The Promenade – 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’s photo is once again one of Al’s own,
a view of Dover which might just show his home under the famous cliffs.
I have been unable to shake the memory of a story I wrote
for this challenge over four years ago under a different alter ego, and which subsequently found its way into my book, Medville Matters.
So here it is again, slightly reworked.

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

© Al Forbes

Click here to hear the author read his story:


The Promenade

I pause on the promenade, gaze out across the docks where I used to work.
I have not been here – home – for over forty years.
But I remember clearly why I left.

She was a typist, slim and pretty in her working skirt and blouse.
I was a stevedore, tough, wiry, strong.
Love at first sight?
Close enough for me to ignore the warnings.
She is Big Al’s girl.
Big Al was a legend on the docks.
A fighter among fighting men.
But youth triumphed over wisdom, love over caution.
One night, very late, I was walking home alone along this same promenade.
I had just left her, we were to be married the following year.
I saw a figure approaching through the gloom and knew immediately that it was Al.
I wasn’t afraid, I could fight too.
The first punch came from nowhere, sent me sprawling, dazed and helpless.
I have no recollection of what followed, but wakened up hours later on the shingle beach twenty feet below.
I spent six weeks in hospital, then emigrated to Australia.

I never spoke to her again.
Nor did Big Al.

For Jim.

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10 Responses to The Promenade – Sunday Photo Fiction

  1. mandibelle16 says:

    Ouch I guess she wasn’t worth all that pain in the hospital. If they were smart and loved each other, they should do have left to Australia long before he was beat up. Seems like she got a raw end of the deal. But I kind of wonder, since it’s your writing, if the last two lines suggest something worse happened to this girl. That she was “taken care of permenantly” so neither the narrator or Big Al could physically speak with her, being dead. Just a thought. Hugs again. I think I owe you many weeks of them. 😉🎄


  2. It’s not good to ignore that type of warning. I don’t blame him for leaving and not going back. I feel sorry for the girl but she probably left if she could and found someone else. Good writing as usual C.E. 🙂 — Suzanne


  3. athling2001 says:

    Sad that he had to leave. I wonder if she is still there?


  4. Some people are best left alone. Good story CE.


  5. Anna Rymer says:

    A harsh tale – but beautifully written 🙂


  6. Susan says:

    Experience is the best teacher. I hope things work out well in Australia.


  7. I’ll remember not to chat up any pretty young ladies next time I get the ferry from Dover – just in case!

    Click to visit Keith’s Ramblings


  8. James says:

    Perhaps she married someone a tad less violent.


  9. Steve Lakey says:

    A hard lesson learned! As always, a great read.


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