2015 A to Z – F – Fiction from the Letter F – Final Exit for Fred

Welcome to the Fiction Playground! It is Day 6 and we are suffering through some heavy rain for the day. I am glad I have a job that requires me to stay indoors on such a we. t day, soggy As you know, I have enlisted the assistance of two friends to make this more of a fun effort. One, named Chris Duncan is a fiction editor for a literary journal. He has graciously agreed to deliver unique prompts tied to each letter of the alphabet. I will only pull these out the day they are to be posted so i do not have time to think about a potential story.

Keeping in the family theme I also partnered with Chris’ daughter, Hannah, a budding photographer. Hannah has just recently completed a showing of her work at a local gallery and is in the trumpet section of the local high school band with my daughter. I love the unique perspective Hannah has in her photography and asked Chris to coordinate pictures of hers with the prompts he chose for me. Below you can see a picture of the three of us during a recent band trip to Chicago for the Saint Patrick’s Day parade. I am on the right, which of course leaves Chris to the left and Hannah as the rose between the thorns.


I invite you to return each day to see Chris’ brilliant prompts, Hannah’s beautiful pictures and my fiction concoctions tied to each unique prompt.


Day 6 – Final exit for Fred

copyright – Hannah Duncan 2015

Fred thought it would be okay coming to the fun house after everyone had left for the day. He was naturally curious and just wanted to know how things worked. There was a lot to ponder on that composed the guts of the fun house and Grandpa Willis always said to understand what made you curious you had to learn how it worked. Fred crept up the steps to the pier, watching to make sure no one was around. He saw the sign that warned that there should be no one trespassing after 6 P.M., but he wasn’t here for mischief, so he thought it would be okay.

Since it was near the heart of summer plenty of sunlight lit up the place, allowing him to marvel at all there was to see. His fingers traced the gears and levers used to make the fun house “fun” and his mind worked diligently to understand what he saw. He could already see himself either working here to make all this happen or creating his own in another place. Either way Fred felt like his future was settled.

He stopped to listen when he thought he heard someone speak. He twisted his head left and right, willing the sound to come again. He made his breathing quiet as he searched for any proof another was nearby. When he saw the shadow pass the window he stopped breathing altogether for a brief minute. Suddenly his rationalization about being here did not seem so solid. If it was old Officer Nells he wouldn’t care what the reason, he would make an issue of him being here.

Fred kicked off his flip flops and inched his way toward the door he entered. As he approached he could see the shadow moving that way. That exit was out, he thought. Quietly he moved to each possible escape, but either Nells was thinking like him or they were permanently secure, because his options were dwindling fast. Suddenly it came to him. The giant corkscrew slide. He looked at the distance between where he was and the opening for his guaranteed escape. It looked like forty feet, but it seemed more like forty yards. He could hear Officer Nells rattling a chain and lock and knew he had to go now.

Fred dashed across the open space, running as hard as possible for the opening to the slide. He saw the doors part, flooding the room with the direct sunlight from the Western side of the building and giving him the briefest of reprieves as Nells could only make out a form and not his face.


Fred dove into the opening of the slide and rattled down the length of its curling length to land in the soft warm sand below. Not pausing he collected himself so he could take off toward the beach cottage where safety waited. He could hear Officer Nells shouting from the upper deck of the pier, but he was sure the old man could not see enough of him to make trouble.



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