The Journeyman – Friday Fictioneers, July 2019

Corfe Station, Purbeck, Dorset

This small village accommodates even smaller minds, and the journeyman’s departure is no secret.  Everyone finds reasons to watch the locomotive steam away.

I ignore speculative glances, before curling myself around things they mustn’t know; the rapturous nights amongst the castle ruins, the empty promises, my equally empty purse…

and the child in my belly.

I quickly marry Caleb Brooks  – a man solid enough to withstand the rumour-mill, and one who’s long been asking.

We’re happy enough, Caleb and me.

But in a community where no-one has a future, a past like mine remains a secret source of joy.

The ruins of Corfe Castle tower above  picturesque Corfe station. There’s a wonderful photo opportunity to be had at dawn if you climb the neighbouring hill and capture the castle ruins rising out of the mists in the valley.  It’s the ‘dawn’ and ‘climb’ bits that put me off…  Thanks to Rochelle for allowing me to share the beautiful area in which we live, and for leading the merry band of Friday Fictioneers.

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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78 Responses to The Journeyman – Friday Fictioneers, July 2019

  1. neilmacdon says:

    Absolutely stunning, Sandra. A life and a whole community in the sedimentary layers of 100 words.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sue says:

    Oh my…you are absolutely the mistress of the short write, Sandra! As for getting that dawn view, ‘climb’ is beyond my ambit these days…..


  3. Tannille says:

    Stunning pic and great story!


  4. ceayr says:

    A world in 100 words, and a nailer of a last line.


  5. Dear Sandra,

    Thank heaven for Caleb. So much substance in a hundred words. Thank you for the loan of your beautiful picture.




  6. Colline says:

    Loved reading this Sandra. The piece has whet my curiosity and I want to know more of the story.


  7. It’s brilliant, in one word. I agree with them, so many things in just a hundred words…! ❤


  8. Anita says:

    So much narrated! Lovely image. Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Have a great week!


  9. Great piece, Sandra. And a stellar photo, too.


  10. trentpmcd says:

    Great tale. Glad Caleb is more honorable than that journeyman… i love the photo.


  11. Great human interest story, Sandra. One wonders how often such things happened in those small villages–or still happen. My mother used to tell me about skeletons in closets of people she knew that I will take to the grave. The people are now gone but I won’t burden others with those stories. I won’t let them out unless I can twist them so no one knows identities. Those older people were talkers. Thanks for the picture of that lovely area. That’s the way I travel these days. 🙂 — Suzanne


  12. Iain Kelly says:

    Excellent Sandra, a timeless tale of village life. Well done.


  13. Liz Young says:

    There’s a whole novel in your hundred words, Sandra, and I was right – it is Corfe Castle!


  14. Happy memories for me Sandra, being a Dorset lass born and bred (Poole)


  15. michael1148humphris says:

    I enjoy Thomas Hardy, and you did not fail me or him.


  16. I can’t help but wonder how many lovers (and children) the Journeyman has left in other towns? As they say, he really gets around.


  17. pennygadd51 says:

    I loved the twist at the end, making the liaison not a source of regret, or disappointment, or guilt, but a source of joy.


  18. granonine says:

    This is so believable! Such situations are not unheard of in any small town, where everybody knows your name 🙂


  19. Before I read the story let me tell you how much I LOVE this picture.
    What you have captured here….
    And your story….
    I hope mine measures up.


  20. Wonderful story – and a great photo!


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  22. Dale says:

    Wow, Sandra. Everyone has said it all. Beautiful picture and stunning story. You are a mistress at this genre…


  23. Oh wow! What a brilliant peep into an entire world. And thanks for a small glimpse of such a pretty location Sandra 🙂


  24. draliman says:

    So much going on here, and in only 100 words. Your beautiful picture prompted me to check how far away it is from me for future reference (3h by road, or, wait for it, 7h by train!).


    • Sandra says:

      Thank you. Yes, we’re not the easiest place to get to (or out of). There’s only one road into the Isle of Purbeck and one ferry out of Purbeck to Poole. And the ferry has broken down for the summer!

      Liked by 1 person

  25. You captured the essence of the community and character brilliantly. I’m always amazed at the depth of your extremely short stories! 🙂


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  27. mjlstories says:

    Highly romantic – sweet sorrow! And wedded to a landscape that is obviously in your bones.


  28. Your words, your picture…what can I say? A masterclass in flash fiction. Btw, I’m three and a half hours along the coast from you!!!


  29. bearmkwa says:

    What a beautiful story! And, I’ve seen wonders like the one that you describe. For me, it’s a spring dawn at Gettysburg Battlefield…. ah, the way the fog hangs a few feet above the ground. The early bird animals start to stir… it all combines to create an eerie scenario. I imagine that seeing your castle rise from the vapors would create the same. Thanks for the image.. Shalom~Bear


  30. It’s interesting that she finds her past a source of joy, despite the desperate situation she ended up in. There was so much depth and nuance in this piece.


  31. I love your words and I love your photo. It is a wonderful prompt.


  32. James McEwan says:

    There is a kind of acceptance in this and where the secret (no one must ever know, certainly not the child) was her one and only moment of joy.


  33. Abhijit Ray says:

    Nice story. Caleb Brooks is the real life journeyman for you. Strong and reliable, but not the best.


  34. msjadeli says:

    You wrote an historical fiction novel in 100 words. Well done.


  35. Margaret says:

    A gorgeous photo and a wonderfully layered story. Even ‘the journeyman’ has depth despite his ignominious role in the story – just why are the villagers so interested in his departure? Thanks for the great prompt, and for another inspiring example of just what can be achieved in 100 words.


  36. magarisa says:

    Your story is simply perfect. A compelling beginning, a bittersweet middle and a thought-provoking ending. An entire village’s past, present and future packed into 100 words.
    Thank you for letting us use your lovely photo this week.


  37. A lovely image, Sandra, and a wonderful story. To paraphrase, her joy in curling herself around something other people don’t know is gorgeous. I hope she is happy with Caleb. He obviously adores here.


  38. notestowomen says:

    You crafted a marvelous story in just 100 words. Well done, Sandra 🙂


  39. lisarey1990 says:

    Stunning write.


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