Friday Fictioneers – Beachcombing

still-life-with-dougBilly never paid much of a mind to things – his whole life was his dog and the beach.

The pair of small, brown shoes, he’d found last week by Jonas Point, looked almost new – he hoped they might fetch him a couple of pounds.

From the top of the dunes he could see a crowd had gathered outside his hut – the door lay off its hinges. A short, round woman clutched the brown shoes – tears and anger in her eyes.

‘There he is!’ she screamed.

Billy was scared – he didn’t understand why.

His dog barked as cold rain began to fall.


These words form my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge.

42 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Beachcombing

  1. Sandra

    What a terrible link for the woman to have made. I found this heartbreaking, a simple soul being accused of something he could never have contemplated, and another desperate soul having their final actions misconstrued. Terrific stuff Paul.

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Thanks, Leona. As you say ‘small’ is only one word but it saves me having to explain more of the story – straight away you know it’s about a missing child. Pleased you picked up on this. You can come again 🙂

  2. siobhanmcnamara

    A lot of story in 100 words, my heart goes out to Billy but to the woman too. People are always so suspicious of those who are more comfortable with a simple life, and assume the worst so easily. Well told, a lot of punch

  3. Nan Falkner

    Dear Paul, I love your story and it is so sad. Perhaps he would have been better off turning the shoes into the police (along with his name) and that way, if nothing happened, he could get the shoes back to sell. Instead, he took them to his cabin and is now Number 1 suspect. Great piece. Nan

  4. Margaret

    Great story. So compelling. What a great premise you came up with – to match his naivete with the mother’s desperation. Poor Billy – innocent souls like him are a target for all sorts of misunderstandings and accusations. .

  5. Sarah Potter Writes

    That is so, so sad. I like to think that justice would have ended up being done in real life, but I don’t think it always is always the case. The whole lynch mob thing is truly scary, with the way that group anger can ignite so fast and blot out all commonsense.
    Beautifully written.


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