The Donor (Friday Fictioneers, May 2014)

Copyright Jennifer Pendergast

I looked back at the outside world, where autumn was touching the trees with fingers of russet and gold.

My case at my feet, I turned to scan the mullioned windows glittering in the mellow sun.

Why am I doing this again?

The heavy oak door creaked, and a man in a white coat hurried down the steps, reaching out a cool hand for mine.

“Everything is ready for you, my dear.”

This will be the last time, I thought. Haven’t I already done enough?

But my conscience would, I knew, say otherwise.

The debt is not yet repaid.

Written and posted on the run, between locks.  I thought I’d go for something a little less explicit this week.  Thanks again to Rochelle at Friday Fictioneers for her ministrations.  Where would we be without her? 

 

 

 

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.

94 Responses to The Donor (Friday Fictioneers, May 2014)

  1. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Sandra,

    I’ve read this several times and am left with different stories floating around in my head. The Donor is mysterious and enigmatic and it will be interesting reading the comments to follow mine.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Dear Doug, I should have been more explicit when I said I was being less explicit this week. There is no explanation – it is open to the reader to come up with their own, bearing in mind the title. Whatever she’s donating (organs, bone marrow, eggs, blood, stem cells, special powers) must equate with the enormity of what she owes, or what she’s done. Maybe less isn’t more in this case… 😉 Cheers, Sandra.
      PS bring a corkscrew when you come

      Like

  2. Dear Sandra,

    I’ve read this three times and not quite sure what’s happening. An organ donor perhaps? Or did you leave it open ended to leave it to the reader’s imagination.

    As always your writing is concise and well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Hi Rochelle, yes I left it open to the reader. Whatever she is duty bound to donate must in some way compensate for whatever it is she’s done. Thanks for reading, (and thrice at that! 🙂 )

      Like

  3. Locomente says:

    Lets the reader wonder…
    I loved the elegance in 1st 2 paras

    Like

  4. Really thrilling – description great, full of intrigue, and the concept brilliant as the start of a major long story.

    Like

  5. And yes, I am jealous of you on the canals!

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      You wouldn’t be if you knew how hard I’ve worked this morning, Hamish. We’re going up the Canal de Bourgogne, and when I say up I mean up. 114 rising locks, 76 going down. Still a long way to go.

      Like

  6. wmqcolby says:

    The writing’s GREAT, but I think, culturally, I have a question. Man in the white coat …. insane asylum? Prison? What was ready for her?

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      It’s up to you Kent, you’ve come up with one possibility, though you have to take the title of the piece into account. Thanks for reading! 🙂

      Like

  7. Sandra, You’ve said that you left it open it interpretation. The only thing I could think of was going into rehab of some type. That’s something people do repeatedly. Well written as always. 🙂 —Susan

    Like

  8. Adam Ickes says:

    I read this one a couple times, but I think maybe I’m missing something. I’m just not certain what is happening here. Perhaps that’s just me being dense though.

    Like

  9. Hannah says:

    Your language is so lovely, but there’s an eerie sense that hangs over this. I’m fascinated by the idea of repaying a debt through donations–whether it’s organs, money, or…her soul?

    Like

  10. One wonders what horrific thing she has done that she needs to be taken apart piece by piece.

    Like

  11. K.Z. says:

    the descriptions are lovely… the character so mysterious… and the character’s guilt, almost palpable. i have a feeling she’ll be paying and paying until there’s nothing left for her to give.

    Like

  12. I love how open you’ve left this for us – enough for us to create our own story.
    Claire

    Like

  13. paulmclem says:

    Open ended tales seem to me marmite to FF writers…some hate ’em, some love ’em. I’ve written a few so I do like them. There is enough here to leave the imagination racing, a sign of well crafted fiction. For what it’s worth I’m imagining her being forced to have a child for some rich family.

    Like

  14. Some beautiful phrasing in there.

    Like

  15. helenmidgley says:

    That was a real sucker, as in sucked in so deeply by the flow of your tale. Fab 🙂

    Like

  16. I love stories where I am given the opportunity to decipher. It can go so many different ways. But that is why I like it!

    Like

  17. That’ll teach me to gloss over one of your titles, Sandra. I read and re-read and only when I paid attention to the title was I able to formulate my own understanding. I agree with Gunn’s Cabin Fever – sounds like the start of a longer story.

    Like

  18. Ah.. I love this. yes I read it a few times.. and then the comment.. a prize to be paid.. but after all you can only donate one kidney… hmmm

    Like

  19. What kind of debt needs to re[aid in such a way, and repeatedly? Yikes!
    I’m going with science fiction, i find it more comforting.

    Like

  20. elmowrites says:

    Such depth of feeling, Sandra, this could totally be the beginning of a novel where we gradually learn both what she’s done and what she is doing now. Leaves me wondering whether she is the one imposing this debt upon herself … or not.

    Like

  21. Jan Brown says:

    Intriguing! Could be an organ donor, saving random strangers ? Perhaps to atone for lives lost in an accident, or lives cut short by the protagonist in her former career as an assassin or ??? Nicely done!

