The Way We Were (Friday Fictioneers, August 2012)

This week’s photo prompt from Madison Wood’s Friday Fictioneers came courtesy of Maggie Duncan.  I found this one quite hard, I wanted to do ‘funny’ after last week’s ‘heavy’ but I wasn’t convinced about the funny one.  So I’ve added it at the bottom, after the one I finally decided to submit.

The Way We Were

“Do you remember coming up here on our wedding day?”

She pressed his hand against her cheek.

“How could I forget?”

“So much has changed … we had the best of it, I’m afraid.”

She sighed.

“It’s the children I feel sorry for, and their kids.”

They were silent, watching the mist rolling over the village.

“We’d better go back, time’s running out.”

He helped her to her feet, and as she slipped her mask on, he adjusted the oxygen pack on her frail shoulders, before donning his own respirator.

Together, their protective clothing rustling in the silence, they made their way back down to the village.

Sacrifice

The mist clung to the hollows ahead, shifting lazily.

She stopped in dismay.

“I’m not walking through that.”

“If we’re to reach safety, my love, we must.”

“You go then.  Bring help.”

He hesitated.

Then after one last embrace he covered his nose and mouth with a scarf, and plunged forward disappearing quickly from sight.

Within seconds she heard a heart-rending scream followed by the victorious keening of the Nurikabi.

“Bummer,” she muttered, tying her own scarf round her lower face before hurrying into the mist.

‘It loves humans,’ the wise man had said, ‘but it can’t manage two of them.’



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About Sandra

I cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and write fiction and poetry. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
This entry was posted in Friday Fictioneers, Just Sayin'. Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to The Way We Were (Friday Fictioneers, August 2012)

  1. I enjoyed both of them, Sandra. Nothing like some humorous (albeit a bit dark) sci-fi! The real question is, did she have a suspicion and send him on purpose??? Sounds a bit like it to me. I liked the love shown in the first one as well as the sadness.

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  2. TheOthers1 says:

    Oh dang! I almost feel bad chuckling at that last one… I love how her response was bummer. I’m going to say chuckling is okay. Enjoyed both stories.

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  3. Jan Brown says:

    Loved both stories, Sandra! Very well done!

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  4. boomiebol says:

    I liked both of them, both were different and very well written. The first was beautiful and also had a sad underlining

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  5. stuff I said says:

    Both are very enjoyable, the second did make me grin. Well written.

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  6. I love both stories; they are well written and great takes on the prompt. Mine is here and linked: http://readinpleasure.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/fridayfictioneers-light-on-the-hill/

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  7. I liked them both, too, Sandra, although I’ll admit to preferring the poignancy of the first one.
    here’s mine http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/escape

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  8. erinleary says:

    I think I like the second one best. It made me smile. The other one was beautifully written, just sad. I guess I, like you, preferred a littel humor! Mine is here: http://erinleary.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/flash-friday-fiction-13/

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  9. Linda says:

    I preferred the first one, but the second one made me smile, it was almost as if it was deliberate. Well done to do two.

    Here’s mine too: http://womanontheedgeofreality.com/2012/08/24/friday-fictioneers-misty/

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  10. I loved them both but leaning toward the first. Your line…”feeling sorry for the children and their children” resonated with me. I look at all the babies being born in my neighborhood and wonder what kind of world they will live in. Thanks for stopping my and commenting on mine.

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  11. JKBradley says:

    I love the “Bummer”, the use of that one word shines a revealing spot light upon that character. Nicely done.

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  12. Russell says:

    When I saw the title I expected to hear Barbara Streisand belting out some heart-felt lyrics. but instead found two thought-provoking stories. Nicely done, Sandra.

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  13. Mayumi-H says:

    I like them both, Sandra. The first is slightly more sympathetic to my mind (they stay together and protect each other), but I do really like the second for its fatefulness and sacrifice, even if it’s unwitting. Have you ever considered working in survival horror? The genre would benefit from a storyteller like you, who can tell horror that’s resonant as well as grim.

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    • Sandra says:

      Thanks Mayumi. I’ve had quite a bit of horror work, (not gore and entrails I hasten to add) but people seldom survive in my work. Maybe I should give that some thought.

      Like

  14. Anne Orchard says:

    I enjoyed them both for different reasons, Sandra, The first was more heartfelt, the second made me laugh whilst exploring that question of what any of us would be capable of in the circumstances!

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  15. vbholmes says:

    “You go then. Bring help.” In my book, the second story features one crafty lady! Good story.

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    • Sandra says:

      Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it. In answer to your query on your website, it’s not exactly post apocalyptic – there’s been a gradual decline in air quality and an increase in pollution levels. The mist is toxic. Grim isn’t it? 😦

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  16. I enjoyed both, and yes, I mentally inserted ‘It might be dangerous. You go first.’ as I read the second.

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  17. billgncs says:

    nice — treacherous minx wasn’t she! but would it get her next ?

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  18. Cindy Marsch says:

    I like the zinger of the second one, especially, and the pacing of the first is just right.

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  19. Adam Ickes says:

    Wow, she just totally sacrificed him. Poor guy never even saw it coming.

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  20. Tessa says:

    I loved them both, although the first one was very poignant, you can feel their love. The second one, well I think she did that on purpose since ‘It loves humans,’ the wise man had said, ‘but it can’t manage two of them.’ Good job!

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  21. I like them both equally, but I did not find the humor in the second one like everyone else did. Maybe my funny button is off. What was awesome about them both is that the mist is so dangerous that your characters have to cover themselves. Mist itself to me is harmless until you give it bad characteristics IMHO. I like them both a lot… Thanks for coming to my blog earlier.

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  22. Double fiction! I enjoyed the sci-fi angle you used this week. I appreciate the romance in the first and the “survival of the fittest” in the second.

    ~Susan

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  23. pd1248 says:

    Bummer, indeed. One thing doesn’t jibe, though. In your second submission I can understand her sacrificing him in the mist. But now she goes alone? Wouldn’t it be better for her to have gone back the way they came? You tell us the Nurikabi can not handle two at once. So she has effectively commited suicide by continuing on.

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  24. Sandra says:

    Well, the way I was trying to get it across, there was danger behind them. They needed to get through the Nurikabi (which incidentally is a spirit that manifests as an impassable, invisible wall) in order to reach safety. So she urges him to go on, knowing the spirit can’t eat two people at once, hoping that once it’s sated with her travelling companion she can quickly pass through. You know, some women are just like that … self, self, self 🙂

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