Summer of 69

This is a story for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, .  It was prompted by the photo below, kindly provided by Grant-Sud.

To view other people’s stories and add your own, please click on the link:

Summer of 69

Smiley face. This must be it. Arthur knocked before he lost his nerve. Michael the man mountain opened the door.


“I’m looking for a happy ending.”

“Basic or deluxe?”


“You got that kind of cash?”

Arthur pushed a bulging envelope into Michael’s grasping hand.

“You a cop?”

“C’mon, too old,” Arthur said, “69 last birthday.”

Michael steered Arthur past cubicles that released smells and sounds which aroused curiosity but nothing else. They stopped at a door marked “EXIT”.

“Hey, I paid,” Arthur complained.

“The sign keeps out undesirables. You’ll get what you’ve paid for.”

“From you? I thought it would be a nice lady.”

“Relax, I just clean up afterwards.”

Michael eased the door open.

“Go on. Destiny’s waiting.”

Arthur breathed in deeply and stepped through the door. His feet felt thin air. It didn’t take long for him to hit the dumpster 10 floors below, but he had enough time to curse the cancer for having metastasised and to thank Michael for doing what the doctors wouldn’t do.

174 words


Two Three Four Five Six apologies this time:

  1. Given the subject matter, I know the title is a bit smutty.  I always try to use a song title and this one seemed to fit, not least because I only discovered recently that Bryan Adams was singing about sexual awakening and not just about learning to play guitar etc.
  2. I know the 69 in the title should be preceded by an asterisk (no, that’s not code for something else – who’s being smutty now?), but Arthur was 69 years old, not 1969.
  3. By calling a ‘skip’ a ‘dumpster’ I’ve been a hypocrite, because I hate it when British writers use American English terms even in books published in the UK.  My pet hate is ‘gurney’ for a hospital ‘trolley’.  My excuse is that we Brits have watched so much American TV that we all know what a dumpster is.
  4. I’m sorry if any Americans are offended by my suggesting they might not know what a skip is.
  5. I’m sorry if I’ve offended readers who are neither British nor American and who are probably fully aware of the meaning of skip/dumpster, trolley/gurney, tap/faucet etc
  6. I’m being presumptuous.  As I’m late to the party this week there’s a good chance no one will read this story anyway.


This entry was posted in Crime, Euthanasia, Flash Fiction, MaSSAGE. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Summer of 69

  1. That sure is some twist at the end! Your story had me completely enthralled and then the twist at the end! LOL! Got me! Great story!

    Liked by 1 person

    • JS Brand says:

      Thank you. I saw the prompt yesterday but had no time to think about it. Then I woke at 3 am with an idea for a story about a seriously ill man visiting a “massage parlour” that offered euthanasia as an extra service alongside the other “happy endings”. I went back to sleep thinking that I should write the story down in case a suitable prompt came up in future. Dur!
      Of course, when I’d woken up properly I realised you’d already posted the perfect prompt. Thankfully I got time tonight to jot it down. I’m pleased it worked.


  2. Iain Kelly says:

    I can’t decide if that counts as a happy or a sad ending – maybe a just ending. I enjoyed the story, different and intriguing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. prior.. says:

    well to me it became clear in the reading that Arthur was 69 years old, and it was not 1969. I also enjoyed the but of twist that unfolded – and so sad, but I can see why someone would…..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Delightfully different with an ending I didn’t see coming! Excuse me, I just need to pop some stuff in the dustbin…

    Click to read my FFfAW!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. yarnspinnerr says:

    That is a wow story.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nona says:

    I’m even later to the party than you were. I did swing by for a read. Found your aplogies as good as your tale. (I’m American and know what a Skip is but totally not offended cause maybe I woudln’t have….lol)

    Also, I hope that 10 story drop helped the nice man. I’d had to see him cancer ridden and alive but paralyzed from the neck down.


    • JS Brand says:

      Thank you. I’m pleased you liked the story and the apologies. The differences between American and British English can make for misunderstandings between characters that could have consequences that are comic, tragic or just embarrassing. I like to build them into stories sometimes. They could also spoil a story if readers interpret a word in a completely different way from the writer.


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