The Passing of the Storm (Friday Fictioneers – August 2014)

Copyright Bjorn Rudberg

Our cottage, nestling in the valley, stood beneath a mushrooming white cloud that was discharging almost continuous bolts of lightning and rolls of thunder.

Yet everywhere else, even our neighbours’ houses, basked in brilliant sunshine beneath clear blue skies.

And that’s how I knew that Reeva was back.

“Will she stay long?” I whispered.

My mother stroked me, reassuringly.

“As long as it takes.”

It took months, and when she left, the clouds rolled back up the mountain, the primroses peeped warily through the undergrowth, and the tinkling of cow-bells resumed.

My resentment smouldered; even as my heart soared.

In my relentless quest to avoid the massacre and mayhem angle, for a little while at least, this week’s offering for Friday Fictioneers can be interpreted literally or figuratively.  I can’t promise I can hold out much longer though; the need to “off” someone is almost uncontrollable.  And talking of “offing” people, if Rochelle writes another heart-tugger like this week’s…  😦

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.

109 Responses to The Passing of the Storm (Friday Fictioneers – August 2014)

  1. Dear Sandra,
    Some guests are like that…particularly relatives. As a child my mother had friends like Reeva. the clouds always lifted when they left. Love your story as a metaphor and I literally enjoyed it.
    As for the heart tugging…;)
    Shalom,
    Rochelle

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  2. Oh, I had few guests like Reeva. Well written, Sandra. I can totally relate, especially with that last line.

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  3. kingsleycw13 says:

    Great fun! I think I have a Reeva living with me at times!!

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  4. I love the image of the primroses. Yes Rochelle got me this morning too!

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  5. Sandra, like Rochelle I enjoyed the levels of reading. I loved the playfulness, especially the alliteration.

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  6. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Sandra,

    You may begin offing people whenever you like,Sandra. I’m not sure you really stopped since a few folks were bound to have been struck by Reeva’s lightning bolts. You do it so well. Bring on the carnage.

    Aloha,

    Doug

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  7. A visitor can be the worst thing — especially a relative.. I love how you describe the ordeals as a mushroom cloud. No sadness in my story this week I promise.

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  8. Lynda says:

    I was in the literal POV until I read the others comments. Well done!

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  9. It’s the telemarketers, Sandra, that are you making want to “off” somebody. But, hey, however the muse strikes, I guess. I like it when you get murderous!!

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  10. Nice story, Even if your character seethes in the midst of primrose renewal.
    Seething is foreplay to murder.
    Patience, though is a discipline as well as a virtue.
    And murder is so much better after a short respite.
    Good hunting. Use your resentment well.
    Randy

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  11. storydivamg says:

    Dear Sandra,
    While I’ve enjoyed the murder-free romps lately, no one can blame you for letting out your aggression on the characters you create for Friday Fictioneers.

    As to this week’s story, I enjoyed the pace and the layers of meaning–much like the terraced mountainside in Bjorn’s excellent photo.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

    Like

  12. Maree Gallop says:

    Loved this story Sandra, very atmospheric and beautifully written.

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  13. Kir Piccini says:

    I had to come over and comment. I read this in my email and just loved the flow of this, the story within the story and that last line…Perfection.

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  14. I could feel the rumbling resentment as the clouds rolled in then the primroses! Wonderful contrast.

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  15. Love it as a metaphor or as a supernatural story… perhaps you can burn Reeva at the stake as a witch?

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  16. paulmclem says:

    Saw Reeva as metaphor for depression….could be wrong 🙂

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  17. AnnIsikArts says:

    So you’ve gone from ‘carnage’ to ‘orage’, this week. I can’t help thinking of Reeva as a cat. Maybe even a witch as her ‘animagus’ (à la Harry Potter). She is a stereotype, too. And an archetype. We all have a Reeva in our lives, which as an anagram – avere – means ‘established’. Don’t know if you meant that, but it fits. One’s Reevas certainly ‘establish’ themselves in one’s life, arriving with their hat boxes of black clouds. An alter-ego Mary Poppins. So I’d like to read more of this story.

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  18. Interesting – there were two stories there! I mean I thought you managed to inject so much into the first ‘part,’ that Reeva’s return was already a powerful ending. So that it continued was like a bonus! A very engaging episode, and as a reader you just want the story to go places. So well-penned, as always.

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    • Sandra says:

      Very perceptive Hamish. I actually set out to write a story about a supernatural being who could conduct storms and as I did so, I realised what a metaphor it was for someone with some kind of personality disorder/depression/disturbance. So it kind of went on from there, from the POV of a younger sister observing the periodic homecoming of an unstable elder sister.

      Like

      • Sandra says:

        And just to let you know Hamish – I do read your story every week, though I’m blowed if I can see just how to leave a comment… Just about everything else is there though. 🙂

        Like

  19. We’ve got Reevas in our family. Damn them.

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  20. misskzebra says:

    I felt a lot like this when my sister came back from university. 😛

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  21. helenmidgley says:

    I love the woven threads, could mean so many things depending on you feel when you read it 🙂

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  22. Claudia says:

    This Reeva sounds like a realk dandy! Sure could feel the ‘storm of her”!

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  23. vidhya says:

    Excellent word choice and the metaphor applied is mind blowing. now that’s a winning one.

