The curator scratched her head, while the museum porters waited for her decision.

‘Well, remove it of leave it?’ the surly head porter demanded.

They looked at the knotted tree branches atop the wicker chairs. She honestly couldn’t remember if it had been there before or not.

The Museum of Rural Life in Lumberton, North Carolina, had been abandoned to its fate when the storm came. Only now, after the flood waters had receded, were they allowed to return.

Much of the damage was superficial. The bigger permanent exhibits – the tractor room, the combine harvesters – needed layers of mud removed but little else.

She cursed the Modern Art Exhibition. ‘Life in Simpler Times’ was a collection of sculptures based on rural life in the early-20th century. Old bits of furniture in unusual positions, mixed with bits of trees at odd angles to make abstract compositions.

And now she was tasked with putting it back together. She had no idea what was storm debris and what belonged to the exhibit.

Then she had a brainwave. ‘Leave it all exactly as it is,’ she instructed.

Within a week the museum reopened with its new exhibition: ‘Storm Florence – A Memorial.’

Crowds gathered.

Copyright Fandango

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.


  1. Great take on the prompt Iain. The picture made me think of a stoey about pretentious art, but you’ve done it so much better than I could have. Incorporating the storm was a stroke of genius! The curator is a smart and creative woman – I wonder where she got that from?

    Liked by 1 person

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