Let Your Love Grow (Friday Fictioneers, April 2013)

Today’s photo prompt from Friday Fictioneers is a photograph submitted by Scott Vanatter with permission-Copyright- Indira.  Thanks to Rochelle for her continued dedication to making this site work.

 

One fine spring morning we planted the biodegradable cylinder containing a mix of my father’s ashes, an organic nutrient and the precious seeds.  Sentimental claptrap… or a tacit tree-hugger conspiracy?  Who knew?

Throughout the ceremony the family sobbed uncontrollably, casting speculative or accusatory glances at me, whilst I stood apart, dry-eyed.

I’d been his favourite; they all knew that.

Only my mother knew why.

Today the ash tree stands forty feet tall, towering over me, boughs reaching out for me.  Even now.

And I must acknowledge the truth.

There’s no way it should have grown this fast in just twelve months.



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.

77 Responses to Let Your Love Grow (Friday Fictioneers, April 2013)

  1. Superb – some of us just love that dark place!

    Like

  2. Dear Sandra,
    Very entertaining and well written. I’d really like to know more about Daddy’s ashes. 😉
    shalom,
    Rochelle

    Like

  3. ENSEMBLE Hoggard says:

    On the 7th we cross the Channel and should be in St. Gilles on our boat Re registered with the name “Paradiddle”.  We have to give up the mooring on the 10th and we have arranged to take one in Capestang.  So the big 4 month cruise commences.  I have added to my RYA Coastal certificate the ICC and the Cevni, so with Ships papers all in order we are legal and theoretically competent.   We aim to head for Moissac and beyond  so should pass your mooring sometime in May I guess.      Regards Mike and Joan Hoggard    

    ________________________________

    Like

  4. nightlake says:

    lovely as usual. with an unexpected twist in the end

    Like

  5. While you story deals with death, I don’t see it as dark. And aside from the sub-plot of the family resentments or jealousies, I like the tongue-in-cheek irony, the soft humor and wit. Nice one. Randy – And written so quickly….

    Like

  6. Very quick, a myriad of emotions,,,dark,,not dark,,,dark,,one must feel what one feels..

    Like

  7. Shreyank says:

    well written.. the story has brought out a lot of lot of emotions. Of death, of trying to deal with the tragedy and making choices which are contrary to accepted norms.

    Like

  8. That’s quite an intriguing story, the idea of the father reincarnated in a way, in the tree. If that’s it in a year, I wonder what it would look like after 20 years.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      I believe this is becoming quite fashionable, nurturing a tree from someone’s remains. I rather liked the sound of it, but of course couldn’t resist a sinister turn… 😉

      Like

  9. I blame the organic nutrient.

    Like

  10. Well told. You can almost see the sneers and the smile on the father’s face

    Like

  11. Who would know that this is the trick of good gardening. Amazing that we both brought in ashes to the story (and I never read anyone’s story before doing my own).

    Like

  12. jwdwrites says:

    Great story again this week Sandra, left me with a lot of unanswered questions to imagine the answers. I wonder what ‘his favourite’ meant. It made me shudder! Perhaps that is just the ex-social worker in me following the smoke and looking for fire!

    Like

  13. 40again says:

    Back on the dark side again I see!
    Loved your story Sandra, especially the way you deal with family jealousy.Excellent.
    Dee

    Like

  14. On the bright side, I like the idea of allowing a dead person or animal to return to the earth (as you can tell from my story.) I was thinking that this was an usually sunny story for you when you twisted the ending. You really are wallowing on the dark side these days. 🙂 And wallowing well.

    janet

    Like

  15. Your story gave me a chill at the end! It was beautiful. Left just enough up to the imagination to make you curious without feeling empty.

    Like

  16. Sandra says:

    So much meaning between the dark lines here. love it.

    Like

  17. Dear Sandra – Wow. Call you “Speedy Gonzalez” to capture #1 this week. Loved your story. This is common in Central Park in NYC. Ashes are often mixed with wild flowers. I think of this every time I walk through CP and view the lovely wild flowers. It’s illegal, but who’s to prove it or complain? My story is not up yet.

    Like

  18. vbholmes says:

    “I’d been his favourite; they all knew that.

    Only my mother knew why.”
    Please let us in on the secret–why was she the favorite? Tantalizing tale.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Well it could be one of two things, and I haven’t really fixed on one in my mind. Maybe he was abusing her, or on the other hand maybe he suspected, correctly, that the other children were not his. Either way, I’m fixed on the idea that the father’s love for the narrator was oppressive… Thanks for dropping by vb.

