A Close Watch

 This is a Friday Fictioneers submission for May 13th. Thanks to CEAYR for the photo. 

 From the ages of 6 to 12, John spent his afternoons staring through the window. At first, he did it so the others couldn’t see him crying. Later, after his brother, Stewart told him he’d been adopted, things changed. After that, he was keeping a lookout for his real parents, waiting for when they came to take him home. It was only on the morning of his thirteenth birthday that he’d looked in the mirror and seen Stewart’s sneer fighting its way our of his puppyish features. He’d realised, then, that there’d be no one coming for him after all.


Note: On first reading, you might wonder what this story has to do with the prompt. It might seem a leap but this is what suggested itself. My first thoughts were that the photo depicted the Statue of Liberty either submerged in or rising from the Hudson River but I couldn’t fashion the image into a story. After that, when I decided the object had to be UFO, things fell into place, even if the resulting story is decidedly earthblund. suspect that, if I’d had another fifty or so words to play with,  the narrative might have spun out in a completely different direction. To me, the beauty of flash is tbe brutal way it forces the author to make tough choices. Thanks for reading, and thanks to  John Cale for inspiring the title.



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8 responses to “A Close Watch

  1. Stewart is a mean brother!


  2. Nice story and explanation. Who knows where these pictures lead? The story had some real depth to it. Made me wonder how it was going to end.

  3. So sad. Its one thing for a mean big brother to make you feel this way but another when there is not enough parental love to overcome these feelings.

  4. Mike

    Your story remind us that despite it bright lights, a city can hold great sadness for abandoned and orphaned children. Brutal indeed.

  5. Sad, I hope the child finds himself down the road. And I wouldn’t mind if Stewart got a comeuppance either. 100 words is a challenge, you did well.

  6. That’s so sad, six years of despair and then more years of crushed hopes. Great story.

  7. It’s a touching story. Both of us saw the Statue of Liberty, although I stuck with it. Not sure how it worked out.

  8. Dear Etienne,

    First I applaud you for not writing a story literally attached to the prompt. It’s about what you see. 😉 A touching story. Siblings can be so cruel. Well done.



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