Friday Fictioneers – Missing

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

A grey day, cloud lowering, lines of pigeons brooding on the wires above the blank eyes of empty windows. A glum prospect Harve had viewed a thousand times as a child. Yet something was missing, something not right about the photo.

“What is it? What’s different?” he asked Peter, but Peter couldn’t answer, He had never visited Harve’s home town.

Perhaps it was simply that the picture didn’t capture the bicycles, the laughter, the hopscotch, and Mrs. Brown’s washing hanging from her window. Images and memories are different.

But you know what’s missing, don’t you? Will you ever tell Harve?


Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find It here

58 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Missing

  1. I really liked the line, “Images and memories are different.”

    I can definitely empathize with the character’s frustration that a photograph can’t portray things the way you see them, if that makes sense.


  2. I feel I may be missing something here – that you may be expecting me to notice something wrong. But if I did, I’m not sure I would share it with Harve. We each have our own memories.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m not sure what’s missing, unless it’s the smell of damp leaves, diesel of the river boats wafting up on the breeze or the impossibly fresh scent of Mrs. Brown’s fabric softener. Sweet story.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Harve can’t see the soul of the place only the greyness of the moment. Is that it? That’s what I’ve decided it is and I’m sticking with it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think it’s Harve himself that might be missing from the picture – his relationship with the town has atlered because he looks from the outside now, not the inside. A great response to the prompt – and lovely to write something that stirs so much discussion. You’ve created an enigma! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s missing joy, soul, people. A picture does not capture the reality of things, and yet, it can bring back a whiff of that reality.
    Beautifully written, Neil! I loved this line:
    “A grey day, cloud lowering, lines of pigeons brooding on the wires above the blank eyes of empty windows. “

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I really like this, the way you draw us in and set the enigma. The observation that pictures cannot show the life of place is a good one, only memories can do that. But I think what Harve doesn’t know is that what he liked about the place is gone, and that the picture actually is true.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Here’s what struck me: Peter is Harve’s son, but died (that’s why he can’t answer). What’s missing is Harve being able to take him to his home town to show him where he grew up. Missing memories.


  9. What I take away is the thought that an image often doesn’t do justice to the experience, especially if it does not reflect the experience as a whole. Maybe in this case, the picture is just a slice of what he remembers and no where close to the complete experience. Nice story.


  10. I very much liked your direct involvement of the reader. The effect it had on me was not so much to concern myself with what was missing from Harve’s picture but to think about what is missing from some of the photographs from my own life. A poignant reminder of the passing of time.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Your story made me think of a topic I taught a senior high school English class once, based around Mark Raphael Baker’s book ‘The Fiftieth Gate’. It’s a book about the author’s holocaust experience, but our focus was on comparing what history (including photographs) preserves, and what memory preserves. I love where you went with your story, Neil. And I was glad to have my own little trip down memory lane, missing bits and all.


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