Friday Fictioneers : The end of Coral Ludd


You know the Red Mountain Market and Deli? Closed up, oh, fifteen years ago I guess. Round the time we had that spate of fires.

Owner was a guy called Stanley Ludd – brick-coloured hair, smelled of old books and floral disinfectant. Ran the place with his mother, Coral, and what a mean old biddy she was – used to bawl poor Stanley out in front of the customers, beat him sometimes.

She died in one of those fires, got trapped in the library somehow.

Never saw a prettier sight than all that paper burning, flames the colour of new bricks.


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See here to join in and to read the other stories.

37 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers : The end of Coral Ludd

  1. Clever prefiguring of the final fire with Red Mountain, Stanley’s brick-coloured hair and, of course, the brick building itself. Even Coral’s name is reminiscent when I recall my mother’s penchant for polished red coral ornaments, bought in the fifties and glinting in evening lamplight of her sitting room.


    1. Thanks so much Chris. Glad you picked up on the red references. I guess it was always going to end badly for someone. I’ve seen bits of coral used in dummies for children of wealthy Victorians – never struck me as a healthy substance to use, but then if you’re living in an age where it’s acceptable to give your baby cocaine based medicine … Do you still have any of your mum’s coral?


  2. Lynn! How could you! All those books!
    But seriously, what a super story. You tell it obliquely and by inference, and yet you leave little doubt that the arsonist was a man with brick-coloured hair and that Coral’s death was murder. Well done!


    1. Thank you so much Penny. So glad you liked it. I like dropping the clues in, but like it even more when it seems to work for people. Thanks so much


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