Friday Fictioneers: Ruins

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Papa kept the photographs in a drawer in his study.

‘My portraits’, he called them, though when Meggy drifted in one long and listless Sunday she found no faces, only photographs of old buildings. The shiny surfaces snagged her fingertips, as if the spires and stained glass were reaching, tugging at her.

Decades later, when his camera had long since been boxed away, she would find the old man dozing, blanket tucked round skinny knees, the images hanging from his lose grip.

She wondered if he’d realised back then that people, like buildings, become ruins of themselves.


Written* for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. Do visit here to take part and join this merry band of super talented people.

*Also written in my kitchen, while a builder friend fixes our boiler … along with the climate, the upcoming election and Brexit!

27 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers: Ruins

  1. Your opening sentence draws us in effortlessly, and then you cover decades, half a lifetime, in the remaining 90 words. You make story telling look so easy!
    PS I hope the boiler is safely fixed!


    1. Thank you for your kind comment, Penny. I really do appreciate and value your feedback, so to read that means a lot. Boiler all up and running, hopefully!


    1. Haha! Sorry about that! If it’s any consolation I feel like my own foundations are subsiding these days – my plaster’s definitely crumbling : )


  2. Your builder sounds like a great friend to have – has he thought about standing in the General Election?! Great story Lynn, some buildings certainly have a soul to them.


    1. Haha! He certainly is pretty switched in to the current political situation and ecologically – not necessarily something you’d expect from a builder. He’s not running, though he is appearing on a local Lib Dem leaflet in circulation, leading a tactical vote campaign. Thanks for the kind comment Iain

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I like how you use the prompt of a photo of a building, to lead you to the (potential) crumbling edifice of an old man (or woman). Kinda reminds me of a music hall song: I’m One of the Ruins that Cromwell Knocked About a Bit. And I’m sure that was very very far from your thoughts as you wrote. 🙂


    1. Haha! I’ll have to look that one up – I know the title but not the lyrics. I have a sneaking love of music hall – used to sing ‘My old man said follow the van’ and ‘She was poor but she was honest’ round the house when I was a kid! (I know, odd). Would love to visit Wilton’s Music Hall in London, they were such democratic places, rather like the Tudor theatre where all the classes rubbed shoulders. Plenty of scope for story telling there! Thank you for reading and your kind comment, Crispina

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Lynn,

    And people are prone to tear down old buildings, aren’t they? A fact I find a bit sad. Your writing and description, as always, take my breath away.




    1. Thank you very much, Rochelle 🙂 There are prone to tear down buildings. I’d rather see them repurposed into apartments than pulled down, but I still find it odd to see a former place of worship become flats. Thank you for your kindness


  5. This marvellously melancholic story took on an added poignancy once I’d confirmed my guess that this was the façade of a synogogue—I don’t know if that was your unspoken intention, Lynn, but it is so effective as an evocation.

    My attention was drawn to the window which showed an incomplete Star of David and Moses’ tablets above the shuttered entrance: I wondered if this building was still functioning as a place of worship, but if it wasn’t this is another added layer of piquancy.


    1. I checked with Rochelle who runs the Friday Fictioneers prompt – yes as you thought, it’s a disused synagogue on the Lower East Side, New York. I didn’t really consider the religious aspect as I wrote, to be honest, but I can see what you mean about adding a layer to the context. Thank you Chris

      Liked by 1 person

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