A Temporary Lapse (Five Sentence Fiction, June 2012)

This week’s prompt from Lillie McFerrin’s Five Sentence Fiction was


I only stop for a second to pick another flower so we can make a daisy chain when we get home, and then when I look back she’s gone, vanished as though conjured away into the ether.

Until then she was holding my hand as she always does, scolding me when I drag my feet, ignoring me when I sulk because of her refusal to buy me an ice cream and occasionally reassuring me when she can see I feel threatened by big dogs and boys on skateboards.

In an instant my surroundings look different, darker, threatening, even though she often brings me here to this place where we feed the ducks, and she points out the trees and flowers, giving them names from that vast store of knowledge that she seems to possess.

I realise I need the toilet, and panic strikes because she’s not there to help me, and I don’t know where she is, or whether I would be able to find my way home if she didn’t reappear.

And suddenly, she’s there;  my world rights itself as I recognise her dear face, and I wonder, not for the first time, whether I’m truly up to this new journey on which I seem to be embarking, this puzzling, frustrating and frightening road through the mists towards dementia.

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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39 Responses to A Temporary Lapse (Five Sentence Fiction, June 2012)

  1. ahblack57 says:

    You alway surprise me. You totally had me going right up until the last word and BAM the whole story changed. Great stuff.


    • Sandra says:

      Thank you! I’m glad I can still surprise. My husband is always second guessing as he reads my stuff, so I worry whether the endings are predictable.


  2. erinleary says:

    Well done – very clever use of the twist at the end.


  3. Excellent Sandra … suspenseful and unexpected.


  4. What a poignant story of this terrifying illness. I didn’t see that ending coming, but it was fun trying to figure out just who she was through those first four sentences!!! Well done 🙂


  5. TheOthers1 says:

    Oh! Totally thought it was a kid, way to throw me there. Nice work.


  6. lisashambrook says:

    Beautifully put, after realising it wasn’t a child…I visualised a couple and really felt the heart-pounding fear…


  7. Cara Michaels says:

    Thought this was a young child’s story until the end. Nice twist, though sad, having lived through that with my grandmother. Well done.


  8. There was the twist and then another, you are such a great writer! Sandra, I always look forward to reading your 5sf entries. You get so much into 5 sentences…I’m in awe.


  9. Sandra says:

    Thanks Jo-Anne, you always brighten my day! 🙂


  10. Sandra, you craft such wonderful tales! Another great one! I found myself reading quickly through the first 4 sentences… then I paused before the last one, to try work out what the ending would be – but you caught me by surprise!


  11. This was a great and totally unexpected twist!

    I think you will find my response to the prompt, though different, a kindred-sister to yours.


  12. Sandra says:

    Indeed it was. Thanks for dropping by and commenting.


  13. snitch21 says:

    I figured it was an adult but it was an enjoyable read nonetheless 🙂 Love it!


  14. Stephanie says:

    What an interesting twist to the ending! I was hooked from the moment I started reading, and throughout the piece, I had pictured a young child looking for her mother. The flow of the piece was very well done and it poured into the ending very nicely! 🙂


  15. jeanelaine says:

    Darling, just darling. Loved the twist, you never fail to surprise me.


  16. Elisabeth says:

    I really thought you were telling the story from a child’s point of view and then the ending. . . so very sad but beautifully descriptive. xx


  17. Ah. I took mine along the lines of dementia, too. Really enjoyed your take on it. Nice descriptions.


  18. sjp says:

    a twist from child like innocence into something else entirely


  19. Lora Mitchell says:

    I was taken in at first thinking…oh no…another kidnapped child…then your surprise turn at the end. I’m sure this ending will resonate with many people…unfortunately. Nice work as usual. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.


  20. Oh. I think you just twisted my heart into a pretzel knot – twice. Wonderful writing. Wonderful!


  21. Lucy says:

    You did a wonderful job! As a daughter of a mother with Alzheimer’s disease you got us right into the heart of the character and in a way that was with dignity and grace.


  22. Sandra says:

    I’m so sorry about your mother Lucy; I’ve several friends who are going through this just now.
    Thank you for commenting.


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