Friday Fictioneers – Fix It

Back in the land of stable internet and my own computer, it’s amazing the difference it makes. I’ll be going back and updating some recent posts with pictures etc when I have chance, but for now here’s my latest Friday Fiction piece. As ever, it’s inspired by Madison Woods’ picture prompt, and you can find lots of other great stories linked on her page. Critique is welcome – this was a little rushed for me today, so I’m intrigued to hear how well (or not) you think it worked.

Fix It

“There’s a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza,” Dad sang as Chantal wiggled the tap again.

“Could you possibly do something more useful than singing?”

“Like fix it?” he asked, adding “Dear Henry,” under his breath.

She tried to smile. Singing was better than the gloom he’d been in since Mum left. But he looked manic: seven-week beard, shirt Mum hated. Perhaps that’s why she left: his dress-sense.

Or perhaps it was this infernal tap: dripping at all hours like the incessant tick of time. Maybe if she fixed the tap, or changed his clothes, Mum’d come back.

 

29 Comments

Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

29 responses to “Friday Fictioneers – Fix It

  1. Very real! People are always shades of gray… very good work!

    Parul
    http://faitaccompli.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/bo-peep-in-the-city/

  2. A very effective orientation on the child’s view – that things might be so easily fixed. Quite sad but funny at the same time, reminding me of that old song.

    • The song was the first thing that came to mind when I saw the picture, so I wanted to keep it in. And don’t a lot of teenagers find their parents’ singing frustrating?!

  3. Hi Jennifer,
    I like the way you moved the tone from lighthearted to serious as you explored the situation. Good sharp details and good internal dialog. Nice piece of writing!
    Ron

  4. this is such a sad piece. The child expecting unrealistic results, the father sinking into depression. Nice job

    • Thanks for your comment Carrie. I’m intrigued by the number of people who saw actual hope in Chantal – if I hadn’t cut it down for length, the next line would have been “She doubted it.” I’m delighted the sadness of the piece worked for you.

  5. A touching story written well, with a slice of humour to lighten the moood. Well done. Mine is here: http://readinpleasure.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/fridayfictioneers-aqua-madness/

  6. This is one of my favourite stories of yours. I like the humour set against the sad situation and the simplicity of the girls logic.

  7. Dear Jen,

    He can fix the that tap, wash off in the water and burn his shirt, but it won’t matter and I think your MC knows it. The lost hope shows in the voice. Wjat a wonderful story you’ve crafted this week. I thought the inclusion of the song was going to make your piece trite but you pulled it off perfectly and seamlessly.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    • Hey Doug. Yeah, I think she knows it very well – she wants everyone to be happy, as many daughters do, but I felt she knew that wasn’t a simple matter of fixing a tap. Glad it worked for you – the song limited the number of words I had left to show her mixture teenage frustration and love for her father, but I just had to keep it, because I felt it showed so much about him.

  8. So much emotion communicated, but only one overtly affective word that I notice. Excellent “show, don’t tell.”

  9. Some things are easier to fix than others, while others cannot be fixed at all.
    A solemn take on the prompt.

  10. rochellewisoff

    I suspect it was more than his dress sense. But children see things differently, don’t they? I liked the song. It showed that poor Dad was trying to lighten the gloom. Nicely told.
    http://www.rochelle-wisoff.blogspot.com/2012/07/snarl.html

  11. I found it very well written in spite of your hurry and it progressed organically to the heart of the story. Very sad and I hope the kid eventually understands it wasn’t something she could fix.

    • Thank you for your kind comment, Madison. I think she already knows she can’t fix it, but maybe it’s part of her grief process to try. She’ll be OK 😉

  12. The character of the dad was really interesting to me here – especially the under-his-breath aside, which made me chuckle. It’s just a nice portrait of the two of them, and the girl’s thought process. I did have a little subject/verb confusion with the last line (“if she fixed it, or changed his clothes”), but I really enjoyed it! Thanks for your very, very helpful comments on mine – always appreciated!

    • I understand your subj/verb confusion – I was intending to have her “make him” change his clothes, or possibly even hide the offending shirt, but word limits got the better of me.
      I’m glad the Dad intrigued you – I don’t think he’s a bad guy, the “tick of time” was a hint at much more pervading problems in the marriage than just his dress-sense or the leaking tap.

  13. I liked the way you tied the faucet into the story with a familiar children’s song. Children (and adults, too) blame themselves for things that aren’t really their fault and you conveyed that beautifully.

  14. I love the depth of emotion you bring out in the child in a conversation that starts off so lightly..

  15. Pingback: Friday Fiction – Fix It (reprise) | elmowrites

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