Friday Fictioneers : One amber night

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll


 

There’d been a fresh dusting of snow in the night, coating the grimy icebergs of the last fall, the one before that.

Sid edged along the sidewalk,  past the boarded-up liquor store and Cal’s Gym, ‘Waterloo’s Oldest Boxing Establishment’ until the receivers came in last October. He and Cal had sunk a bottle of Macallan that night, glass after amber glass till they were snoring on the folding bed, overcoats as blankets. Cal left for Kansas the next day to live in his sister’s garage apartment.

All his old friends were gone now. Just him and the cold left.

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. A day early this week, perhaps, but none the worse for that in my book. Write a tale and share but do read and comment on others too. Take a look-see here to find the blue frog. As the great Russell Gayer said, ‘The key to building an audience is reading and commenting on others’s work’.

86 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers : One amber night

  1. So rich in detail Lynne, I love it. Poor Cal. I see so much depth in this tale (or maybe over analysing), but he it could be a metaphor for the winter of ones life or the existential questions that we can only really answer on our own, informed by experiences and connections we have in life. I’ll stop before my comment is longer than your story 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha! No need to stop. I think that interpretation is perfectly valid in that my protagonist has reached winter in his life – he’s lonely, feeling the cold within and without him. His glory days are past, that last night with his friend may be the last hell raising he does before the end of his life. See, you’ve got me rambling on now! Valid point though. Thanks so much for reading and for the thoughtful comment

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Dear Lynn,

    Congrats on being first to link this week. 😉 In so few words, you’ve made my heart ache for Cal. As always, your descriptions are vivid and just enough to set the stage. Ever so well done. Happy Tuesday. Again…oops.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much Rochelle. After a little thought I reckon this worked out quite well, that marriage of an old timer reaching the end lof the line, watching his town wind down as his own life does the same, losing all his old pals. Makes me want to write more about him. Thanks for the kind comment and Happy Tuesday 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is great. I think you captured the place really well. My daughter and I were driving through Waterloo taking pictures of decrepit buildings and came upon this one. Boxing stories have always been a favorite of mine, so I send the photo to Rochelle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a very good pic and with the snow too, very inspiring. I wonder if the place is still going, or whether there’s only the smell of old sweat to show for all those hours training. Thanks for reading Josh

      Like

    1. Thank you Karen. I’m wondering whether to take this guy onward into something longer – his world felt right somehow, and I’m sure I can scribble down more of his tales if he’ll let me. 🙂 Thanks so much for reading

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The gym is obviously significant to Cal and Sid, or they wouldn’t have memorialised it with whisky. Perhaps they were old pro boxers, fallen on hard times (although I should imagine that times are always hard for the lower echelons of the professional sport).
    It’s a sad picture, Lynn, and vividly drawn.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Very true about the sports men, Penny. We’re used to seeing the people who’ve ‘made it’ in any profession (singers, athletes, boxers) but what about those who scrape a living at best. Man, that’s a tough old life. I imagned Cal as the owner, finally having to give up the club after years of holding on by his fingernails. I’m not sure living above his sister’s garage was what he had in mind for retirement. 🙂 Thank you for your thoughtful reading of the story

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Neil. Loved your thoughtful feedback. I read somewhere in a writing guied years ago, specifics are good. Not just a tree, but an ash tree. not just a Scotch but a Macallan. I does work. Thanks again

      Like

  5. Nice – Reminds me of an old James Taylor ‘Shops closing down, jobs leaving town. Little by little, that’s how it dies.’

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lynn, I don’t know which is better or worse…freezing to death there, or frying to a crisp here?
    This was beautifully reflective and sad and reminded me of that old classic song: “The Streets of London”. As much as it’s great to live a very long life, it also comes at the cost of losing those you love and being the last one standing.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your usual top quality offering, Lynn.
    I find it interesting that the comments show more sympathy for Cal, while I feel for Sid, who is trapped in the cold, and the past.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I suspect there’s a misreading there because Cal is mentioned by name more ofetn than Sid. Perhaps a fault in my writing? Thank you all the same, C. Yes, my feelings are with Sid too, all his buddies gone, left in the cold. Thank you for reading

      Like

  8. CE said it… I keep wondering why people are feeling bad for Cal when it’s Sid who’s left behind…
    They need to reread it 😉

    OK… Now for MY comment! Absolutely loved your descriptions, as usual, bringing us right in there, seeing that dusting of snow on the old crud, smelling the whiskey, feeling the cold. Woman, you have such a talent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I mentioned Cal just too often and it’s that name that stuck in people’s minds. Never mind.
      Thank you Dale! You are one of the best ego-boosters around and your comments so often light me with a warm smile. Really glad you liked it and the sadness of Sid’s life came through. Thank you so much for your generosity 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Goes to show people don’t pay attention 😉
        You are so welcome. I tell it like I see It! Just waiting for the day you get a book published! I’m THERE. 😘

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Even the garage apartment left me feeling lonely and sad. The overcoats, the liquor are icing on the top. You captured a shift in life so perfectly. It reminds me of my husband’s hometown, Aberdeen, WA. A great place in the 50’s and S-o-o-o-o depressing now. Boomtown (logging and fishing) to broken.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for noticing those details – I tried to include some down at heel touches without going overboard, making a picture of men and a town who’d all seen better days. Sounds very similar to Aberdeen, you’re right and it’s a poignant sight, seeing buildings and towns built in a heyday, now boarded or used as squats, the life kicked out of the town. Thank you for your thoughtful comments Lish

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Bjorn. I like a down at heel character – so much more interesting as a writer, though not an existence to live if you can help it. Thank you for your kind comment

      Like

    1. Good question. I suspect he started on the booze as the gym began to nosedive and the two things accompanied each other, the gym going downhill as his drinking got worse. Thanks for reading James

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Your title Amber Night is a perfect image for me, of the mood of your story. Two friends, facing the end of an era, of their friendship, sadness, for one last amber evening. Sharing the lovely melancholy of whiskey.
    Love the way you tell their story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. Titles usually come after the story, often from a line or an idea expressed in the tale and so it was the case here. The friends’ last night of drinking before circumstances seperate them. Thank you for reading and the kind comment

      Like

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