Friday Fiction: the start of something new by Gary Picard


    The Park 


     On the western edge of town, nestled warmly between the town dump on one side, and  

a major chemical plant on the other, sat the park.  

     It was a private, planned community built after the war for returning veterans. Young  

married couples eager to start a family quickly snatched up the mobile homes with their  

cute gingham curtains and jalousie windows. They planted small trees, flowers, and  

vegetable gardens. As time passed the park grew and prospered. More land was cleared,  

new streets added and connected, with each one  named after a rodent. Officially it   

was called Squirrel Hollow but everyone called it The Park. In the late 1950’s the state   

built an east-west interstate highway only one hundred fifty yards from The Park. 

     Families became friends. Friday night was pot-luck dinner at the Friendship Hall.  

Everyone brought a favorite dish. It was a chance to meet new neighbors and to let all  

the kids play together. They enjoyed the closeness and friendship The Park had to  

offer. Life was good. 

     Nobody seemed to notice the stream of white that eked constantly from the chemical  

plant  smokestacks. 

     Sometime during the early 1970’s two brothers inherited The Park from an uncle who  

managed  to kill his entire family and then himself. Even shot the family dog. No one  

knows why since he left no note. But there was plenty of speculation. Some attributed the  

killings to time spent in the war, while others claim he had financial problems. Most folks  

figured  it probably was a combination of the two and that he just snapped. In all  

likelihood,  that’s what happened. 

     It was a very different park by the time Joe and Minerva moved there in the fall of  



3 thoughts on “Friday Fiction: the start of something new by Gary Picard

  1. How did you get the idea for this? If you’ve written more of this, what’s your process? (or, I guess if you haven’t written much yet, what do you intend it to be…).

    I like how rich the details are already…

  2. Your writing is so wonderful and enjoyable to read! I can relate to most of the stories!
    Kathy 🙂

  3. I lived in a trailer park for 3 1/2 years back in the mid 90’s. Much of what I write comes from personal experience. That place was full of all kinds of quirky people.
    While living there I profiled about 20 characters based on people from The Park. I knew someday I would write a story so I wanted to get down as much material as possible.
    I have two piles of papers. One is titled “Cast of Characters” and the other, “Various Story Outlines.”
    This gives me a framework/base to work from. I need some kind of structure. I can’t just write something off the top of my head. I need to agonize over it and tweak it to death.
    All I have to do now is fill in the blanks. That’s the fun and challenging part.
    I envision these half created people milling around aimlessly, looking up at me and saying, “All right already, will you have us doing something!?”
    Since I did create them,it’s now my responsibilty to give them a purpose and a life. I can’t disappoint them.

    The blued eyed, freckle faced girl that lived across the street from me in The Park, is now my wife. We’ve been married almost 13 years. And no, we no longer live in a trailer park…

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