Friday Fiction again and this week a photo from veteran player, Sandra Crook. I think she must have been with us at least as long as me, right Sandra?
Your thoughts and critique of my writing are always welcome.
Edith took the news with a sigh.
“I know you don’t approve, Mum, but the marriage just isn’t working for us.”
“I remember when marriage didn’t work for you, you worked for it. Things got a little rickety, you propped them up. Added a pillar. Or you leant harder on the ones you had.”
“And when there’s no pillars left?”
Edith glanced over at her grandsons. “You’ve three great pillars right there.”
“I don’t love her any more.”
“Well. Love’s the weakest pillar of all. I haven’t been in love since the Great War. And certainly not with your father.”
Rochelle’s own photo this week. And a rushed post from me. It’s nice to have time to write at all!
“Where’s your gloves, now?” Sadie asked, exasperated.
“Dunno.” There was something in Evan’s voice that said he did.
“That’s four pairs gone!” Sadie yelled. “And it’s minus nine out there!”
Evan pulled his sleeves down over his hands.
“Fine. Let’s go or you’ll miss the bus,” she half pushed him out and down the drive.
On the way back to the house, she detoured into the field to check the trough hadn’t frozen. Beside it, she found a neat pile of mittens and a note in messy letters she knew so well.
“Put on you feet,” she read, “Itz cold.”
This morning, I met my son’s toddler gymnastics teacher. She smiled and said, with honest enthusiasm, “You look exceptionally beautiful today.” I am desperately tired, wrestling a cold myself and two children who have also got it and have entirely forgotten how to sleep at night, at least in their own beds. It will pass, we will get through it, but hearing “You look ex…” my brain completed it with “…hausted.”
I could barely keep my eyes open. The short walk to class felt like a mountain climb. I looked exhausted. But apparently the top I had chosen at random from the drawer this morning – one which I love and which is in a colour that I’ve always thought suits me – meant I looked something else too.
I’m not writing this out of pride or self-pity. I’m grateful not just for the compliment, but for the reminder – we can be many things all at once. It’s better to focus on the good ones!
Pin-pricks of light scattered across the ceiling. Annalise thought about the star-cloth backdrop they’d had at their wedding. It was a silly thing to focus on, especially today. Light was just light, after all. Thomas was lying in a box in the next room, and people were filing past shaking her hand or putting arms around her and saying things in hushed tones that she couldn’t hear.
The stairs swept up around her and she briefly wondered where they led. What happens on the second floor of a crematorium?
But more, she focused on the light. It was exceptionally beautiful.
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.
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.
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.
No time, no time, muttered the rabbit. Tomorrow, I am giving a public reading of a 1000 word story and I either haven’t chosen it yet from my existing repetoire, or haven’t written it yet if I need something new. But FF is an addiction, and this story wanted to be told, even though I had to beat and crowbar it to make it 100 words. I’d be interested to know if you think it feels overworked, and if the character I was trying to draw still came across after the edits. It’s inspired by Marie Gail Stratford’s picture below, in in particular by the juxtaposition of two words on the picture. I wonder if they both stood out to anyone else.
Always use protection
Angie reapplied her gloss. It was an unlikely place to meet the man of her dreams – especially when he’d be busy wowing the conference bar across the street – but a girl should be ready.
Trying not to think about her boss, she reordered and found guilty pleasure in the barman’s flirting. It was a long time since anyone laughed at her jokes.
Of course, he’s just playing for tips.
Any longer and she risked liking him, then disappointment when nothing happened. Angie dropped a couple of extra bills on the bar and walked away from a half full glass.
It is Friday, after all. So, better late than never, here’s my story for Rochelle’s own picture prompt this week.
It’s arguably not a story, but it came to me all at once, and when I typed the last word you see below, I noticed it was 100 words exactly, so I couldn’t resist the feeling it wanted to be posted as is. Apart from changing one adjective that didn’t seem quite in keeping, I haven’t changed it at all, but I welcome your feedback.
Everything in Grandma’s house was old. Grandma herself, obviously, had been alive long enough to remember black and white television, Nixon and the Civil War, and she had a telephone that plugged into the wall and you had to stand right there in the kitchen if you wanted to talk, because you were tethered there like a goat.
But the oldest thing in Grandma’s house was the golden clock. It never moved. Uncle Joe said it was right twice a day, but Grandma said it told the time she met Grandpa and was always right. I liked Grandma’s version better.