An Extraordinary Gift (Friday Fictioneers, October 2014)

Copyright Doug McIlroy

“Nothing, Grandad!”

The customary defiant denial.

“Numbers don’t just fall off by accident,” he said, fingering the old clock.


“You must have done something.” Another tack, less accusatory, though God knows he was in so much pain it was hard to keep his tone neutral. How much longer must he suffer with this cancer gnawing away inside?

“I was just wishing…”

“Wishing what?”

“That it would never be time to go back to school again…” she said, her cheeks flaming.

A thought struck him.

“Have you been wishing anything about me, child…?”

She nodded. He sighed.

This was going to be difficult.

Thanks to Rochelle at Friday Fictioneers for all her hard work.  Sorry I missed last week Rochelle;  the dog ate the note from my mother.  🙂 

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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77 Responses to An Extraordinary Gift (Friday Fictioneers, October 2014)

  1. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Sandra,

    I’ve just read your story for the first time and I am left breathless by your subtlety and power. What a compelling and mysterious story. I’m going to go reread it for detail, but I wanted to tell you right away how it made me feel at first reading. Marvelous work.




  2. Dear Sandra,

    So much said in such a small space. I think she and Grandpa know what she’s wishing. I sense he shares the same wish. Without saying it, i can feel the love between them. Beautifully done. This is why I miss you when you don’t post. 😉




  3. Sandra, Heartwarming though sad story. The two seem to share a special bond. Only a child would think of removing the numbers to stop time. Many no doubt wish they could do the same. Well written as always. 🙂 — Susan


  4. paulmclem says:

    Excellent story telling as always, Sandra.


  5. It reminded me of my Grandpa, we had such a special bond. Such a sad, but lovely story. Beautifully written, Sandra.


  6. This starts with a hint of humor – I suppose because the clock in the picture is a bit funny – then glides so easily into a painful situation. Well done.


  7. storydivamg says:

    Seldom do I want to read a 100-word story (or any story for that matter) over again just to absorb all the details and innuendo. But this is exactly what your story this week made me do. Great work, Sandra!

    All my best,
    Marie Gail


  8. suej says:

    Beautiful write, elegant…


  9. Great story line and tease! Well worth reading again and again. Thanks!


  10. You are masterful at this, Sandra. I so enjoy reading these each and every week and miss it when you don’t do one. A very touching story.


  11. I agree with the others, this is a touching story. Plus a little mystery thrown in. Love it!


  12. The story that leave me with so much detail .. yet with those gaps where only my fantasy goes haywire.. that’s what I love with a good story.. and mostly through dialogue too…


  13. I was with my father for much of the last 18 months of his battle with cancer. I feel for both of your characters.


  14. Sad but beautiful, of course she wants to hold on to him for a little longer. The love and the heartbreak are perfectly balanced Sandra. Excellent story 🙂


  15. Really touching Sandra.


  16. You capture so beautifully the desire of both to protect the other –


  17. I agree with Doug’s sentiments. Your stories continue to amaze me. So much depth in just a few words.


  18. Mike says:

    Everyone can relate to this story — but few can write it like you did.


  19. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Sandra, Just wonderful and full of emotion. What a charming granddaughter and I can feel the love between the two. Excellent! Nan


  20. draliman says:

    Beautiful story, but so sad. I hope they cherish their time together.


  21. MM Jaye says:

    Poignant and very-well layered. Excellent!

    Greetings from Greece!

    Maria (MM Jaye)


  22. Margaret says:

    A brilliant idea, successfully executed. I love how you’ve built the relationship between these two.


  23. Elizabeth says:

    Beautiful story Sandra, she wants to stop the time and have her grandpa forever with her, if it was possible…..


  24. Amy Reese says:

    Touching story, Sandra. Excellent work as always.


  25. hugmamma says:

    A substantive 100 words. Excellent subtlety…


  26. A lot in this poignant story. Lovely take on time.


  27. Caerlynn Nash says:

    I used to like the clocks with the numbers lying at the bottom like this. Maybe not so much anymore. 😦 Well written piece.


  28. helenmidgley says:

    Beautiful story telling 🙂


  29. MissTiffany says:

    Oh! This is delightful. Read it twice. Such skill!


  30. So touching and subtly portrayed. I remember wishing for the same thing, when one of my relatives was suffering greatly and told me that every day she pleaded with God to allow her to die and every day he didn’t hear her. In the end, she went peacefully in her sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Beautiful. And as always, expertly written.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Subroto says:

    Beautifully done. So full of emotion and yet so subtle.


  33. great compelling piece. Randy


  34. That was a heartbreaking, yet subtle story — so much said, and so much left unsaid. The love between the child and grandparent was shining, and the sorrow was potent. A lovely story!


  35. Excellent story Sandra. I could feel the words!


  36. Vinitha says:

    Beautifully crafted story. Very touching! If only we could stop time by manipulating cock!!


  37. Sarah Ann says:

    I’m wondering how old the grandchild is, but don’t really think that matters. She is wishing and trying to manipulate time for all the right reasons. I hope the following conversation is too difficult for both of them. Beautifully and tenderly done.


  38. What a clever, touching and beautiful story.


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