Political Detachment (Friday Fictioneers – October 2014)

Copyright: The Reclining Gentleman

In my years as William’s political aide, I’d mastered detachment… totally.

As he approached, I turned to gaze across the lake. His wife’s arm was tucked in his; they’d made a fine couple, aging gracefully.

My lunch-date was usually late; but not this time.

“Mother!”

I glimpsed William’s stunned astonishment, mirrored in the face of his wife. And my approaching son.

The resemblance between both men was remarkable, the same aquiline nose, the head of thick, glossy raven hair.

The mallen streak was, however, conclusive.

The three of them stared at each other.

I returned to my study of the lake.

 

I wrote this as a banker first thing, in the hope that some better inspiration would emerge.  It didn’t, and I can’t sit at my laptop any longer (bad back)  😦 so this will have to do for this week’s Friday Fictioneers.  Thanks once again to Rochelle for her engagement over the last two years, and we look forward to her third year in office. 

 

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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.

82 Responses to Political Detachment (Friday Fictioneers – October 2014)

  1. Dear Sandra,

    There’s detachment and then there’s…I read this twice and I may have to go back for a third read. I can just see the shock on all faces. Nicely done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

  2. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Sandra,

    Masterfully plotted and expertly written. The detachment described in the opening is perfectly exhibited in the conclusion, while the whole tells another story entirely.

    Thank you for teaching me about Mallen streaks as well.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sandra says:

      Thank you Doug for reading and commenting. Two of our left-wing major figures (well one of them a former political figure now making his fortune on your side of the pond) have a Mallen streak – the Milliband brothers. I notice Oscar Pretorious has one too.

      Like

  3. I love the concept of this story, but I’m a little confused as to who is related to whom… I’ll have to read it a few more times I think 🙂

    Like

  4. Intriguing story, I must say that is one awkward family reunion.

    Like

  5. I love the whole detachment tone in this and how coolly she lets father and son meet. I think there’s a lot more going on under the surface of this woman. Wonderful.

    Like

  6. Surprise! So well-written. I can picture in my mind the next scene!

    Like

  7. Sandra, there are reasons for detachments, but are cases where it will end.. I guess breathing deeply looking at the pond is needed before the explosion…

    Like

  8. LOVED this one, Sandra. So glad you decided that this one “will have to do.” Yes, indeed.

    Like

  9. Clever story, wonderfully crafted.
    Excellent.

    Like

  10. Whoops! Sound like a vignette taken from an intriguing novel, Sandra. Both she and you set things up admirably.

    janet

    Like

  11. Sandra, Great story. I guess that settled it. I also can see the shock on their faces. Well written as always. 🙂 — Susan

    Like

  12. Detachment is one thing and perhaps the father and his wife deserved learning about his son this way but I am not sure it was fair to the son. I feel for him.
    With that being said I will say “good job” because if you can get your reader to feel for one of your characters with only 100 words, well then, good job!

    Like

  13. It can happen; detachment, eh? Keep studying the lake.

    Like

  14. paulmclem says:

    Always enjoy your writing, Sandra. However, I must confess to some confusion as to who has just turned up i.e. who said ‘Mother’?

    Like

  15. You’ve captured her detachment perfectly… so cold!

    Like

  16. You portray a wonder, strong woman who has calmly accepted what has happened in her life. Well done.

    Like

  17. Total detachment is right, I guess. 🙂 I like the last line, just looking out at the lake despite everyone’s shock. Just to confirm, William’s wife’s son is the narrator’s date, right?

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Sorry David; the narrator (a female) had an affair with the politician whilst she worked with him. Realising he’d probably never leave his ‘fine’ wife she cut her losses without telling him she was pregnant with his son- detaching herself from the situation. I had it in 112 words and the subsequent cutting may have caused some puzzlement. It’s certainly raised the question of whether she engineered the chance encounter, which wasn’t what I intended but which sounds quite interesting. Thanks for reading.

      Like

  18. storydivamg says:

    No need to apologize for this offering, Sandra. Beautifully told! And thanks for the link about the mallen streak. I hadn’t realized it was hereditary, but several of my male cousins (related on both sides) have this physical trait. The detail sits in contrast to the ordinariness of the scene in the picture. Nicely handled.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks Marie Gail. Sometimes I wonder whether a relatively ‘bland’ photo doesn’t lend itself to wilder imaginings. Thanks for reading.

      Like

      • storydivamg says:

        I think it helps that this photo has a lot going on in it–the human in the foreground, the swans that are barely visible, the bench, the clouds, the water, the island, the woods. It seems our writers this week are doing a good job of noticing different elements and playing to them. That’s part of what makes this exercise so fun.

