Friday Fictioneers – Temple

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Mrs. Gant always scared me. She’d race out of the temple at us kids, waving her mop like a scimitar. The fear meant I never did get to find out who they worshipped in there. I imagined stern priests, stone slabs, and human sacrifice.

It seems fanciful now, slinking past the bland block structure. Four decades since I walked the neighbourhood. Mrs. Gant long gone.

And yet. The iron railings carry wrought shapes. And those swirling shapes pull in shadows from the temple garden, plucking with lean fingers at the shades from the street. I turn and run like hell.


Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

68 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Temple

    1. Thanks, Tannille. I’m experimenting at the moment with how small sensations, memories and interactions below the level of consciousness give rise to larger actions and thoughts

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh drat, sorry.
        The last six words.
        To me, and probably only to me, they seem somehow odd, not fitting as seamlessly as your writing usually does.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. You capture the memories left from childhood well. I haven’t set foot in a church to worship since I was forced to go by my parents until I was about 12, but still, there is something about those buildings…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Vivid story. I like it very much. Mrs Gant (ancient, at least thirty) was stressed from working for her demanding priests and couldn’t risk a little lad contaminating the freshly-washed slabs. I heard she won the pools and told the priests where to stick the mop.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is great, I love this experiment. The writing throws me back into my own childhood, the fears, the curiosity, the strange interpretations only children can ind for things they don’t understand. The description of the shadows is magical–and confirmation of strange things going on. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I, too, liked the way you described the fence, especially the “plucking with lean fingers” part. Full of mood and the almost embarrassed underlying acknowledgement of his persistent fear’s illogic.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good writing, Neil. The poor child is so scared of an older woman and wondering about what was in the synagogue. It’s odd some of the things a young mind creates when the child either sees little of a person, just hears stories, or doesn’t see inside a place. I’d been in most of the homes near mine as there were children but not in the one with none. I often wondered about those mystery people. —- Suzanne

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  6. I can see this character in my mind. Is Mrs. Gant’s bark worse than her bite? Either way I have heard about this character living in a small town growing up and you wrote the piece wonderfully & very true to how it is. A great write indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

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