The Park Benches

The the park benches were still where I’d put them, years before. The wooden slats were rotting away. One bench only had a few pieces of wood remaining. The iron ends of the benches were rusty. Another few years, and they’d begin to break down.

We’d sat on benches like them. She and I. She’d always been so sad. I’d tried to cheer her up. I had. But nothing I said. Nothing I did. Worked. Before she was free, I’d never thought of setting up benches here, so I could sit with her. Under the tree she used to love. But one day, she’d asked me to put benches here. So I had.

It took a while. I had to find the perfect benches. Then I had to wait for the perfect couple to sit on each bench. When a couple sat down, all it took was two little puffs from my dart gun. Just like that, I had everything I needed for each bench. Everything she’d asked for.

I brought each bench here. Set each couple up on their bench. Posing them carefully. Made it look like they were in love. She was so proud of me. She smiled. Kissed me on the cheek. Thanked me.

Everyone thinks she’s dead. I don’t know why, thought. I tried to explain to them, she’s not dead. They all say I killed her. But I didn’t. I didn’t kill her. No. I just did what she asked me to do.

I set her free.

Once I’d set her free, she stopped crying. She stopped being sad. And she brought me here. Showed me this tree. And she asked me to put two park benches here. For her. So she could come sit with me on nights I came to visit her. And she still visits me. Still talks with me. Every time I come here.


This is the uncut version of the tale I crafted for the 40th Friday Picture Show flash fiction challenge. The challenge limits the entries to 100 words. No more, no less. I couldn’t let the story stand as just 100 words. I had to fill it in. Bring it to life. Find its voice. So, here it is. In all its words.

Jen De Santis hosts the Friday Picture Show. Each week people share 100 words of magic inspired by the picture for the week. Please. Go read all the entries this week. It’s amazing what some people can create with just 100 words.


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