HUGO

Paris, 1829.

Victor hastened along the snow-covered street.  A warm fireside awaited him. Soon he would be surrounded by dear Adèle and his children, no doubt excited by the late snowfall.

Excusez-moi monsieur, a few francs for a veteran?’ The beggar held out his hand.

Victor drew back, revulsed at the sight of the disfigured man in a tattered uniform, his posture skewed by the unsightly hump growing from his shoulder.

Saying nothing, Victor hurried passed.

Arriving at his front door he paused for a moment and looked fondly, as he always did, at Notre Dame, dominating the skyline, watching over the city below.


Notre_Dame_de_Paris_by_night_time

winter-street-dale
Copyright Dale Rogerson

Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.


My first novel, ‘A Justified State,’ is available now
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97 responses to “HUGO”

  1. So that’s where he got the idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Possibly… probably not!

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  2. Very timely piece Iain. Nice write.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nicely topical piece, Iain, though rather harsh on M. Hugo, who created Quasimodo with some sympathy.

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    1. This is, of course, fictional, and I like to think he would have pondered on his reaction and then written with sympathy in mind.

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  4. Dear Iain,

    Timely piece. An interesting take on Hugo and Quasimodo. Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rochelle – it has been on my mind the last couple of days!

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      1. As it has been on many of our minds this week. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Topical at the moment. I like the contrast between the beggar, Victor and the church (I’m assuming he is Christian and ignoring being charitable).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you – all fiction of course. Although brought up a devout Catholic Hugo later turned his back on religion, so maybe he was having conflicting thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I have a hunch that Victor is heading home to his writing desk!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. He may have an idea…!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Little did he know the iconic building he loved would be burning very soon. Really good use of the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, a few hundred years later, but yes, that’s what makes it such a tragedy, so much history encapsulated in one building.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This fit right into the recent news, Iain. I imagine Victor saw many poor ex-servicemen around Paris who could have served as models for his hunchback. I like to think he was kinder than this character. He seemed to write with empathy. Well written. —- Suzanne

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    1. I’m sure he was, thanks Suzanne

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Poignant.
    And on another note… I just realized that all these years I have been calling you Lain, when your name is Iain. My apologies. How do you pronounce that?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, don’t worry Dawn, you are by no means the only one! Tends to be in America I think, where Lain is a more common name. Iain is a Scots-Gaelic name (translates to ‘John’ in English), pronounced the same as Ian in English – so ‘e-in’ 🙂

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      1. Wonderful. Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Great tale and so timely.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I, too, like to think he thought back to his original revulsion to then write a more gentle take on the beloved Quasimodo…
    Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. An atonement of sorts. Thanks Dale

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I hope the real Victor was a bit more decent than this one. Nice timely literary fiction

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gosh, we are a soft-hearted bunch! I’m sure he was a decent man, but equally I’m sure he didn’t stop for every single beggar in Paris in the 1800s!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No that would be too hard so seen from that point of view he was probably about average

        Liked by 1 person

  13. A poignant story, well-crafted as always. It takes time to see and to care. The last line made me sad. My family and I stayed up until 3:00 am (Hong Kong time) watching … stunned.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s not great, but fortunately it seems it can be restored.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True, at least it will be restored. I’m glad to have visited several times before.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. I enjoyed reading this, Iain. I’m a big fan of Victor Hugo. My favorite novel by him is Les Misérables. I too would like to think that he sort of redeemed himself when he wrote about Quasimodo, a gentle and endearing soul. And it’s a timely piece. So devastating and sad about the Notre Dame.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is such a tragedy, but thankfully one that seems to have been averted from complete destruction

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it’s a relief that it’s not completely destroyed. And there have been pledges to help to rebuild it. On a lighter note, Victor’s wife and I share the same name, although I spell me sans the accent.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Ah, an historical piece, I see – since Notre Dame burned down. Poor hunchback doesn’t even have a home left.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s true, hope Quasimodo is okay!

