Alastair’s Photo Fiction – Listen To The Children


As we waited by the bus stop on the bridge I slipped free of my mother’s hand.  A few small steps away and I was peering down into the still stream below. It was overrun with reeds; frothy scum rode up against both banks, while a cracked pipe oozed its steaming offerings into the murky water.

As I was about to turn away I saw them – bubbles. Then breaking the surface a long, thin, shiny body: green scales glinting in the late afternoon sunlight. The merest slit of an eye pushing up through the scum. It quickly disappeared under the bridge.

I ran over to mother; yanked at her arm – excitedly told her the whole story. She didn’t believe me of course. My Dad just laughed it off; my brothers thought I was an idiot.

It was never mentioned again.

Surfing the web all these years later I came across a story from my old home town newspaper. A tramp had gone missing – last seen down by the stream, near the bridge.

I reached for the phone. Pausing, I put the receiver back in the holder.

They didn’t believe me then. Why would they believe me now? 


These words form my entry into this week’s Photo Fiction challenge on Alastair’s WordPress site. The picture is copyright of

11 thoughts on “Alastair’s Photo Fiction – Listen To The Children

  1. Skye

    Awwww….we should always listen to our children. 🙂 Another great one! The ending made me sad for the child within the grown up.

  2. EagleAye

    I think this story exemplifies some of the best qualities of horror. Sometimes having a creature out there in your face isn’t scary. It’s what you “almost” see, but can’t prove it, can’t get anyone else to believe it, that’s truly scary. Yet it’s effects of this unprovable creature are palpable. It leaves the protagonist facing the horror alone, and that’s really scary. This is a truly outstanding piece.


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