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Childhood’s End

It’s Friday Fictioneers time! Ably hosted by Rochelle, a hundred or so flash fiction writers submit a story of roughly a hundred words. This week’s photo was provided by Jan Wayne Fields. This one led to a huge blank until my mind wandered down a path I rather wish it hadn’t. After much thought I’ve decided to publish it anyway.

To view the other stories for this week click on Bracken, the little blue chap below. More stories are added through the week so be sure to check back!


Copyright Jan Wayne Fields

The bureau desk had seen heavy use over the decades. Polished countless times by loving hands, its oak finish still gleamed in the light filtering through the bedroom blinds.

Fathers had balanced the bills at that desk. Mothers had written poems and children had penned journals. Down through the generations the bureau had been treated with love and care, a permanent fixture of the old house.

Now the varnish reflected blue flashing lights, the blood dribbling down the carved sides a grisly new addition, courtesy of a messy custody battle.

If he couldn’t have the kids, the husband had figured, no-one could.

  1. August 13, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    Keep that blood and gore coming! Yes!


  2. NotAPunkRocker
    August 13, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Wow. I don’t know what to say to this one…it is well written in how it sets the scene, so that makes it a good story.


    • August 14, 2014 at 7:11 am

      I think maybe a comedy next week.


      • NotAPunkRocker
        August 14, 2014 at 9:52 am

        If that’s what comes to you in the moment, of course 🙂


  3. August 13, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Quite horrific. I’ve never understood why people could think that way. You conveyed this well, especially with the historical aspect as a contrast. Well done.


  4. August 13, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    great blog and detailed – enjoying reading it!


  5. August 13, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    I feel I shouldn’t have read this right before going to bed.. If I wake up screaming it’s your fault 🙂


  6. August 13, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    Dear Ali,

    I certainly didn’t see that twist coming. Unfortunately it’s too realistic for comfort. Well done.




    • August 14, 2014 at 7:15 am

      Dear Rochelle,
      I actually hovered over the publish button for quite a while before clicking, it’s a bit too realistic for me too.


  7. August 13, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    From one end of the spectrum to the other, great twist 😉


    • August 14, 2014 at 7:16 am

      Thanks, I like to lull people into a false sense of security 🙂


  8. August 13, 2014 at 9:51 pm



  9. August 14, 2014 at 4:30 am

    a beautiful legacy turned ugly. i’m stomped for words.


    • August 14, 2014 at 7:18 am

      A sad end to the generations of that family indeed.


  10. August 14, 2014 at 5:00 am

    Ali, I’m glad I read that after eating and not before. It was well written with great description. That poor desk will probably be through a lot this week. Well done. 🙂 —Susan


    • August 14, 2014 at 7:18 am

      Thanks. I came close to not publishing, it was a bit too real for me. Maybe a comedy next week!


    • August 16, 2014 at 9:38 am

      Ali, That’s rough when you scare yourself. O_o Your comedies are great. I’m sure we’re all ready for another one. 🙂 —Susan


      • August 17, 2014 at 5:38 am

        I’ll see what I can do! It depends on what the photo will say to me 🙂


  11. August 14, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    ugly, ugly, ugly.
    i don’t get how or why people can do these things. Very disturbing.


  12. August 15, 2014 at 3:46 am

    Oh my goodness! Such horror framed in such peace. It happens and we wonder and say we can’t imagine. But you have, doc.


    • August 15, 2014 at 7:13 am

      I wish I hadn’t imagined. Maybe I’ll try to lighten it up for next week.


  13. August 15, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    Oh, wow, your story took a sharp turn into darkness. So sad, because I’ve seen so much of this in the news lately. It breaks my heart. Well done!


    • August 17, 2014 at 5:35 am

      It is awful that every now and then this story appears in the news.


  14. August 16, 2014 at 7:00 am

    Yes, I can see why you hesitated to publish. Your story is good, lacks for nothing except a kind hearted hero.

    Remember the creepy fence story you wrote? I came across a similar fence today while hiking and was creeped out.
    Shame on you, 10 lashes.


    • August 17, 2014 at 5:36 am

      I remember the story, sorry for creeping you out 🙂 10 lashes for me 😦


  15. August 16, 2014 at 7:14 am

    wow absolutely haunting… and i love that you showed the contrast between the earlier days and the present which, sad to admit, is so messed up… i hope more people would value love and family.


    • August 17, 2014 at 5:37 am

      Thanks, my aim was to get a good contrast between the love in days gone by and the sudden violence of the present in that house.


  16. August 16, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Aaaaa! You were worried about my writing desk! What about the children. My goodness.


  17. August 17, 2014 at 8:38 am

    I read your title last and then my heart broke.


    • August 17, 2014 at 10:01 am

      It’s a very sad story, and I had many second thoughts before I published it. Hopefully the next photo will speak to me in a comedy way.


  18. Sun
    August 17, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    and to think you were going to let this story sit out this week…oh, thankfully not. love the list of historical uses through the years. definitely can see the latest event taking place with all the ugly divorces these days. sad story but well written.


    • August 18, 2014 at 11:47 am

      Thanks. Yes, we see this sort of thing in the news (thankfully only occasionally but even once is too often).


  19. August 18, 2014 at 1:19 am

    Dear Draliman, don’t let some crazy monster of a father kill his own children! This has happened too many times – It is unthinkable and the father in this story never really loved his children or he would not be able to come to this end. It’s a good story, but about a horrible deed. The early history of the desk was much more happy. Thanks, Nan 🙂


    • August 18, 2014 at 11:49 am

      That’s why I nearly didn’t publish. I won’t be revisiting this topic, I think, it’s horrible and freaks me out.


  20. Sarah Ann
    August 18, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    I had trouble hitting the like button because this rings so true. We will never know what goes through the minds of men and women who kill their kids, just always know it is wrong. Very well written.


    • August 19, 2014 at 7:00 am

      I had trouble hitting the publish button for the same reason.


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