Nasus Tortus (Friday Fictioneers, October 2012)

Friday Fictioneers continues this week under the auspices of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, and kicks off with a great photo.  I hope I’ve correctly identified the flower through the window, but if not you’ll just have to use your imagination.  🙂

 

A perfect orange trumpet nods on a curling tendril, peeking above a riot of pristine green leaves.

Yet even from her table in the window she can spot the blackened stems, crusted with aphids, and the golden-brown caterpillars feasting their way through the patch.

Perfection, she thinks, masking something much less savoury.

She turns to her companion again, noting his handsome profile as he too gazes at garden outside.

“Did you know the latin for nasturtium translates as ‘twisted nose?” he says, reaching playfully towards her  face.

She jerks back.

This, whispers a voice inside her head, is not what it seems.

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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' and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

65 Responses to Nasus Tortus (Friday Fictioneers, October 2012)

  1. Well done! I liked it a lot. I love how you used the garden to show on the outside everything is beautiful…oh, but it isn’t so! I like the subtlety here.

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  2. Paul says:

    I, too, love the subtlety. Everything is not as it seems. I just wish there was a more subtle way to get that across without stating it in your last sentence.

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  3. Tom Poet says:

    This is I like a lot. Very well done. You captured the moment perfectly. I wish I could say the same with mine this week. I posted one, deleted it, posted another and at this point I give up! Here is my second attempt…http://blog.tompoet.com/?p=577

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  4. No worries, Sandra. I haven’t a clue what the flower is. It was a rustic little cafe a friend and I stopped at for lunch on a road trip in Alaska. I was struck by the composition so I snapped the picture.
    Very nice take on the prompt. I may never look at a nasturtium the same way.

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  5. boomiebol says:

    Wonderful imagery here…very very nice

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  6. Things are definitely not always as they seem in relationships. That can be good or bad.

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  7. Dear Sandra,

    Amazing degree of uneasiness you were able to tease out of those words and gestures. I flashed on this being a relationship with domestic violence in its future, but I don’t think it will have one. She is too tuned in to make this mistake and he too much of a space invader to endear himself to her (or others). A great story.

    Aloha,

    Doug

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  8. Wow. I was thinking this was about the garden, then the eerie twist at the end was awesome. Great job.

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  9. Linda says:

    Oooh, nicely dark and just in time for Halloween. Great twist and turn with the metaphor for garden and situation.
    Here’s mine as well: http://womanontheedgeofreality.com/2012/10/25/friday-fictioneers-garden-gazing/

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  10. brudberg says:

    Very nice, and subtle that got my brain working

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  11. Russell says:

    Was that a wise crack about her nose? Perhaps she’s getting ready for Halloween. But seriously, I liked the way the imperfection hidden behind beauty outside the window made her aware of the imperfection inside. Nicely done.

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  12. tedstrutz says:

    Made me wonder… did she overreact… what changed that handsome profile?

    here’s mine…http://tedstrutz.com/2012/10/25/displaced/

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  13. Hi Sandra,
    We had similar thoughts about this photo. Sinister thoughts. I liked the way you used the trumpet flower to describe the relationship. A nice mix of botany and love gone bad. Ron

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  14. I assumed at first glance that it was a geranium, but having looked more closely, I don’t think that it is. Nasturtium is the translation of my youngest granddaughter’s name, which is Capucine in french. I’m not sure that I should tell my son what it means in English. It might jinx her.

    A thoughtful story inspired by the garden. Now that’s what I should have done. Didn’t do anything, I’m afraid.

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    • Sandra says:

      Sometimes there are weeks when you just can’t get inspiration. Hope you enjoyed this, and I didn’t know Capucine was the French for Nasturtium. I love it when I learn something. Thanks for dropping by.

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  15. Anne Orchard says:

    Hi Sandra, I got the feeling he was going to turn out to be one of those who says you can’t take a joke if you mind having your nose twisted. Glad she stopped it before it started. I liked the way you led us from the flower to the relationship so seamlessly. Thanks for visiting mine too.

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  16. I wouldn’t trust anyone who even uses words like “nasturtium!”
    Interesting use of a portion of the prompt (the outside) that I barely even saw to create a tale of what may turn out to be sinister duality. Thanks!

