Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 123

This week's photo was posted by a friend, Victoria Goldman on twitter. It was taken in a Sainsbury's car park in North London. She thought it told a story. And I thought, well yes, it just might and other's might think so too! 

I ummed and arhhed over this story, not sure if it was up to muster, but I liked it. It's a story of hope. 

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.

Mr Bow Tie

Hugo had had enough! He wasn’t going to wear them anymore. He threw the bow tie down and drove off, instantly regretting it but too stubborn to go back. He could picture it in his mind’s eye, lying there on the ground, broken and discarded, just like him.

All the way through school he’d tolerated the gibes, the put-downs, and the ridicule. He’d even been ruffed up a few times, but he had refused to give in. He loved his bow ties and would wear them proudly. But now, tonight, this had been the last straw.

Dating was hard enough for him; his name, his clammy palms, his ruddy complexion and chubby face always working against him. The amount of times they had giggled upon first meeting when they had spotted his bow tie, thinking he had been joking when he told them about his collection. He’d rarely had a second date, until Sandra.

He’d thought she was different, far more accepting, far more gentle, far better suited to him. But then it had happened.

A friend of hers had come in to the same restaurant they had chosen for their third date. She’d come over to talk. Sandra had introduced her friend, and there’d been a smirk upon hearing his name, and then the comment had come: “A bow tie’s a bit formal, isn’t it? You planning to go to the opera later?”

And then a snigger, which Sandra had joined in with, informing her friend that he collected them. And the way she had said it to her friend, a look in her eyes, almost rolling them, as though she was enduring something painful.

Hugo had sat there silently, planted a smile on his face and pretended like it was nothing. He’d waited for the friend to go, which she eventually did, hoping Sandra would make some kind of comment to dismiss her friend’s attitude, but she hadn’t. If anything she’d become more awkward, more quiet, as though she was embarrassed now that it had been highlighted.

Hugo had done his best to continue, be polite, jolly, and tried to keep it light. She had pretended to respond, but he knew it was a pretense; they both knew. Then after dinner she’d left hurriedly under the guise of an early appointment the following day.

And then the text had arrived as he’d walked to his car. “It’s not working for me. I think you’d be better suited to someone else.” And that was that.

He’d thumped his hand on the roof and shouted, startling two people on their way to their car. He’d ripped the bow tie off and chucking it away from him. But now in his car, with his soothing music on, he felt foolish.  It wasn’t the bow tie’s fault. He’d go back in the morning and see if it was still there. It was one his special ones; he’d last worn it to a prom concert.

And that’s when he knew he had been looking in the wrong place. If he wanted to find a lady of refined taste who didn’t sneer at genteel men like him, he needed to go to more exclusive places, and maybe even try and see if he could find more exclusive dating apps. He’d find someone who didn’t jeer at people like him. He knew they were out there somewhere.


  1. That was a lovely story, Miranda. I hope Hugo finds a lady to take care of him.

  2. Here is my story for the lonely looking bow. A Telltale Bow Hope you like it.

  3. It happened so quickly. We were heading over to the Dragon Coaster, just after the whirlybird, and we heard that rat-a-tat. I wasn’t sure what it was, but I knew what it was when it happened again. Rat-a-tat/rat-a-tat/rat-a-tat/rat-a-tat/rat-a-tat/rat-a-tat/rat-a-tat/rat-a-tat/rat-a-tat. Why does anyone need something like that?

    It was coming from in front of us. We didn’t know where. We turned and ran. I held her hand and pulled her. I ran as fast as I could. We started passing people. People staring behind us. Like they were frozen in place. Shocked. I grabbed one or two by the arm and told them to run. “Run, run, run.”

    Rat-a-tat/rat-a-tat. Getting closer. Screams. As we approached a concession stand, we took a right, me still gripping her hand as tightly as I could, pulling her. There were children cowering by the side. We stopped, and I told them “We have to run. We have to run.” And they started running with us.

    And there was stuff on the ground. Half-eaten cotton candy. Sweat shirts. A little boy’s red bowtie. That’s the one that struck me. A little boy all dressed up for a day in the amusement park.

    We saw a phalanx of cops in body armor calling us to them, telling us to put our hands up lest we be one of the shooters. Rat-a-tat/rat-a-tat. Not as frequent now. And farther away. Then a flurry of single shots. Boom. Boom. Boom. Cutting through all of the screaming.

    All I could think to do when we were through the police was search for the boy in a white shirt buttoned to the top without a bowtie. I’d picked it up, carrying it gingerly. It wasn’t much, but maybe he’d feel better if I gave it to him. A little better.

    1. Gosh! Full of emotion that one. Packed a punch. If it wasn't likely to ever happen again it might not be such a hard read. Great stuff.

  4. I can't help it, my instinct is to go spooky! Mr. Bear is waiting for you...

    1. I love how you went spooky here, a brilliant tale! I loved it.