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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96 thoughts on “HUGO

  1. 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

    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’ 🙂

      Like

  2. 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. 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

    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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 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

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