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ward of the state – friday fictioneers

December 7, 2012

This story is prompted for Friday Fictioneers – kindly hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields Come try your hand at a 100 word story where each word counts. Here is today’s photo prompt

He’d be waiting, unmatched odd clothes draping his small frame. He always sat near the guard at the hall’s end, and I’d sign the release form like every first Sunday of the month.

Each time as we prepared to leave, they would be there. Young girls and boys, each was clean and hopeful, waiting. As I opened the door, they would rise in eager expectation, and then the light of hope would begin to dim. After I signed him out I could hear them, “They promised they’d come.”

The guard would gently answer, “I’m sure they will. They must be delayed.”

  1. Russell permalink

    Imagine how the guard must feel? Great story, Bill. The poor kids are just like puppies at the pound–hopefully, they’ll get another chance.

  2. They’re not coming, are they? Very good.

    • thanks Pete, no they were waiting for someone who promised with no intention of delivering

  3. Heartbreaking. I can see the kid’s faces and feel their disappointment. One wonders how many manage to make it in the world when they age out. Reminds me of those young “Lost Boys” in Utah and Colorado.

  4. Dear Bill,

    Eight words that wrap your story up in a Christmas bow but still don’t come close to telling you how they made me FEEL. Best story you’ve ever written for Friday Fictioneers.



  5. Funny how something so short can create such a hollow feeling, a feeling that I’m bereft of home and hope. Well written. I wonder if each of those “children” represents different facets of the same child…each hoping to get out and have their moment to shine…? Just a thought from reading this first little snippet.

    • thanks for reading, and for commenting. This is just a reflection of all the kids who waited eagerly for their parents and relatives at the children’s home.

      If I hadn’t seen it, I could never have realized what a terrible thing a broken promise can be.

  6. A very sad reflection of the times we live in. Well done.

  7. HI Bill,
    Will he ever get away? Good suspense and lots of story left to think about at the end. Ron

  8. A sad story made sadder by your first-hand account. However, you can rest assured that your times together will be happy memories for a child who has way too many horror stories filed away in his memory bank.

  9. Dear Bill,
    Beautiful…poignant…gut wrenching and more frightening than zombies and zeds because of the stark reality.

  10. That was a really powerful piece! Heart-wrenching in fact. Very well crafted.

  11. Wow, powerful story. Especially after reading the true story that inspired it. You should expand on it and try to get it published.

  12. Oh, a sad tale! At least there’s compassion with the guard. Nicely written. I feel the somber mood here.

  13. Lovely story, but you wish you could take them out all.

    • true, it also shows how children really depend upon our promises and our keeping our word.

  14. How sad. At least the guard is trying to be kind.

  15. I recognized him immediately. Wonderful story from someone I’m proud to married to (or, more elegantly, to whom I’m proud to be married.) šŸ™‚

  16. Elegantly written and heartbreakingly sad.

  17. Aww! What a let down after so much anticipation. Nicely told.

  18. oh how dare you make me feel sad! can’t you just write shiny fluffy happy things? isn’t the world only full of goodness? nah, guess not. well done. touching emotions.

  19. WordPress ate my comment! Did you get it?
    A moving tale, and made even more so by the reality behind the fiction. Thanks for sharing your own part in this boy’s story. You made all the difference to him.

  20. A moving tale, and made all the more so by the reality behind it. Thanks for sharing the link to your own part in this boy’s story. You made all the difference.

  21. It’s a lovely and poignant story. Well done. I think the typo Perry spoke of was in this sentence “Iā€™m sure will.” I think you forgot a they.

  22. Interesting and sad story that takes us a long way in a few words. Well done!

    (You may want to fix the typo in the last paragraph.)

  23. Nicely done…felt an awww at the end

  24. I’m a little timid about asking to satisfy my curiosity – is this fiction or fact? If fact, a family member or did you volunteer through a program?

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