Hush My Mouth (Friday Fictioneers, August 2013)

Copyright Roger Bultot

Still struggling through a bad patch inspiration-wise, but I couldn’t stay away from Friday Fictioneers another week – I missed you guys. 

Thanks to Rochelle for all her efforts and for her gentle encouragement when some of us fall by the wayside.  🙂

“Don’t patronise me – I’m the parent here.”

“Fine,” I said, throwing the keys on the table.  “Go ahead – kill yourself.”

She grabbed them and I heard  tyres squealing as she left.

Bill looked at me.  “That went well, hon…”

“She shouldn’t be driving… she doesn’t pay attention these days.”

“Maybe a softer approach though?  You know what she’s like…”

So I went after her.

When I saw the wreck, I leaned my head on my steering wheel, remembering those final cruel words.

A grimy face appeared at the passenger-window.

“Damn’ near did, kiddo,” she said, grinning, “how ‘bout that ride now?”

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.

66 Responses to Hush My Mouth (Friday Fictioneers, August 2013)

  1. Dear Sandra,

    For someone struggling with inspiration, I’d say you pretty much nailed it. I love a happy ending or, at least, relieved ending. 😉
    One thing…”A head appeared” feels disembodied. Perhaps “Mum stuck her head out the window…” Although that might be too many words.

    In any case, glad to see you here. As someone recently remarked, “Sandra is the bedrock of Friday Fictioneers.” I agree.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  2. Dear Sandra,

    I missed you, too. Your stories, including this one, are always polished and perfectly presented. I’m sure many others in the group feel this way. I loved the laconic husband’s, ‘That went well, hon.’ Nice pitch to your entire story.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thank you Doug. I’m pleased to take part and look forward to your inspiration for this week. It always feels strange if you’re not amongst the participants. 🙂

      Like

  3. Sandra says:

    Hi Rochelle, glad to be back. Just like Jen, you hit on the bit that’s been most problematic for me. I had several goes at that penultimate line. I didn’t want to say ‘Mom’, because although it’s fine coming from those of you on the other side of the Atlantic, it just doesn’t sound right from my mouth/pen. 😉 To use ‘Mum’ would, I thought, have distracted the ‘Mom’ users. For a while I had ‘A tap at the window’ but that felt awkward too. So what eventually emerged was ‘a face’ which sounded as you say disembodied so I threw in an adjective and hoped for the best. 🙂 And thanks to you and whoever for the ‘bedrock’ thing – I’m flattered … or as we’d say in northern England… ‘well-chuffed’.

    Like

    • Hi Sandra,

      No worries. I’ll just reply under Doug’s comment section.

      On the Mom vs Mum issue I can only speak for this American. I’m not at all distracted by Mum. I love the differences in spelling and terminology. It gives such an international flavor to the group. I’d say be who you are as an author, the rest of us can use a little education. Besides, if you try to pander to the whole group, you’ll drive yourself nuts.

      Shalom, again,

      Rochelle

      Like

  4. Ye Pirate says:

    Difficult prompt. I think you handled it well, with real tricks up your sleeve – great characters,succinctly described, quite unexpected finish and nice last line. I enjoyed it very much.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks Pirate It was a difficult prompt because there were no ancilliary features to concentrate on – we were stuck with a tree on a car and a disaster scenario was almost ‘de rigeur’. (That’s why I enjoyed the one where two guys were gambling on being able to drive under the fallen tree.) 🙂

      Like

  5. misskzebra says:

    I had to read it a couple of times before I understood what was going on, I guess I was too used to the stereotypical version of this situation!

    Like

  6. Jan Brown says:

    I love the sweet surprise! I also think the small edit you described in the comments was perfect. I think your inspiration has returned!

    Like

  7. neenslewy says:

    I think there is something in the air – I am struggling with creative muse and trying to keep my mind working with blogland challenges! Great story – I particularly like how you haven’t used the ending many reader’s might have expected!
    Ps Not sure if it will help you but I have written 2 articles about how to cope with the gremlins/ writing blocks etc. http://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2013/08/11/turn-the-negatives-into-positives-how-to-look-at-your-writing-block-in-a-new-light/ and http://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2013/08/10/current-issues-writing-and-the-summer/ I hope you don’t object to the direct links – just thought it would help you find the articles – as they are a few days old now and have long titles.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      I replied to this and lost it. So once again… thank you, I did catch one of those articles the other day, and will have a look at the other. As you say, there must be something in the air, because the Daily Post has one out on the syndrome today, and I know Troy said he was going through it too. I put it down to spending too long in one place; we’ve been home for over two months but are hitting the water again soon. One thing’s for sure – you have to try to write yourself out of it, painful though the process may be. You can’t just sit and wait for it to come right by itself.

      Like

  8. Joe Owens says:

    SOmetimes our words are more harsh than we intend. Thankfully she came out of it okay.

    Like

  9. Linda Vernon says:

    Sandra, you never hit a a wrong note in you’re writing. I missed last week too and it didn’t feel right. And I’m going to have to find a way to work in the expression “well-chuffed!” I love it! ;D

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      🙂 Feel free, Linda! Thanks for reading and commenting. Yes, it was a long week last week without FF, I’m pleased to have been able to join in this week.

