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Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers ~ Writing challenge. The goal is to write a story between 100-150 words (give or take 25 words) based on the provided photo.


This week’s photo prompt is from pricelessjoy.


by John Yeo

Potts, the park attendant was an overbearing man, a stickler for rules and regulations. He came down hard on dog-walkers who allowed their pets to foul the footpath. Litter louts were frowned on and ordered to place the despised rubbish in a bin.

 Several notices around the lake requested people not to feed the ducks. Every day Potts caught sight of a little old lady on a bench by the water-side with a bag full of bread feeding the ducks. Potts would continually remonstrate without effect as she would completely ignore him and feed the ducks. One day Potts sat next to her and tried to reason with her. “The bread attracts rats and vermin which are a danger to children, who are vulnerable to disease.”

 The old lady turned to him with a wry smile and said: “Son, you will never make me stop, these birds are my family, I have nothing except the cancer that is eating away my soul. Hard-hearted Potts wept as his Mother continued to feed her ducks.

(174 words)

Copyright (c) Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

This is in response to a challenge hosted by Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. If you would like to participate in this challenge or need more information, please click the following link:


20 thoughts on “THE BENCH

  1. Good story, John, though rather sad. I like the twist at the end. 🙂 I also think that more park keepers should be like Potts – he does his job in keeping the park clean and safe. even though he comes across as hard-hearted because of it.

    • Yes Louise ~ I agree there is a great need for more people like Potts to keep the world running smoothly, sadly there will always be litter louts and other uncaring people around. Thanks for reading this and responding.

  2. A sad story this time, John, which you have written very effectively. I love the unexpected ending. 🙂 Most parks I’ve visited in recent years have ‘Do nor feed the ducks’ signs, so I suppose that ‘hard-hearted’ Potts was just doing his job.

    • Yes, sadly there is a need for Mr Potts and more power to him. It would be a very unruly, untidy environment without him and his fellows. Thanks for reading and responding.

    • I think the duck branch of the family is a late addition and is classed as company in a lonely old age ~ Thanks for your lovely comment Ellespeth ~

  3. Pingback: The Creative Blogger Award!! | Izzy-grabs-life

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