He cowered in the shadows.

Outside he could hear the screams and the howling.

The others had left him. They promised to return by nightfall.

Until then he was on his own.

Footsteps pounded past the opening. He held his breath until they faded away.

How long did he have left? How long before they found him?

He felt hungry and thirsty but he dared not leave his sanctuary.

Then he heard the piercing cry.

He had no choice now. He had to leave and confront them.

He approached the doorway, blinking as he emerged into the bright sunlight.

They spotted him instantly.

‘Dad,’ Maisie cried, running over. ‘Sammy just pulled my hair and stole my ice-cream.’

‘Did not,’ Sammy shouted, ‘it was mine to start with.’

Around him swirled a perpetual whirlwind of energy  as the group of eight-year-olds played, fought, chased, wrestled and laughed.

He jumped as a balloon popped behind him, followed by loud squeals of delight.

He never thought he would live in fear of a children’s birthday party.

Copyright Sue Vincent

This is a response to the Thursday Photo Prompt – Sanctuary curated over at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Click on the link to read other stories inspired by the image.

37 responses to “SANCTUARY”

      • I figured you probably had some equally obnoxious kiddie environments. Last year for my grandson’s eighth birthday, my son arranged for the party at a movie theater with private rooms. The movie was shown in a regular theater, but they also served special meals and had a party room for the celebration before and after the film. No muss, no fuss.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. LOVE THIS! Thanks for the laughter and the surprise twist, Ian. I just knew he was hiding from soldiers…but a birthday party full of 8-year-olds can indeed be scary.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hahaha, I attended a children’s birthday party today so this was a fun read! And lucky for the dad of the birthday boy, us other parents stayed at the roller skating rink and looked after our own kids ☺

    Liked by 1 person

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