      Like

  10. elmowrites says:

    I absolutely LOVE how you ended this. A miserable ending would have made for a much lesser story. The husband is great, the dialogue totally believable. All round fantastic contribution.
    I actually didn’t have a problem with the face at the window (re Rochelle’s point). If I’d ask for anything, I’d have liked the word Mum to appear somewhere – it would have just placed the characters for me a little sooner, as I was still trying to work out whether I’d misread it and it was the opposite relationship (although don’t spoil this very clever parallel…) No, ignore me, it’s perfect.

    Like

  11. Sandra says:

    Glad it worked for you Jen. I was trying to catch the tension of that mother/daughter shift in power that we all have to go through. I can still remember the conversation I had with mine about giving up the car… phew! 😦 Re ‘Mum’ – sometimes I’m aware that in my head I play these dialogues in an American accent, (it always seems funnier that way), and whilst I baulked at ‘Mom’ I thought ‘Mum’ was at variance with with tone of the dialogue. Reading it back, I guess it’s not that American, even though I couldn’t get Kathryn Hepburn out of my head for that last line. 🙂

    Like

  12. kz says:

    haha i think the mother and daughter make such an adorable pair ^^ struggling for inspiration? i don’t think so.. this story’s absolutely delightful 🙂

    Like

  13. That’s NOT how you spell tires, darling (oh, I am SO kidding, don’t hurt me!!!). I liked how you switched the typical parent/child dynamic here — it made me wonder about the mother — is she just careless, or perhaps ill? I agree with Jen, the dialogue is bang on. This piece is very dialogue heavy, and that carries challenges of its own when it comes to character development, but I think you handled this quite well.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Aaarghhhh! 🙂 She’s just getting older Helena… shortly before my mother was persuaded to give up driving, she turned right across the path of a motorcyclist and then swore she’d take him to court for going too fast. 😦 Thanks for commenting.

      Like

  14. Gabriella says:

    What a relief at the end Sandra! I had feared the worst.

    Like

  15. Carrie says:

    Love the switch, with the parent being the “child” in regards to driving 🙂

    Like

  16. jwdwrites says:

    Great! I’m so glad she wasn’t dead!

    Like

  17. Adam Ickes says:

    Silly parents always causing mischief. I agree with the others, the use of Mum wouldn’t take away at all. Probably would have added to the story actually.

    Like

  18. JKBradley says:

    Nearly one of the worst nightmares ever.

    Like

  19. Hi Sandra,
    Anyone who’s final encounter with a loved one was less than to be desired should relate strongly to this piece. I was relieved by the happy ending. Don’t let lack of inspiration get to you. Creativity isn’t like a tap you can turn on and off. I believe it’s cyclical, whimsical, mercurial, but it always comes home. I’d never have noticed if you hadn’t mentioned it, which tells me you have set high standards for yourself. Ron

    Like

  20. vb holmes says:

    I’m with the others, Sandra, your creativity is still firmly in place–and from the sounds of the last line, so, too, is Mum’s sense of humor–bizarre, but unscathed.

    Like

  21. erinleary says:

    This sounds like it might have been written from experience. Great story with a happier ending that one might have imagined! You still come through with good stuff, even if you think you’re in a dry spell.

    Like

  22. DCTdesigns says:

    Love the switch of parenting/child roles here. Great story.

    Like

  23. unspywriter says:

    Nice capture of the issue and with some humor to boot. I’m showing this to my daughter, and I’m sure she’ll consider it prophetic for many (I hope) years from now.

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

    Like

  24. pattisj says:

    Looks like you were the early bird this time, first on the list. 🙂 I’m glad the daughter didn’t have to live with that memory haunting her.

    Like

  25. The exhalation of relief was absolutely inspirational.

    Like

  26. Oh yes, you got it. Real life – with a thankfully (sometimes we are lucky) happy outcome.
    Nice dialogue between husband and wife…

    Like

  27. Wonderful story Sandra… it became like a double twist with the sweetness of the worst not happening.

    Like

  28. rgayer55 says:

    You write extremely well for someone not feeling very inspired. It makes me wonder what to expect when you really get fired up.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      🙂 What you can expect Roger, is usually more writing. FF is about the sole extent of my writing these past weeks, though I’m feeling a bit more hopeful the last few days. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Like

  29. Dee says:

    Loved it, missed you 🙂 Great writing as always
    Dee

    Like

  30. JackieP says:

    So glad you are back! Your’s is one I always try to read each week, even if I am terribly busy. Loved this one! Especially the role reversal and of course the happy ending. 🙂

    Like

  31. Nice twist of fate of the end, Sandra. I thought for sure she was a goner. I like how you turned the typical scenario around with the parent fleeing the scene instead. A pleasure to read. – Amy

    Like

  32. benmc47 says:

    I read it too quickly the first time through, and assumed it was a teenager storming out, so that was a nice twist when I understood it. Relieved at the ending.

    Like

  33. Sarah Ann says:

    So clever how you reversed the usual ‘parental’ roles and summed up the responsibilities and worry children take on as their as parents age and don’t see the dangers they might present to self or others. The love of the daughter comes across clearly with her head on the steering wheel. I’m glad it had a happy ending! Maybe now they can have that conversation about Mum being sensible….or maybe not.

    Like

  34. annisik51 says:

    Great story and theme and moral for us all. Our loved ones always die inopportunely and if it’s also on top of a quarrel/during a breach it is the very worst sort of death to come to terms with.

    Like

  35. Sheesh! I should be so inspiration less. I loved this. I had to read it twice to realize the driver was elderly. Hmmm…seems I am not paying attention as well these days either.

    Like

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