This story is in response to the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge, hosted by Alistair Forbes, that asks that you write a story / poem of around 200 words using the photo as a guide.
The Weight of History
Jae reluctantly followed his classmates as they trooped onto the ship. He’d been dreading the field trip for weeks; had begged not to go. Typically, his mum hadn’t listened to a word he said.
“It’ll be educational,” she’d told him. “History’s important to know.”
History was actually the problem but unfortunately he couldn’t tell her that. He knew how she’d act. He’d be talking to the bloody shrinks again before he knew it. Not to mention, rattling like a pill bottle. Jae sighed, focussing on the guide prattling before the group. He’d just have to grit his teeth.
Above deck was bearable. Just. With concentration he could ignore the scents, sounds and sights that drifted across his senses. He dealt with worse echoes of the past every day. As their tour moved onto the gun decks, however, the weight of years pressed closer. Odours of sweat and gunpowder mingled in his nostrils whilst voices chattered, shouted and sang in disordered cacophony. The boom of cannons set his ears ringing and he ducked as deadly splinters flew. Screaming men and flowing blood turned his stomach.
Ignoring his classmates’ jeers, he fled. Sometimes he wondered whether his mother had the right idea.
Word Count: 200
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