Friday Fiction – Death Becomes Her

As promised, it’s December, so I’m back with the Friday Fictioneers. NaNoWriMo was great – I miss it already, and I’m desperate to finish my novel, but December is never a great month to write, and especially this year when we have guests for more than half of it! So quick, while I have a chance, here’s a story for Rochelle‘s prompt – a photograph from long-term and highly-committed Fictioneer,  Janet Webb.

flowers-with-ice-janet-webb-2

 

Death Becomes Her

“It does what?” Larry asked.

“It becomes her,” I said. “She looks good on it.”

“I’m sure that’s a great comfort,” he said, indicating her grieving bastard of a husband, then edging away.

“It is,” I said – to her really, or myself. It wasn’t clear to me where one began and the other ended. She wasn’t “a beauty” in life; too round, she always sighed, although some of us like a fuller figure.

I could hear her voice in my head – bemoaning the figure that had turned heads. Usually the wrong kind, she said.

“And mine,” I whispered.

29 Comments

Filed under Friday Fiction

29 responses to “Friday Fiction – Death Becomes Her

  1. Little things make this story so lovely, Jenn. I like the way your character flips words around to say, “She looks good on it.” I like the end–even though I felt what was coming. A cunning narrative. Thanks for presenting us with this bouquet.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

  2. I have to say that this was so well done.. I can feel a sense of relief.. but I assume the second bastard man will find a new object to turn his “head” to..

    • haha! Interestingly, I pictured the narrator as a woman, her (or their?) love very much forbidden and not solely by a prior marriage. But I fully admit nothing in the story revealed this. I couldn’t think of a way to put it in without turning the whole story 3rd person or adding a lot of words.

  3. Lovely story, the narrator told so much in little snippets. I felt relief that she was able to acknowledge her true feelings, even if only to herself.

  4. The banter here plays out so realistically– these things often half said, pulled from time and memory, when someone is gone. Welcome back Jennifer!

  5. Dear Jennifer,

    Welcome back.

    Forbidden love, a hard thing to keep tucked away in the heart. Lovely writing, poignant story.

    Keep that novel tucked in your heart. Keep notes. Hit it hard in January. 😉

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

  6. I guess the narrator just admired her from afar. Quite sad. He obviously doesn’t think her husband treated her too well.

    • Thanks for your comment, draliman. The narrator isn’t necessarily the most independent judge of the husband’s behaviour, but I’m glad you got that from his(her) words.

  7. A great narrative. I pictured that narrator as a woman, too. Loving her as a friend… or maybe more…that’s what makes it a great read. You can interpret as you wish!

  8. It’s nice to see a post from you. You left us a lot to chew on here. I suspected the narrator was female, but I wasn’t very good at putting all the pieces together. Still, I thought it was very well written.

  9. A great ending to what becomes a heartfelt love letter.

  10. This is a very interesting story. Too many times, people go through life and don’t acknowledge who they really are. Good job! Nan 🙂

  11. Oh! Great last minute twist for the character!

  12. Dearest Jennifer,

    What struck me most about your story was the effortless way the dialog sweeps the reader into the story and holds them there as it unfolds and reveals a complicated and layered tale. My take on the narrator was that she was a woman, but I mention that only to let you know that that thought came naturally to me from the dialog. Again, naturally. I cannot wait to read your novel because if it is half as good as your Friday Fictioneer stories it will be ten times better than most other offerings currently on the shelves. Take your time, get it right, nurture Sebastian and enjoy the holidays, but never forget that this far flung fan thinks your work is captivating and praiseworthy.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    • (sorry for the delay. life!)
      Thanks Doug, your comments never fail to make me smile. The novel(s) are definitely not as neat and tidy as my FF submissions, but I do hope they will see the light of day, and grace your bookshelves, one day. Thank you for keeping the faith.

  13. Very touching, full of love, sadness, even regret. This is so well done, deep but not over the top. I like stories that are open to a reader to interpret in many different ways, those that make you ask questions long after you finished reading.

  14. I always want to know what people died of. Maybe it’s a sense of morbid fascination. Or maybe I want to know more about what to watch out for. Especially if someone young bites it.

    I’m guessing abuse? It’s implied by the “bastard of a husband” and turning the wrong heads, but isn’t confirmed anywhere and is too strong of a topic for me to simply accept. Especially when I don’t know if the narrator is male or female.

    ps. This is really good just as it is. 🙂

    • Interesting. I don’t know what she died of, but for what it’s worth, I don’t think the husband is necessarily as bad as the narrator makes him out to be. The friend, Larry, seems to me to be on the husband’s side, for example.
      But this is all just my reading of it; like most of these restricted-word stories, it’s ambiguous.

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