Will You Be Staying Long….? – Friday Fictioneers, January 2015

Copyright Jan Wayne Fields

“Side plates go to the left,” says my mother-in-law.

Piss off.

“…and a separate knife for the croissants.”

Croissants? Shit! “Sleep well, Julia?”

“The bed was somewhat lumpy, I thought.”

“Ah… you found the pea then…”

“Pea?”

“Tea?”

“You’ve remembered I only drink Lady Grey?”

It’s Earl Grey, will she notice?

“Others can’t tell the difference, but I can.”

Double shit…

“Jeremy seems tense. Is all well between you?”

“Absolutely fine.” Your son’s gay, had you noticed…?

“Grandchildren soon perhaps?”

“All in good time.” Hell may freeze over, Julia.

“Mmm… I love Lady Grey.”

“There’s certainly no fooling you, Julia.”

Friday Fictioneers kicks off once again, with Rochelle running up and down the sidelines, whistle in mouth to ensure fair play by all participants.  Next week, if all goes well, I’ll be contributing from France, and the week after that from Spain.  And so the winter goes …  🙂

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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.

113 Responses to Will You Be Staying Long….? – Friday Fictioneers, January 2015

  1. Ha,, this is just wonderful.. the pairing of the voice and the inner monologue is brilliant, fortunately blind eyes and closed ears work fine in some cases.

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  2. MrBinks says:

    Excellent pacing. Loved the Tea?/Pea?. I may have spat a bit of the former as I read. Good job!

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  3. latasun says:

    Loved this.. the dialogs in the head is good. And when the Mother-in-law asks ‘Grandchildren soon perhaps?’ was funny.

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  4. I loved the way you portrayed the pain and anger caused by the double life.

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  5. Hilarious and well done Sandra. Great dialogue. If Jeremy’s gay, I doubt that he or Julia will be around much longer. 🙂 — Suzanne

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  6. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Sandra,

    I loved the reference to the Princess and the Pea. I know those types all too well. And they seem proud of it. I can’t wait to see their backs.

    Married to a gay son? Is she in it for the money or is he (not in it) for appearances sake? Either way it’s going to be a rocky road. Lovely story.

    Aloha,

    Doug

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    • Sandra says:

      Thank you Doug. I wasn’t sure how universal the ‘Princess and the Pea’ concept was. And yes, there are a plethora of these ‘precious’ types around; thankfully my mother-in-law was a gem!

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  7. Dear Sandra,

    I often think when speaking with some dolt how wonderful it is that he or she can’t read my mind. Brilliant writing. But then, would I expect anything less?

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      I’ve been told that my mind can be read via my eyes Rochelle, so I’m very careful what I think when I’m speaking with irritating people. 🙂 Thank you for your kind comment.

      Like

  8. Love the way you write, Sandra. An entertaining piece, which told me so much in only a few words. Made me smile too. 🙂

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  9. Forgot to wish you happy travels. 🙂

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  10. The way you set this up allows you to convey so much with so few words. You managed to include humor, pain, and more than one broken relationship. Kudos. All the best with your upcoming trips!

    janet

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  11. Michael B. Fishman says:

    I loved the say you balanced the dialogue with Julia’s thoughts. A lot of times I get lost reading that type of dialogue but I didn’t with your story. France and Spain, not a bad way to spend a winter!

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    • Sandra says:

      Thank you Michael. It can be tricky constructing that kind of dialogue, so I’m pleased it worked for you. Yes, my OH has a low threshold for the suffering of an English winter. I’m happy to accommodate his wishes in that respect. 🙂

      Like

  12. Amazing, I love this so much. Such an entertaining dialog garnished with her fantastic inner thoughts. Great work, Sandra!

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  13. storydivamg says:

    Fabulous story this week, Sandra. I especially love those last two lines.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

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  14. Another stellar job, Sandra, complete with the expected powerhouse ending. I hate to go on and on every week, BUT it really is remarkable how you are able to convey so multi-layered a story in a handful of words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra says:

      It’s something that’s developed over time Barbara, but I sometimes wonder whether it doesn’t make it difficult for me when I write longer stories for competitions. I tend to encapsulate facts/backstories somewhat. But thank you for your lovely comments, Barbara, I’m always glad to see you’ve visited.

      Like

      • And I, as a reader, despise authors who feel the need to bludgeon us with tedious explanations. I want to shriek, “I get it already!!” Not that I don’t enjoy detailed writing, I do, it’s the attitude by some authors of “let me explain this to the poor dears…” that I find annoying.

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  15. Wow! Seems we both went the gay route this go around with “blind” parents. I’m in a writing practice group that writes from verbal prompts (10 minutes, 15 minutes etc given to write a story from the prompt) and often 3 or 4 of us write along the same lines. Makes us very happy.

    Anyway, love the play of internal thoughts against the conversation. Nicely done.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Yes, I noticed that Doug and I both went for dialogue stories containing mothers-in-law this week. The muses move in mysterious ways. 🙂 Thanks for reading.

      Like

  16. emmylgant says:

    Delicious! So my cup of tea!
    Wonderful read

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  17. What a bwitch. Loved the snark, darling.

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  18. rogershipp says:

    So full of individual chuckles! Enjoyed!!

