THE LAMPLIGHTER

He struggled to push the cart through the thick snow and cursed winter, the short days and the long nights.

He leaned his ladder against a lamppost and climbed. The gas ignited and a shivering orange glow lit the white scene.

White and red.

The body lay under a nearby tree. He scared a fox away as he approached it.

A woman. The Ripper again?

The crunch of footsteps in the snow. A passing policeman.

‘Officer!’ He waved to get his attention.

Too late, he noticed the stain of red on the uniform, illuminated by the orange glow from the lamp.


Copyright Dale Rogerson

Written for Friday Fictioneers 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.


78 responses to “THE LAMPLIGHTER”

  1. A timely story, Iain. It made me think of the drunk cop who assaulted the woman in Bidford last week

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Neil, glad you made the connection to recent events.

      Like

  2. You’ve written it so well, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I thought immediately of the Met officer in Kent.
    Neat story too, Iain

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks CE, the intention was deliberate.

      Like

  4. Terrible moment. Poor man.
    Hope he is not falsely implicated in her murder!
    What to do & whom to trust when those who are supposed to protect the law, flout the rules?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A very apt question for today. Thanks Anita.

      Like

  5. Dear Iain,

    Knowing nothing about recent events in Kent, I still thought it was an atmospheric, well-constructed piece.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rochelle, it was written to make sense with or without the knowledge of recent events (a woman was killed while walking home late at night in London and her body found in Kent a week later, a police officer has been charged with her murder).

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Timely piece. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I did not expect the link, to the sad event in Kent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Michael, it can be read with or without the link in mind, but it was a reflection of it.

      Like

  8. Ooo now that’s a twist. I guess he’s next?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s unlikely our killer is going to let him walk away unscathed!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hope the better man wins. It would make a great novel.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Well done in every way–atmospheric, suspenseful, and very disturbing. In the US we’ve been overwhelmed with violence yet again–and distrust of police plays a large part.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely the same here, although I do try and temper my thoughts on the police with the caution that their actions in many cases are dictated from the lawmakers and leaders who set the tone for what follows.

      Like

      1. You’re so right about that, Iain–what we’re hearing as this “trial of the century” is about to begin here, the defense will include that the officer was “following procedure”…but too bad a man had to die. There need to be changes in the system.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Ooops… I hope Mr. Lamplighter is a good sprinter! It is difficult when those who are supposed to protect become those who we need to be protected from…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A quandary that is prevalent to this day. Thanks Trent.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Good twist at the end! I hope the lamplighter is able to escape!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sadly, I don’t fancy his chances in the snow! Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Sad for a life lost.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by.

      Like

  13. It’s a sorry situation when we need protecting from those who should protect us. A timely take Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Keith – a sorry mess we’re in indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh now this is a drabble that starts with a full-on run!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Liz, glad you liked it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I like this take on the Ripper which you’ve set up so brilliantly. What better camouflage than as a policeman, perhaps even a real policeman?! A better theory than Prince Albert anyway :>)

    Like

    1. Ha, yeah, I’m not buying the Prince Albert theory at all. Thanks Dora.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. It’s not just the snow that leaves a cold sense of foreboding. I think he’s just lit his last lamp.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For sure, thanks Linda.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Iain, you wrote this just right. The ending, where he saw the blood on the uniform in the orange light, was truly chilling.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Very kind.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh what a horrible thing to discover. And very timely, from the comments (didn’t hear about it on this side of the pond).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dale. The incident itself has gone on to cause a lot of protests, particularly by woman, which has led to further controversy with the police. It has not been handled at all well by those in charge – as we are becoming used to.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh man… police brutality of all sorts happening all over the world. Not a good thing.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Wow! What a twist! I like it!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. An idyllic scene, sudden not so idyllic after all. Good one!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. You really build up the atmosphere, Iain, right into the twist at the end.What a good story. And yes, the sad parallel with our day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, much appreciated.

      Like

  22. How unfortunate that kindness is so easily disregarded under ignorance of assumption.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ignorance and assumption are two of the biggest blights on our society today.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are not kidding =(

        Like

  23. Shudder, shudder … and not from the cold …
    Well crafted, Iain! (and … I don’t like that policeman….)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, nobody does! Thanks so much.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Very apt, and very relevant unfortunately. Brilliant stuff Iain

    Liked by 1 person

  25. The very person who’s supposed to keep us safe… very topical.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I hadn’t read about the Kent incident. Still, the story made an impact. Well written, Kelly.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Good timely story – my world has been rocked in recent years by the realisation that we cannot automatically trust the police.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s going to take them a long time, if ever, to rebuild the sort of trust they once had with the public.

      Like

  28. The first line took me to Wow! a story about a lamplighter, what fun! then the horrid idea of a dead body was presented. So very well don.

    Like

  29. a murderer in uniform. he’ll be caught for sure but when is the question.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But will he? He now has a lamplighter to frame!

      Liked by 1 person

  30. A well written story with topical resonances sadly.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Uh-oh. Maybe that’s why he never got caught. Well written.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s one theory for sure. Thanks Anne

      Like

  32. Yikes! Wonderful story!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Whoops! Lovely story.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Perfect pacing and excellent twist. You squeezed a lot into that. I hadn’t heard about the murder in Kent but was still able to enjoy the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Ooooo oh oh. The killer may have another body this week. Well done

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Very topical, between the trial of George Floyd’s killer in America and the policeman accused of killing Sarah Everard. The shivering orange glow was particularly nice. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, yes, a reflection on modern times.

      Like

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