The Relentless March of Progress Part 1

This is a Flash Fiction For Aspiring Writers submission on 13th August 2015. Thanks to Sonya for the picture.

Time permitting, there’ll be a companion piece to this.

(My book is Still free by the way)
 
Thomas had only taken the job in the gift shop to fund his PHD, but he fell in love and stayed. Even now, twenty years on, he feels a thrill as he walks across the outer bailey to the kiosk. It’s a breathtaking place, this castle on the Welsh Marches, a masterpiece of 13th century design. In its time, it was deemed to be impregnable, though lately, it seems it’s only the tourists it keeps out.
Thomas is aware that business hasn’t been good lately. Mostly, the only customers he sees are sullen schoolchildren, as reluctant to be here as the hostages who filled the dungeons during the reign of Edward Longshanks.
The manager called him in last night told him of plans to turn the place into an Interactive Historical Experience, with wax work and actors.
Maybe Thomas shouldn’t have done what he did then but he’s never been one to stand for the commodification of History. With traffic as poor as it’s been, it’ll take the caretaker days to find the body in the dungeon and, by then, Thomas will be safely barricaded in the kiosk. It might not be impregnable, but it’ll give him long enough to plan his next move.

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “The Relentless March of Progress Part 1

  1. Pingback: The Relentless March Of Progress Part 2 | etiennehanratty

  2. Oh no! I’m assuming it is the manager who’s body is missing, to keep history from being commodified? I really enjoyed reading your story. You write very well!

    Thank you for participating in Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers Challenge!

  3. no way he killed him. thomas is VERY opinionated. poor manager. great story 🙂

  4. That’s an extreme response to the commodification of history! I wonder what his next move will be…? Having just visited an ‘interactive historical experience’ I have very mixed feelings on them. They’re great for getting people really involved in history (I’ve heard people call history ‘dry and boring’ so many times and such places definitely get away from that problem) but the place felt more like a theme park than a historical site! Not to mention the entry fees. Good story. 🙂

  5. I can see you’re a castle lover, like me, Etienne. I’ve spent years visiting castles, including the Welsh ones. You’ve written your story really well and I enjoyed reading it. As afairymind, above, I found Thomas’ reaction to the manager’s orders somewhat extreme. lol – although I can see that he didn’t like the idea of turning the castle into a type of theme park. Will Thomas get caught, I wonder, or spend his life ‘on the run’ – and dependent on further crime for his existence? Intriguing ending. 🙂
    I visited Warwick Castle this week and there was so much going on there – interactive activities and displays of all types. I admit it all draws people in, and hopefully stokes their interest in history and castles, but we met a few people who thought it was OTT. 🙂

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