FF – Waiting

No rerun for me this week; if you went back to Rochelle’s original post, you’ll know why. Five days into motherhood, apparently I didn’t put writing first ;). Three and a half years on, it’s still a challenge to fit in a weekly burst of writing, but sometimes we need to rise to challenges…

Kent Bonham recommended the rerun; the picture is Rochelle‘s own.



Mrs Mwanna says he won’t bring Mummy home in this. She says it loads, like each time she looks out, the sun will be shining, the ice will have gone and the car will have pulled in.

She looks more often than I do, but they don’t come.

It’s too cold to take Mummy outside. She’s too frail to walk and it’s too slippery for the wheelchair. Too far for me to visit. Too early for us to phone.

We hold hands and watch through the frost for the car that won’t come. He won’t bring her home in this.


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

28 responses to “FF – Waiting

  1. There is nothing that isolate more than a weather like this… and those frail are the one that suffer most.

  2. Ah, that’s a sad old tale. Hope mummy comes home soon, cos someone is really missing here. Lovely take on the prompt

  3. I never thought your writing suffered. He’s 3 1/2, wow time flies.

  4. Sadness and a mystery. Well written.

  5. My mom and dad are pretty tough for their ages and they live on ten acres of land. But, when the snow comes in, anymore, it’s a chore to clear the driveway. He hires people to do it now.

    Nice work, Mum Jen!

  6. Dale

    Nothing worse than waiting for someone who just won’t (can’t) come home…

  7. gahlearner

    So sad. I like the way you reveal the tragedy by simply letting people looking out of the window. Why is mummy frail and in the wheelchair? Will she get better? Will she come home at all? And waiting is so hard for children…

  8. Dear Jen,

    You’ve given a good sense of the child’s impatience. I found the second sentence a little confusing. Like Gabriele I wonder why Mummy is frail and in the wheelchair. But then from the child’s POV she wouldn’t know either. Nicely done. I marvel that Sebastian is 3 and half already.



    • Yes, I wasn’t surea bout that sentence post-edit. It’s supposed to reflect the balance of hope with disappointment – every time Mrs M looks, there’s a moment of hope followed by the disappointment and her reminding herself that of course, they won’t come in this. She does it out loud, and Melanie picks up on that. But yes, I think the meaning got a bit lost. Could do with another half hour’s editing perhaps.

      As for the questions, Melanie and Mrs Mwanna are actually recurring character of mine, so you can find out more by clicking on the Melanie tag. But this story is also intended to stand alone.

      Sebastian is indeed growing up on us, and Dominic is one. But then I imagine sometimes you marvel that your boys aren’t babies any more too!

  9. mickwynn2013

    A lovely piece. You nailed so well the impatience and frustration of waiting for something out of your control to clear so that live can carry on.

  10. Wow, that was a fast 3 1/2 years. Pretty soon Sebastian will be starting school. I love the repetitiveness of the child’s POV. If Mummy is elderly and frail, does it mean that the protagonist is an adult who is mentally challenged?

    • Maybe for you, Russell; the hours are longer down in the parenting trenches 😉
      As I mentioned to Rochelle, Melanie (the narrator) is actually a recurring character of mine, you can use the tag to find more of her stories. She’s a child and her mother is frail through illness not age, but absent that ‘outside’ knowledge, I certainly think the story could work in the way you suggest.

  11. Beautiful. You captured both the love and impatience perfectly, sprinkled with the child’s own little bit of worldly knowledge – the car isn’t going to come in that weather!

    • Thank you, Siobhan. I intended her to be repeating a lot of snippets she’s heard, with a hint of impatience at all the times she’s been told it “too” whatever, and therefore yes, adult language from the mind of a child.

  12. I’m already fearful; of ice and snow and I am far from elderly, but not so far that I can’t wince with dread.

  13. A lovely feeling of longing here. I can sense Mrs Mwanna’s sadness as well as the narrator’s.

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