Returning To Chernobyl- Flash Fiction.

Elena knew the streets of Pripyat by heart.

In her dreams, she’d run along these streets until she reached the Ferris Wheel, climbing back into Papa’s lap. Afraid of heights, his strong arms held her tight.

Yet, nothing could save Papa.

Thirty years on, she’d returned, carrying the same small suitcase and clutching their front door key, as though it could unlock the past and bring it back.

Yet, no key unlocks thirty years of neglect.

Reclaimed by the forest, the Ferris Wheel loomed over the abandoned fun park like a ghostly giant.

Silent, all the children were gone.

Rowena Curtin

This has been a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from Charli Mills  over at Carrot Ranch Communications

August 24, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about an empty playground. Is it abandoned or are the children in school? What is it about the emptiness that might hint of deeper social issues. It can be a modern story, apocalyptic or historical. Go where the prompt leads.

Respond by August 31, 2016 to be included in the weekly compilation. Rules are here. All writers are welcome!

To read more about former residents returning to Pripyat, click here.

Photo credit: Sean Gallup.


7 thoughts on “Returning To Chernobyl- Flash Fiction.

  1. Pingback: And the Playground Was Empty « Carrot Ranch Communications

  2. Rowena Post author

    Agreed. We went on the ferris wheel at the Easter Show and Miss is afraid of heights and I think she was sitting with me but I also remember my Dad being there for me. I remember there was a jailbreak and I was petrified. It was like this guy was coming straight to our place and my Dad said he was there to protect me and I didn’t even question it.
    It’s a shame we have to grow up and find out Dad can’t conquer all.

  3. Norah

    It is. I remember, as a child, thinking parents knew everything – what decisions to make – everything. They never for a minute let us think they were indecisive. We’d have pounced at the first sign of weakness I suppose. I expected that when I grew up, I’d be wise too. When I got to my mid-forties and realised I wasn’t wise and likely was never going to be I gave up and decided I’d rather stay young anyway. It was quite an eyeopener to see how much I’d been deceived. 🙂

  4. Rowena Post author

    My husband works in IT, which an industry with a lot of cowboys and people with qualifications but no practical nouse. You get people who know a little calling themselves experts because they don’t know what they don’t know. Geoff is really good with technology but is quite insistent that he’s not a guru because the more you know, the more you realise you don’t know.
    Then, there’s also that person who is able to translate that knowledge to others and can teach. That’s not a given.
    I consider you to be pretty wise because you’ve always got your eyes open and looking at how things are done and looking to help and bring out the best in everyone you touch. Knowing where to look for information is also important and knowing when to seek further assistance. You don’t need to have it all yourself.
    BTW, I discovered a new poet today. Well, new to me. Have you heard of the Chilean poet Pablo Naruda? Amazing!
    I am also about 3/4 through Maya Angelou’s “Now I know Why the Caged Bird Sings”. Have you read it? It is incredible and very insightful. fits in well with “To Kill A Mockingbird”.
    It’s almost time for another weekend and father’s day is coming up. Hope you have a great weekend.
    xx Rowena

  5. Norah

    Thanks for your kind words, Rowena. That distinction between knowing and not knowing; and not knowing that you don’t know, and knowing that you don’t know, is important. (I hope I haven’t confused you the way I’ve just confused me!) I often quote Manuel from Fawlty Towers, “I know nothing”.
    I haven’t come across the Chilean poet you mention. I haven’t read “The Caged Bird” either but I listened to another work of Maya’s though I can’t remember what it was called. It is a 3CD set that a friend lent me. It was wonderful. I must try to find out what it was, and if she read it.
    Enjoy the weekend and Fathers Day. It should be a good one.

  6. Pingback: Fathers’ Day Coffee Share. | beyondtheflow

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