Lost and Found

September 9, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about someone or something that’s lost. It can be lost in a setting (storm, darkness, ocean) or it can be a feeling. Is there a recovery? What are the consequences of remaining lost? What are the opportunities?

This is the latest prompt from Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch. We all lose things, though not always the same things: our way, our innocence, our moral compass, our hope, our taste for marshmallows, our faith in Crystal Palace’s hopes of Premiership survival.

Some just happen and we may not notice until we look back. Some go in an instant and our breath is taken away.

And it kind of hurts most when what’s lost isn’t replaced, when there is a  horror vacui – nature abhorring a vacuum – if  a hole, the vacuum isn’t filled, it hurts to all buggery.

I wondered what losses are those that create a horror vacui, for me? Losing family for sure would be awful. I suspect losing those elements of self image that define me will prove tricky. Self respect. Is that ego? Probably. These are the things that give life a meaning and if you take away meaning, you hollow out your raison d’etre.

Over at the flash factory, we are with Mary and her daughter Penny, worried about a loss.

The Scent of the Past

Penny ran into Mary’s bedroom. ‘Mum, where’s that green scarf?’

‘Where did you put it?’

‘It was, like, April, mum.’

‘There’s that red one…’

‘It was Grandpa’s.’

‘It’s only a scarf.’

‘It’s all I have left of him.’

Mary held her daughter. ‘There’s all that’s in here.’ She tapped Penny’s head. ‘You never lose that. You might think you’ve forgotten what he looks like, but then you smell something – tiramisu and he’s there pulling that face.’

Penny laughed. ‘He hated that. He said it was like eating dung.’

Mary nodded. If only she hadn’t lost her faith in him.

Here is the story so far

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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14 Responses to Lost and Found

  1. Sacha Black says:

    Mary lost faith in her dad… wait this feels new to me… is this a new twist?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Three losses in one 99-word flash? Is that a record? It’s fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Horror vacui? I’ve never heard of that before! Loved the post Geoffle!


  4. Charli Mills says:

    Great phrase and description — horror vacui. The hole can be hungry to fill the sense of loss and yes, there are many kinds. Perhaps many holes. The duality of such pain comes across in this flash — Mary’s struggle is more than having lost her father, but her faith in him.


  5. Pingback: Lost « Carrot Ranch Communications

  6. Lovely stuff! You sure can bring a scene bursting to life – I could taste the loss in the air 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Norah says:

    I wish you’d chosen a different dessert. Tiramisu is my favourite! (Well, one of them.)
    I agree that the loss of faith in her father is potentially more sorrowful for Mary than the actual loss of her father. Mary may have many memories of him, but for Penny the scarf may be the only tangible link. Well done, Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

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