Frankie stood waiting in the dark gloom. He pulled his jacket collar up as the cold air bit into his face. Looking across the black river there was a concert on at the new hall which was lit up in luminous red, pink and orange. The sweeping lights cast colourful shadows that reflected on the water and the tall glass-panelled hotel that towered into the sky.

A strong gust of wind made him turn away from the river and face the large science museum and cinema complex and media buildings behind him. He thought back to his first memory of this area of the city, when none of these buildings had existed – a boy of seven, walking hand-in-hand with his mother and father around the freshly landscaped architecture and horticulture of the Glasgow Garden Festival.

It was always sunny and warm in his memory, but he was sure there must have been days when it rained, it was Glasgow after all. They had a family season ticket and he lost count of how many times they had visited. Every time they rode the old city trams, resurrected to carry passengers along the dockside. The glass-panelled hotel, scheduled to be completed months earlier, was still under construction. He could remember vividly the giant observation tower, the rollercoaster, the glass pyramid, the clock bandstand and his favourite café, the Milk Bar, with its delicious strawberry tarts.

Under the temporary lights by the riverside the forensic officers worked on. Finally Frankie was called over. He approached and stared down at the bloated, pale body.

‘Well?’ asked the Detective Inspector.

Frankie nodded. He looked down at the body of his daughter. He saw the stab wounds around her chest and stomach, and a jagged red slash across her neck. The red colour reminded him of the strawberry tarts. His life in the city had come full circle. His past had finally caught up with him as he knew it would.


Written as part of a writing course I’m currently taking. The assignment was to write a 300-word story or introduction to a story, based on an event or moment from your own life and experience. In case you’re wondering, I’m the 7-year-old boy in the story, that memory is real, the rest is fiction. I see this as the start of a longer story, what do you think? Let me know.

12 responses to “SHADOWS FROM THE PAST”

  1. Oh dear, Leaves a lot to the imagination… Sounds like some gangster mafia thing, who knows? Nice story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joy. I think it’s the start to a longer piece. I think the gangster mafia thing is the obvious way to go, but I’m tempted to try and avoid that, maybe a corrupt politician, something along those lines. Thanks for reading and commenting as always 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Or a cult! I look forward to reading/seeing where you go with it 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. No Mean City indeed Iain. Well done. Loved this. How you talked about the past and then wham.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks Shehanne, think it has the potential for a longer piece, even novel?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does. Also you are on your turf here. That is an immense help to writing a novel. I am certainly intrigued by what you have here. I like what you have said in a comment too about avoiding the obvious. I’m also looking at the comment below about how a father might react. Obviously there’s reasons why he’s thinking these things and that is where you have hooked me in. You have created something there and yep I would go on with it. You know Iain I am a believer in getting out on the tightrope when it comes to long haul writing . I never ever have a plot. I just have a scene and an idea of the characters and let them get on with it. If I’d to try and figure the whole thing out in advance I would never have written a page. So don’t be worried to just run with this. You don’t have to see the whole thing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Shehanne, great advice. I know myself I can get bogged down in trying to have everything intricately plotted out beforehand, so I do have to try and just go with it and see where it ends up.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I just follow the basic rule of goal, motivation, conflict for each scene, even when I do NOT know where the story is going –and I never do. I may have to go away in shock and think WHF, now what but fact is the story advances. There was a time when I couldn’t write stories, I was still working as an article writer, I was so busy trying to think up a plot. When I stopped doing that when I started to see the characters are king, I was able to write stories again.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m glad the rest is fiction. That would be horrific.

    I’m trying to reconcile in my mind the memories vs. the realization that this fellow’s daughter had been horribly murdered. Would a father think of those rather peaceful, serene memories of the past knowing his daughter was lying dead just a few meters away?

    I’m not trying to be critical, but as a Dad and Grandpa, I have a hard time believing I’d take a trip down memory lane when I was being consumed by grief and loss.

    On the other hand, it does make for a surprise reveal at the story’s climax.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your thoughts James. I agree with what your saying. I think in an extended piece his back story might reveal his reaction. I don’t imagine him having a close relationship with his daughter and I think he knows before he sees the body what has happened. He has accepted this already. His cold reaction may change later on too as he looks for revenge. Great feedback, thanks.


  5. I really like how you construct the scene without revealing the context. It really keeps me, as a reader, engaged and wanting to find out whats going on.

    -Anderson Ryle


  6. Wow that just sounds awful and horrifying, his worst nightmare come to life. I wonder what he did in his past to warrant such a brutal murder of his daughter. Nice write Ian.

    Liked by 1 person

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