That’s All Folks! – Friday Fictioneers, January 2018

Copyright Sandra Crook

 

By nightfall, a small crowd had gathered, familiar faces from the past.

We stared in silence, remembering a time.  The ruined house had been a sanctuary, a meeting place, somewhere to play, to dream, to act out our ghostly fantasies.  Long after it was declared unsafe, kids had still gathered there, though probably for less innocent purposes.

We stayed awhile.

Afterwards, I learned that others also watched their childhood being played out on the crumbling facade that night – like a final film show, a tribute to a generation.

When the bulldozers arrived next morning, the house was just smoldering ashes.

Thanks to Rochelle for choosing one of my pics for the Friday Fictioneer’s photo this week.  It’s a local landmark, the former Pier Head Cafe and Tea Gardens.  It’s a graphic example of Trompe L’Oeil, if you hadn’t already noticed.  For a more detailed (and professional) look at the artwork by Purbeck artists Antonia Phillips and Nina Camplin, click on the following link:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/alwyn_ladell/sets/72157648463792835/

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' and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

86 Responses to That’s All Folks! – Friday Fictioneers, January 2018

  1. neilmacdon says:

    We all had a building like this. Thanks for reminding me, Sandra

    Liked by 1 person

  2. michael1148humphris says:

    Old buildings always seem full of memories, a few can make ones hair curl. Like your story this week.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. JS Brand says:

    This really brings back memories. I liked the way the people who’d made (good?) use of the building took it upon themselves to kill it off before the demolition team did.

    Thank you for pointing out the trompe l’oeil factor; I hadn’t spotted it (and I went to Specsavers!). It’s so skilfully executed and an imaginative way to try to stimulate action (although a shame if it hasn’t worked).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra says:

      Perhaps the building itself (or the ghosts of some of its former users) decided to engineer its demise, rather than wait for the bulldozers. The Trompe L’Oeil is indeed a work of art. Full credit to the two artists.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Martin Cororan says:

    …Mine was a derelict brick works. Ah, nostalgia!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Iain Kelly says:

    Wonderful artwork – had me fooled! So many of our memories are tied up in places and buildings – and as we get older more and more of them change or disappear. C’est la vie!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Anita says:

    There are so many memories attached, Sandra.
    Bulldozers and their masters can never understand that…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The death of house is a sad thing indeed. This story beautifully captures that melancholy.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Moon says:

    I can feel their sense of loss.
    Beautifully written, as always.

    Like

  9. Dear Sandra,

    You’ve written a real memory jogger. I can think of places that meant a lot now bulldozed in the name of progress.

    I’ll admit I didn’t catch the Trompe L’Oeil. People who can pull that off amaze me.

    Well written piece as always.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra says:

      I didn’t catch the entirety of it when I first saw the building. And I certainly didn’t know about Edmund Hopper’s Nighthawks, as Penny Gadd pointed out. I had to google it. Thanks for reading Rochelle.

      Like

  10. ceayr says:

    Your usual quality production, Sandra, with something darker underneath, I think.
    Great photo.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Loved this story, Sandra. I think a lot of have been there… seen the destruction of icons from our childhood.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Fantastic photo this week Sandra. Full of nostalgia. It’s a sad thing to see a memory raised to the ground.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh, nicely done, jarring so many memories for your readers and your characters.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Liz Young says:

    ‘Others saw their childhoods played out on the crumbling walls’ – made me wonder if there were real ghosts there too that night.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. pennygadd51 says:

    Excellent story.
    “Afterwards, I learned that others also watched their childhood being played out on the crumbling facade that night – like a final film show, a tribute to a generation.” This seemed very dark to me, hinting that the building was torched as an act of revenge, or possibly cleansing for unspeakable acts. But maybe I’m reading too much into it…
    Thank you for the link to the trompe l’oeil pictures. I fell about laughing when I realised that the Tea Room is a direct pastiche of ‘Nighthawks’ by Edward Hopper!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks for the heads up on that piece of artwork Penny. I didn’t know about that and I’ve googled it. I like your interpretation too – there’s a fair amount of mileage in that…

      Like

  16. James says:

    The wrecking ball and bulldozer always comes for our memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Childhood memories of old, dangerous places, we all have them. Mine usually have a big, dangerous dog too. Good one, Sandra.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. If only piles of rubble could talk. – the tales they could tell.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Love this.. all the stories an old building can tell… I do remember a song in Swedish about this, and that one is now playing in the back of my head. I think it’s a translation from This Old House

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Pingback: Damaged But Still Standing – Friday Fictioneers | A Dalectable Life

  21. subroto says:

    Ah! They call that progress. There is this old house in a suburb near work that has had a sudden explosion of apartment building due to it’s proximity to the CBD. It is surrounded by apartment blocks and the news reports are that the old lady has refused to sell to builders. Like a symbol of protest it keeps standing, I just wonder how long the person who inherits it will keep it.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. EagleAye says:

    It’s always difficult to see the changes the world makes to childhood. In our old house we had this beautiful old willow tree. My family moved out of it long ago and the tree is gone. It just doesn’t like like my home anymore. I read your story and think wistfully about years gone by.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Pingback: Beautiful Once | Jan Morrill Writes

  24. plaridel says:

    this reminds me of my father’s ancestral home. as a kid, i spent many happy memories there with my cousins. sadly, it’s been torn down to build a new one.

