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The Red Barn


PHOTO PROMPT © David Stewart




The moon was full enough to illuminate the path, but I clicked on the light anyway, enjoying how my shadow stretched across the lawn, a giant in the night.

In the cardboard box were the broken spectacles, the engraved wedding ring (Forever), the shoes with their matted laces. All dried now, still rusty looking.

The riskiest things to keep are the driving licences, row upon row of tiny photographs like prison mugshots.

But I keep them anyway.

And touch each with my outstretched fingertip when the kids are on playdates, when my husband is down the pub.

Bliss.

***

This short story originally appeared on the Word Shamble blog as a Friday Fictioneers prompt. It's run my the wonderful Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Come write and share and read other stories.

This week that shed took me along a deadly path by reminding me of the 19th century killing of Maria Marten at Polstead in Suffolk, otherwise known as the Red Barn Murder. My dad used to live closeby and I remember him pointing out the spot where poor Maria died. All I glimpsed was a flash of trees and a newer black barn as we drove past. The original building burnt down years ago but the tragedy lingers on.

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Jane Basil
Jane Basil
Nov 03, 2022

Wow! Your blog has had a polish since I last visited. I guess you're too busy with professional writing to keep up with it. Are you still at the flower shop, or have you been able to give up the day job?

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