Trophy – Friday Fictioneers, July 2014

The last thing I’d needed was a reminder of that shameful afternoon.

For my father it was a public validation, an affirmation that the ‘college boy’ he’d raised wasn’t the pathetic wimp he’d seemed.

No-one ever guessed it was an accident; that I took aim intending to move the barrel to the left before I fired.

The damn’ creature moved.

I could hear the whoops’n hollers down by the campsite as I reached the dying animal.

It turned its clear amber gaze upon me, inscrutable, without accusation.

And I wept for the senselessness of it all.

As I was weeping now.

 

This week I had the pleasure of meeting fellow Friday Fictioneers Janet Webb and her husband Bill whilst they were visiting France, and we spent a lovely afternoon on the River Saone together.  I see Dawn (Tales from the Motherland) was also on the move, meeting up with Bjorn.  What a bunch of wanderers we are!   

 

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.

88 Responses to Trophy – Friday Fictioneers, July 2014

  1. Dear Sandra,

    The son’s now a hero in his father’s eyes and a murderer in his own. The animal looking up at him took my breath away.

    I love the photos. When Friday Fictioneers meet I feel connected. Thanks for sharing them.

    shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  2. I loved this Sandra. “It turned its clear amber gaze upon me, inscrutable, without accusation.” That really moved me.

    Like

  3. Adam Ickes says:

    The father isn’t much of a father with the way he thinks of his son–or at least the son’s perception of how his father views him. He could be wrong, but there’s likely at least some truth to it.

    Like

  4. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Sandra,

    Another masterpiece from the bargier (Is that a word?)(I mean, does it mean anything coherent?)
    A truly imaginative and well written take on the prompt.

    I love the view from the salon of the Desormais. Lovely.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Bargee 🙂 And that’s the wheelhouse but I’ll let you off this time. Thanks for reading my story and sorry it apparently took me so long to comment… my computer is playing up. Must be the heat.

      Like

  5. I loved every single word from this piece! Really touching! I guess everything in life is relative. For some hunting is glory. For others it’s an act of killing!

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  6. It is hard to fight against narrow minds and cold hearts. Such a tragic story.

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  7. Hannah says:

    This was great. I like that you took a more serious and poignant take on the prompt.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Well to be honest Hannah, the first one I wrote was a funny one, but it didn’t work without using the f-word. (Janet and I discussed that yesterday, and though I think it has its place in literature I decided it was a bit soon after our discussion … 😉 )

      Like

      • Hannah says:

        I think in a story with this few words, the f-word could be extra weighty–but I agree, it has it’s place! I struggle with using it, but sometimes, it’s just what a character would say!

        Like

  8. Sandra, Well-written story with deep feeling. How sad the father and son’s minds can’t really connect. Great photos of the four of you. It looked like a lovely afternoon. 🙂 —Susan

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  9. storydivamg says:

    Dear Sandra,
    The conflict is so deep and difficult when two generations are divided in this way. Your story rings true.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

    Like

  10. paulmclem says:

    Good writing. Father must be so proud he has a son who can shoot a gun 😦

    Like

  11. Strangely enough, I addressed this in my farcical post, All Hail the Nuge (no seriously, I’m not just shamelessly trying to get you over to read it, though you really should, darling.)
    I liked the attributes you gave the sheep as your narrator looked into its dead eyes — without accusation. Only two words, but your mind fills in the rest.
    I want to hear the story where you drop the F-bomb, though.

    Like

  12. Fathers and sons. I wonder had he felt worse if he had validated his father’s feeling that he was a pathetic wimp. I don’t believe in animal sacrifice but this one seems just. He can now move into man hood and away from his father’s labels.

    Like

  13. Beautifully written Sandra. Have you read Goat Mountain by David Vann? This reminded me of that book – which is excellent, although gruelling. I’d recommend it.
    Claire

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  14. Your work always serves the dual purpose of not only entertaining but actually meaning something. I was truly moved by this piece. The regret and remorse is the narrator’s voice was very powerful. I’ll never understand how people can gain pride and amusement from killing an innocent creature. Very well done.

    Like

  15. wmqcolby says:

    I’m wanting to call you The Great Encapsulator. That writing of yours is so economical and hits me over the head each time. So many good things in there. Fantastic work again, Sandra!

    Love the pictures. It’s great each time I think of FF people meeting each other in person!

    Like

  16. camgal says:

    Lovely pictures Sandra 🙂 the story reminded me of a philosophy class I took..I believe the theme was, which view we held as more important; our view of ourselves or the view others have of us. Nice one.

    Like

  17. high five and raspberries says:

    I can feel his pain through your words. Poor guy!

    Like

  18. I really love this story Sandra, it shines a big spotlight on the damage of parental expectations when they are so at odds with what the child/ young adult wants, especially when it goes so against their conscience. I think your character should be proud of what the experience taught him about himself.

    Like

  19. Indira says:

    I loved your previous FF very much and now this one, superb. You write with such a feeling, it made my eyes moist.

