Tag Archives: Family

FF -Tidy Mind

Today’s impressive photo from Amy Reese put me in mind of a few things – the line from My Own Private Idaho about “I’ve been tasting roads my whole life…”; that bit in Scandal with Huck; and lastly the massive amount of storage we now use in the West. I’ve read some incredible stats about just how much space and money we dedicate to things we no longer want in our homes but can’t bring ourselves to get rid of. I’m minimalising at home right now, and the purge feels good even though the decisions aren’t always easy.

Ultimately, my story isn’t exactly about any of these things. I hope it makes sense – it was one of those that would have appreciated 200 words, but hopefully still works as it is. Your thoughts are very welcome.

from-amy-reese

Tidy mind

Alice leaned on the box and taped it closed. Packing was always such a release. Tidy house, tidy mind, as Jack would say.
Steve arrived from Big Yellow and put it in his pick-up. “Alright, Mrs A?”
She smiled and waved. He was a nice boy was Steve; always polite. Make a nice husband for her daughter, she thought, if the girl would just smile.

“Where’s the cutlery gone, Mum?” Sarah asked that evening. “And my plates?”
“I’m decluttering,” said Alice, emerging from Sarah’s bedroom with a heavy bag. “You don’t want all this stuff kicking around when I’m gone.”

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Summer Rerun – His World

When Rochelle asked for our favourite stories from back in FF history, I had an enjoyable morning reading back through my old contributions. I found some I remembered being proud of that didn’t chime so well this time around, some I’d forgotten entirely, and a few that I still love. One of the last category was this one – His World. Interestingly, it continues the grandparent theme of recent weeks.

I’m grateful to Rochelle for the opportunity to look through, and to rerun this one.

 

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FF – The Greatest of These

This week’s FF story is a special one to me. During my recent absence, I lost my last surviving grandparent: my Grandma. She was a wonderful woman who wore her heart on her sleeve and never let any of us forget how much she loved us. She follows my Grandad, with whom she had a long and loving marriage of over 60 years and who I know she missed every day since his death. Although I don’t know what is on ‘the other side’, I am certain that her grief is over. Either they are now together or else it doesn’t matter.

When I saw Rochelle‘s picture, this story is what came to me. I hope you like it; I welcome your comments.

waves

The Greatest of These

The noise lapped over her in waves: hushed voices, a reading from Corinthians, a baby crying and quickly quieted. There was a weight to the sounds that wrapped them around her like an embrace, though she could see, hear, and feel none of it.
From a distance, and across a gap both wider and narrower than the physical one, she knew nothing of the details. Sight, sound and sensation were lost to her. Where she was, only love remained – from those near and far, surviving and already departed. It was love that flowed both ways, and would never end.

Of all the photos from my wedding, this remains one of my favourites.

Of all the photos from my wedding, this remains one of my favourites.

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FF – Retards

I haven’t really got time to join in F this week, but I’ve been away a couple of weeks and I miss it, so here’s my (slightly rushed) response to the prompt. I would love your feedback and I will make sure I get to a few other stories over the course of the week.

Thanks to Roger Bultot for the picture. If you’re wondering how it links to the photo, the fear that many of the stories would prominently feature the door thing in the centre as a tardis or portal sent me spinning off into a daydream about reading the same old thing over and over again, which in turn led me onto a political path about history repeating itself as the UK government prepares to plunge into yet another military intervention of questionable merit, which all led me to Chrissie, and her mother, and eventually Simon. I’m not looking for political discourse; I’m just giving you the short version of what Roger’s intriguing photo has to do with this story.

I am aware that the title and the use of this word in the story could upset some people. I hope you will read to the end for Chrissie’s (and therefore the author’s) justification for its use.

roger-bultot-2

Retards

“Oh pur-lease,” sighed Chrissie.
“What?”
“That,” My daughter indicated something on her phone and I pondered the return of single word + pointing. Thirteen years ago, I was desperate for her to speak in sentences and she did. Until recently. “Retards.”
“Chrissie!” I warned, relieved that her brother was upstairs.
“Proper ones, Mum. No condition, no excuse, just idiots.”
“I’d still rather you didn’t use that word.”
She saw my glance at the ceiling. “Simon’s not a retard, Mum. His brain didn’t develop like theirs and he’s still smarter. They should be pleased to be compared to my big brother.”

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Friday Fiction – Another Brother

Last week’s story seemed to stir a lot of emotions and sympathy. I hope the Fictioneers are as kind and generous in person as they are too my little stories – thank you all! This week, I’ve gone a different way and I anticipate a lot less sympathy for my narrator. He’s a product of his upbringing, but that doesn’t make him right.

I welcome your comments and critique: good or bad.

This week’s photograph comes from Sandra Crook.

dijon

Another Brother

A big family fits together over the years, tessellating like triangles and hexagons, so newcomers always have a tough time fitting in. You can’t just add a square without putting some corners out of joint. Shelley was in love: she thought we’d all love Johnny too. But Mum and Dad struggled to lose their princess to anyone, and the last thing we needed was another brother, even one –in-law.

Then Bradley introduced his own deviation to the mix and Johnny seemed homogenous beside Elliot. None of us had ever worn tight pink t-shirts and hot pants, not even the girls.

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Friday Fiction – Foreign Invader

Today’s picture wasn’t immediately recognisable to me, except that it looked like continental Europe, but the title of the photo turns out to be Barcelona. I’ve been, once, on a soccer tour of all things (Pembroke Ladies, I think we lost every match), but perhaps this wasn’t a part we visited.