      Like

  19. Dad ashes must be great fertilizer. Enjoyed your story Sandra.

    Like

  20. Penny L Howe says:

    A wonderful story Sandra. I enjoyed it. actually made me feel good! 🙂

    Like

  21. kz says:

    i love how the whole story is shrouded in mystery… never revealing anything but suggesting at something dark and sinister… i ended up thinking of all sorts of reasons as to why the narrator was daddy’s favorite

    Like

  22. Mystikel says:

    This story made me want to hear more. It’s hard to create an eerie, chilled feeling in daylight but you got it.

    Like

  23. Ann Isik says:

    Now I know what to do with my brother’s ashes. Well done on your pantheistic take on the prompt. 🙂 Ann

    Like

  24. elappleby says:

    Intriguing story – I don’t think I understand completely though – what was it that only the mother knew – I thought the worst at first, but then the daughter would know too… I am intrigued. And I’d like some of that organic nutrient!

    Like

  25. Sheila says:

    Very clever. I don’t think I’d mind becoming a tree.

    Like

  26. elmowrites says:

    Hi Sandra! Straight out of the starting blocks this week for you. I’ve made up for my delay by writing three (insane?).
    I have in my head two completely different interpretations of this story, one very dark but doesn’t explain the fast growth, the other explains the growth but seems less likely. Too many questions! I want to know the answers; perhaps you’ll post them next week when everyone else has had a chance to come up with their own?

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      I’m not sure I’ve decided myself Jen. See response to vbholmes above. But there’s no explanation for the rapid growth other than that the father was a larger than life, powerful personality who couldn’t stop himself, even after death. 😉

      Like

  27. heck of a story arc for 100 words.

    Like

  28. rgayer55 says:

    Dad must have been, shall I say, really fun of fertilizer 🙂 He really got his ash in gear to grow that fast in twelve months.

    Like

  29. zookyworld says:

    A strong underlying current here, with the narrator being dry-eyed and “boughs reaching out for me. Even now.” Very well written story to have the surface story and the happenings underneath.

    Like

  30. unspywriter says:

    Hmmm. A secret is mixed in with those ashes, too, I suspect. Good job.

    Here’s mine: http://unexpectedpaths.com/friday-fictioneers/life-a-cliche/

    Like

  31. When I read your title, I was afraid I was in for a cheesy sentimental tale. Quite the opposite! This story has such depth, emotion, and wit. Your writing, as always, has a beautiful flow. Also, I’m torn between fear for your narrator and wondering how many secrets she knows. There’s the obvious one, but I have to wonder if she and Daddy had been experimenting with fertilizer in some sort of mad scientist way… and now she’s realizing those experiments were far more productive than she had known. Anyhow, great story!

    Like

  32. Nice ambiguity makes for an intriguing mystery. Maybe she ought to cut the tree down and see what happens? Interesting twists as usual, Sandra!

    Like

  33. Parul says:

    Oh very interesting!
    There are such elements of surprise and subtle strange humor.. I don’t know how to explain it. Love what you did with the prompt this week Sandra, superb!

    Like

  34. neenslewy says:

    Ohhhhhh, great twist at the end – a good take on the image we wrote from this week.

    Like

  35. Tom Poet says:

    Seems you are faster than the story. First out of the gate and a good story. Nice job!

    Tom

    Like

  36. Brian Benoit says:

    You draw out a pretty complicated family for such a short piece, and I love the mix of ideas in the first paragraph, it really established the voice well. Nice one, Sandra!

    Like

  37. erinleary says:

    Mystical and mischevious all at once. I wonder what happened to make dad so full of life??

    Like

  38. wmqcolby says:

    A little on the Shirley Jackson side here. Very good. Yes, I did have a few questions (I read it a few more times) about it. But, then again, stories can be left open to interpretation. I like the second take on it … the children not being his. Better since the abuse angle can get overworked. Stellar job!

    Like

  39. Joe Owens says:

    I do not see this as dark either. It is a fast paced yarn with a nice twist at the end that makes you want more. We all try to keep the reader guessing on these and you succeeded with that.

    Like

  40. Powerful story, Sandra. I love the hidden mystery!

    Like

  41. billgncs says:

    so father and daughter had dryad blood ? I enjoyed the tale 🙂

    Like

  42. Well, THAT was different!

    Like

  43. JKBradley says:

    My wife knows I’m to be planted with a Redwood. I enjoyed this. Thank you.

    Like

  44. I really enjoyed that opening paragraph, and then it all went dark. Good, but dark. You’d got me thinking that daddy’s love was the wrong sort, and confirmed it with those boughs reaching out to her. I think maybe she needs to cut the tree down before it consumes her.

    Like

  45. Pingback: Friday Fictioneers: The Beast Bike | Alastair's Blog

  46. Pingback: Friday Fictioneers – Bike To BeastBike | Alastair's Blog

I'd love to hear your views; it reassures me I'm not talking to myself.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s