Keep Out! (Friday Fictioneers, April 2013)

Copyright D McIlroy

Through the closed door I detect muffled voices, an occasional giggle, though that’s impossible… I saw him leave.

The curtains shift gently as I enter his room.

Adolescent clutter litters the floor and the air is customarily foetid. From black-painted walls, gladiatoral women, all tousled hair and crimson lip-gloss, glare down at me.

Come back Farrah, all is forgiven.

When he leaves for uni, I’ll repaint a couple of the walls, lighten it up…
lemon… or perhaps mint green.

Behind me leather creaks, and there’s a fleeting flash of sunlight on steel above me before…

Ah! arterial red… of course …

In a bit of a rush this week; we’ve had grandchildren falling out of the woodwork for days (well just two of them but it’s felt like twenty two). 🙂  We’re taking them back north today, so I’ll catch up with other Friday Fictioneers’ submissions later.  Thanks to Rochelle for enabling me to take part this week and to Doug for a brilliant photo!


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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71 Responses to Keep Out! (Friday Fictioneers, April 2013)

  1. misskzebra says:

    This reminds me very much of a boy I was once dating, and the posters of women he had up in his room. I distinctly remember joking with my friends that the glares of these women were almost as distracting as the fact most of them were completely naked.


  2. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Sandra,

    You have a wicked streak in you…and I love it.




  3. Sounds like Farrah is not so forgiving!


  4. Farrah seems to have had a problem and now it’s going to be much worse. Good story and well done.


  5. Yikes, Sandra! This seemingly benign tale turned rather dark in the end. So much for mint green. Good read.


  6. Sandra, Sandra, Sandra, must get you into the sunlight for a bit. 🙂 I loved your apt description of hit room. Didn’t see the end coming, but neither did his mom. (What I told you on FB!! You’re the real deal.)



    • Sandra says:

      I can’t resist ploughing a dark furrow from time to time Janet, it’s in my nature. 😉 And I’ll be getting my share of sunlight quite soon so maybe I’ll lighten up a bit. Thank you for your kind comment.


  7. paulmclem says:

    Foetid alert! A word I’d never heard of until recently…was it here I first saw it? Can’t remember. Some nice description as always, Sandra.


  8. Sandra says:

    You heard it here first Paul. 🙂 A lovely word I think and quite appropriate with reference to adolescent boys and their natural habitat, in my experience. Thanks for dropping by.


  9. Oh that’s the perfect smell description for adolescent boy – I have one myself, I know. Beautifully gruesome Sandra.


  10. Amy Reese says:

    Sandra, as someone who has a son with adolescence right around the corner, I want to run for the hills after reading this one! Yikes! Great read, Sandra, as always.


  11. Vivid images, Sandra. It will take a while to get the foetid room painted arterial red out of my mind.


  12. I’m a little bit wondering why the pictures on the wall would do that. At least my pictures never did that and that includes the post-Farrah pictures too! ” A fleeting flash of sunlight on steel above me” is not something you want to see in your kid’s room! Great story.


  13. Dark mood of teenage boys. Black walls! nice description.


  14. Indira says:

    What a way to describe yourself( positively evil ) Just like my daughter does. Lol. Your story shocked me but enjoyed reading it. Your description of room is too good.


  15. K.Z. says:

    absolutely marveled at the descriptions… arterial red, ah what a color! and the images of the women glaring down at her.


  16. Dear Sandra,
    Frightening. I raised three of boys. Dirty sweat socks, three week old laundry, bits of food. You summed it up in one word…foetid.


  17. brainsnorts says:

    maybe she’ll duck out of the way, find an errant weapon, and defend herself. but maybe not.


  18. subroto says:

    Arterial red? I hear sometimes it is difficult to stop it gushing out of the container.
    Darkly done, though I feel I knew him at school.


  19. wmqcolby says:

    My dad always joked about, while I was in college, renting out my room. This sounds like him to me, only not as nice and classy. 😉 Sounds like the room took on a life of its own and it will paint itself with blood, yes? Creative, very creative! Thanks for the fun read, Sandra.
    Best line, “Come back, Farrah, all is forgiven!” I never had her poster in my room (mine were Charlie Brown and Snoopy — really!) and I never was in love with her (because all my other friends were in love with her and I liked being different from the crowd — mine was Jacqueline Smith!) but, no, I never watched Charlie’s Angels.


  20. plaridel says:

    it was an ending i didn’t expect. 😦


  21. themasculinepen says:

    Loved the story.
    No women of that nature on the walls of my two sons but there are theater collages in both rooms, one of which will be vacant in 4 months as college beckons!


  22. draliman says:

    I didn’t see that coming – I thought it was going to be a sad tale of pain and loss. Well, it did end with pain and loss I guess 🙂


  23. Nan Falkner says:

    Great job Sandra! Sandra, you are too cool – you do the neatest stuff and I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone as zany (good) like you! Thanks for being so much fun! Nan 🙂 –


  24. rgayer55 says:

    Personally, I always liked the St. Pauli girl posters. A beautiful woman carrying mugs of beer–what more could a man ask for?


  25. Did she live to tell the tale or not? Intriguing ending ….


  26. Liz Young says:

    She didn’t deserve such a fate – she was only trying to ease the pain of his departure.


  27. unspywriter says:

    Yes, you had us tiptoeing down the garden path then splat! Great shocker of an ending. Well done.

    Here’s mine:


  28. DCTdesigns says:

    Well when picking paint colors Arterial red was last on her list. Hell it would be last on mine. Clever twist. And I LOVED the description of the boy’s room. It was foetidly perfect.


  29. I didn’t expect that kind of twist… from you, Sandra! Though I’ve come to know that you are capable of virtually any genre. Scary end!


  30. tedstrutz says:

    Nice one, Sandra. I had Farrah on my wall once.


  31. atrm61 says:

    Splashes of red on black?Umm-stylish,eh?She should have known..This is wicked cool Sandra but then I expect nothing less from your amazingly creative mind 🙂


  32. Blimey. That ending came out of nowhere. Nicely written


  33. Sarah Ann says:

    Such a delightful (?) description of a teenager’s room – ‘customarily foetid’ says so much. The gently shifting curtains lull the reader into a nice sense of security before being jolted out if it by the ending.


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