AFTER HAMELIN

‘Car keys?’ he asked the woman sprawled on the ground, arm fishing around down the drain.

‘House keys.’ She looked up, squinting at the silhouette of the man. He was dressed in red and orange checks.

‘Perhaps I can help?’

She pulled herself up. ‘Feel free.’

Instead of getting down to look in the drain, the man took out a flute, and began playing a jaunty ditty.

The woman heard faint squeaking. A wave of scurrying approached. A wave of brown and black fur swept out of the drain. A sea of rats.

The tone from the flautist changed. The rats stopped, turned and disappeared down the drain. Left behind on the road was a selection of keys, rings, mobile phones, money and one bloodied knife.

Her red ‘I ‘heart’ Paris’ key ring stood out. She picked up her keys. ‘Thank you.’

‘You’re welcome.’

‘I should give you something,’ she dug out her wallet and handed him a ten euro note.

‘How refreshing,’ the piper smiled. ‘Do you have any children?’

‘Two,’ she answered, unsure of the question.

‘Tonight, keep them locked securely in their room.’ He doffed his cap and skipped away playing another tune on his flute.


217-11-november-12th-2017
Copyright A Mixed Bag

Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction. Write a story of around 200 words based on the photo prompt given (above). Hosted by Al Forbes. For more details visit HERE.

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

35 responses to “AFTER HAMELIN”

  1. Well that’s not ominous at all!

    After the last line though, I was so tempted to say, “What a nice guy.” But I can’t quite figure out if that statement is true.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, I wouldn’t trust him…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful, Iain, I love it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Good one Iain. You sent me in the wrong direction (on purpose I expect), making me think the woman would become a victim herself, then surprised me with the bad guy doing a good thing before presumably doing a very bad thing later on. It was a good ride on an emotional rollercoaster.
    This reminded me of the rash of urban myths that sprang up a while ago, on the lines of someone picks up and returns a stranger’s wallet and the stranger advises him to stay away from a particular place that evening. The place is subsequently bombed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Yes, he is a bad guy, but only to those that wrong him in the first place. A criminal with a conscience.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting take. My imagination is running wild. At least he warns her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you treat him fairly, he will see you right 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So, the Pied Piper is well and living in Glasgow! Nice one Iain

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not so much living as passing through! Thanks Keith.

      Like

  6. I kept thinking that that something unfortunate might happen to the woman! Great twist. Nicely done!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Good one Iain. You had us fooled until the end

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a bright write! Nicely done

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Nice misdirection there, though the title gives it away a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I wasn’t particularly trying to hide anything or have a big reveal of the character, although from reading some of the other comments, perhaps the Pied Piper isn’t as well known a story or character these days.

      Like

  10. Wow, never know what is going to happen in your stories. Glad my kids are grown or I’d be concerned.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Janet. Definitely not a good time to be a child if the Piper pays a visit to town…!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. The old pied piper tale always had an ominous note to it, and this one follows that vein. At the end I’m still wondering, “was the tenner insulting to him, or a pleasure and thus deserving of the warning?” If I were her I think I’d take the children completely out of town! A really imaginative story, Iain. I enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. It is a really creepy legend, isn’t it? One to scare the kids with for sure. I agree, get out of town quick. Glad you liked it.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Here I thought he was going to be helpful but now he’s off to stealing children again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A leopard never changes it’s spots…

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I think this is my favourite of your stories ever. Very inventive Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for saying so Louise 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Oooooo … nice 😀
    Twisty, turny and just dark enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Awww, rats!! Good story Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Great story. Love the modern version of the Pied Piper.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: