I stand at the end of a weathered boardwalk and stare straight ahead at the beach. I remember it as it was in my youth: an endless stretch of pristine white sand, interrupted only by a faraway dune and a decrepit fishing shack.
This planked path has seen generations of my family gather for beach time, volleyball, baseball and touch football games, with spectators prophetically betting on the winning teams.
Today, those once-friendly wagers are made in the garish casinos which blot the shoreline. And my pockets carry not bundles of twenties, but a few quarters salvaged from my losing battle with the one-armed bandits.

(Photo by Renee Homan Heath, Friday Fictioneers, January 25, 2013.)

This entry was posted in Flash Fiction, Micro Fiction, Short Fiction, Short Story and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to “Change”

  1. How sad! So-called progress so often isn’t. You showed that very adeptly.

  2. many have fallen prey to the one -armed bandits…at least you have a few coins left, more than I can say for my one time of checking them out LOL. wonderful piece as usual Mr. Holmes 🙂

  3. Dear VB,
    I loved the way you showed the contrast between his past and present. Nicely layered and well written.

  4. JackieP says:

    Really nice story on the picture. Different. I like different.

  5. I love the connected past and present memories and disparity (dispair-ity)..

  6. A tale of loss, an innocence never to be reclaimed. The fact that it bit him, turned him makes it sadder yet. Well done.

  7. Sheila says:

    I love the juxtaposition of the different kinds of betting. So sad when change like this happens. I’ve seen this kind of thing happen too often on Cape Cod beaches, though at least there aren’t gambling casinos (yet).

  8. Silent Kim says:

    Well told story of change.

  9. Caught by the gambling devil, well told and with tenderness. It sounds like the narrator is ready for treatment. At least I hope so.

  10. Sandra says:

    It must be terrible to have this kind of addiction. You captured the hopelessness of it. Well done.

  11. unspywriter says:

    Well done, and a time when change wasn’t good after all. Great and sad story.

    Here’s mine: http://unexpectedpaths.com/friday-fictioneers/and-when-we-go-back-to-the-sea/

  12. You captured my grandfather’s addiction very nicely. Well done.

  13. rich says:

    damn slot machines. they aren’t called “bandits” for nothing. well done.

  14. Joe Owens says:

    Why is it we always feel we can be the one to beat the odds. Hope eternal is it? Conins for the troulbe, hopes awash in memories.

  15. Hi V.B.,
    Nice memories, set against the crass commercialism of casino gambling. Well wrought. Ron

  16. billgncs says:

    man — saw that in my dad, a powerful story.

  17. great play on words with the title and the story. my mother muses often about how much she hates change.

  18. tedstrutz says:

    Liked your story, V.B… a sweet remembrance with a harsh reality. Another victim to greed… his and theirs.

  19. deanabo says:

    Sometimes change is bad. It’s hard growing up.

  20. Sarah Ann says:

    Your story really captures the change in emotion and fortunes that came with progress. Well done.

  21. Had a great 4 days at slots but lost today but still am a little ahead. Wasn’t using quarters though. Minimum $10 a spin – win big – lose big.

    • vbholmes says:

      I was going to suggest the penny slots but then I read up on them and discovered you can also lose big a penny at a time. Three winning days out of four sounds good to me, especially if you came home with a little casino cash in your pocket. Congratulations!

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