THE DISAPPEARED

P for Protection. That’s what he thought anyway, huddled under the El track. Every ten minutes the shudder of the metal stanchion and the clackety roar reminded him he was still alive.

Frank from the Pizza place came out and nodded to him. Handed him a coffee and a leftover slice. Their evening routine. ‘Any luck today?’ Frank always asked.

He always shook his head. Not today, maybe tomorrow. Always maybe one day in the future. She might come back, she might step off the El and stop at Frank’s for a coffee. Like they used to do.

Maybe one day.

Copyright Ted Strutz

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, visiHERE.

62 responses to “THE DISAPPEARED”

  1. Poor man…I can sense his loneliness and vulnerability. I wonder how long he’s been waiting there. Lucky he’s got such a good friend in Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very sad, but thank god for people like Frank. Perhaps he’s known a similar love, once upon a time…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks Liz, an interesting thought – Frank may know what he is going through – I like that idea.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you Margaret. I get the feeling it’s been a while.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the reblog 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙏 You are welcome, Iain! I hope all is right. Best wishes, Michael

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Such yearning. Hope can be a cruel mistress.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But it’s what keeps us going. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Iain,

    So much longing in this piece. Perhaps it’s time for him to move on. Nicely done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rochelle. I wonder if it will be Frank that has the heart to tell him one day…

      Like

  4. What a lonely waiting. I don’t think the person he is waiting for is ever going to return. I hope, though, that Frank doesn’t give up on him. Alana ramblinwitham

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Alana. It does seem a little hopeless, but I don’t see him giving up.

      Like

  5. Hari Om
    …and a delicious slice you served us, Iain! YAM xx
    W=Window

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much 🙂

      Like

  6. Lovely piece Iain.
    Good luck with the new book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Di, we’ll see how it goes, hopefully finds a few readers.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautifully done, Iain. I felt the rumble of the train

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Neil, much appreciated

      Like

  8. Really lovely, Iain. Touching, heartfelt stuff. A little tragedy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Lynn, always lovely to hear from you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Life can be sad… but perhaps fate intends a different future for him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Michael – maybe so.

      Like

  10. A very poignant story. Hopefully something good will happen. Thank goodness for Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much – there is always that glimmer of hope! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Such a poignant story Iain

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Nicely done Iain. I could feel his loneliness through your words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mike, much appreciated

      Like

  13. Sad, the feeling of loneliness is palpable. I wonder what happened to her . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sascha. I have a few ideas…

      Like

  14. Nice use of the cafe in your story as a place of memories and maybe future meeting.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank heavens for such allies. Good story, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re very welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Making me cry with this one! Have to believe one day someone new will get off the train and kindle a new love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a nice thought. Thank you.

      Like

  17. One can always stay hopeful! Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Great. You’ve encapsulated the history and a comraderie very well.
    I love it when the local business reaches out to those in need.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They do rally round in a time of crisis. Thanks Trish.

      Like

  19. Maybe. Will she? Maybe not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He can but hope and wait. Thanks Keith

      Liked by 1 person

  20. i guess, hope springs eternal. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We need more of it at the moment!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Bet the wait will be long.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But will it be worth it? Thanks Danny

      Like

  22. What a moving story, Iain. I can feel his longing and the hope he has that she would return one day. I hope for his sake that she does. Great friend, that Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Such a poignant story, Iain. We judge those who cheat and are disloyal and then you get folk like this character who never let go. I feel his pain and sorrow. I am so grateful for the Franks of this world. We need more of them. They usually fly under the radar and don’t seek glory but they are life savers doing what many of us would like to do.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rowena. Here’s to more Franks 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Maybe she’ll be back… depending on how and why she disappeared in the first place. Sad mood but with a bit of hope through the friendly gesture from the coffee shop owner.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. It’s amazing how little can sometimes be enough to knock a whole life off-course. I fear she won’t be back, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I fear not, thanks Penny

      Liked by 1 person

  26. One can hope, but not forever. One must move on with life, eventually. One hopes. I enjoyed the scene setting, Iain. Creative.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Wow, a lot of lost hope here yet it still feels somewhat hopeful at the end. Well written Iain!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Sometimes, we have to cling to hope like a liferaft because that’s exactly what it is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true. Thank you

      Liked by 1 person

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