The Ones Left Behind
After an hour, I gave in and texted again.
Did you have supper? It was after breakfast, mid-evening over there.
No reply. My heart beat faster, irrationally. His friend Amber was there too. She’d learned Vietnamese, he’d said.
The phone chimed. I jumped for it.
“Is that Stan?” my husband asked from the kitchen.
He came over to read the reply.
A picture popped up of a glowing building and a lotus flower fountain.
“It’s gorgeous,” I said. “My lucky little boy. Still, I worry.”
“He’ll be fine. After all, he’s nine now. He’s not a baby anymore.”
This Friday Fictioneers story is very late, but since Rochelle chose my picture this week as the prompt, I wanted to make sure I wrote one. I took this picture in Ho Chi Minh City when I was there on business a few months ago. I wrote a kid’s book about my travels called Stanley and Amber in Southeast Asia, about a kid and his unicorn friend traveling around Southeast Asia (it started out as a Flat Stanley project for my niece; thus, the name). So, I thought I’d write this from the parent’s perspective.
June 2nd, 2020 at 1:33 am
June 7th, 2020 at 6:39 pm
I thought that line would give some people a bit of a heart attack, hopefully not too serious. 🙂 It’s a quirky little kid’s book I wrote for my niece, so there’s a fair amount of suspension of disbelief in it.
June 7th, 2020 at 11:37 pm
June 2nd, 2020 at 4:03 am
What a beautiful photograph. Just breathtaking. No wonder Rochelle chose it. As for the story…love… After all, he’s nine now. He’s not a baby anymore.” So you. 🙂
June 7th, 2020 at 6:40 pm
Thanks, my friend. It was a beautiful night there, although the picture doesn’t show how hot and humid it was, even at night. Yes, you know how much I like to write absurdity with a straight face.
June 8th, 2020 at 3:09 am
Another one of your talents, taking snappy snapshots. 🙂
June 2nd, 2020 at 4:09 am
Until I read the explanation I was alarmed by the idea of a globe-trotting nine-year-old. But, of course, they do this all the time in children’s books
June 7th, 2020 at 6:41 pm
The world of kid’s books is definitely a far gentler one than the real world. Although he does have a unicorn with him.
June 2nd, 2020 at 7:37 am
I want to know more about Stan. Why did he get left behind? Lots of questions I have. Thank you for ‘offering’ the beautiful photo. 😉
June 7th, 2020 at 6:42 pm
I’ll send you a copy of the ebook when I get it done. I’m going to put it out for free so the rest of the kids in my niece’s class can read it if they want to.
June 2nd, 2020 at 7:29 pm
Cute story and neat that you wrote a book about your travels from a child’s perspective.
June 7th, 2020 at 6:43 pm
Thanks! It was a fun project and a way to make the most of a business trip.
June 7th, 2020 at 8:24 pm
June 2nd, 2020 at 11:57 pm
I was quite alarmed at his age, but calmed when I read your explanation. You’re never safer than when you’re with a unicorn!
June 7th, 2020 at 6:44 pm
June 3rd, 2020 at 12:21 am
A good short! (BTW typo on ‘
HeHis friend Amber was there too.’)
Thank you for taking this picture. It sparked a number of good pieces! Do you have an online gallery somewhere of your other work?
June 7th, 2020 at 6:48 pm
Thanks and thanks for pointing out the typo. I just went and fixed it. Even after rereading half a dozen times, things still slip through.
I have an Instagram account at ltids111 where I post some things but I need to be better about posting there.
June 3rd, 2020 at 3:22 am
A young adventurer! Any fear I had went when I read your footnote. Thanks for the picture and answering a question many of us where asking – Ho Chi Minh City!
June 7th, 2020 at 6:50 pm
Thanks, Keith! Glad you liked it. I do a lot of work with people in Vietnam, so I tend to go there a couple times a year. Of course, that’s in normal times. I don’t know when I’ll go back now, but hopefully it won’t be too long.
June 3rd, 2020 at 4:29 am
Back in the old days 9-year-olds could go off on their own… now-a-days, no way. I guess a pet unicorn changes everything. Charming concept.
June 7th, 2020 at 6:52 pm
Of course, in these post-911 days, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t let you on with a unicorn horn, even if it was securely attached.
June 8th, 2020 at 1:45 am
Good point! Might hold the plane up with a unicorn… 😀
June 3rd, 2020 at 3:10 pm
I just try to imagine a nine-year-old traveling by himself… but Amber sounds quite capable… a unicorn speaking Vietnamese… I had no clue where the picture was taken. So nice to know.
June 3rd, 2020 at 9:02 pm
It’s kind of a quirky story I wrote for my niece. Amber is actually a very small unicorn. Yeah, this picture is of City Hall in Ho Chi Minh City. It was built back in the French Colonial period, which is why it has that European flair to it.
May 27th, 2021 at 7:00 am
[…] The image for this story came from © David Stewart […]