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  17. unspywriter says:

    Not what they seem in a lot of ways. I love how you capture the different perceptions: one sees the ugliness behind the seeming beauty; the other is off in his own little world. Yes, very subtle and nicely done.

    Here’s mine: http://unexpectedpaths.com/friday-fictioneers/shrine/

    Like

  18. Parul says:

    Week after week I come your way and can’t help but marvel what an amazing writer you are. Beautiful refreshing description of the garden and such an smooth transition into something so much more poignant.
    The way you wrote about the garden, it was almost like I was there. Superb work Sandra, thanks for sharing.

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  19. Trudy says:

    Ooh, not such a nice guy after all, eh? I liked the comparison to the flowers, and I didn’t know the latin translation of nastursiums – so I’ve learnt something too!

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  20. Pete says:

    Lovely descriptive phrases, very good. Nasturtium are good as a sacrificial crop. I used to grow them in with my vegetables; the aphids go for the flowers and stay off the veggies.

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    • Sandra says:

      Yes, I’ve always loved them, I think they seem so clean and fresh and smell really peppery.I just hate it when I start rummaging around in them and find the er… add-ons. Thanks for commenting.

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  21. billgncs says:

    I almost think that she was so detail orientated that he was being playful, to coax her into relaxing. But even so… this has me doubting that cross pollination is a possibility. Wasn’t sure if you would like “in the window” or “near the window”…. I liked how this made me consider many angles. Good job

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  22. elmowrites says:

    Hi Sandra! I love this right up to the last line. You layer sinister on sinister and give us a feeling that – at least in her mind – this is not a comfortable date. I felt the final line laid it on a bit thick and you could have done without it. Or given her a line, like “don’t touch me”, instead.
    But I don’t want to leave this on a critical note – there is so much under these characters that I’ve got a million theories running through my head and to me that’s a sign of a great story.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks for commenting Jennifer. I’d be the first to admit that I’ve got a bit of a blind spot insofar as ‘explicit versus obscure’ goes. I think I feel more uncomfortable when people say they don’t ‘get’ what I’ve written than I do when they think I’ve been too explicit. Paul, I think had a similar comment to yours, above. Maybe I’ll try to take a different view when I’m re-reading.

      Like

  23. Never trust what lies beneath.. good stuff!

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  24. Lora says:

    Very nice Sandra. I see you know your plants and flowers.

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    • Sandra says:

      I used to be very ‘into’ plants and could recognise many of the latin names, but these days I don’t seem to spend so much time browsing through plant catalogues. Thanks for dropping by.

      Like

  25. Brian Benoit says:

    Thought I had commented – but I apologize that it didn’t go through! This was nice, and I loved the way your descriptions brought us closer to that garden, to see it as we might if we were really there. Obviously the parallel with her date was a great touch too, although I may even be in danger of sympathizing with the awkward Latin expert :p. Good one!

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  26. Sandra says:

    Thanks Brian – I had a problem ‘approving’ your comment – don’t know why. Glad you liked it anyway.

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  27. Sarah Ann says:

    Hi Sandra. It’s great the way you tease out the unease and foreboding in this story after starting with something beautiful. Thanks for the Latin lesson too. I’ve alway liked nasturtiums, but I’ll look at them with more fun from now on.

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  28. vbholmes says:

    “Perfection, she thinks, masking something much less savoury” Sounds like she might have already been predisposed in her thinking before she turned to her companion.

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  29. Very well written, with an interesting combination of parallels and mystery! I love the orange trumpets, and although I didn’t know about their propensity to attract unwanted pests, I do know they can take over an area quickly.

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  30. Sandra,
    You pic on the Linkz page didn’t go to the right prompt.
    Scott

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  31. It seems like anther story !

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  32. summerstommy2 says:

    This is a lovely take on the prompt Sandra. The juxtaposition of beauty with the sudden jerk back. Beautifully done.

    Like

  33. MissTiffany says:

    I love how you’re not sure at the end if he really is a villain (he doesn’t sound like one!) or if she is just timid or…oh, what’s the word…suspicious? paranoid? Relationships aren’t easy. They may look pretty on the outside, but underneath sometimes can be beautiful or ugly.

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