    Like

  22. elappleby says:

    Definitely less explicit, and I’m afraid with my silly mind and the title, I’m wondering if she’s a melodramatic blood donor 😀
    Seriously though, very interesting, I will continue to ponder and hopefully come up with something less silly!

    Like

  23. Dear Sandra, I blew it off as she was a donor and has done something horrific in the past that she is trying to atone for. Don’t know if this will be enough either – but she certainly is trying. Good job Sandra – you are amazing! Thanks for the excellent read! Nan 🙂

    Like

  24. This made me laugh! I mean all your responses. Because I read the story without the title! I figured she was admitting herself to a mental institution, but maybe because that’s on my mind a lot lately. Still, nicely rendered and since I have now read the title – I can see exactly what you mean. Poor woman. Soon she will have nothing left to donate…

    Like

  25. Liz Young says:

    Well now – this story has a beginning and a middle but no end of possible endings!

    Like

  26. aloha Sandra. yes. yes. yes. i like the completeness of your story and the way it leaves me to imagine. look for clues. and a desire to re-read. way fun. aloha.

    Like

  27. BrainRants says:

    You created a huge sense of mystery here. Very skillful.

    Like

  28. MM Jaye says:

    Elegant and enticingly vague… I agree that this could be the opening of an exciting novel. Well done!
    Greetings from Greece!
    Maria (MM Jaye)

    Like

  29. As you intended, this sent my brain in all kinds of directions. I did not see the title the first time through; of course it changed my reading entirely. Very compelling.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Sorry Dawn, I just saw that my response went instead to Patrick. WordPress, grrrr! ” I’ve found that with the 100 word limitation, the title often provides the key. I couldn’t have brought this one home without the title, and even now I’m not entirely sure I did. :)”

      Like

      • Sometimes I play off the title, but I haven’t used it as much as I could. I try to read as many of the stories as I can, and sometimes, I barely notice the title, in clicking on a writer I know. Obviously, I need to remedy that. In the case of yours, I think it makes a huge difference. I read it the first time, thinking she was there for repeat plastic surgery… it made sense and worked. Then, I read the title and… well, that changed it completely! How many “Donor” plastic surgeries can you have? 😉

        Like

  30. Like others, I find several possible endings. More importantly, will she ever pay off the debt?

    Like

  31. Sandra says:

    I’ve found that with the 100 word limitation, the title often provides the key. I couldn’t have brought this one home without the title, and even now I’m not entirely sure I did. 🙂

    Like

  32. It seems she is resigned to the fact that being The Donor is her lot in life. Beautifully penned.

    Like

  33. Perry Block says:

    I have a feeling the poor woman has nothing left but a random peripheral organ and epidermis held together with Crazy Glue. Interesting post, Sandra!

    Like

  34. Dee says:

    So many possibilities here Sandra, so well written as usual. I’m left wondering how long it will be until the debt is repaid… frightening repayment schedule!

    Like

  35. unspywriter says:

    I like that you let us draw our own conclusions. That way the possibilities are endless. Very cleverly done.

    Here’s mine: http://unexpectedpaths.com/2014/05/30/friday-fictioneers-and-an-elegy/

    Like

  36. neenslewy says:

    I watched a drama on television where babies were chosen to be donors, this reminded me of that – I liked the way that the title enables us to know what is happening in the story.

    Like

  37. annesquared says:

    very intriguing! loved it 🙂

    Like

  38. draliman says:

    Several possibilities in my head for what’s going on here, but in any case the poor woman needs to break out of this cycle, I think!

    Like

  39. The line about the man in a white coat and a debt to be repaid fits well with her being a donor. However I felt the story finished with some questions that needed answering. That aside, I liked your use of style and the flow of the story.

    Like

  40. Lucy says:

    This is good. Creeps me out, though. “The Donor”. What is she donating? Lucy

    Like

  41. Sarah Ann says:

    This is suffused with a sense of trepidation and guilt. I can feel her wanting to run but being pulled by whatever that debt is she owes. Gently unsettling.

    Like

  42. hafong says:

    I am spooked!

    Like

  43. Melanie says:

    “…where autumn was touching the trees with fingers of russet and gold.” <- gorgeous!
    I love the mystery of this and how you make the who, what, when, and where greater than the how and why. Beautiful!

    Like

  44. subroto says:

    Intriguing. I loved the descriptions in this one, especially this poetic bit “mullioned windows glittering in the mellow sun”.

    Like

  45. Alice Audrey says:

    Definitely less explicit this week. The open end makes it feel more like the beginning of something than a complete story.

    I got a critique last weekend from a writer who said that a short story is made of a question and an answer. We are left here with only the question “what is she doing and why?”

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks for reading. I take the view that flash fiction is something different from a short story, but I’m not one for following rules anyway. 😉

      Like

  46. maru clavier says:

    I feel as looking at a film frame, something is happening, no idea what is next, no idea what was before… interesting.

    Like

  47. A heaping measure of mystery, here! I can only rule out a kidney, lol. 😉 Shalom! Beth

    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