    Like

  25. I really enjoyed this tale of childhood memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Awwe, there’s something so heart-breaking about a local landmark being demolished. There are so many memories associated with them, and sometimes, some of those memories get hurt too in the process.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Lynn Love says:

    We had a creepy, rundown house across the road from us when I was very young – grubby net curtains, crumbling woodwork. We used to sneal in the overgrown back garden, investigating – I remember finding a gravy boat there once, though I didn’t know what it was at the time! Lovely homage to youth and an adventure long past and thank you for sharing the link – I honestly didn’t see the trompe l’oeil in the original. Loved the tribute to Hopper’s Night Hawks. Lovely Sandra

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra says:

      Yes, that was new to me, the Night Hawk thing. Congrats but tough luck about the Writers’ Bureau competition. Looks like you had a near miss there, but at least they didn’t print it after awarding Highly Commended. That really irritates me when a story gets used up for no gain. Have you tried Flash500?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lynn Love says:

        Thank you Sandra! Never imagined anyone would see that – did you enter too? Stupidly, I was disappointed with a shortlisting as I was very happy with the story. I have been trying to find another home for it, so thank you for the tip – have you had experience of Flash 500 yourself. Looks like a good competition. Thanks again and again, a lovely story this week

        Like

        • Sandra says:

          Yes, I won back in 2015 – here’s a link, if it works. http://www.flash500.com/index_files/wfq2015.html They do a 40 strong long list, then I think 20 strong shortlist, so you can work out how good your story is.
          They’ve also got a short story comp (3000 words I think) which closes in Feb. I’ve nothing yet for that, but I won both first and second once one year. That was just about the end of my luck! I entered a couple of F500 shortlisters into the WB one, but got nowhere. Good luck!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Lynn Love says:

            That’s a great story, Sandra – I’m not surprised you won. The plot is strong and drives on, leaving us breadcrumbs of information along the way until we know exactly why she doesn’t call an ambulance and that last reaction from the police officer (foreshadowed earlier on) is perfect.
            Thanks so much for the link – I’ll give them a go 🙂

            Like

  28. Lata Sunil says:

    That’s nostalgic!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. draliman says:

    It seems a shame that such history is reduced to ashes. It probably wasn’t all that safe to be in, mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. rgayer55 says:

    You hit a home run with this one. We all have such a place. Mine was an old log barn.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Laurie Bell says:

    A lot of memories played out here Sandra. So very well told and that firey last line. Sad but glad they got to control the end

    Liked by 1 person

  32. I think I am the opposite. I have no attachment to places or buildings 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  33. prior.. says:

    what? a Trompe L’Oeil, well now it fits my secret eatery even better.
    🙂
    and in your piece – I felt the tug of how we felt visiting the land a large family home used to sit upon.
    so great job with developing the loss felt –
    and love how that single line was placed by itslef:
    “We stayed awhile.”
    gosh – such a nice pause and evocative feeling in only 100 words

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Pingback: Friday Fictioneers — Memory Stoked | Sarah Potter Writes

  35. This reminds me of a rented terraced house I shared with some friends in my twenties. We loved the place and we had a really cool landlord (an antique dealer) who refused to bend to the demolition order imposed on the place. In the end there was just us, an Italian family next door on one side and squatters on the other, holding out against the developers who wanted the land. When I returned to the town several years later, the houses had gone (plus the antique dealer’s shop in the road behind, too) and had been replaced by loads of glossy new offices. They might have looked posh, but they sure didn’t have any character to them.
    Thanks for this week’s photo prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Change is sad for each of us when it tampers with his past. Symbolism has quite an impact upon people.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Pingback: Best Beer and Sandwiches in Town (Friday Fictioneers and WPC) – priorhouse blog

  38. And someone will scream “Arson” when all they did was take down a house that was gonna be taken down anyway….lol
    mine:
    https://kindredspirit23.wordpress.com/2018/01/26/a-whimsical-tale/
    Scott

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Memories and change. We hate seeing parts of our childhood destroyed. Thanks for this weeks prompt.

    Like

  40. It sounds as though some watching had extremely unpleasant memories of the place and wanted it thoroughly destroyed. Thanks for the picture and explanation of it, Sandra. Great writing as usual. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Like

  41. Melancholic and nostalgic, Sandra. Change can be hard to witness.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. We go through this constantly here in our small town as people fight over history and modernization. It’s amazing how memories are sometimes a stronger commodity than dollars and sense.
    Pun intended.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. I suspect it’s known as “progress”. But what about us the people?

    Thanks for the prompt.

    Like

  44. ahtdoucette says:

    I find myself wondering if this is a ghost story. It’s very haunted and hints at so much beneath the surface. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Indira says:

    Reminded me of our childhood house, a place where enjoyed every bit of time spent there. Now not at all recognizable. Thanks for this wonderful piece.

    Liked by 1 person

I'd love to hear your views; it reassures me I'm not talking to myself.

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