Street Cleaner – Friday Fictioneers, October 2021

Copyright Brenda Cox

The carousel music echoes nostalgically around the silent buildings overlooking the square.

Stranded in their apartments, people stare out remembering a different time, whilst in doorways and alleyways the hooded jackals congregate, staring with bleak eyes at the gaudy flashing lights. 

One by one they venture out, climbing onto the painted horses until every one is taken.

These jackals will not pay Jean-Paul for their ride. 

He knows that; his reward lies elsewhere.

Only the sharp-eyed amongst the curfewed onlookers notice that as each ride ends, a small but steadily increasing number of horses are now riderless.

Montpelier is being reclaimed.

Many thanks to Rochelle, the leader of the Friday Fictioneers, for her continued efforts on behalf of all of us. Most appreciated, Rochelle.

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.
This entry was posted in Published Work. Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to Street Cleaner – Friday Fictioneers, October 2021

  1. neilmacdon says:

    Wonderfully sinister, Sandra


  2. Ain Starlingsson says:

    A dystopian look during the pandemic — you set the scene and tone as only a master can, makes the rest flow so well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Sandra,

    Merry-go-rounds and amusement parks work so well for a macabre story, don’t they? You’ve set the stage and tone well enough to leave my spine with a chill. Well done.



    Liked by 1 person

  4. An intriguing and omnious story. I enjoyed that, well done.


  5. GHLearner says:

    That was… shudder… excellent.


  6. elmowrites says:

    I’m trying to decide whether Jean-Paul is a saviour or a sinner. I suppose it depends which side you’re on… Beautifully created and deliciously sinister, Sandra.


  7. granonine says:

    Oooooh, creepy! Te best kind of creepy 🙂


  8. Wonderfully chilling.


  9. Hey at least he gets the last laugh


  10. Bill says:

    A bit of a grin with both eyebrows raised. Great story, Sandra.


  11. Dora says:

    Have to give “them” credit for their creative reclamation: beware the carousel one and all!


  12. pennygadd51 says:

    What a sinister tale. What will happen when Jean-Paul runs out of jackals? I love the way you’ve made your text feel French.


  13. WildChild47 says:

    On the eve of something wicked this way comes – a very foreboding ambiance set – well done; just enough flavour to let us wonder, guess, what is happening, what next. 🙂


  14. Dale says:

    This was delicious. Sandra. I shall no ponder on just what happens to the jackals once they dismount…


  15. Lisa Dunn says:

    Sandra, I’ve been away from FF’s for a while (formerly Waiting For a Name), but it’s so good to be back and to discover you’re as gracefully sinister as ever!


  16. Anita says:

    A lot of planning has gone behind this.
    Onlookers will never want to ever ride a carousel after seeing such fate!


  17. Lorraine says:

    So much for clasping that elusive brass ring . . . I agree, fair grounds = creepscapes!


  18. msjadeli says:

    Sandra the hooded shadows remind me of “the infected” in the old movie, “Omega Man.” Dystopia and fighting back against it are wonderful themes to explore at ground level. You did a great job manifesting both.


  19. msjadeli says:

    p.s. great title too!


  20. trishsplace says:

    Very well done, scary story! Great.


  21. jenne49 says:

    That’s such a great story, Sandra. I can read it on several levels and I think Camus would want to shake you by the hand. I echo what Ain says – the hand of the master. Brilliant.


  22. Tannille says:

    What goes around, comes around…


  23. Wonderfully sinister and excellent writing, Sandra. I love the title as well.


  24. Ah, and what goes around, comes around … 😉


  25. plaridel says:

    after a long isolation, one has to step out only to be taken for a ride. sad.


  26. Sandra says:

    Them’s the breaks. 🙂


  27. Thanks to Jean-Paul, the good folk of Montpelier will soon be able to leave their apartments again. A great take Sandra.


  28. draliman says:

    Yikes, as so many have said, sinister and creepy!


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

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.