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  16. Such a clever way to use the Paris disaster, Iain. Well done.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Great theme! Prayers in Paris.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. There is no escape from the dual nature of humans. So sad he cherishes a building more than the well-being of a human in need. Good story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is some parallel in the amount of money pledged by rich billionaires to restore Notre Dame, but they don’t seem willing to place the same value on human tragedy around the world – although I think the real Hugo was far from that sort of person in real life.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Do you think he was just blind?

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Maybe there will be a renewed interest in reading or rereading the H of ND. I wonder will Hugo see the beggar again and ask him his story?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It certainly may spark some inspiration. It is a great novel.

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  20. Great take on the prompt, Iain and nice mention of one of Hugo’s classics. I liked that you mentioned Notre Dame. Hugo’s fondness for it is shared by many.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It certainly is, as we have seen this week.

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  21. We thought along similar lines this week, as did half the world, I think. I like how the seed of this story was planted by a chance encounter. And how trueit is, that it is easier to be kind to strangers in our imaginations, than in real life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I imagine we all probably think we are nicer than we actually act!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. It’s such a tragedy, Paris doesn’t seem to be able to catch a break over the last few years. Its one of our favourite cities, and during our first and only visit there, my wife and I decided that we HAVE to come back again to do it justice. Don’t know when it will happen now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do look forward to returning to Paris again soon, it is a magnificent city.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. A chance encounter leads to a novel…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If only it were that easy…!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, Iain.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. A nicely sad tribute. We have lost a grand piece of history, indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have, hopefully it can be saved.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. So Victor met with his hunch back!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Inspiration comes in all forms.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. What a great story for right now. Well done! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I believe you have captured both the topical mood around the Notre-Dame fire and the sentiments of Victor Hugo. His upbringing as an ‘Army Brat’ shaped his human right attitudes and hardened his views against Napoleon. His reaction to the veteran beggar in a tattered uniform is to me understanable and perhaps a prelude to his change of heart in Les Miserables.

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    1. Exactly, his views changed considerably between his two masterpieces

      Liked by 1 person

  28. a timely story. well-written as usual.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Good stuff Iain as ever and incredibly poignant with the awful news from this week. Like the bionic man they will rebuild, they have the technology. I imagine the new Notre Dame will be a sight to behold, when done. Paris rocks!! Vive la France

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hopefully the new roof will be fireproof!

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  30. Aha! Fascinating. Amazing how great ideas just come to us. Haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If only they came to me so easily! 🙂

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  31. Totally believable story till the last line brings in the void-
    I am really sorry for Notre Dame.
    We cannot afford to lose our heritage monuments.

    Out Of Sight & Out Of This World – Anita

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, they tell us so much about the past.

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  32. Very clever, Iain. Maybe Victor met the beggar more than once and had second thoughts about him–then hit his writing desk. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That would be the ideal outcome 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  33. A wonderful story about a great author and the beggar who was the inspiration for a beloved character. And I liked that you mentioned Notre Dame.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much – certainly an inspirational place.

      Like

  34. Very good. It’s fascinating how life and fiction are interwoven. I like how you’ve explored the links here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Margaret, nothing is truly original after all, we’re all influenced by what is around us – perhaps not quite as directly as this!

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Very clever indeed. But probably a true story. Was dinner served by his maid Esmeralda?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Or perhaps that was the name of the cat 😉

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  36. Victor’s revulsion at the hunchback was palpable – very well-written! His novel could very well have been inspired by such an encounter. An excellent, timely take on the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Who knows! Thanks 🙂

      Like

  37. A nice tribute to the cathedral and a classic tale!

    Liked by 1 person

  38. A thoughtful piece, and sadly now evil has visited Sri Lanka.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It seems there is no end to it Michael

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  39. A wonderfully imaginative take on the prompt and on the inception of Quasimodo. Great writing as always and as others have said, so timely

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Creative, timely and clever. And very well done.

    -Rachel

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Rachel

      Like

  41. Oh how my heart aches for the loss! I love how you wove Victor and Adele Hugo into this, Lain! Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

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