V for Vacant


April 26, 2016 by Felicia Hf


Photo prompt provided by Graham, author of the blog grahamisjustmyname.

“Table for four, please,” the old man requested. The new waiter took him to the middle of the room, wondering whether the other three would soon arrive. He brought four menus to the table, then settled back behind the bar to polish the glasses. He frowned when no one came, but shrugged it away quickly. Customers were customers, he was not one to question them.

“We’d like two kids’ menus, the lasagne and the steak please,” the old man told him, after he beckoned the waiter over. “Oh, you wanted the salmon? Sorry, my dear,” he said, before turning back to the waiter. “Change the lasagne to salmon, please. I must have been dozing off while she decided,” he added to the waiter putting his hand so that only he would hear. Then he laughed loudly and happily looked at the chairs around him.

“But those seats are vacant…” he said, trailing off. The old man wasn’t even listening. “Of… of course,” he said quietly, slightly startled and hurried away quickly.

He approached the manager and pulled him aside.

“His family died in a car crash, all apart from him. It must have been twenty years, but it still haunts him. He comes here every week to order for the whole family.” The manager shook his head sadly.

© 2016

FFfAW, Week of 04-26-2016



32 thoughts on “V for Vacant

  1. Oh poor man. He’s grief affected his mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. KL Caley says:

    Aww wonderful story. Poor little man was so grief-stricken. Great job. KL <3

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bikurgurl says:

    The mind is mysterious place…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kay Morris says:

    Great take on the prompt. Both beautiful and sorrowful. My heart just breaks for this gentleman.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Understandable madness, well written.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. draliman says:

    Very well written. I almost wish I hadn’t read it, it made me feel so sad (so you did a good job!).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. swritings says:

    This was really sad. But at least the restaurant staff is understanding and as Mandi said, if he’s paying for it all then he should be allowed to stay. Great take!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. samratkel says:

    That is so sad and so well done!! I wonder how it would be handled in reality!!

    @Samantha/samratkel from
    Shadow Realities

    Liked by 1 person

  9. mandibelle16 says:

    I’m glad that someone explained the situation to the manager. If the old guy wants to come in and order for his whole family and it’s what gets him through it. Let him. Respect his grief. Either way, he’s paying for it all so does it matter if the seats are empty or full? Great take Felicia.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Felicia Hf says:

      Sorry, I must have missed your comment somehow!
      I agree, if that’s the only way he’ll get through his grief, no one should take that away from him. I wish everyone were that respectful, but I have a feeling there might be people against allowing him four dishes, where three of those will always land in the trash, no matter whether he pays or not.. Thank you once again for your kind words!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Wonderful story but so sad. He goes there weekly and orders for the whole family who are all dead. Sad.

    Liked by 1 person

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Title quote © Roald Dahl (BFG)



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