The Souvenirs

(Written for Friday Fictioneers)

Photograph by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
Photograph by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

People collect souvenirs as reminders of the fine moments they have experienced. For Rufus, it was to remind him to be glad that he was alive.

He remembered the little girl who handed him her skating shoes, right before getting buried under a burning beam.

And the other time when a dying old man gave him a silver trophy before breathing his last – “I was the best singer in the county”, he spluttered.

And the golden pram he found in a debris. Ironic how this symbol of birth reminded him of death.

It wasn’t easy being a fireman with emotions.

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29 thoughts on “The Souvenirs

    • Thank you 🙂 I hope you mean’t the one with ‘with’ and not ‘without’
      Reference: My conversation with Rochelle just before your comment

      • Got you – I see it ‘with’, but ‘without’ is also very powerful. I read it in the way emotion has been sucked out of him, and the ‘souvenirs’ testament to that. You’re in a tough spot. ‘with’ seems logical but ‘without’ raises all kinds of shades to the story.

        • That is certainly true. ‘With’ makes Rufus that guy with his heart in place. But ‘without’ makes you wonder why would this guy be so emotionless and treat the job as a chore.
          But I gotta stick with one in the end, eh?

  1. Dear Rishal,

    Great story. I think you need to add a ‘d’ to the end of experience and say ‘the’ debris instead of ‘a’ debris. Otherwise powerful and moving. Great last line.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    • Dear Doug,
      Thank you for taking time out to read my story and bringing the missing ‘d’ to my attention.
      The debris is intentionally ‘a’ since it was ‘one’ among the hordes Rufus saw as part of his job. ‘The’ would have made it more definite than intentioned.
      Cheers 🙂

  2. even without the physical objects there would always be some prompt reminding them. I can remember each patient that died on my shift and some dearly loved regulars (children) that died on my unit

  3. A great take on the shelf of memories. This fireman character was built up really well, I guessed it was a fire-fighter by the burning beam. Wonderful imagery of all these people passing on their most treasured possessions in their final moments.

    A fireman with a big heart.

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