statue in Glasgow’s Buchanan Street Bus Station, almost invariably my point of arrival in my home city when I visit Scotland.
My story below is a variation on one which appears in Medville Matters, my recently published book of flash fiction, still selling like tepid scones. I consider it cheating to do this, but could not shake the connection from my mind, sorry.

Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

© C. E. Ayr

Click here to hear the story read by the author:
The Last Goodbye

I know I have to do it, but I really do not want to go.
And I do not want to tell her I am leaving, this time for good.
I think of that first night, that first kiss under a lamppost.
Even then neither of us was young, and yet it has been the longest relationship in either of our lives.
Love at first sight?
Probably close enough, although we both laugh at the notion.
It has not always been smooth, but we survived everything, and stayed together.
And now I am going to hurt her.
I am going to say goodbye.
I see in her eyes that she already knows.
The tears are already forming.
I wonder if she will ask me to stay, make it even harder.
But she does not.
Instead she kisses me again, although this time there is no lamppost.
Wait for me there, my love, she says, pointing out across the Mediterranean.
The mermaids will take care of your soul until I join you.

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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28 Responses to The Last Goodbye – Sunday Photo Fiction

  1. Dahlia says:

    A poignant heartbreaking story – loved it. And thank you for the beautiful photo

    Like

  2. Mandie Hines says:

    The second line really sets the tone for the piece “And I do not want to tell her I am leaving, this time for good.” I could already feel the sadness.
    Congratulations on the publication of your book, C.E.!

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      I am happy that this piece worked for you, Mandie, I was not entirely comfortable using an older story. Thank you too for your kind words. You can hear more readings from the book at the top of the page, Current Story and Other Readings.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jade M. Wong says:

    Your last line! Oh, this almost brought tears to my eyes. You weaved a tragic tale.

    P.S. Thank you for the photo prompt this week!

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      I am very happy when a story talks to a reader as this one clearly did to you, Jade.
      Thank you for visiting, and for sharing your thoughts.
      PS It is a great piece of art, isn’t it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I would guess he’s going to die.one way or the other. It involves mermaids so perhaps he’s going to drown himself. Anyway, it’s good writing even though sad. Thanks for the picture this week that enabled the good stories, C.E. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      No suicide, Suzanne, just a man who is coming to the end of his natural life. But his love believes that his soul will live on, so she tells him to wait with the mermaids until she too passes on.

      Like

  5. James says:

    The last line opens up interesting possibilities.

    Like

  6. Dear CE,

    There’s a lot in this piece if one reads between the lines. This one left tears forming in my eyes. Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  7. Looks like someone is going to be sleeping with the fishes sometime soon. Good story CE, and thank you for the photos.

    Like

  8. Splash. A delightfully different tale. Thanks for the photo by the way!

    Click to visit Keith’s Ramblings

    Like

  9. michael1148humphris says:

    You put such love into this path that all must tread. Well done

    Like

  10. mandibelle16 says:

    Aw great choice to put for the picture. I loved it.

    Like

  11. JS Brand says:

    A lovely, touching story ceayr. I really appreciate the softer side that seems to be coming through in your stories of late.

    Like

  12. Same question. The end leaves a lot of questions begging to be answered. Are you going to supply them, CYR? Well written

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      Clearly not well enough written, Neel, if the last two lines don’t communicate the narrator’s imminent demise.
      Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Like

      • Susan says:

        The story was well written and the fact that there could be alternate endings only makes it that much more interesting. And death was one of my theories. I just had others.

        Like

  13. Susan says:

    Beautiful story. And so sad. Why must he leave her? Do i need to read this book of yours to find out the truth?

    Like

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