    Like

  20. That hunting thing between fathers and their sons has always baffled me.

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  21. billgncs says:

    Isn’t it sad what we do for others when we don’t believe in ourselves. Thanks for being such wonderful hosts. It was absolutely a great day. What a vibrant pair you two are. – bw

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks for reading Bill, and it was a pleasure to have you on board. Hope you’ve recovered from your taxing visit to Le Tour and the long drive on Tuesday.

      Like

      • billgncs says:

        very much better, but not so vibrant as you two.

        We are off to visit a village tomorrow where they refused to turn over Jews and soldiers over to the SS and were massacred for it.

        The story in these little places is always the cycle between oppression and freedom, and the bravery that swings the pendulum.

        Like

  22. Lovely to see Friday Fictioneers together! I half expected the kid to shoot his father, knowing whose work I was reading, but you delivered a poignant story of a less gruesome sort. My only recommendation is to change your last line from “As I was weeping now,” to a more urgent, “As I weep even now.” (Basically switch out “was weeping” for plain old “weep,” with whatever you want to go around it). Aside from that, you portrayed a ton of emotion, history, and conflict in these 100 words… AND it was a ways out of your usual genre, which makes it that much more impressive! Excellent!

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thank you! 🙂 Yes I had some second thoughts myself about that last line; it fit, in the context of the unedited and differently titled version, but should have re-visted it afterwards.

      Like

  23. Ellespeth says:

    Tragic 😦
    Ellespeth

    Like

  24. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Sandra, Great story and the poor Ram paid the price of vanity to the father. Great story and looks like you had fun with Janet and her husband. Have a good week! Nan 🙂

    Like

  25. A beautifully written and very moving story, Sandra. One of your best.

    Like

  26. Very sad to have killed the creature. And sad that the father just doesn’t “get” his son.

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  27. Judah First says:

    So many emotions packed into this brief text. Lovely!

    Like

  28. rgayer55 says:

    As a hunter, I have had this unfortunate incident to happen on more that one occasion. It can be quite heartbreaking. I believe it’s important to show respect for the animals we harvest for food. Trophy hunting, on the other hand, is another matter.

    Like

  29. Very powerful story! You really make the reader feel for him here.

    Like

  30. JED says:

    Great story. It shows how someone in an honored position may not always be glad to be there. Sadness and joy can be intermingled. I enjoyed.

    Like

  31. hugmamma says:

    Oftentimes, rites of passage can be senseless…as in the killing of animals…not for sustenance but for sport. Loved your telling of a human absurdity…

    Like

  32. Mike says:

    This story is very powerful. Well written and emotionally moving.

    Like

  33. Horus says:

    Its very difficult to wipe-out the memory of that first dying gaze – especially since they don’t accuse!

    … and by the way I am quite jealous about you and Janet for being able to meetup 🙂

    Like

  34. draliman says:

    What a sad story. I can imagine the anguish he feels, made worse by the way his dad and others are now treating him.
    I particularly liked the ending “without accusation”.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Yes, it must be doubly galling to do something that goes so much against your beliefs and then to find yourself venerated because of it. Thanks for reading.

      Like

  35. Sandra, I really like the first-person approach here, and the irony of his situation. I’ve never understood hunting, though I know many people who do. I think you’ve captured how I see it, the moment when you see the animal you’ve killed. Great job!

    It would have been so much fun if we had all been in the same region, for a meet and greet! Looks like you had a great time, and then there are 2 more Fictioneers I’d really like to meet at that table! 😉

    Like

  36. Upon reading a 2nd time– yes, I do that often– I am thinking that the last sentence should be in the present tense, as the narrator is speaking. I wept… as I am weeping now. Just a thought.

    Like

  37. Sarah says:

    Great take on the prompt!

    Like

  38. Michael B. Fishman says:

    This is a wonderful story, Sandra. I’m not a hunter myself and can’t imagine myself going hunting so I could really identify with the thought and emotion behind the story. And it’s really cool that you met another Fictioneer. That would be cool.

    Like

  39. Alice Audrey says:

    I know that scenario well.

    Like

  40. AnnIsikArts says:

    Bravo for this! The eyes are truly the mirrors of the soul. I don’t get hunting. Never did. Never will.

    Like

  41. Amy Reese says:

    Such a complex piece, Sandra. I imagine I would feel this way if I were to ever shoot at an animal. Wonderfully written! That’s so exciting you got meet Janet and Bill. This is what life is all about.

    Like

  42. Sarah Ann says:

    The line about the animal looking at him with those ambers eyes pulls at the heart strings – it’s the ‘without accusation’ that gets me, I think. A pity your protagonist couldn’t manipulate his father into taking home the trophy.
    (And thanks for the photos of you all together.)

    Like

  43. Sun says:

    a proud moment for the father as the child endured the traumatic situation . . . your well written story captured the emotions so well it was as if i heard the poor child weep. thanks for sharing your lovely moment with some FF friends . . . way cool! 🙂

    Like

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