FFFAW: A sound he’d never heard before

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Joy Pixley. Thank you Joy!


‘To the castle bridge,’ yelled his father.

Every bell in the city was ringing, a clashing din. Nearly at the bridge, Tommaso tripped, fell against the wall of a mercer’s shop, the display of cloth still waving from the poles, flapping like battle pennants. The chimes of the Basilica of San Zeno throbbed through the wall, into his grazed palm.

‘Tommaso! Run!’

Father grabbed his arm, pulled and pushed him towards the bridge and safety.

A sound Tommaso had never heard before – a crack, accompanied by a whoosh of escaping air, a screech. Then masonry was tumbling into the river, a cloud of dust blowing up so large it clouded his eyes, stung his throat.

The bridge was almost gone, only one tower remained, the rest rubble.

‘Padre,’ whispered Tommaso. ‘If I hadn’t tripped -‘

His father kissed his head, smoothed his face as if to make sure he was intact. ‘Come, figlio. We must move.’

They turned, ran, leaving the screams behind.


Written for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. See the pic – this week the lovely Castelvecchio Bridge, Verona – and write a tale of no more than 175 words. See here to join in and to read the other stories.

30 thoughts on “FFFAW: A sound he’d never heard before

    1. Thanks Pola. Glad the relationship came through. Dad looking out for his son and glad the action came through too. Wonder if they’ll make it? 🙂


      1. Indeed so do I… that’s what I meant about you skillfully getting right to the most dramatic, breath-holding, cliff-hanging, “And then what happened?”-ing part. As it were.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you! I don’t know if it’s a respected technique, but I often find myself doing that with flash fiction – dipping in to the biggest, bangiest part of the story. I’m sure that would be looked down on by people who know, but it’s what I do. Thanks so much for reading, Pola 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Collapsing structures were a sad but common feature in the Middle Ages, one that you capture well in this lively scenario. And I loved the local colour you’ve introduced; I can vouch for the church of San Zeno being worth a visit, if only for its fantastic bronze door full of lively scenes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sadly, I haven’t been to Italy and only read the Wiki page on the bridge, which mentioned the current one is a reconstruction – hence the inspiration for the tale. Also reading Labyrinth by Kate Mosse at the moment, hence the medieval feel! Glad the atmosphere came through and thanks for reading, Chris

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, ‘Labyrinth’ — I’d be interested in your thoughts on this. (My review wasn’t positive, but I’ve also seen some favourable ones.) I do get that she found Carcasonne inspirational — though I only saw it once, and that as a schoolboy, it certainly made a huge impression on me.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi Chris. I’m about halfway through the book and have just read your review and I have to say so far I entirely agree! It’s reviewed on the jacket as ‘literary chick-lit’ which doesn’t sound like a compliment to me and though I’m still reading and you’re right, the research is clearly good, I’m aware it’s utter nonsense. The main female characters are a little on the ‘meh’ side, a bit bland and unengaging though not dislikeable exactly and a couple of scenes have had me rolling my eyes (bedroom related mainly!) The most engaging character for me is the antiquarian Baillard and he’s hardly been in it. I’d rather follow him. It reminded me of Dan Brown – a holiday read that will be forgotten. I’ll let you know what I think of the end 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. A holiday read that’s best not read, in my view, unless one wants a masterclass in how best not to write a good novel. As an amateur archaeologist I was particularly scandalised at the descriptions of the way the dig was run … but I won’t even get started on that, best forgotten!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Haha! I thought of that when you mentioned you’d written a review. The way the female archaeologist agrees to pass artefacts over to a collector for cash … Terrible. It is nonsense, but you know that can be valuable to read too, can’t it? As an interesting side note and after your reference to seeing Mosse’s work second hand – I bought this and another of her books in a charity shop, 50p each 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Ah, thank you. It felt a bit potted – as usual I’m trying to fit a quart of story in a pint pot word count! – but I liked aspects of it. Thanks for the feddback Chris 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great story, Lynn! I found it very engaging and enjoyed the tension build up. Loved the ending – with his father showing him tenderness and affection. Wonderful story! I wanted to also remind you to link up your story to the InLinkz board so others can read it too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Joy for the feedback – I really value it. And thank you for the reminder about the link – I keep forgetting because I often schedule the post for while I’m working and then forget to link it later after it’s been published. I will try to do that this week. Hope you’re enjoying your weekend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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