Monday, 5 November 2012

Destiny




The picture is the prompt for this week's 100-word Challenge. The orange spot daubs trees that are to be felled to make way for the rest. It's an apt choice as our ash trees are incinerated, but it made me think of a worn leather album that records my family through the 1930 and 1940s.

There's the woman in uniform beaming in a field, a teenage Hercules posed in a loincloth and a girl in a garden with dramatic tumbling hair. 

Each died young and violently - the woman crushed during wartime training and the teenager electrocuted at work. The flowing-haired girl slit her throat. 

I gaze at their smiles and hunt for a portent - a sign in their eyes that they knew Fate had marked them. But they gaze gaily back, vitality frozen in sepia.

And now I fear future eyes finding my albums, studying the smiles of my children with the awful benefit of hindsight.  


30 comments:

  1. Oh Gosh, that is a SPOOKY thought. Long live our innocence. I keep meaning to join in this linky. Can we be really shallow?

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  2. That sent shivers up my spine. Of course I want to know more about the girls. Were they sisters? Were they your aunts? I also catch myself suddenly aware and afraid of how one's life can change in a second and the moment before you had no idea this would happen. I'm especially obsessed with this as DD is now exactly the age Madeleine McCann was when she disappeared. I keep looking at DD and cannot imagine what it must have been like for them.

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    1. The ATS woman was my grandfather's cousin. She was killed along with several other army recruits on Salisbury Plain when a mock gas canister fell from a plane while they were training. The other girl was some kind of cousin, I think, but not sisters. The young man was my father's first cousin. An only child killed at 18 on a factory shift. But most of our family lived log and contented lives. It's just this album with the three of them in that unnerves me.

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  3. A very scary history indeed. We should be happy that we don't know what future might give.

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    1. Needless to say, these are the only family members who've died premature and violent deaths as far as I know. Just happens that they all feature in this one album.

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  5. That was so evocative. It's probably a good thing we can't see the road life has mapped out for us, otherwise we might stay eternally locked behind our doors!

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    1. Never understood people wanting their fortunes told.

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  6. Fearing for my future, not a place I want to go - paralysis might set in. Evocative piece.

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  7. What a moving piece; more so with the story that lies behind it. Beautifully written.
    Oh dear, mine is so trivial in comparison :/
    Another piece that I am glad to have read.

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    1. I thought yours was lovely. Have always thought of particular trees as friends.

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  8. i wanted to burst into tears on reading this. one of my main fears, as my young son grows up and becomes himself, ever braver and more independent, is "what might happen". i just try to enjoy the moment, and hope that i live to see him grey, wrinkled and very happy.

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    1. It must be a fear instilled in us all by Nature. That's the worst thing about child-rering - the terror that you'll lose them.

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  9. G Sussex
    Very sad and moving

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  10. Oh dear. I am so scaredy and paranoid about anything happening to my children that I really shouldn't have read this. Can't you try to write badly for once?

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    1. I'm the same! It's at the back of my mind all the time as mine plan their future so trustingly.

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  11. Creepy and fantastic. I hate the idea of the children in your photo album having a similar fate though. Really chilling. Well done.

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  12. Ghostly, frightening and FANTASTIC. You have such a gift.

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  13. Very chilling! I love the spare nature of the writing.

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    1. Thank you. Don't have much choice when Julia only allows us 100 words!

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  14. Spooky. Maybe it's a good think we will never know...

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