Flash Fiction for for Aspiring Writers is a writing challenge hosted by Priceless Joy. The challenge asks us to write a piece of fiction from the photo prompt provided in around 100- 150 words – give or take 25 words. It encourages participants to comment, constructively, on other entries, so supporting each other’s writing. If you’d like to join in with this challenge, follow the link in the title of PJ’s, blog: Beautiful Words to see what to do. The challenge runs from Wednesday to Wednesday every week.
Here is this week’s prompt, kindly provided by Dawn M. Miller :
‘Marry me, Jen…’ Mark grinned at his fiancée puzzled face as they hurried into the old summerhouse out of the cold, November rain. ‘Let’s get married now instead of waiting until spring.’
Jenny waited for the Spitfires to pass over before speaking. Life was so different since war had been declared two months ago. ‘But what will people think …? Don’t answer that, I already know.’
Mark pulled her close and rested his face against her auburn curls. ‘They’ll understand when they know…’
‘When they know what?’
‘I’ve had my call-up papers, love.’
Ninety-five-year old Jenny roused from her daydream as her daughter halted her wheelchair beside the gazebo. The old summerhouse had long since gone, yet another casualty of wartime bombs, unlike her memories…
Three short years after that day in 1939, Mark had been killed in action, leaving her alone and pregnant. They’d had so little time together.
Still, Susan had been a wonderful daughter, and she’d be with Mark again soon enough. And this time it would be forever.
Word Count: 175
If you’d like to view other entries, click here.
A little bit of info …
Whilst I was writing this piece, I started wondering about the differences between a gazebo, a summerhouse, and a pavilion, and whether the names could be used interchangeably. I know this may sound like mere trivia, but I delight in trivialities. So this is what I found, from various sources:
A gazebo is a timber structure with a roof that gives shelter and shade. It is not a completely enclosed building. Many gazebos have no side panels at all, whilst others are half-panelled or completely panelled in parts. Some gazebos have trellis panelling so that plants can be trained to grow up and around the structure. Unlike a summerhouse, a gazebo has no door or fitted windows and is often hexagonal in shape.
Modern summerhouses are generally wooden buildings that have a complete roof, sides and an entrance door. Most have windows to allow plenty of light into the building. So, the main difference between a gazebo and a summerhouse seems to be that once inside a summerhouse it will feel as though you are indoors, whereas you will always feel as though you are outdoors in a gazebo. In the past many ornamental summerhouses were stone. Some old, stone summerhouses still stand today, as the image above shows. I found thisGothic styled one while looking for one to put on my post:
This is one person’s view I found of the differences between a gazebo and summerhouse:
“As far as I can tell there isn’t a great deal of difference between summerhouse and a gazebo except perhaps the shape. Most gazebos do tend to be hexagonal in shape. To me, summerhouses seem to be like glorified sheds with windows, whereas gazebos seem to be more attractive in shape and design.” (Source: Successful Garden design)
So what is a pavilion?
A pavilion may be a small outbuilding, similar to a summerhouse. Pavilions were particularly popular in the 18th century and often resembled small classical temples and follies. A pool house by a swimming pool, for example, may have enough character and charm to be called a pavilion. But a free-standing pavilion can also be a far larger building such as the Royal Pavilion at Brighton (UK), which is a large oriental style palace.
A sports pavilion is usually a building next to a sports ground used as a changing room and a place providing refreshments. Often there will be a veranda. We have a (wooden) cricket pavilion in the next village to us. The term pavilion is also used for stadiums/stadia such as baseball parks. Of course, most modern pavilions are built of wood.
It seems to me that the main differences stem from the uses of these buildings. The gazebo is the odd one out because it is generally open to the elements. Summerhouses and pavilions are closer in design because they are enclosed.
Still confused? Me too – mostly because there are many of these structures that don’t fit neatly into these descriptions For example, here are two structures described as summerhouses I found on Wikimedia Commons – both with open sides!: