GRADUATION PARTY

Balloons hung on the streetlight outside the Patriots Diner. Neon shone in the grey dusk. Warm lights inside glowed.

Sam stood behind the counter. A police car sped past, followed by an ambulance. He had stayed open in case he could be of any use. There would be no celebration tonight.

‘The police are now confirming there are 16 dead, including 10 students and the gunman, named as Michael Bradford. We understand he was a student at the school in his final year.’

Sam clicked the radio off, locked the door to the diner and extinguished the bright neon lights.


diner-roger-bultot
© Roger Bultot

Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

66 responses to “GRADUATION PARTY”

  1. I wonder how large the total body count will be, come the end of this challenge

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Something about the empty diner has us killing in large numbers this week…

      Like

  2. Sad stories this week! You capture the mood well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Iain,

    All too realistic and timely. You wrote it well.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m afraid so, an antidote to the festive cheer 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wish there was a warning 😕

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Good story and writing, Iain. Sadly, your story is timely. I hope these are Happy Holidays for you and yours. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Suzanne. Sorry to be so down at holiday season! Hope you have a Happy Holidays too 🙂

      Like

  5. Oh man. An (unfortunately) all-American story. These things are becoming so common that the word “another” is permanently appended to “mass shooting” in the media. Well told.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Afraid it is very American, we just don’t have the guns over here, but I do think it’s something more than that too, something in the psyche, who knows? Man, it’s a depressing story for this time of year!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Christmas does seem to be a time for writing something excessively sugary sweet, or depressing. What with Berlin it’s been another brutal year for people losing loved ones at the hands of lunatics. You have to wonder where it will all end.

    Merry Christmas,

    PaulC.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed, a lot of the responses this week are lacking in happy holidays feelings… Here’s hoping to a better 2017, but I think it may be wishful thinking. Merry Christmas to you too, Iain

      Like

  7. A tight piece of writing, full of atmosphere.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ah, yes. Unfortunately, this sort of thing is becoming all-too common anymore. You reported well, Iain. This about sums it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, a bit depressing for this time of year, but it’s the reality I’m afraid…

      Like

  9. Topical, sadly. And all too common. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Really well portrayed for such a limited word count.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. When you think about it, it is such a sad fact that we live in such a beautiful world and still we do such bad things to one another. I liked the focal point of your story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree wholeheartedly. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. You caught the vision of the diner perfectly. BUT, a sad, sad story! Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I admit it’s a bit of a depressing story this week.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Heck, that’s ok. Wherever the muse takes us! Merry Christmas.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. 🙂 Merry Christmas

          Liked by 1 person

  13. Everyone is in festive mood but some are preparing for their next target. Happening everywhere. When will it end?

    Like

  14. Sadly this remind me of so many tragic events, and the powerlessness that good people feel following them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mike, I agree with the powerlessness, there seems to be no way to stop these things happening.

      Like

  15. I love your writing and your style but not the topic and I hope that’s alright. It’s too common these days. Sometimes I feel like I can’t take any more news about another shooting, but then I can. I start to feel numb and I hate that even more. Wishing you a Happy Holiday -forgive me my honesty.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for commenting, although I don’t think we should avoid writing about certain things because they make us upset or uncomfortable, especially when it is something that happens in life. I’ll make my next one a happier topic 🙂 Happy Holidays.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh Goodness never avoid these subject. Write about it whenever you feel like it. Some books or some stories have to hurt. I still read publications about WWII, sometimes, when I feel overwhelmed, then I have to close the book for a few days. But I always go back to reading afterward.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. It’s a sad, a horrible situation you write about. And as others say, timely and common. I think it’s important we write about it,. It is not hearing the story repeated that makes us numb to it. We do that ourselves when those people become a statistic not real human beings. Great write.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mandi, glad you appreciated what I was trying to do.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Chilling and all too real. Great piece!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. This story is far too near the knuckle for comfort – well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Liz, I’m glad it made an impression.

      Like

  19. Yet another American tragedy… They are too many to count. One day, we can dream, this will be a nightmare of the past and not a daily occurrence…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do hope so Dale, it’s not a happy story to tell, but sadly it is not unthinkable, it happens all too often. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Way too often…

        Liked by 1 person

  20. I’m not sure whether I’m the only Australian contributing to Friday Fictioneers but I am quite conscious of how different things are here reading through the stories. Bad things happen here too but we don’t have the heavy presence of guns and I’m sure that’s helped. We had a big shooting at Port Arthur many years ago and the Australian government almost immediately banned forms of automatic weapons.
    I am a firm believer in human kindness and the ability for the goodness in humanity to triumph over such horror. Indeed, as I write two sunflowers are flowering in my backyard which were salvaged from the crash site in the Ukraine where MH17 was shot down. An Australian journalist and photographer brought the seeds back via quarantine. You can read the story here: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2016/12/22/sunflower-a-christmas-miracle/
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

  21. sad thing to happen on what could have been a happy occasion.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I like the way you did this story. You stepped back and let it happen as a viewer. Very well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Very poignant and topical. Nice take on the prompt

    Liked by 1 person

  24. The mood is quite blue this Christmas. A topical take.
    Merry Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It certainly is. Maybe 2017 will be merrier. Happy Holidays 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Gosh such a tragic story. There are good people out there. A good man for staying open wanting to help if he can. So sad. Well told story

    Liked by 1 person

  26. An all-too-regular occurance it seems. The contrast of the bright lights and balloons against the tragedy nearby was particularly poignant.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. This has become so common place we are barely shocked anymore. Your story reminds us of the good.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Grisly, sad and only too timely.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. So sad… Well written.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Powerful and sad story that happens too much in real life. 😢

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for commenting. Afraid so.

      Like

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