Bottled Hope #writephoto #shortstory

Another #writephoto prompt from Sue

sue v reflection

Happy place 

Bastion Rogers lent over the little rock pool, catching his reflection. The words ‘Neolithic bidet’ popped into his head and he smiled. And stopped. He’d smiled. Now that was unexpected. He bent closer, peering at the shadow man, holding a pose in the glassy surface. His father would have loved the idea, his face wrinkling at the nonsense of it all. The nonsense of it all; his motto these days.

Bastion took a picture of himself and slipped his camera away as he cupped his hands and sipped the chilled liquid. Moments later he spat it out, the illusion of crystal clear spring water lost in a foul bitter mouthful of decay.

And Bastion cried, a single tear at first but then a torrent splashing into the mix, adding his own salty secretions to the puddle. It was that bloody birdbath, that’s what. His father pride and joy, chipped from an old lump of concrete and precariously balanced on the stump of the old silver birch. When things got bad, when memories of Bastion’s mother cramped his dad so much he twisted out of shape, they’d go and sit by the laurel and watch as the birds – the wrens and the tits and the sparrows and the finches – came and frolicked, uninhibited in their natural joyousness. Gradually the simplicity of it all would relax his father and untangle his tongue as he told of his beautiful wife and their life before cruel reality snatched her away.

Bastion wiped his nose and straightened, his father’s basso profundo coming to him on a careless wind: ‘Our happy place, our kid’ he’d say.

Bastion strode away, leaving a little of himself in that pool but taking away far more. He headed for the next horizon, at last seeing where he was going.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published three books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars and Salisbury Square. In addition I published an anthology of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand this summer. A fourth book will be out soon. This started life as a novel in a week on this blog and will follow later this year. I blog about all sorts at geofflepard.com and welcome all comments. 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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26 Responses to Bottled Hope #writephoto #shortstory

  1. Sue Vincent says:

    That one got to me, Geoff. A long while since I’ve heard ‘our kid’.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That is truly beautiful. I am moved.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. willowdot21 says:

    That’s a bitter sweet one Geoff, liked it though!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jan says:

    Aw, lovely. “bitter mouthful of decay” Nice!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very nice. Love this line “when memories of Bastion’s mother cramped his dad so much he twisted out of shape, they’d go and sit by the laurel and watch…the birds…” Beautiful scene. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. noelleg44 says:

    Very emotional, Geoff. I was truly touched.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Bun Karyudo says:

    That was powerfully written stuff, Geoff. Poor Bastion, his parents both now gone. I hope he finds something fulfilling over the next horizon.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Photo prompt round-up – Reflection #writephoto | Sue Vincent – Daily Echo

  9. A nice poignant metaphor

    Liked by 1 person

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