The Erosion Of Hope #writephoto #flashfiction

The Erosion Of Hope

For longer than people knew the two figures had stood sentinel, staring out on to the North Sea, watching, forever watching those tumultuous waves. They weren’t ancient, but their origins were unknown and many a passerby, hoping for some information plaque or storyboard were disappointed to find no guidance as to their history. Who, or what had placed them there had been lost in the sea frets of time which regularly hid the duo, the Twins of Madcaster as they were known, from the eyes of humans.

And the Twins themselves? How did they see things?

‘But parky, Desmond.’

‘Not as bad as ‘47, but worse that ‘62.’

‘It’s getting rough out there.’

‘You always say that.’

‘I don’t. It’s just I notice… things.’

‘Oh not that again. That guy really got to you, didn’t he?’

‘He made more sense that you. He made me think.’

‘Right. And what exactly is this thinking?’

‘Sort of what we’re doing now.’

‘Ok… and that is what? I thought we were having a bit of a chat, passing the time of day.’

‘But don’t you see Percival, it’s got to be more than that. I mean, we have to have a greater purpose than just having a bit of a chat.’

‘Why? Isn’t that enough? The heather’s happy just to grow, flower, die back, repeat.’

‘It’s a plant, just a organic extrusion. We were made, crafted. That guy said so…’

‘Oh, give me an extra molecule. That guy said this, that guy said that. He was making it up.’

‘You don’t know that, Percy. Something took a lot of trouble to put us here, he said. There had to be a reason.’

‘Why? Could be someone wanted to put us somewhere and here was as good as anywhere.’

‘You weren’t listening, Perce. He said…’

‘I wasn’t listening because he nearly did what centuries of the wind up my arse couldn’t do and that was send me to sleep.’

‘No, listen. He said the Installers deliberately put us so we faced the sea. We’re Sentinels.’

‘Oh come off it. We’re a couple of sheets of iron cut to look like silhouettes. We’re… what did that chap call us, ‘87 or ‘88? You know after you got bent by the wind and they had to bash you straight.’

‘That was humiliating.’

‘He said, if I recall correctly, that we were troupe d’oeil. Put here to make it look like someone had reached the summit already.’

‘We’re not some sort of sculptured joke, Per…’

‘Better that, than to have a purpose which we don’t understand. Enough to turn you bronze, that line of smelting.’

‘That bloke said we were Greek Gods, guarding the sea. Famous twins.’

‘Rubbish. We’re left over cladding put here for a laugh.’

‘I have proof, P.’

‘Proof? Really? Go on, this is going to be good.’

‘We are the latest representations of  Castor And Pollux, the Greek twins Gemini, who’s task is to guard all seafarers and…’

‘Oh come off it. How do you make that leap of logic, my two dimensional friend?’

‘What’s printed on your rear?’

‘On my…?’

‘Rear. Just below ‘Product of Thwaite & Godbottom Foundry.’

‘It says “Cast”.’

‘Exactly. Originally it would have been Castor. And on me it says “Poll” which is…’

‘Oh give me strength. It’s nothing of the kind.’

‘Well how do you explain it then?’

‘“Cast” is short of Cast Iron, the “Iron” bit wore away because it was the right height for any bloke who wanted to take a slash and needed to lean in against the wind and avoid unfortunate slashbacks.’

‘Is that what they’ve been doing all these years? I thought they were reading your name. What about my name?’

‘Oh that’s easy. That’s what’s left over from when that MP chappie came up here a year ago. Dead upset he was.’

‘Why would he carve a Greek god’s name on my rear?’

‘He didn’t. He carved ‘Bollocks to Brexit’ and pretty much that’s all that’s left.’


‘Sorry Des. I didn’t mean to disappoint you.’

‘No, that’s ok. Let’s face it, we’re here for the long haul. I expect everything will become clear eventually. What do you think that makes us?’

‘A metaphor.’

‘A metaphor?’

‘Yeah, he wanted a second referendum, so the fact it’s worn back to ‘Poll’ is a sign.’

‘Do you think he realises there’s a message on my bottom, Percy?’

‘Nah, them lot don’t know their arses from their elbows. They’re a bit like us, Des.’

‘How so Perce?’

‘If there ever was a reason why they were put on this little piece of rock, it’s been long forgotten.’

This was written in response to Sue Vincent’s latest #writephoto challenge


About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. 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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13 Responses to The Erosion Of Hope #writephoto #flashfiction

  1. willowdot21 says:

    This clever, very very clever , 💜💜 I hope they don’t catch cold 😂😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ritu says:

    Great job his Geoffleship!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Man, you’ve got a sharp mind – taking this photo and turning it into political satire/commentary! I’m beginning to think there is nothing you can’t meld into another shape……

    Liked by 1 person

  4. JT Twissel says:

    Nice to have a purpose in life even if you’re not living!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Photo prompt round-up: New #writephoto | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

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