Last Day on the Island (Friday Fictioneers, October 2012)

This week’s photo prompt from Madison Wood’s Friday Fictioneers came courtesy of Jan Morrell.  This picture reminded me of a holiday on the Greek island of Rhodes, when we visited the old town of Lindos. 

A two week idyll had stretched into a six week nightmare. They  should return home and wait, the police had said, for the sake of the other children.

Hills had been scoured, coves and coastlines inspected daily, and mountain roads patrolled.

Nothing.

She leaned into the shade of a doorway, the heat from the cobbles searing through her thin sandals, sweat darkening her linen dress, and gazed miserably up at the skyline dotted with satellite dishes and washing lines.

And there it was, pegged amongst fluttering shirts and dresses…her son’s yellow romper suit with the red teddy on the front.



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About Sandra

I cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and write fiction and poetry. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
This entry was posted in Friday Fictioneers, Just Sayin'. Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to Last Day on the Island (Friday Fictioneers, October 2012)

  1. This one struck a cord with me, Sandra. Recently a 10 year old girl was kidnapped on her way to school in Colorado. Turns out she’s a dear friend’s great niece. The situation’s looking pretty grim. Your descriptions, as always, painted the perfect backdrop for you heart-piercing story.

    Like

  2. sue Cottrill says:

    Relief, glad she found the missing romper suit that had been blown away, or would they find a missing baby!

    Like

  3. unspywriter says:

    A lot of foreboding and very realistic. So many raw emotions captured here. Well done.

    Here’s mine: http://unexpectedpaths.com/friday-fictioneers/disharmony/

    Like

  4. Parul says:

    This is very well written Sandra. The way you described the scene is amazing! It all came to life, the despair and helplessness of the family and the secretive place that was the town.
    Not a word wasted, not a sentence out of place. Thanks for sharing this.

    Like

  5. claireful says:

    A lovely piece of writing Sandra, and oh, I so want this to turn out well.

    Like

  6. boomiebol says:

    Oh my!!! This grabbed at my heart…situations like this one just scares the heck out of me…very well done.

    Like

  7. vbholmes says:

    Well written–right down to the last sentence. Of course, I, like others, hope for a happy ending.

    Like

  8. elmowrites says:

    Vivid and captivating, Sandra. This reminds me of those horrible stories in the news occasionally about children going missing on holiday, like Madeiline McCann. I don’t know how the parents cope. Your ending is fascinating – there is a lot more to come here, I fear of both hope and despair.
    I’m at: http://elmowrites.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/friday-fiction-cooling-off/

    Like

  9. writeondude says:

    Lovely piece of fiction, very well written.

    Like

  10. You used your story so well to describe the emotions without using direct words! Excellent.

    Like

  11. Hi Sandra,
    You set up your strong premise so well in your opening sentence and your ending propels the reader toward a conclusion, while leaving much to the imagination. Very well done. Ron

    Like

  12. Anne Orchard says:

    That truly would be a nightmare holiday. You captured the desperation beautifully. Thanks for visiting mine as well.

    Like

  13. Sarah Ann says:

    This is so strong. I’m really glad she paused and looked up when she did.

    Like

  14. Sheila says:

    I could really feel the emptiness and helplessness with this, which goes perfectly with the photo. Great writing.

    Like

  15. Oh, Sandra. Wow, great imagery and detail. Well done! I like the word, “cobbles,” and feeling the heat through thin sandals. I had that sense, too, in mind. Nice job!

    Like

  16. Brian Benoit says:

    Wow, nicely done. I probably say the same every week, but you have a great, easy style. It lets me focus on the story, and on the nice touches, without anything getting in the way.

    Like

  17. Lora says:

    Love your excellent writing, Sandra but I’m confused and it seems I’m the only one. Did they find the romper suit, but not the child? If not, hopefully. the suit will lead them quickly to the child.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Well I think you have to make up your own ending Lora; personally I think she’s found the house where the abductors live, and she’s lucky that it was laundry day…

      Like

  18. Lucky indeed they hadn’t left yet, and the abductors aren’t slobs! I’m going with the hopefuls because I’m an overprotective mom who can’t bear to think otherwise, especially given what really does happen in the world.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      I’m with you on the ‘hopefuls’ side. I simply can’t conceive of how you would get through something like this, though. Thanks for dropping by Kathy.

      Like

  19. Paul says:

    I could take more than 100 words to analyze this story but let me put everyone’s mind at ease. If the person or people took the time and cared enough to wash the kidnapped child’s clothes, then the child will be found alive and well. Probably well fed, too. Loved the craftsmanship, tension, and “happy” ending of your story!

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Exactly, Paul! I had in mind a young to middle aged childless or recently bereaved couple trying to fill a gap and pass the child off as their own. Sadly, these days that’s not generally the reality of the situation. Thanks for commenting.

      Like

  20. brudberg says:

    So much Angst in this beautiful picture, but this was a unique take on it. Very good.

    Like

  21. rich says:

    reading that ending can make one shake in their boots. well done.

    Like

  22. Yes, my reaction was “ugh.” Good job. Randy

    Like

  23. Joyce says:

    The images come alive here, and hope goes out to the family in the story. Glad it is only fiction. Very well told. A recent real life story here in Colorado with the abducted 10 yr. old is not. Her body was found dismembered. And another attempted abduction was tried by the perpetrator, still not found. It was because of the story here that I decided to give my story a happy ending. As writers we can write was is not real and not have to dwell on it, cope through, but with the real life events such as this, and the massacre in June in a theatre in Aurora, when 12 were shot and killed and 58 others injured (just an hour’s drive from where I live in Loveland), leaves us with disdain, but it happens because of the evil that prevails.

    Like

  24. Judee says:

    Perfect lead into a good ending – letting us know not only that the child is to be found, but that he is alive, for why else would the kidnapper bother to wash the garment? Well done. 🙂

    Like

  25. rgayer55 says:

    You did an excellent job of evoking all the senses (heat through the sandal, etc.) and the heartache of the moment. I agree with Paul. This is one time where a happy ending is a definite possibility.

    Like

  26. Hi Sandra,
    I can’t see how to contact you on your website, so I’m hoping this message will still get to you even though the flash fiction it’s linked to is from October 2012.
    I’m running a Flash Fiction Masterclass in a couple of weeks and I’d like to start with some great examples and use your one called ‘Last Day on the Island’. This one has stuck with me over the years, and I still love it. Would you let me use it in my class (full acknowledgements of course).
    Thanks,
    Claire

    Like

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