The young man paced back and forth, muttering and fretting. With his upmarket Converse sneakers and backpack, he was obviously one of those tourists who were coming around nowadays to admire our ‘quaint seaside town’.

My curiosity getting the best of me I ask, “Excuse me. May I help you?”

“I need to go up there.”

“Then what’s the problem?”

“There’re 11 steps.”

“OK. So?”

“No. NO. 11 is not right. I can’t climb 11.”


“Prime Number.”

Anyone else might have thought him crazy, but I’ve seen Aunt Elsie. Turning every lock 4 times. Washing every plate 4 times. Crazy Elsie we used to call her, running up behind her and turning the lock another time, making her start all over again. Until the day she decided to lock herself in the kitchen and turn all four gas burners on. We never even got to say sorry.

“Well, there is a ramp if you go around.”

I hope that’s easier on him.

In response to the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge of October 7, 2018, based on a photo by John Brand.