At the dead of night.

Photo copyright: What’s his name

Photo copyright: What’s his Name.

“Its a job Peter, I know it is not the job you hoped for, but it’s a job. Times are hard and with another bairn on the way your mam will not be able to take in washing. I promise when times get less hard you can try something better.”

“But dad”

“Son you will have the evenings free, you can still go to the Mechanics Institute to study”.

“But dad working as a Night Soil remover, the girls will shun me”.

“Its not for ever son. And Mr Horricks says that we can have a horse to pull the cart”.

This Post Has 29 Comments

  1. Alicia Jamtaas

    Oh, a job like that WOULD seem like forever. Nicely told. I can feel the love of the father and the son’s angst.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Then I am pleased, for it means that I wrote my story correctly. Thank you Alicia

  2. neeltheauthor- author of WHEN LIFE THROWS THOSE CURVE BALLS

    Nice interplay of human emotions between father and son.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you so much Neel for your feedback. I am pleased that the interplay came across, it is something I do not alway think about or allow for when writing

  3. Dale

    A son’s gotta do what a son’s gotta do… It will help him build character – not that he can see it now…
    Lovely story.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you so much Dale for your feedback, it is appreciated

  4. neilmacdon

    I’m a sucker for stories of the struggles of working life. I liked this very much. And you told it with great affection

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Neil, I really appreciate your feedback.

  5. Moon

    Great story, Michael. I really liked the dad here.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Moon, I also grew to like the father figure as the story developed,

  6. Susan A Eames

    Nicely told. We can see both the father’s and the son’s point of view in so few words. Well done.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you so much for the feedback Susan, it helps me to understand what I do right and what I get wrong. Sadly I am not very able at giving good feedback, so I do really appreciate the feedback I receive. Mike

  7. Iain Kelly

    Oh dear, well start at the bottom, as they say…

    1. Michael Humphris

      A job is a job, but what a job it was. Thank you Iain.

  8. rochellewisoff

    Dear Michael,

    No one starts at the top. 😉 A good story about learning to take responsibility.



    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Rochelle, sometime back I read about and then later saw a photograph of two men removing night soil. So I was pleased to see this prompt photo, which allowed me free reign to pen this story.

  9. yarnspinnerr

    This conjures up a real image. Wonderful write.

  10. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover

    Nicely done. I felt the fathers despair at having his son having to take on this work. I can picture the scene.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Then I have written my story correctly, thank you so much for taking the time to comment, it is appreciated.

  11. Nan Falkner

    Thank goodness for Harricks horse then, for no one would want to pull that cart. Good story!

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you so much for your feedback, horses have worked so hard for mankind Nan

  12. Sandra

    They seemed to have a mutual understanding of their predicament. Nicely done, Michael.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you so much for your feedback Sandra,

  13. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

    I hope that he manages both that and the school… the woman he’ll find will be of the same character. I think this is how families are built.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you so much for your feedback Bjorn,

  14. granonine

    Oh, the poor lad. Well done, Michael.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you granonine, I guess that some jobs are best left in the past,

  15. patriciaruthsusan

    This sounds like historical fiction, Michael unless there are places so far out it’s still the way it’s done. Poor guy. Good writing. —- Suzanne

    1. Michael Humphris

      I saw an interesting photo taken at Burnley that inspired this story. As a child I can recall earth closets and other basic toilets called tipplers. Memories!

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