Ash Wednesday

I’ve had another go at the 100 word challenge for grownups… the prompt is, again, in bold. 

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By Wednesday, the house lay still.  Footsteps tracked across the grimy floor, and runnels of water left greasy trails down the smoke-stained walls. 
The far corner of the dining room was, incongruously, almost untouched.  The walls retained an echo of their original colour.  A charred, wet box exposed its contents.
She picked her way over, and pulled clear a photo album.  A single image fluttered free and settled in the ash on the floor.  She crouched to see: a small boy, blonde curls glowing in the sunshine; eyes screwed up against the light.  Posed against a hedge, in his school uniform.    

About Vicki

12 thoughts on “Ash Wednesday

  1. What a great atmosphere you've created in so few words. I really want to know so much more about this: Who is she? Whose house is it? What started the fire? Who is the boy in the photo?

    I hope you write the next part of this for a future challenge 🙂

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  2. I love this piece! It goes on and on after you finish reading it. I love the ambiguities of it, and the image at the end is very poignant. A friend's house burnt down some years ago, and the loss of all their photographs was incredibly hard to bear.

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  3. Thank you all, very much. The photo I'm describing is one of my own son, on his first day at school. The situation, though, is entirely fictional! I did read something about the loss of photographs being almost the hardest thing about a house fire, though – all other possessions (or almost all, I guess) are replaceable, but photos are so ephemeral somehow!

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  4. Gosh this has so many levels to it. I love the description of the room & it's awfulness. Then the introduction of the character then the history then the life of the past. Brilliant! So glad to see you on the 100WCGU!

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