100 Words

Friday Fictioneers





‘Forward’ ordered Gideon. Hercules his trusty horse tugged on the rope and for the last time, narrowboat Marion set off along the canal.

That night he carved his initials and the date on the cabin door and walked away. Gideon sold Marion. Hercules went to a new home.


‘How old is she?’ asked the father, ushering his excited kids onto the canal boat.

‘Marion? We are not sure, but she was a working barge until July 1926’ said the captain pointing to the cabin door. ‘Enjoy your cruise’

He fired up the motor, spun the wheel and off they went.


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Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle. This week’s photo is provided by  Fatima Fakier Deria


80 thoughts on “100 Words

  1. rochellewisoff June 20, 2018 / 11:40

    Dear Keith,

    It looks like Marion has been sold to people who will appreciate her. Nicely done.



    Liked by 3 people

    • Keith's Ramblings June 21, 2018 / 09:35

      She certainly has Rochelle just like many retired barges which are now homes and canal cruisers


  2. granonine June 20, 2018 / 12:49

    We took our kids on a canal boat ride years ago, Keith. Your story took me right back there 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Iain Kelly June 20, 2018 / 13:43

    Sums up what has happened on British canalways certainly, and lovely it is too pottering along on a barge, from my limited experience of trying it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rowena June 20, 2018 / 14:23

    A nice story about transitions, Keith and what they call “progress”. A motored barge is easy to operate than a horse drawn one, but certainly lacks that sense of theatre and nostagic value. I say bring back the horse.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 2 people

    • Keith's Ramblings June 21, 2018 / 09:27

      The good old days! I have to agree with you Rowena, but whether I’d hire a horse drawn one for a holiday I’m not sure!


  5. jillyfunnell June 20, 2018 / 15:21

    Just wonderful, Keith, and at least we have our dedicated people on the canals still, albeit in a different world. Such a touching story. So glad those initials were carved.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Keith's Ramblings June 21, 2018 / 09:22

      It’s wonderful that having falling into disuse, the inland Waterways Associatiion are now maintaining them and giving them new life.Thanks Jilly.


  6. pennygadd51 June 20, 2018 / 18:55

    You’ve treated us to a delicious feel-good story, as pleasurable as an ice-cream with a chocolate flake in it! So glad Hercules went to a new owner rather than the knacker’s yard.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Alicia Jamtaas June 20, 2018 / 22:59

    What a treat your story is. Good feelings all around. The horse, the boat and the lucky families who got them.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dale June 21, 2018 / 04:06

    This was truly lovely, Keith… Marion gets to live on and leave her mark on others…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. draliman June 21, 2018 / 07:41

    I’m glad Marion is still plying a trade, if a slightly different one. With upgrades!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sandra June 21, 2018 / 08:42

    Having just sold our barge, this struck a chord with me. I wish I’d thought to carve my initials somewhere… 🙂 A lovely take on the prompt, Keith.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith's Ramblings June 21, 2018 / 09:06

      I’m sure you’ll miss it Sandra. I’ve had many a holiday on the canals and even considered living on a narrow boat but never made the move.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Woman walking Max June 21, 2018 / 16:17

    I really like the gentle tone of your story, accepting of how things change, and continue on in a different way. Lovely tale.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Lynn Love June 21, 2018 / 18:35

    Life in the old girl, yet eh? I like that idea, retiring a boat to a more leisurely life just as you would a pit pony or a seaside donkey. I hope Hercules shared a similar benign fate. Lovely story Keith


  13. Russell Gayer June 21, 2018 / 19:28

    I’m happy for the boat. Let’s hope Hercules didn’t wind up in the glue factory.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith's Ramblings June 21, 2018 / 22:04

      After all those years towing Marion, Hercules was a pretty tough cookie – woe betide anyone who tried to do anything unpleasant to him!


  14. liz young June 22, 2018 / 17:17

    Friends of ours bought a narrow boat and lived on it for years in their retirement. I can still see the blanket I crocheted for their bed. Thanks for the memory.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith's Ramblings June 22, 2018 / 19:23

      What a lovely memory. I’ve always said I’d like to live on a narrowboat, but it never happened – not yet anyway! Cheers Liz


  15. Sarah Ann June 22, 2018 / 20:03

    A lovely slice of history, and Marion continues through life loved and occasionally updated.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Denise Hammond June 23, 2018 / 19:42

    There is a series of books by Faith Martin and the detective lives on a narrow boat in Thrupp. I’d be bumping into everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith's Ramblings June 24, 2018 / 13:12

      Not a book I’ve come across, but as a canal boat enthusiast, I’m sure I’d find it interesting. Btw, In still bump into everything!


  17. Fatima Fakier June 24, 2018 / 10:13

    I like the history behind the boat. I wonder more about Gideon and what happened to him.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Kelvin M. Knight's blog June 25, 2018 / 08:02

    Oh no, poor Hercules, hope he doesn’t come unstuck. Lovely take on the prompt, Keith, A real taste of history and reality unreality.

    Liked by 1 person

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