FF – Oldest Surviving

A day late, almost a word short (I finally found a place to add one!). Here’s my story for Al Forbes‘ fantastic picture prompt. I appreciate feedback and I read every comment even though I sometimes struggle to reply quickly!


Oldest Surviving

Eloise squinted in the June sun and fingered the battered paper poppy on her lapel. People had been staring her whole life, but this was different. The Mayor was saying something about oldest surviving… her ears tuned out, her memory washed in… then her name, and Eloise was meant to speak.

Oldest surviving, she thought, her hand moving to the scar on her hip where they’d taken away her sister. Then it flew back to the poppy, and her mind to Bobby. Either of them might have been standing beside her. Oldest surviving, she thought, really just meant longest bereft.


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

39 responses to “FF – Oldest Surviving

  1. gahlearner

    I love that last line, it is so true. I was a bit puzzled by the scar on the hip, is she a siamese twin or am I missing something?

  2. Dale

    Beautifully written, Jennifer. I met this lovely old woman of 101 who kept saying that she was ready to join her loved ones, that she was tired of being the one left behind; she said she figured God had forgotten all about her…

  3. Great use of the last word, enjoyed the imagery.

  4. Oldest surviving does not sound like fun. Nice story and the ending was sadly beautiful.

  5. I love how you carried it all the way into that perfect last line. Indeed to survive alone is being very alone… You describe a hole life in 100 words… very good.

  6. Dear Jennifer,

    Beautifully written. You captured her age in the way her mind wandered. I’m guessing she was a conjoined twin? At any rate, the last line is stunning. Brava!



  7. I remember my dad talking with sadness about outliving all his friends. I believe both of my parents were very much ready to go those last two or three years they lived. Excellent use of the prompt.

  8. Moving story – survival is not always a blessing.

  9. This was such a lovely story Jen. And I loved that last line too. Well done.

  10. I could feel all of the emotions Eloise was feeling. You wrote a very tender story of loss from a part of her that no longer was. I had tears well up. Emotionally charged … !!!
    Isadora 😎

  11. So sad… how true those words can be!

  12. Pingback: FF Rerun – Oldest Surviving | elmowrites

  13. Reminded me of a recent birthday celebration for the oldest surviving Jew from the Holocaust.

  14. I remember a lady for whom we threw a 100th b-day celebration. She was great! I asked her how she felt about tiurning 100. She said, “Oh, fine …. I wouldn’t want to do it AGAIN, but ,,:

  15. That last line is a killer, and so true. I like how you hint about how she gets a little confused, without making her seem a caricature. Well-done.

  16. A great sense of loss for those around her. Excellent.

  17. One does get a general feeling of sadness and loneliness from this. Sometimes it is attitude. I had a dear friend in her mid-90s that talked of being the one left (alive). Yet she also said when she moved to the nursing home, “I have to keep making new friends or I won’t have any, since the old ones are passing on.” She was a dear.

  18. Reminds me of my Grandmother, last of her generation. Wonderfully written.

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