Microfiction Three line tales: The truth

I wasn’t sure I was going to be inspired by this picture, but it came in the end. Thanks Sonya πŸ™‚


The old house had been a boarding school for girls for a time in the nineteenth century until it was closed down, a fire, or an epidemic, the curator had not been very clear.

She picked up the pen compulsively after a quick glance to make sure the curator was occupied with the wandering school party, dipped it in the inkwell, and words, in careful copperplate, ran across the pale paper of the notebook.

Her eyes opened wide in terror and she tried to let go of the pen, but something held her hand tight, her mind too, and as the full horror of the boarding school’s closure was revealed, the small room was suddenly crowded with the thin, pale, hate-filled faces of the victims.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

29 thoughts on “Microfiction Three line tales: The truth”

      1. It was the curator gave me nightmares. The house is sixteenth century and was very gloomy. And freezing cold in winter. When I was at school hardly anyone visited it and it had been left much as Charlotte Bronte left it. It’s been tidied up since and they’ve replaced the nineteeth century school rooms with Elizabethan stuff. Much less creepy. And they have a visitors centre instead of the weird curator.

      2. I don’t know what they did with him when they decided to smarten up the act. I preferred it with the overlay of the boarding school. The medieval stuff had to brought in from other places since obviously the kitchen staff didn’t roast cattle on a spit for the boarders and they didn’t have a banqueting hall…

      3. I think they decided that getting the house back to its original epoch was more important or more tourist-worthy than showing how it had evolved through the centuries.

      1. Yes, they did, though they also changed the way we thought about childhood too, being the first people to think of childhood as something precious and special. A time of contrasts alright

      2. I’m not sure I’d give the Victorians credit for inventing childhood. I think the idea had always been there that children were special and needed protecting, even in early times, it’s just that so many of them died, it must have been difficult to grieve for every death so early childhood was a time of waiting to see what happened. The Industrial revolution pointed out the contrast between the ideal of childhood and the reality. When children worked in the family environment, it was accepted as part of the natural process of keeping the family self-sufficient. Working down the mines or in the mills was not. And it took them long enough, and with much opposition, to pass legislation controlling child labour. A rule for the rich and another for the poor maybe. Hypocrisy was also one of the hallmarks of the Victorian era

      3. It’s probably always been there. Like compulsory schooling only being introduced because a workforce with new skills was required. Otherwise, who cared if the poor could read and write? Except to read the Bible, of course. Thank you, Martin Luther πŸ™‚

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