Broken Steps – Sunday Photo Fiction

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge presented by Susan Spaulding, who has taken over this great weekly prompt from my old friend Al Forbes.
This week’s
atmospheric photo by John Brand made me think of Edinburgh’s Old Town. As it is chucking it down here today, I am doubly homesick, because this is the first rain I have seen since I was in Scotland two months ago!
The idea is to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by what you see in the picture (below).
Click on this link to enter your tale, and see what others have written.

© John Brand


Click here to hear the author read the tale:

Broken Steps

A young couple are sitting in my favourite spot.
The steps run down to the water from a disused Beach Security station.
They have been damaged over a period of time by the Mediterranean itself, and by the loose pebbles that are constantly washed against them.
I love that rumbling sound.
They are seated right of centre, with a set of crutches sprawled across the free space.
She is small, birdlike, he has his right foot in plaster.
With a crutch he ineffectually dislodges sea grass from the step below, which I find irritating.
They light cigarettes.
Instead of breathing deeply, tasting the sea air, they inhale smoke.
I stand to the side, waiting for them to leave.
They flick their stubs onto the beach, and she snuggles round his arm.
I move quickly and quietly, and, with a sharp twist, break her neck.
He seems unable to comprehend what has happened.
I slip my thin rope around his neck, the knot crushing his larynx as I apply pressure.
I move them round to the side of the building so as not to spoil the view.
But they have already ruined my evening.

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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35 Responses to Broken Steps – Sunday Photo Fiction

  1. When will these stupid tourists learn?

    Like

  2. Dark, dark dark as they come. I love the wickedness that you bring to your writings and the inevitable devilish inevitable twist at the end that we know is coming brings in the is the deja vu moment. Brilliant Sir.

    Like

  3. Their evening didn’t go too well either! As they say, smoking kills!

    Click to visit Keith’s Ramblings!

    Like

  4. Abhijit Ray says:

    Angry enough to kill!

    Like

  5. Joe Owens says:

    I hope if I do ever make it to your part of the world I have the fortune of avoiding this fate,

    Like

  6. Brilliantly written and delightfully twisted.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. michael1148humphris says:

    I good not press the like button, because the story was so realistically told, you had me thinking of a reincarnated Jack the Ripper, well done,

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Iain Kelly says:

    You’ll be pleased to know it’s bucketing down here as well, and has been all day. As for this guy, well, I assume it’s not the first time he’s found someone occupying his favourite spot.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. LOL – okay …. I’d say, this was a wee extreme, even by your standards … but that’s more to do with the sudden and drastic shift – which completely does it’s job in the writing! holy smokes …. er… sorry, no pun intended;

    Great story-telling here C.E. You definitely have a corner on the “darker shadows of all alleys.” – and this always makes for inspired reading (good thing we know you’re not an actual psychopath though!)

    Cheers ~

    Liked by 1 person

    • ceayr says:

      Extreme? I can’t stand folk who litter beaches!
      Happy you enjoyed, Pat, good thing you don’t know me all that well!
      And lovely to see you here again, don’t be a stranger, okay?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Actually, what I meant, was that the character’s response was extreme! LOL –
        as for beach littering? I agree – it’s disgusting, but then, I hold the same ideas about any kind of littering.

        around and wandering, I’ll have to make more of an effort to find my brain though 😉

        Like

  10. syncwithdeep says:

    Oh.. The fav spot has been trespassed by the couple and poor man is upset.. I thought initially the story was on love and could not believe the twist in the end..

    Like

  11. Lynn Love says:

    Well, young people in love are pretty annoying! You swept me up with your character waiting for his favourite spot. Then I realised the man is a psychopath who kills people because they’re in his way. I particularly liked that last line – they ruined his day! Ah, poor thing. This story is dark a they come, which is exactly what I’d expect from your dark pen.

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      Laughing.
      It really bugs me when people throw cigarette ends on the beach!
      Glad you enjoyed, but why no story from you?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lynn Love says:

        My family and I were on a beach once, a group of teenagers sitting close to us eating burgers. When the teens left they left behind them several polystyrene burger boxes, all of which would have gone into the sea … had we not picked them up and put them in the bin! Whenever we go to the seaside we find ourselves litter picking – can’t bear the thought of adding more to the drift of waste already out there. Sadly I just ran out of writing time yesterday – great photograph, though, just up my street. 🙂

        Like

        • ceayr says:

          In Scotland they teach kids environmental awareness in primary school and the kids react wonderfully. Then when they reach secondary it apparently stops being cool. Go figure. And please try to make more writing time, there are too few of your quality out there.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Lynn Love says:

            It’s a shame isn’t it? Young kids have so much enthusiasm for … just everything. Then the hormones kick in and nothing productive is cool, it’s dorky to make an effort or care too much about anything. Youth is wasted on the young, my step mother used to say, though I wouldn’t be a teenager again if you paid me – just an awful time. And thank you, dear C, for your kind comment – you’ll have me blushing dear sir 🙂

            Like

  12. JS Brand says:

    Oy vey, CE. I enjoyed this. For the first half of the story, I was identifying with the character, thinking how much the grumpy old sod was like me (helped by the fact that my neighbours’ teenage kids were having a hot-tub party, with loud “music”, while I was reading). Then, of course, your grumpy old man had to go SUPER-EXTREME in showing his ire. A well-written example of what you do best.

    P.S. Edinburgh isn’t a million miles away. The photo was taken in South Queensferry. I probably shouldn’t have told you that, as three bridges, all that water and lots of dark corners could have your imagination running riot.

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      Super-extreme? Hmm, maybe a wee bit, I guess.
      Glad you enjoyed.
      And great photo!
      S Q is made for mystery, especially the Hawes Inn where RLS famously stayed and wrote in the late 19th century.
      The bridges, of course, have long been inspirational, for such as Iain Banks, Alfred Hichcock and Alan Turing among others.

      Liked by 1 person

      • JS Brand says:

        I did think double murder was a bit over-the-top for nicking someone’s favourite seat or for chucking cigarette stubs on the beach, but when the two sins are combined that puts a different complexion on it I suppose.
        This was our first visit to SQ, but we’ll definitely be back.

        Like

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