The picture is from Dee Lovering and Rochelle leads us as usual. I always appreciate honest comments and hope you’ll leave one today.

barcelona-2006-011

Foreign Invader

Mrs Bronson looked over her glasses and down her nose. “He’s dark-skinned,” she whispered to her husband in a voice that carried eagerly to their daughter’s ears and, no doubt, her new boyfriend’s.

“Slightly,” Mr Bronson concurred, somewhat quieter. “But he seems nice.”

“Think of the babies though.”

“Good God, woman, let’s not think of babies yet. She’s only nineteen.”

“Someone has to. We need to put a stop to it. Can’t have half-caste Grandchildren standing over our graves, Albert.”

“Christ! Now you’ve got her a mother and us dead!”

“Probably killed by that boy. I don’t trust the Spanish.”

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Friday Fiction – Sheffield Should Never Be Thrown

This week’s FF prompt comes from Jan Wayne Fields. My story is inspired rather than illustrated by the pic, so don’t be confused by the fact that it clearly doesn’t fit in the details. To be honest, there’s a lot about this story I’m not sure about, but time is not on my side this week, so I post it and anticipate your comments and critique. More (and less) polished responses can be found via FF HQ.

dining-room

Sheffield Should Never Be Thrown (VERSION 2 – old version follows)

Tarquin has set the table immaculately: my Waterford glasses, porcelain dishes, Sheffield cutlery perfectly straight beside.

But the settings are wrong. Just two after our wedding, his birth added a third – plastic initially, then metal. Sheffield only when I was confident it wouldn’t be thrown. Then he grew and left us and we stared across the table again – conscious of the empty space on my left; his father’s right.

Two places again today: his own opposite mine. The Prince ready to accede. I cannot challenge him, so I remove the Sheffield from my own setting. Sheffield should never be thrown.

OLD VERSION:

Tarquin’s set the table immaculately: my Waterford glasses, porcelain dishes, Sheffield cutlery perfectly straight beside.

But the settings are wrong. Just two before he was born, his arrival added a third – plastic initially, then metal. Sheffield only when I was confident it wouldn’t be thrown. Then he grew and left us and we stared across the table again – conscious of the empty space on my left; his father’s right.

Two places again today: his own opposite mine. The Prince ready to accede. I cannot challenge him, so I remove the Sheffield from my own setting. Sheffield should never be thrown.

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Friday Fiction – Car shopping

As for previous weeks, please accept my apologies for not having much time this week to read and comment on other stories. We’re over halfway there, folks, and December is on the horizon! I have so many things I’m putting off till then, I fear it will still be a busy month, but hopefully a little less crazy!

As for this week’s story I know I shouldn’t prejudice you with my thoughts, but I’m not sure about this one. I had a lot more to say and perhaps with more time and effort, I could have fitted it in better, but see what you think. The picture is from Claire Fuller, other stories can be found through Rochelle.

claire-fuller-7

Car Shopping

“What do you call a Skoda with two exhaust pipes?”

It was Matty’s favourite joke, and I knew the answer, but I scratched my head anyway.

“A wheelbarrow!” He ran off through the showroom, cackling wildly.

“He’ll be mortified,” said my husband, Jack, leaning on our first choice. “But that joke’s anachronistic; they’re good cars.”

“I know, but you’re not the one who’ll have to persuade him to get in it every time.”

“Hey, Mum! How do you double the value of a Skoda?”

“I blame your brother,” grumbled Jack.

“Me too,” I sighed. “Fill up the petrol tank, Matty.”

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Friday Fiction – All Front and Tailgates

Well, how could I miss this week’s FF with a prompt picture like this one from Jean L. Hays? I’ll keep it brief since I should be NaNoWriMoing, but head over to Rochelle’s homepage for her stories and links to many more. I probably won’t have much chance to read this week; if that upsets you, please feel free to stop reading this post.

image

All front and tailgates

“Some folks are all front and tailgates,” Mike had once told him. “Nothing under the hood, you know what I mean? No need to be scared of them sorta folks.”

Billy looked at the boys in front of him and tried to remember the confidence he’d felt when his brother said that sort of thing. All front and tailgates.

They were bigger than him. Meaner than him. But nothing under the hood.

“You got brains, Billy. You’ll outsmart all of us.”

If he could only persuade them to make this fight a chess match, he’d beat them black and blue.

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Friday Fiction – A New Chapter

When I saw this week’s photograph, my first thoughts turned to suicide notes. Perhaps it is the Robin Williams news that took my mind so readily in that direction; I don’t know.  I resisted it though, partly because I suspect others might have had a similar idea, and partly because an old desk has another meaning for me. The story that follows is almost all fiction, but there’s a grain of truth in it, and if I could find the real note that inspired both the story and the author (tucked away somewhere; I assure you I haven’t lost it) I’d have copied its wording more faithfully.

Thanks to Rochelle for hosting us, and her husband Jan for the photograph. So rich with elements, it could have inspired 100 different stories. Oh, wait, it probably has!

antique-desk

When I opened the desk, it held a note.

Dear Little Friend, I have served faithfully for generations. Now a new chapter begins: we will make great discoveries together, I am sure.

With it was a photograph of Grandpa sitting at the desk, writing. I often looked at him or the note when homework, characters or life had me stumped.

The note and photograph are tucked into a drawer that’s always lacked a handle. The Universal Author calls me to my epilogue now, but my Grandson will find them when he is ready and another chapter will begin with him.

 

 

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