Left, left, left, right, left. Back straight, arms swinging at the shoulder, crisp, clean steps.

He would drum it into these natives if it killed him. No good roads, that was the problem. Didn’t live in proper houses. Didn’t wear any clothes, half of them. The whole place needed civilising.  Her Majesty’s army would soon lick this lot into shape.

He must keep marching. Everyday leaving camp and following the same route around Port Vila.

Left, left, left, right, left. Under the feverish sun.


At the start they had pushed him to the ground, kicked and beaten him. Then they had laughed.

Now they ignored him. Some thought they should contact London.

In the end they decided he was harming no one. He seemed happy enough carrying on his own routine, deliriously barking at the soldiers who existed only in his eccentric mind.

He served to remind them of the freedom they had won.

Image: Google Earth

Linking up with the prompt at What Pegman Saw. The task is to write a story in 150 words or less based on the destination that Pegman is visiting. This week’s destination is the South Pacific islands of Vanuatu.

You can read other stories based on the prompt HERE.


To find out more about my novels by following the links below:

21 responses to “LEFT BEHIND”

  1. Reminds me of the Japanese soldiers who kept fighting for decades after the war was over. There’s something that drives such people and it’s a hard one to fathom. Well told, Iain

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sort of sad and poignant.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great depiction of the colonial mindset. I like how the ending is sort of a Robinson Crusoe in reverse. Well done


  4. Very interesting story! A well-regimented mind does not always live in reality.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reality is not well-regimented, so anyone with a mind like that is bound to struggle! Thank you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The change in perspective from the first to send part is really effective. Great storytelling.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. My attitude towards him changed when I read the twist at the end. Well done, though now I feel sad for him.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great switch at the mid-point, shedding a whole new light on the main character. Beautifully crafted, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow. Didn’t see that coming at first. Sad in a way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, yes, I think his personal story is a tragedy.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow, really great. I was at a loss until I realized I hadn’t finished the story. Sad and yet triumphant, he has purpose in his life, perhaps more than most.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A single purpose at least makes things simple for him and uncomplicated – there’s a lot to be said in that!


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