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.

© 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”

    • 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

  1. 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,


    Liked by 1 person

    • 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


  2. 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

    • 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

      • 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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:
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

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