FFfAW: The Price of a Dream

This post if for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers (FFfAW) Challenge, run by Priceless Joy. This week’s picture was provided by Ady. The challenge is that you write a story of 75-175 words inspired by the photo prompt below. Here’s my entry.  I hope you like it.

Photo prompt - © dawn M. Miller
Photo prompt – © Dawn M. Miller

The Price of a Dream

“As children my brother and I played here,” Joseph began, remembering scrambling after Charlie through tangled undergrowth. “Back then it was so overgrown you could get lost, but we knew it as well as our own garden.

“At sixteen we got jobs as groundsmen. The pay was a pittance but we didn’t care – we dreamt of making the park great again.” He still recalled their early struggles but they’d persevered, driven by youthful passion. “We found funding and the regeneration began. We cleared, tamed and planted.

“The pavilion was our hideout as children: it was overgrown and decrepit, desperately requiring attention. We were determined to make it the heart of the park once more.”

Joseph gazed at the gathered faces, the bittersweet smiles and tear-stained cheeks. He struggled to keep his voice steady as grief clawed.

“Charlie died before the project was completed, killed protecting our dream from drunken vandals. Sadly I must stand here alone to announce: the Charlie Matthews Memorial Pavilion is now open to the public.”

Word Count: 175


This story was nearly 400 words long a few hours ago – I’m really hoping I haven’t cut out so much in editing it that it doesn’t make sense.

34 thoughts on “FFfAW: The Price of a Dream

    1. Thank you! I didn’t think I was actually going to manage it for a while – I got rather stuck at about 250 words. There are a number of bits that I would have liked to keep (snippits of memories, mainly) but its amazing how much you can get rid of purely by rewording sentences. I’m glad you enjoyed the read. 🙂

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  1. Oh, cutting the story down from 400 words sounds brutal. But it makes total sense, so you did a great job with the pruning. Telling the story via the opening ceremony speech is really clever – it provides Joseph with a perfect reason to tell their story. Very nicely done 🙂

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  2. It’s so nice that there are people like Joseph and Charlie. There is always a need for someone to step up and take charge to make things better for everyone. It’s nice that their project was called Charlie Matthews Memorial Pavilion. Great story and you certainly had your work cut out for you to get it condensed to 175 words!


      1. It’s a very important skill to have as a writer though, and it’s hard to see your own work with a critical eye sometimes, which is why I love these tight word limit stories because they teach you to really be frugal and inventive with your words..

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  3. I read the edited-out groundsman first, now the Price of a Dream.
    Such a bittersweet story. I was very moved by the ending. Charlie’s dream will live on.

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    1. Thank you, Phylor. I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂 These characters wouldn’t leave me alone last week – I may well write a full short story about them sometime.


  4. Your writing survived the editing process excellently. He’ll always be a part of the park now. It’s amazing how you could keep the flow of those wonderful memories during your editing.

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  5. No worries, this makes total sense. You still set tone to the emotion with the limited words given. And it was great to see he didn’t let Charlie’s dreams die with his death. 🙂

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