Sunday Photo Fiction ~ Razing The Dead

Sunday Photo Fiction: October 12 2014

Here is a description of the challenge from the blog, Sunday Photo Fiction, hosted by Alastair Forbes:

“Every week on a Sunday, a new photo is used as a prompt for Flash Fiction challenge using around 200 words based on that image. Your story does not have to be exactly what the item in the photo is, you can make it anything you want, and enjoy what you write, and we will as well.”

Here is today’s photo challenge:

Demolition of an old building. ©Alastair Forbes

Demolition of an old building.
©Alastair Forbes

Razing The Dead

Genre: Fiction

Word Count: 224 (WAY over! Hopefully, none “wasted”)


When I first noticed the sign and  construction fencing, my first thought was “They should have done that years ago and salted the ground.”

A conglomerate had purchased the land where various versions of a pub, dance club and restaurant had stood on Robertson Road since our town had been incorporated.

“The Whistle”, as my friends and I knew it, had been a place where I’d spent some fun, hazy Saturday nights in our flaming youth.
We didn’t speak often of the last night it was open, the night when a man none of us knew, confronted Jordie Thiessen and stabbed him to death over a girl. The strange part was, Jordie hadn’t brought a date.

My student experience at Archives turned up a history of similar events at “The Whistle”; 1950’s murder of James Thornton, 1920’s of John Taylor. Discovering a very old microfiche detailing an 1890’s record of public hanging revealed the origin of the pattern. A logger, back from a long stay up north, killed a man in front of the inn that once stood on Robertson’s Farm. The victim, Jedson Toomey, had been courting the logger’s fiancée. The logger’s name is lost but it seems that even in death, he never forgets.

Frankly, I’m relieved. My nephew Jackson is old enough to visit the local pubs when home from university.

~ kei
12 October 2014

Note: “Razing The Dead” is a play on the term “raising the dead” and the place in Bells Corners that Al’s photo reminded me of did exist, much as I described. I truly did feel it haunted, though I’ve based my theory on fictionalized bits of local history. Ottawa was a logging and military town, it was wild ‘n wooly. I should mention, where the pub stood is as yet a barren field. Still fenced, and only a smattering of weeds is brave enough to grow there.

14 thoughts on “Sunday Photo Fiction ~ Razing The Dead

  1. The place they tore down used to be a club, pub and restaurant. When I first started reading, I thought you knew of the place. It was the street name that said it wasn’t. I love the story, a very spooky one. Well told.


    • I did know it, though that may not have been apparent. It went through many incarnations over the decades and at one point, was managed by a family member. I still pass by there often and it still feels haunted. Thanks so much for reading Al 🙂
      Whoa, wait… it was your place in the photo was all those things? I’m still in a post-wedding yesterday coffee deficit mode.


      • All the photos in the Photo fiction are mine 🙂 There was a lot of screaming and shouting about this place when they said they were going to tear it down. The place was older than anyone alive today. Apparently it just needed a new roof. But other people decided it would make a great place for flats.

        I hope the wedding went well yesterday 🙂


      • Isn’t it interesting that the stories of these two places, so very far apart, are similar? Though, I think there was mostly joy to see “The Whistle” be torn down. Lovely wedding and a great excuse to get the rather large clan all together. The cheek though of my nephew to be old enough to get married! 😉


      • My two as well and many days I feel as you do. I’m told by friends to not put up too much fuss though, as the grandchildren that follow are an absolute joy 🙂


      • Oh god, the thought of my children making babies? Nooooo, not allowed. Although my son has Asperger’s Syndrome, so marriage is the last thing on his mind. He cashed in his savings that his great nan put in for him as he turned 18 in May, the first thing he brought? Lego.


      • The ways that Asperger’s presents can be so different! A colleague, now friend of mine has it and she is brilliant in so many ways. One sad thing she said to me though is that she’ll never have a husband or kids (due to the A.S.) but she makes a wonderful example of what can be achieved in some cases. As for me, I’m happy to wait until my two are “there”, especially since I still wake up some days wondering who’s bright idea it was to give me care and keeping of two humans


      • I was lucky enough to be one of the few men who gets custody of the kids after a divorce, and I look at them sometimes and I wonder what I did to deserve them. Then I am reminded of my rebellious stage and have the answer 😛

        My son has so many things that he excels at. He left school in July and started college in September. He was at a special needs school, and we (myself, my son and the college) have come to the conclusion that the jump was too big for him, so he is going to be doing a different course where he will learn life skills first.


  2. Nice turn of a tale! I’m glad I perused the links first as I was thinking of something along the same lines. Enjoyed much!


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