Minding Awfully

This is a Friday Fictioneers submission for 17th July.

Apologies for my failure to comment on other people’s stories last time. I’m currently recovering from an horrendous case of the lurgy which has probably influenced the tenor of this story.

Thanks to Sandra Crook for the inspiration.


Thirty years, he’s been here. He’s seen the area evolve, watched the middle classes move out, then back in again with the first wave of gentrification, only to be displaced by the oligarchs. The area’s cleaner now, and there are fewer potholes in the road. Less character, though, reflects Cesare. Over the years he’s undergone a reciprocal transformation, largely unnoticed.

He leans on the bike, tempted, but not quite daring, to ring the bell. Surely the owner will be back soon, he thinks. He only asked him to mind it for five minutes, after all.
Thirty years he’s been here.



Filed under Uncategorized

45 responses to “Minding Awfully

  1. Dear Etienne,

    Now that’s dedication. I like the way you repeat the first line as the ending line. Well done.



    PS I hope you’re feeling better.

  2. A great story, full of character. Hope you are feeling better.

  3. True commitment. I felt quite drawn to the narrator in his gentle reflective way. Hope you’re on the mend.

  4. micklively

    I think those tyres will need pumping up.
    Good piece.

  5. I’m not sure if the bell will sound after thirty years surely it’s gone a bit rusty! Lovely story.

  6. Hmm, I’m wondering if he takes it home to bed with him, or if he just perches in the saddle to snooze.
    A strange and rather wonderful tale.

  7. Wonder what happened to the guy that he left his bike and disappeared. Nice commitment to still mind the bike though.

    Leo @ I Rhyme Without Reason

  8. A strange dedication to a stranger, who asked him to hold his bike.That’s a great character. Good one.

  9. Great writing, Etienne. Your story begins by leading us to believe he’s a thirty year resident of one of the buildings, and ends by surprising us that he has been watching the bike all this time.

    I also like the idea that the protagonist has undergone physical changes akin to the neighborhood’s. I often feel that as my century-old house begins (or continues) to fall apart, so do I!

  10. A different mindset back then, for sure. lol

  11. Thirty years? He can now sell the bike at antique value 🙂 Lovely, reflective piece this one.

  12. I think he needs to rethink this one 🙂 Very dedicated chap!

  13. The whole story had a gentle, melancholy mood to it, and the sentence how Cesare underwent a reciprocal development to the city is wonderful.

  14. wow! You have managed to tell so much of a story in only 100 words. I really enjoyed reading this.

  15. Melanie

    My kids are young, so I immediately thought of Horton the elephant: “I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful one-hundred percent!”

  16. You don’t find that kind of loyalty these days, except from dogs. Nice work.

  17. Your story reminds me of the dedication of Horton in the fairytale about ‘Horton the Elephant’. I enjoyed it very much.

  18. Dale

    Lovely, lilting story. He may have been a tad more simple-minded then loyal…

  19. Captured the history of the city in just a few words. Watching and waiting, wish I had that kind of patience.! 🙂 Well done!

  20. I feel like this man sometimes! Lovely story.

  21. Feel better soon, darling.

    Good story this week. I also liked the echo at the end.

    All my best,

  22. Now that’s commitment! Nice one. There is a gentle, reflective feel to the story.

  23. I sympathise with you – I’ve had a similar experience recently with a flu that just kept coming back. Congratulations on writing such an imaginative and entertaining story while you were feeling low. Great set up, and I loved the twist at the end.

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