Friday, May 31, 2013

Flash: Double Vision

Flash! Friday #26

Write a 350-500 -word story (minimum 350, max 500) based on the photo prompt.

Abandoned boy. Photo courtesy of Toni Frissell.

Brooke had a blessed life. Born into a family of means in England, living in an estate on the outskirts of London, she wanted for nothing. At 18, she was wise beyond her years, likely from her proper upbringing, although she was full of joy and embraced life within the bounds of decorum. 

Having been shielded from her family’s history which, of course, included war torn London, she feared asking questions. One day, while alone with only the staff who kept themselves invisible, she wandered into the library where she often browsed the classics for something new to read. A frayed scrapbook on an upper shelf caught her eye, something she’d not noticed before. Carefully she slid the wheeled ladder to where she could climb to retrieve it, making sure not to step on her hem or otherwise snag her handmade garment.  

The scrapbook was heavier than imagined but she managed to balance it in one hand to plop it on the top of the ladder and move it down with every few steps until she was back on solid ground. She curled up in the chair by the sunlit window overlooking the rose gardens fingering the worn plain leather cover in wonderment before opening it. 

She recognized her parents in their youth but most images were of strangers even though likely relatives since they appeared in the album. Yellowed newspaper articles of the war were tucked between pages along with some handwritten notes. Mostly Brooke was interested in the photos.

Within the pages of the scrapbook she found a photograph of a family. The note on the back of the photo indicated her father’s parents had taken them into their home for sanctuary during the war…a Jewish family. Why wouldn’t her father want her to know of her heroic ancestry? The next page stunned her. The odd stuffed animal she had been given as a child was being hugged by a young boy in what appeared to be a war ravaged place. The note on the back:  1945, London. Below was written 1935 – 1950. Polio. Brooke could see that the boy resembled her father from her father’s childhood photos. 

Continuing through the scrapbook she found a photo of the two of them together. They had been twins. Bobby and Brooks. Her father only ever was called Robert during her lifetime. She sighed and felt so sad for her father, but also realized her name went from being ordinary in her eyes to one of honor. 

After returning the album to its “hiding place” and moving the ladder back to its original spot, Brooke went to her room and curled up with her very worn but favorite stuffed animal waiting for her parents to return.

Words: 444 


  1. Love it. It is a story in itself, not requiring a sequel. Yet I'd like one! Sad about her past, but not horrified by it, or bitter about life because of it.

    1. Thanks, Gail! Was in a different mindset when wrote this. Felt nice to write it.

  2. This was a lovely and meaningful story ~ The look back in history is touching but the present is made more precious because of it ~

    Cheers ~

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting, Grace. I mistakenly linked this to Toads and it took me awhile to remove the link.

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you, LaTonya. Sorry for the mistaken link...not poetry.