Rockefeller, the Radio City Music Hall, one block over Fifth Avenue. All the famous sights of midtown Manhattan surround him as he trudges along the street.

He’s not interested in any of them. Not this time. When he first arrived he had been taken in by the glitz of the place. Not anymore.

Now he has one thing on his mind. Tourists bump into him, too busy looking up at the bright lights. They miss out on the humanity on the street. That’s what used to define New York, not the buildings.

St Patrick’s looms up. More cameras and gawkers. When had the cathedral become a tourist destination instead of a place of worship? Did anyone still go there to attend a service?

His stomach churns. Hunger or stress? He feels sickness rise but keeps it down. If he can just get there in time.

Finally he sees the sign. He starts to relax. The city falls away behind him as he opens the door. Dee is behind the bar as usual, Rusty propped up on a stool watching the baseball. All is as it should be.

‘Double Scotch, Dee,’ his usual Friday evening greeting. Another working week over.

Copyright Susan Spaulding

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

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

19 responses to “A MANHATTAN TALE”

  1. Sanctuary, his cathedral. A large one for me too Dee!

    Click to read my SunPhoFic!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Waiting for you at the bar Keith 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great description of what whisky hunger can do to a man

    Liked by 1 person

  3. He no longer sees glitz, the extraordinary becomes common in a place after a while. He’s a 9-5 guy looking for the solace of routine. My favorite line, “…looking up at the bright lights. They miss out on the humanity on the street.” Hope you have a nice week ahead! =)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Brenda – more of the 9 – 5 grind for me! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. He could have gone into Radio City and tried out for the Rockette’s. Good stress relief. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. When he first arrived, he had been taken in by the glitz of the place. Now he finds comfort in the bottle. A trade of one deception for another. Nicely done, Iain

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I enjoyed reading this. I used to live in New York and I remember the hustle and bustle. It’s true, that places lose their glitter, their purpose, their meaning. And tourists in most cities, visit cathedrals as part of the tourist attractions, not to worship. Very realistic story with comments on how society has changed. Well done, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, very kind


  7. As a native of New York City, I say “well done!” I can testify that if you are born in the city, you become like this man early in your life, in many cases.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Alana 🙂


  8. You get so dependent on routine in a big city that even the de-stressing is part of a routine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We all need to de-stress somehow.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. A great build of tension and build to something that doesn’t happen. Obviously this week has been a tough one for your protagonist.


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