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  19. paulmclem says:

    I love a cup of Lady Grey…which in my view tastes absolutely nothing like the Earl’s version 🙂 Another excellent contribution this week, Sandra. Always a must read.

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  20. So well written, as always. I loved those internal thoughts. My only confusion was over the croissants. With Julia saying a separate knife was needed for them I assumed they were in Julia’s house, and then I got very muddled about who was speaking. I’m not saying you should change anything – I think it was my slow brain working it out.
    Claire

    Like

  21. Oh Danny Boy says:

    I can’t add much more than the previous comments. All I can say is that yours is the first post I read on the grid. Always entertaining!

    DJ

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  22. I loved it. It was very entertaining! 🙂

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  23. Anna says:

    I have to say I read it once silent and once again out loud so I could play the different voices correctly! so fun!! it´s so hard to face demons in your head while having a conversation you don´t want to have… I have experienced that!

    Like

  24. A little strychnine in her tea will quiet that old bird..I adored my mother-in law too. Enjoyable read as always.

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  25. Lynda says:

    Sandra, so well done, as always, but glad we could read it (and not eat it). Bitter.

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  26. i b arora says:

    you manage your dialogues adroitly, liked the piece

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  27. draliman says:

    Brilliant! I wonder how often this scene plays out across the world? I especially liked the bit with the croissants (or lack thereof) 🙂

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  28. Lovely. I spotted the side plate thing but thought it may be a US thing so kept quiet. Love the politeness of it all. A real gold mine of issues. made me laugh/shudder.

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  29. Indira says:

    How one can live with that kind of MIL. Beautifully written, Sandra dear.

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  30. BrainRants says:

    Fantastic. The dialogue punctuates the inner monologue so well. It paints the picture of the conflict.

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  31. Family dynamics can prove interesting and frustrating when we see only what we want to see. Great story.

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  32. Shilpa Gupte says:

    Haha…loved the story, Sandra. The dialogue between the women was great! I could visualise the whole scene. In fact, I think I heard the younger one slam a spoon on the table. 🙂

    Like

  33. Love the revealing dialog inside the head and out. The last line is wonderful!

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  34. You successfully did inner and outer dialogues well. It made it humorous although the relationships conveyed were far from humorous.

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  35. Margaret says:

    Such a masterful portrayal of family tensions and unspoken resentments. Wonderfully done – most entertaining. I feel for the poor daughter-in-law.
    Marg

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  36. Crisp and curt repartee. A little poisonous perhaps – if not in their language, perhaps then in their tea. Fun, if you can call it that, piece.
    Randy

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  37. Oh, I love the snark!

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  38. wildbilbo says:

    Brilliant – well written, really funny, Great stuff.
    Cheers
    KT

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  39. Ellespeth says:

    Oh well yuck on this MIL 😦 The DIL keeps much more inside than I would. I laughed over the Pea/Tea part. I could picture this scene in my mind’s eye.
    Ellespeth

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  40. rgayer55 says:

    Oh, I love this one. You outdid yourself this time, Sandra. Five stars!

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  41. Sarah Ann says:

    Great characterisation. I feel for the daughter-in-law. Hopefully Julia won’t be staying very long at all, or murder might be committed.

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  42. erinleary says:

    She’s a piece of work, that one. I hope she isn’t staying long. Enjoy your destinations! It sounds like a lovely adventure.

    Like

  43. Diane Ahlberg says:

    Great post
    Had me thinking of my own experiences
    Too true
    Too funny

    Like

  44. MissTiffany says:

    Wonderful! You blended the inner dialogue with the spoken dialogue perfectly…and I’m sure his annoyance and distress with misunderstanding family members is something we can all relate to.
    P.s. Loved the bit about the Pea!

    Like

  45. Amy Reese says:

    I love the inner dialogue, Sandra, and the putting on airs. Very entertaining! I imagine this kind of thing happens even more in fancy rooms. Wow, you are quite the world traveler! Happy and safe travels.

    Like

  46. Wow! I really like the combination of the dialogue with her thoughts. I especially enjoyed the bit when she said “hell may freeze over”, that made me laugh!

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  47. hafong says:

    I had a few chuckles over the conversation! Very entertaining, Sandra. 🙂

    Lily

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  48. Judee says:

    It amazes me the depth of characters you can create from a simple photo! Wow, there is so much information in this! Loved the last line, it pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Subroto says:

    So no tea for two soon then.

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  50. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Sandra, You are so magnificent and I love the inner thoughts you have while listening to the old “bitty.” So darn funny, I nearly didn’t make it to the bathroom in time! FUNNY! Nan 🙂

    Like

  51. Excellent, Sandra! The dynamic back and forth with dialogue and inner voice is sharp and intelligent. I look forward to your stories every week, Sandra, but some weeks you deliver an extra wonderful gem like this. Brava!

    Like

  52. Dee says:

    Very well done Sandra, seems we both had an inner voice working for us this week! Great pace and dialogue, very enjoyable.

    Like

  53. AnnIsikArts says:

    What deliciously awful characters. I like your ‘tea’ device. I suspect we might discover, further down the road in this tale, that Earl Grey will be found to be more upset about his son’s sexuality than Lady Grey. Or maybe not. 🙂

    Like

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