Every Sunday through that summer at eleven they had sat on the same bench, Patrice and his younger brother Henri, waiting while their parents attended church.
At five past eleven the fountain would spring into life as the gardener, Hervé, turned it on.
Father gave them a toy boat to sail around the pond. On the warmest days they would remove their shoes and paddle in after it.
They recognised a few regulars: Madame Durand, walking her ugly pug dog; Gustav with his rubbish cart, collecting the litter; Camille, making her way home after another Saturday night of work.
Patrice remembered them all clearly. He longed for those days of innocence.
The pond was still there, the water brown and filled with algae. The fountain no longer sprung into life. The bench, rotting and broken, was empty.
An old woman shuffled past. Could it be Camille, after all this time?
In the distance the church bells tolled, the funeral was about to begin. Patrice patted the spot where Henri had always sat next to him.
Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story or poem in around 150 – 175 words, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.
To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.