SANCTUARY

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.


sanctuary
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”

  1. This left me chuckling, Iain…and sympathetic 🙂 Been there…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sue – I’m going to be there this weekend – wish me luck! 🙂

      Like

      1. Luck, earplugs and tranquilisers, Iain 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I used to dread them 🙂 Nice build up to the balloon bursting 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m still living with them, one coming up this weekend!

      Like

      1. You have my deepest sympathies.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice story Iain. You wait till you’re going to secondary school concerts – they last forever!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great – can’t wait! 🙂

      Like

  4. Been there, done that but it makes me think about the anxiety that PTSD sufferers must go through over the simple things. Deep one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Janet – interesting you got that from it. It can be taken as a light-hearted piece or with much more darker tones. You are right, for some this could be a truly traumatic experience.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am a medical transcriptionist by profession and I do a lot of reports about people who suffer from PTSD so maybe that’s why I thought of it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It absolutely fits in with the story, a different perspective is good to here.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Could be worse. Could be at “Chuck E Cheese.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We don’t have that pleasure over here, but plenty of similar venues.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 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

      2. Now that sounds like something I would do for my birthday! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Your story created a smile on my face, nicely done! Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Cecilia, I’m happy it gave you a smile 🙂

      Like

  7. Loved the twist! Great story. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Nice twist. Not what I expected – nice structure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, glad it managed to surprise.

      Like

  9. 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

    1. Thank you! Glad it gave you a laugh 🙂

      Like

  10. I once lived across the street from an elementary school where screams and howling were everyday occurrences. I had to move!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, they can be very loud 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Beautifully done. I imagined a cowering child, before he ventured out to be harangued by his own children.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sarah Ann 🙂

      Like

  12. This one made me smile… Iain. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad it made you smile! Thanks Norma 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. 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

    1. I was at one today as well, fortunately I didn’t need sanctuary – it was very loud though 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Same here, so loud! ☺ Seemed like everyone had fun so it was a success. And my kids were so tired that they slept in an extra hour this morning!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. *Hahahahaha!* 😀 What a brilliant story!

    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: