FFfAW: Time to Leave

Photo prompt – The Storyteller’s Abode

Time to Leave

The boats were full, despite the lateness of the day.

Ingrid paused, her foot poised on the gangplank as she looked back at the town. Her throat tightened as tears threatened to fall. How could she leave? The place was central to all of her memories: she’d married Jimmy in the church on the market place; borne her children in the local hospital. She’d walked those streets with steps both weighted with sorrow and made light with joy. Even the thought of leaving chilled her.

“I’m afraid it’s time, dearest,” Jimmy said.

Unfortunately, she didn’t have any choice. The town that had been so bright with life would soon be darkened by death. These would be the final boats to leave. On board, men and women clung to each other, their fear and sorrow almost palpable. Despite the exodus having begun days earlier, many had hoped the situation would change. Now, with ash clouds obscuring the sun, all hope was gone.

Ingrid gripped her husband’s hand and stepped on board.

Word Count: 175

If you’d like to read the other entries, click the little blue frog.


This post is for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge. This week’s prompt was provided by me. The picture was taken in York a couple of years ago, when we visited for the Christmas market. It was an incredibly cold day, and we were amazed to see the boat trips still going on – though at least no one was sitting on the open-air top level.

As always seems to be the case when it’s my own prompt, I found it really hard to write a story this week! Luckily, I did manage to come up with something in the end. This was inspired by a programme about Pompeii I was watching.

I hope you like it.


23 thoughts on “FFfAW: Time to Leave

  1. A wonderful heart breaking tale, Louise. There is such a feeling of “doom” that makes my heart ache. I can only imagine how the characters must feel. Louise, I asked your mother how her sister was doing and She didn’t comment back. I hope I haven’t stuck my foot in my mouth. Your mother has been on my mind lately.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, PJ. Being forced to leave your home must be a dreadful experience.
      You haven’t stuck your foot in your mouth at all. My aunt is on the mend, thanks, though things were bad for a while. My mum is trying not to spend too much time on the blog, at the moment, as she’s working on book three of her series. I think she planned to respond to comments later this evening.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A sorrowful tale…being on the last boat could be trouble…I would guess better to be on the first boat or one in the middle for any pending doom…the last one…no…but better than not getting on at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was very tempted to end this with the boat sinking – it just would have taken more words than I had available! I thought I’d leave it with the possibility of escape, instead. Thanks for visiting, Jeanne. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful and sorrowful. I loved the build up of quiet desperation. You almost feel helpless reading it. You achieved a lot in very few words. Great stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Michael. 🙂 I’m glad you liked it. I remember first hearing a out Pompeii when I was at school – it’s a terrifying thought, that your home could be consumed by something so deadly, so quickly. At least in my story they have plenty of warning!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Really well written out Louise and the thought of leaving such a beautiful place full of memories is heart wrenching. Life is stranger than fiction I have read and who knows one day we may have to experience something like this. On the east coast of Malaysia from a few weeks ago til now we have been evacuating people from their homes just like this. But not due to falling ash rather heavy torrential rains that have flooded out whole villages. Love your photo prompts, you capture the uniqueness of everyday life.


  5. This story really gripped me! What a creative mind you have, Fairy Mind! I must confess, for some reason I thought immediately of Amsterdam right before the Holocaust. (An Anne Frank who managed to escape by boat.) Pompeii would never have occurred to me! That is the beauty of writing, so many interpretations. 🙂


  6. Sounds like something truely horrible is coming. I think a volcano erruption? If she ran off and ended up staying, and he went after her, it could be an action adventure volcano movie, surviving despite. Lol. Great take!


  7. Ah, my favourite town! Love it so much I’m writing a novel mainly based there at the moment 🙂 Such a feeling of sadness in this, Louise – longing to god on to better times while having your past ripped from under you. Well encapsulated – but what is about to engulf the town? Nicely written


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