TIMELESS REGRET

Battered by the elements he soldiered on.

The years had taken their toll on him, more so than the landscape around him. The erosion of the rocks and gnarling of the trees happened incrementally, while his own physical degradation had hit him in the blink of an eye.

He tramped over the fields and through the woods he knew so well from his youth. The years spent away from his childhood home had failed to erase the memories of playing here with his brother and sister. It felt empty without their laughter to accompany the swaying branches. and trampled damp ground.

He arrived at the upstanding rock in the clearing. With his fingers he traced the cracks and fissures in the surface. He scraped away green, fresh moss and uncovered the writing scratched into the surface.

‘Harry + Arrabelle’

Still here, long after that dream had faded. Those timeless days when they had been school sweethearts. How would his life had turned out of she had only said ‘yes.’

But she hadn’t, and her parents had insisted on involving the police. Statutory rape was the charge. He was 17, she was 15. He had never recovered from that first visit to prison. A life of petty crime, drug addiction and frequent visits at Her Majesty’s Pleasure had followed.

He’d never touched another woman, never known that feeling of love or carnal lust. Never would now. He coughed. Red-tinged mucus spattered across the damp rock. He wiped his face. His breathing was shallow, he could hear the wheeze of his chest as it struggled to gather air.

This seemed as good a place as any. He sat down beneath the rock, sheltered from the breeze, underneath the scratched words that marked the day his life took a different course.

That final timeless moment before darkness descended.


derbyshire-lambs-hawk-kestrel-crone-stone-tideswell-lillingstone-025
Copyright Sue Vincent

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

38 responses to “TIMELESS REGRET”

  1. So much life captured in such a small space. Very poignant!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That’s a real tragedy, Iain… and one to which many must have fallen victim. We need law, but is not always just.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Unfortunately sometimes the law can be an ass!

      Like

  3. A life wasted so terribly.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You’ve managed to create such strong emotion in such a short tale, great take on the prompt 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Kate, always appreciated 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a tragic story, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So sad. Young love, lost. Lives ruined. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Michele, much appreciated.

      Like

  7. A sad tale well told Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Excellent piece, Iain. Moving, compelling and poignant!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Jordy, always good to hear from you 🙂

      Like

    1. Such a compliment, thank you

      Like

  9. A tragic tale that shows how the law might need a human touch at times.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Emotion packed, and very poignant.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, Iain.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow! This just tears at the heart, filled with such emotion, and sadly not so fictional!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have all made mistakes in our youth, some worse than others, some punished more than others. Thank you!

      Like

      1. Very true! You are welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I like the way you’ve taken the timelessness of the stone to narrate the timeline of one life in so few words. Tragic, dark and, as Sue says, there are true fates within the fiction.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Antonia

      Liked by 1 person

  13. it is always so tragic when one event scars a person so deeply they cannot overcome it.. Very well penned Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

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