Undisturbed…

So, I spent a little time tonight beavering away on a 300 word piece of flash fiction for a competition, only to then read that I’d missed the deadline by a day !

Never mind….. So, anyway, the piece had to be based on a photograph which featured a longshot of a park with all the trees and grass covered with snow and, to the right of the photo, a park bench, also snow covered.

So, scene set – here’s my piece, for what it’s worth:

Undisturbed….

There was fresh snow the next morning.

A long dark night followed by the brightest of mornings and, as he knew it would have been expected of him, John set off for his walk, at the usual time and taking the usual route.
With thick coat, scarf and gloves, plus his new and expensive walking boots, he stepped out of the house, his boots crunching into the snow on the pathway. He turned and locked the empty house behind him and made his way carefully down the path and out into the street.
After collecting his newspaper and exchanging some pleasantries with the shopkeeper without wanting to discuss the previous night, John headed back out in the direction of the park.

It couldn’t be avoided. It sat there along the main route through the park and, he figured that dealing with the sight of it straight away that morning would be far less painful then leaving it to fester away inside him.
The bench overlooked the main pond. It was the same as every other bench in the park, and yet it wasn’t.
It had been their bench – where they’d sat, talked, eaten sandwiches, ice creams, had coffee, watched their children play and then, later, their grandchildren do the same.

And, this morning, would be the first morning in what felt like a lifetime that he looked upon it but didn’t sit.
The snow lay there, undisturbed, as though a veil across the wooden slats, as though protecting it from being used.

John lowered his head, closed his eyes.
For a moment he watched the images from the night before.
The strobe of lights on the roof of the ambulance, the ghostly faces of his neighbours as his wife left their home.

He opened his eyes.

He’d return here when the thaw came.

Keith

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