Friday Fiction – A Mother’s Legacy

Another gorgeous picture for the Fictioneers this week, today’s courtesy of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Thanks to Madison Woods as usual for hosting.

My response is a bit of a mystery even to me, this week. I’ll leave you to decide where the characters are going and what it all means. As ever, I’d love to hear your thoughts and critique is always welcome.


A Mother’s Legacy

She knew the path so much better than I, yet I was leading. She had guided me all my life, but now I was ahead.

She was staring into the trees, and I noticed what had caught her attention – a spider’s web, vividly picked out of the darkness by the crystal moonlight. And in the very centre, a tight ball of inhabitants, ready to hatch.

“She’s given them everything,” she said, unable to look away. “Will it be enough, my children?”

I tucked an arm underneath hers, blinking away tears, “Of course, Mum. Let’s get you to the shore now.”





Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

32 responses to “Friday Fiction – A Mother’s Legacy

  1. We went in a similar direction this week, didn’t we, Jen? Nice.

  2. TheOthers1

    I almost got the impression the mother was sick (sick in the head or harboring an illness of some kind). Though her words felt a bit like a lament. Giving away so much, will it be enough, some regret. I normally don’t do well interpreting other people’s pieces, but there was something about this.

    Didn’t bother linking up, but I tired something:

    • Thanks for your thoughts. I definitely had them going to her departure in some way, whether she’s dying or moving away is up to the reader. I’m glad you shared your interpretation – thank you.

  3. Nicely done Jennifer. They do say you know you’re old when your child takes your hand to cross the road and you crafted some nice parallels in here. Well done.

    • Ooh, what a cute saying, Sandra. And so true, I think. I’m glad the parallels worked for you – the first two sentences cost me quite a few words, but I couldn’t bring myself to delete either of them.

  4. I have a soft spot for parental themes. Liked this a lot.. sply loved this line – ” a spider’s web, vividly picked out of the darkness by the crystal moonlight”. It captures the essence of the prompt accurately.
    But I don’t understand the sentiment behind ‘blinking away tears’.. what could have triggered that? Perhaps you should pursue this train of thought..
    Good work there!

    • I’m pleased you liked that line, Parul. The tears are because in some way the Mum is leaving the narrator behind, hence her concern about having lef tthe child(ren) with enough – whether she’s going to her death or some less drastic departure is for the reader to decide though.

  5. Trudy

    This reads to me like the daughter leading the mother to the boat to ‘cross over’. It had that kind of poignancy – I don’t know if I’m on the right track. Also, ‘vividly picked out of the darkness by the crystal moonlight’ is just lovely.

  6. Beautiful story. Deliciously crafted.

  7. Russell

    It put a lump in my throat. Beautifully written.

  8. Very nicely written. There comes a time when a child becomes the parent and the parent the child….

  9. Lovely! I think as parents we always wonder if it will be enough and we also dread the time when we take over as parents in some ways to our own parents. You captured all that and the accompanying emotions very well.

    • thanks, tea. I’m glad it all worked for you – I’d like to say I think parents should worry less, but as a nearly-parent myself, I suspect I won’t heed my own advice there!

      • Not worrying is definitely one of those things that’s easier said than done! Oddly, in our family, it’s always been Bill who stayed up until the girls got home. I figured that if something happened, the call would wake me and being up wouldn’t prevent it. It’s the sort of thing that as a Christian I try (not saying I always succeed) turning over to God to take care of. All the best with parenting! It’s (almost always) a wonderful trip. 🙂

  10. Hi Jennifer,
    I like the reversal of roles in your story, how the mother and child have exchanged places. Am I right that “the shore” is symbolic of death? Nice writing. Ron

  11. Your story raises many questions. Or perhaps I’m too afraid to look at the answers it gives. I’m picking up on senility, a journey motif (given everything else, death), uncertainty, generational shift. I’m wondering if 1st person would serve this story well? It seems so immediate and surrounded by shadows, like the characters are figuratively, as well as literally, making their way through the dark.

    • Thanks for your thoughtful comments, keli. Actually, I was wondering about using this story for Voice Week (a project through Inspiration Monday where you write the same piece in several different voices) and I think you’ve given me another incentive to do so. Check back in early October if you’re interested in how it goes…

  12. I got tired of reading all the comments you generated. Great job. I couldn’t help feeling their journey was the result of some worldly trauma- don’t ask me why- which left the mother slightly “off” and left the daughter no alternative but to lead her mother to safety. An entire world in just 100 words. I love it!

  13. i hate blinking away tears. i mean when i have to do it.

  14. Pingback: Following up or digging deeper | elmowrites

  15. Dear Jen,

    One of the most mystical and lyrical last lines you’ve ever written. (The entire story is well woven, as usual, but that last line? Magic.)



  16. Pingback: Voice Week #1 | elmowrites

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