        MG

        Like

  19. Great twist to the story, Sandra. And you’ve solved a mystery for me. I first noticed those white patches in men’s hair about six months ago. Now I see them everywhere. I even wondered, dumbly, if it was a new hair style. Thanks for solving that and for the great read.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Hi Karen, yes, as I mentioned above, our prospective Labour leader Ed Milliband and his brother David both have them, and Oscar Pretorious too, I see. Thanks for reading.

      Like

  20. Detachment sometimes takes the form of, “Oops”.
    A lake study also helps.
    Wonderfully told tale.
    Randy

    Like

  21. Margaret says:

    I really like the voice of the narrator. She absolutely has mastered detachment. I’m wondering if she didn’t actually intend the meeting to take place, given that she expected her son to be late. I really like this; there’s so much story in there.
    Marg

    Like

  22. Excellent story as always. I could feel the mounting tension right along with the detachment. And that doesn’t even make any sense!

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Sense is fine, mounting tension is better though. 🙂 Thanks for dropping by Perry.

      Like

    • I always have mounting tension when I anticipate a lover coming by.
      Then when it’s over i have mounting detachment.
      BTW I used to be part of the rocky mountings; but that was when she threw me off.
      And Perry, I agree, not everything makes any sense.

      Like why she invited her son to lunch at a lake where her lover walks with his wife…
      methinks she is a little detached in the head.

      Like

  23. Maree Gallop says:

    Fantastic story Sandra! Such anticipation and building of tension. I wonder what will happen next? I will be thinking about this story long after I’ve read it – well done!

    Like

  24. draliman says:

    Oops, someone’s been naughty! What a way for them to meet, though. I’m thinking maybe the politician has been annoying the narrator recently so she’s set this up 🙂

    Like

  25. Superb… The statements raised questions, the finale answering everything, but yet, leaving a question. Did they, really? No.. Yes, OMG !! Loved it.

    Like

  26. I had to reread a couple of times before the penny dropped. It’s hard to carry off in 100 words but you did it. I hope your back feels better soon.

    Like

  27. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Sandra, she is really practing detachment, letting go. Looking at the lake when an explosion is getting ready to happen, needs lots of detachment.

    Like

  28. Simply excellent! As usual, you nailed it, Sandra. And of course am wondering what happens next!

    Like

  29. Hmmm… I’m wondering if she set up the “chance” meeting. Well written.

    Like

  30. Alex says:

    Liked it! Very surprising end!

    Like

  31. i b arora says:

    a bit intreguing

    Like

  32. Amy Reese says:

    She definitely has mastered detachment. I think this chance meeting was bound to happen at some point. I can just picture it happening at a place like this. Thanks for the link on mallen streak. That’s pretty fascinating stuff. Excellent, Sandra!

    Like

  33. wildbilbo says:

    Ok – I’ll admit it took me a few reads, but when I got it… Nicely done, I see a difficult conversation ahead 🙂

    Engaging story, and nice characterisation.
    KT

    Like

  34. Mike says:

    What did I just read ? … when back to read it again … and Yep, That’s what I read alright.

    Well written shocker.

    Like

  35. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Sandra, Well written and clever! The wife will be surprised, probably, and the son extremely surprised. What a mess her detachment has caused. Maybe she should change her secretive ways. Very well done Sandra – I am impressed! Nan 🙂

    Like

  36. I had to read this several times to understand all the players and their roles. And why were you hesitant about posting this??? I loved the turn of events!

    Like

  37. Sarah Ann says:

    Very well done on including so many characters in such a short piece. I would love to read what happens to all of them during the next five minutes.

    Like

  38. Whoops! Shockwaves felt across the lake, surface choppy.
    Well written. I almost felt like disappearing into a hole on behalf of certain people.

    Like

  39. Dee says:

    Well done, really liked this Sandra.
    I loved the serialisation of Catherine Cookson’s novel ‘The Mallen Streak’ you have captured some of the tension of that with your piece.

    Like

  40. Indira says:

    Very well written Sandra. Calculative detachment.

    Like

  41. Ellespeth says:

    Sounds like detachment is something she learned later in the game of life…
    Ellespeth

    Like

  42. izzwizz says:

    I loved this. The strangest thing though is that my son has that steak of white hair… And we had no idea it was genetic. I wrote about it at http://travelswithmyson.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/i-love-you-i-love-you-i-love-you/. Thank you so much for solving one of many mysteries 🙂

    Like

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