Friday Fictioneers

 

stingray.regular

 

From tiny pods of peas to his massive orange pumpkins, he always won prizes at the annual produce show. Even after his marriage ended in acrimonious circumstances, he carried on, seemingly unbothered.

At least, so we thought.

One winter’s night he stood before a bonfire with a handful of photographs. He gazed at one then threw it into the flames. Another, then another until none remained. Then he retired to bed and fell asleep, never again to wake.

Next year there’ll be a special award at the produce show in honour of the man none of us really knew.

 

russell-workingThanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers and to Connie Gayer for her photo of Russell!

80 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers

  1. Denise May 30, 2018 / 12:22

    Wow. That’s an awfully big hole he is digging. I would never have gone in your direction. More like something criminal. Unless, of course, he was digging his own grave?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Christine Goodnough May 30, 2018 / 13:48

    Well done and definitely a heart-touching piece of writing. We can really feel for the poor old guy and the guilt of the minding-our-own-business neighbours.
    Makes me recall a classmate, tall, blond, handsome, school football hero, fought over by two girls. Did he feel no one really cared, or why dd he commit suicide at 18?

    Liked by 1 person

      • Christine Goodnough May 31, 2018 / 14:05

        As the neighbours in your story learned too late, it needs getting out of ourselves and taking the time to know someone else. Teens are especially bad in that area. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Anita May 30, 2018 / 14:18

    Interesting, Keith.
    I guess he felt relieved for having being burnt pics of his “his marriage (that) ended in acrimonious circumstances”…
    Awards are special, even posthumous ones…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rowena May 30, 2018 / 15:21

    I try to keep an eye out for people close to me who are struggling and also hope to reach battlers through my blog. However, people keep slipping through the net. It’s so tragic.
    Hope you’re having a better week yourself.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    Liked by 2 people

    • prior.. Jun 1, 2018 / 22:54

      Rowena – you sound like you have a heart of gold. and sadly, the world can be so cruel to where people stay way too private – hmmm and this story grabbed that

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Lynn Love May 30, 2018 / 18:04

    That’s so sad. A man who everyone knew by sight but that no one really knew. A little tragedy well told Keith

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Reena Saxena May 31, 2018 / 03:24

    It was only photographs. It will be a massive effort now to erase online presence of a life.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. J. E. Kennedy May 31, 2018 / 08:46

    A tragic tale, beautifully written. It can be difficult to know who people really are, or know what they’re dealing with.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. shivamt25 May 31, 2018 / 12:45

    That was heart breaking. I’m glad he found solace in gardening after his wife died. Even for some time.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Bettina May 31, 2018 / 13:20

    Heartbreaking, no one really knows what goes on in someone’s head

    Liked by 1 person

  10. subroto May 31, 2018 / 13:48

    Sad story, he is smiling on the outside but may be in trauma inside. Breakups can be hard and probably for some people harder than most.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. liz young May 31, 2018 / 14:26

    Perhaps he spent too much time gardening and not enough talking to his wife?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. StuHN May 31, 2018 / 15:04

    I was going to make a snarky comment about “How big were his melons?”, but then the ending came.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith's Ramblings May 31, 2018 / 17:35

      Thnks for a bit of light relief – I was getting quite depressed! Cheers Stuhn.

      Like

    • Keith's Ramblings May 31, 2018 / 17:39

      I couldn’t decide so I left it to the reader. On balance I’d go with the broken heart. Thanks, Alice

      Like

  13. draliman May 31, 2018 / 16:55

    Pretty deep. Poor chap, it’s a shame no-one noticed until it was too late.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Alicia Jamtaas May 31, 2018 / 20:13

    Oh, I can see him standing before the fire, tossing one photo after another into the flames. You got a lot of emotion into 100-words. Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. prior.. Jun 1, 2018 / 22:52

    so sad
    and rich little story here
    alos – very realistic

    reminded me of the time I heard that Jackie O (Kennedy’s wife) burned all her journals and pics before she died – never wanting anyone to glance inside.

    makes ya wonder what was behind the veil.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. kirstwrites Jun 2, 2018 / 09:08

    Nice one! There’s a similar theme to your FF story last week – a man with a somewhat blighted life who keeps his pain under wraps. Maybe you could weave them together somehow?

    Like

  17. Sarah Ann Jun 2, 2018 / 13:15

    A bitter sweet tale, knowing he will be remembered for his achievements in death. Sad to be so unknown by those around him though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith's Ramblings Jun 3, 2018 / 17:32

      KB, fancy meeting you here! Yep, still blogging 12 years on, and loving it more than ever. I’m going to check up on you now. I expect to find you still at it – don’t let me down!

      Like

  18. Brenda's Thoughts Jun 3, 2018 / 15:34

    A sad tale. It’s true we never know what someone else is truly thinking or feeling. Sometimes life gets too difficult to bear for some. Nicely written!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Kat Myrman Jun 5, 2018 / 02:32

    Such a sad tale. We never realize how others may be suffering while they’re going through the motions of normal.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. pennygadd51 Jun 5, 2018 / 15:34

    You use the very powerful image of burning each photograph separately. Burning is such a final, irreversible act and, done the way you describe, nothing remains but ash. Was there deep anger in his heart, I wonder? Or despair? Or even a ‘coming to terms’ with his excruciating loss? You probe the depths with this story, Keith.

    Liked by 1 person

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