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:
Razing The Dead
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.
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.