Blue Eyes

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

My wife clutches my arm. “Look! There’s Maddie!” She points into the Great Hall from the balustrade, her eyes firing bolts of desperation.

Maddie.

The word steals a beat of my heart, even ten years later. “Where?” I ask, ninety-nine percent obliging, one percent hopeful.

“In the blue blouse.” She leaves me and chases down the stairway. “Hurry! They’re headed out the door!”

The night our daughter was taken, dark despair devoured the light in Kate’s blue eyes. Dare I admit it? I miss the peace I once found in those eyes—almost as much as I miss Maddie.

The End
99 Words

Friday Fictioneers is a compilation of writers from around the world who gather online weekly, guided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The challenge? To write a story in 100 words or less based on a new photo prompt. Thanks to Roger Bultot for the photo. Beautiful as the Great Hall is, I couldn’t help but look into the crowd for inspiration.

To read more stories in an online flash fiction anthology by Friday Fictioneer authors, click:

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42 Responses to Blue Eyes

  1. neilmacdon says:

    There seems to be an uncompleted thought in that ending. I think this needed more than 100 words

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jan Morrill says:

      Neil, I sometimes struggle to find the right balance between saying too much and saying just enough. That’s one reason I like Friday Fictioneers–I don’t have much choice and it forces me to be sparse. But you’re right, I could have written a lot more here. Thanks for your comment!

      Like

  2. Dear Jan,

    A lot of story crammed into 100 words. The last line goes straight for the heart.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

  3. StuHN says:

    Can’t imagine what it would be like to have a child taken and always look for her/him.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great story here. You capture that desperate longing of forlorn hope really well. The spare style of this piece suits its subject.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jan Morrill says:

      I love Friday Fictioneers because it forces me to be spare with my words, Josh. Thank you for your comment. My goal was to capture the desperate longing, as well as the father’s guilt over longing to have his wife back almost as much as his daughter.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I like the 1 percent hopeful. That’s what keeps us going.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. James Pyles says:

    I remember this heartbreaking case. There are no words for that kind of pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Iain Kelly says:

    I wonder with the names if this is intentionally based on the real life Madeline McCann disappearance? A tragic case that has unfortunately been played out in the unforgiving British Press tabloids. That clinging on to hope is devastating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jan Morrill says:

      Yes, it is, Iain. I have to admit, I hesitated writing about it, because I’m aware of the abuse of this poor family for publicity’s sake. But it’s what came to mind when I saw the girl in the light blue shirt, and it’s something I always think about when a child goes missing. I agree with you completely about clinging to hope, because what else can a parent do?

      Liked by 2 people

  8. pennygadd51 says:

    You’ve written that beautifully, Jan. To manage that switch from Kate’s desperation to Gerry’s admission that he longs for peace, and realises that Kate can no longer give it to him, takes very skilful writing. Kudos!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have a loved one…especially a child to disappear. Well done on the prompt. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dale says:

    This is heartbreaking, Jan. I think it is easier to deal with the death of a child rather than the disappearance… the longing, the waiting, the hoping… I would hate to imagine it.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Joy Pixley says:

    Such a heartbreaking scenario. I’m not surprised she would see her lost child in the faces of others.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. truthsbyruth says:

    You are so good at these!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I wonder if you can ever get over something like that… a story we all know, and so much projected into the couple and their story.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. lisarey1990 says:

    A very heartbreaking tale beautifully written.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. jillyfunnell says:

    All they have left is a tiny sliver of hope. What a terrible way to have to live out a life. I think you told the story very well.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Jan,

    You left nothing out and the story was just right. And telling and true.

    And terrifying.

    Yours,

    D.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. yarnspinnerr says:

    This is a great take especially in view of the many children that go missing each year and are never traced.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I desperately hope it was Maddie.
    Your last line is poignant!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. It’s tough for the couple. And must be hard on their other children.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. AMelodyPearson says:

    Beautifully spare without losing any of the poignancy.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. A beautifully sad story of the loss of his daughter and how this loss changed his wife. Well written! =)

    Liked by 1 person

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