PTSD – FFfAW 177


He sat on the bench everyday, not moving, just gazing into the lake for hours together. No wonder I felt uncomfortable. Not just me, the other women of the neighbourhood as well. We talked to our husbands, boyfriends, brothers, and friends about the weird guy who sits for hours near the children’s play area.

They tried to talk to him, they reasoned with him, argued with him, even shouted a bit. But, he never reacted. Just sat there as if they were akin to the fruitflies that buzz around in the evening.

One of the younger boys started it and it became nasty. They said the guys in the ambulance just shook their heads while they strapped him.

The neighbourhood was peaceful once again.

I met the man after few months, in the veteran’s hospital, when I went to see my uncle Vinny. He was sat there, immobile, on his wheelchair gazing into nothingness.

The nurse shook her head and muttered, ‘Poor guy! All he wanted was to see some water. He’d enough of sand.’

Word Count: 175

Written for the weekly FFfAW hosted by Priceless Joy. Thank you, PJ. Thanks to Wildverbs for the picture prompt. Please read other stories here.



  1. I had to admit, the part about sitting near the children’s playground creeped me out, but then combat vets come home with a lot of problems sometimes. Tragic.


    1. You are correct. How do you judge a strange man in your locality? Very perplexing question. Thanks for the comment, Shilpa.


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