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  24. Sandra. Well-written story as always. I would guess most of us have a Reeva in our lives. I’m glad the sun came back out when she left. Well done. 🙂 —Susan

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  25. high five and raspberries says:

    I think Reeva is mighty lucky that you did not “off” her. I have read your story several times, each reading gave me a different perspective. Your story is ( dare I use the overused? ) awesome!!

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  26. wmqcolby says:

    Makes me wonder who this Reeva is but also makes me want to cringe each time her name is mentioned. I have had co-workers like her. Still do, just not as many.

    As usual, splendid job, Sandra! It seems I read you just to see how your mind works (or is functioning that week, give or take!). It’s fun.

    Like

  27. K.Z. says:

    Reeva… i hate her already. 🙂 i love the image of rolling clouds and the piece works wonderfully well when interpreted both literally or as a supernatural piece.

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  28. Ellespeth says:

    ‘The tinkling of cow bells’ is such a joyful ‘sound image’. I can the mood flow in this piece, Sandra…
    Ellespeth

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  29. plaridel says:

    I take this story literally. sometimes, house guests can be overwhelming as they tend to disrupt the normal order of things.

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  30. draliman says:

    I’m choosing to interpret it literally, as I like the idea that something supernatural is going on. Nice story!

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  31. MythRider says:

    I too like the supernatural. This could be the beginning of an interesting story.

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  32. dianathrelfo says:

    A beautiful and skilfully written story – loved the metaphor, it works so well and the imagery is wonderful. Congratulations.

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  33. I enjoyed this in the literal as well as the figurative (which I interpreted first) format, Sandra. Sadly, this is how I’ve felt with my college age kids coming home, the past few summers. Bummer, but I know it will pass the sky will clear. 😉

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  34. “It took months, and when she left, the clouds rolled back up the mountain, the primroses peeped warily through the undergrowth, and the tinkling of cow-bells resumed.”

    Lovely imagery and poetic language!

    Like

  35. Preeti says:

    The arrival of Reeva, the mushroom cloud and the appearance of primroses. Ah the imagery…! Wonderful!

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  36. You may have avoided bumping anyone off, but I decided that Reeva was already dead, or undead. I don’t have many visitors 😉

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  37. Bastet says:

    Poor Reeva … must be terrible to have a cloud always hanging over you. I sure can understand the feeling of relief though when she goes away…

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  38. Well written story that made me chuckle even though the core of the story is not humour. The first paragraph is excellent at setting up context for the rest of the story.

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  39. rgayer55 says:

    I read it as Mother-in-law comes to visit story (or other family member). I know people who walk around with a cloud over there head. How miserable that must be.
    We’re sitting here on pins and needles waiting for you to “off” someone. I’m sure you have a clever demise up your sleeve for some unlucky character.

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  40. Ruchi Chopra says:

    Wonderful Imagery 🙂 Good Wishes.

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  41. I’m taking it literally, because that would be freaky weird if the weather was really like that! Envisioning a whole new world. . .
    Great story but still looking forward to more offing!

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  42. I imagined Reeva as perhaps the mother’s depression, but it still works literally. Either way, nicely written.
    Claire

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  43. Amy Reese says:

    I’m glad Reeva has disappeared with her tumultuous weather and the plants can bloom again. I’ve had a few guests that fit your description! I’ve been there. You have so many great details, Sandra. Your stories are always a pleasure to read.

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  44. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Sandra, I love the sign you have on your boat! So clever and there’s a lot of truth in this Chinese saying. Over the years, we have had mostly good guests, but every once in a while – there is one that you can’t wait until they leave. Good story! Nan 🙂

    Like

  45. MissTiffany says:

    Oh this is awesome! I want to know more! I particularly love that this can be taken either literally (fantasy story – is she a witch?) or figuratively (Reeva isn’t the happiest person to be around, is she?). Wonderful job!

    Like

  46. liz young says:

    My first mother in law was like Reeve!

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  47. Anita says:

    Lovely to read, Sandra.
    I guess we need to be a bit less emotional! Words move us so much…

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  48. subroto says:

    There are days when I feel like being under that “mushrooming white cloud”. Very well done, this can be read and interpreted at so many different levels.

    Like

  49. Indira says:

    Excellent story Sandra.

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  50. hafong says:

    I get you, Sandra. I’m smouldering here. 🙂

    Lily

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  51. Sarah Ann says:

    I’m going to go with Reeva being a cantankerous great aunt who also happens to be a witch. She’s miserable because she can’t undo that miscast weather spell and that cloud follows her everywhere.
    Now I’ve got the silliness over, I hope you haven’t got time to pop across the pond and deal with Rochelle after her latest extremely heart-tugging effort.

    Like

  52. Nice work again. I’m not sure if I like it better as a figurative story or a literal one. I mean, it would be kind of cool – in a story, not in real life – to have a person who is literally accompanied by an isolated storm system that drives local flora and fauna into hiding… 🙂

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  53. I read it as if Reeva was a mystical creature, a witch or a sorceress perhaps. I just can’t decide why she is there.

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  54. Lucy says:

    Wonderful story. I’m not sure if Reeva is real, as in human, or some sort of evil spirit. You could easily expand on this story. There is smouldering–that could lead to offing someone or some thing. Lucy

    Like

  55. Dee says:

    Great story Sandra,as usual.
    Perhaps you can ‘off’ someone/thing this week…
    Love the sign on your boat by the way

    Like

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