The Right Time (Five Sentence Fiction, December 2012)

The one word prompt from Lillie McFerrin’s Five Sentence Fiction this week was ‘Time’.

“Time you grew up, my girl,” he growled, replacing the bucket on the hook in the barn, “no sense scriking over a bunch of dead kittens.”

And later it was “Time you found yourself a husband, we don’t need a great lump of a girl like you, hanging around the farm all day.”

But when mother died he needed me all right, and from time to time it was for more than just cooking, cleaning and helping out in the fields.

So when he fell ill, and kept me awake long nights, giving him his pills, plumping his pillows and changing his sheets, I watched his suffering with a coolly dispassionate gaze.

And when the moment was right, when there was no more satisfaction to be derived from this, I took his freshly-plumped pillow and ended his tyranny and my torment; for all time.

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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21 Responses to The Right Time (Five Sentence Fiction, December 2012)

  1. Damn.
    Powerful and powerfully written.

    Shows you that a pillow is mightier than tyranny, a feather greater than a fist, and the time for revenge is always at hand.




  2. Sisyphus47 says:

    Just great, one is there, feeling the cold determination ~ a beautiful take on “time” 🙂


  3. JazzBumpa says:

    Sad that it takes one person’s death that another can finally begin to live.
    I guess she didn’t find that husband in time.



  4. Oh my. That is love to be able to help a love one end their suffering.


  5. TheOthers1 says:

    Know what I think is interesting? Our parents push us out, but when they are failing in health they pull us right back in. This is an example of being mindful how you treat your children because they’ll be taking care of you some day. Nice work!


  6. Judee says:

    Always a pleasure to read your work. How can I be sitting here smiling at such a tragic tale? Yet I am, because you write in a way that delights me.


  7. ahblack57 says:

    I agree with Judee. A delightfully tragic tale. There is so much said that isn’t told. A brilliant take on the prompt. I haven’t seen you talking part in FSF for a while and by God it’s good to have you back!


    • Sandra says:

      What a lovely thing to say! Thank you, and for commenting. Inspiration has been a tad fleeting over the last few weeks. I always log on to see what the prompt is, but sometimes just can’t seem to launch myself into creating something. Still I enjoy reading other peoples’ even if I can’t offer anything myself.


  8. I loved her coolly dispassionate gaze… nice ending!


  9. josie2shoes says:

    There is a time for everything, and I’d say it was long past his time. Good for her! This was an incredibly powerful piece packed tight in a short space. It said everything that needed to be said!


  10. Sandra, I admire your writing very much. I loved your take on time, the pivotal moments, the waiting, the final line…all, as always, so well done. I also like the contrast of the freshly plumped pillow, usually meant to provide comfort, as the means to his end and, in many ways, her beginning.


  11. Abraham says:

    There is some darkness throughout this story.
    Well written.
    I like the “when there was no more satisfaction to be derived from this…”


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