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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 is supplied by PricelessJoy


by John Yeo

The village church was sinking, substinence was having a devastating effect on the foundations. The venerable priest was desperately trying to raise funds.
Many of the villagers had found peace and comfort here. For several generations their families shared many memories of the little church. Travellers and the needy were always welcomed and some even depended on the church for help and sustenance.
Esme, a very unkempt elderly lady who somehow resembled a large bundle of rags, sat on the church steps every Sunday. Sadly she was reviled and shunned by some who ignored her pleas for mercy and a few coins for food. The priest always arranged for a little food and water to be left for her, sometimes a few pieces of used clothing.
One very cold day in winter Esme was found dead on the church steps. When they searched her meagre possessions, a very dirty envelope was found addressed to a local solicitor. To the amazement of all, Lady Esmerelda Pierce was a very eccentric wealthy writer, she had bequeathed her entire estate to the little village church.

(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:



23 thoughts on “ESMERELDA

  1. And I bet if they’d known her real background, those who reviled and shunned her would have been fawning all over her. At least the priest was kind and the church will get much-needed renovation so it can continue to be a place of comfort to the villagers.

  2. A sad story which leaves me wanting to know more about Lady Esmerelda. It would be interesting to know why she shunned her wealthy existence – although it wouldn’t be the first time that a rich person has done so. She evidently found great comfort sitting on the church steps, despite being reviled by the unkind villagers. And it’s good to know that the priest took pity on her and treated her kindly. 🙂
    (When I first saw your title, I thought the story was going to be about the Hunchback of Notre Dame! Good choice of name, Esmeralda.) Lovely story, John. 🙂

  3. Prime example of someone who has everything they need but not necessarily the thing they want! I think she was seeking compassion and did indeed receive that from the priest. Bless her and the priest! Great story.💒

    • Exactly Donna ~ A great way to be remembered ~ Appreciating the warmth of the caring ~ I suspect she was a very antisocial type who once was a great writer.

  4. I wrote my comment accidentally on the Mysterious Island post! Hope you will read it and understand my distracted mind. The older we get, the more easily distracted! I liked this so much and it was a poignant story with a message to be kind to everyone, as much as possible. Poor Esmerelda!

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