Attention Seeker – Friday Fictioneers, January 2016

chateau-de-sable-ceayr

Copyright CE Ayr

“Emily!”

My father’s fist slams against the table and I avert my gaze from the crystal water-jug. The bubbles cease, though the handle has crazed.

I slump exhausted, anticipating further rebuke; there is none.

He retreats behind the gates of his despair, oblivious of my achievement, as he has been since the day Georgie was born.

I sigh.

My mother regards me strangely. Does she suspect, I wonder?

I willed little Georgie dead. And he died.

Would they love me if I willed him back again?

Their dilated nostrils, the napkins crushed against their mouths tell me this doesn’t work either.

OK – no apologies for this desperate piece of black comedy.  It was either this or a no-show this week.  I’ve struggled with this week’s Friday Fictioneers in a way that I haven’t for many, many months, totally bereft of creativity.  Thanks to Rochelle  for her leadership and to CE Ayr for a photo that deserved better from me.

Advertisements

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.

69 Responses to Attention Seeker – Friday Fictioneers, January 2016

  1. Sibling rivalry gone horribly astray!

    Like

  2. Your struggle with inspiration are not visible, this is yet another amazing story.

    Like

  3. I think sometimes the more we struggle the better the story.. I think moving outside the obvious just makes the story better. To grow up in the shadow of a dead sibling is a curse… I have seen it happen, and that chasm will never close alas.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Sandra,

    Retreats behind the gates of his despair…great line. If Carrie had had a little brother…It’s a good thing my big brother didn’t have that power. After all these years, he’s finally forgiven me for unseating him from his throne. 😉 Glad you wrote. Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ceayr says:

    Deserved better?
    This is a heart-rendingly powerful piece, describing love and loss, jealousy and guilt.
    Although I confess that I missed the comedic element!

    Like

  6. Bloggeuse says:

    I cackled at the final line – you say you struggled, but it worked for me.

    Like

  7. I agree, Sandra, this was a lovely, though heartbreaking story. Poor child. I hope when she grows up she’ll realize she had nothing to do with her little brother’s death. Well written like your other stories. Sibling rivalry can hurt. — Suzanne

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      This story fails on so many levels! 🙂 Emily is a telekinetic who can will things to happen, ie the water boiling in the water-jug until it cracks, willing her brother to die, and finally willing her brother back to life, a rather malodorous zombie. That, in essence, is the story behind the words. It’s no wonder I struggled with it, since a lot of the posters who read it after you didn’t get it either, Suzanne. I promise to try harder next week. 🙂 Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 3 people

  8. athling2001 says:

    Very nice. I like the tension.

    Like

  9. gahlearner says:

    It worked for me, too. Only you can make me open my eyes wide like saucers in horror and laugh about it at the same time. Your stories always are like scalpels, cutting to the roots of the problem.

    Like

  10. The last line made me feel as if the dead sibling was still in the house. Probably not.

    Like

  11. plaridel says:

    hopefully, when she grows up, things will change for the better. if not, it’s not the end of the world. she can move on with her life without them.

    Like

  12. Don’t you ever skip a week! Even when you are bad you are good. I was touched by your story but I too must admit I saw no humor.

    Like

  13. Danny James says:

    Uplifting little piece of fiction. Not!

    DJ

    Like

  14. Wow, that’s a black one. I think Emily’s going to be a bit lonely from now on. Could you do a musical next?

    Like

  15. Martin Flux says:

    This is a very poignant rendition of sibling rivalry. I also thought the dead sibling is still right there, the whole scene happening only minutes after his/her death.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks for commenting Martin. I gave a full explanation in Suzanne’s comment above.

      Like

      • Martin Flux says:

        Aha! Upon reading the explanation and rereading the story some things clicked together in a different way. I think it’s your last line that’s letting you down a bit – if that line stated more clearly what happened, I would go back and look for clues of supernatural. This way I just didn’t anticipate the supernatural and my brain saw what it expected to see: a realistic sorrowful scene.

        My critique partner would have told you that you fell into the ‘show, don’t tell’ trap (trying to ‘show’ everything, which easily leads to multitudes of interpretations – and with these micro stories there’s hardly any time to ‘prepare’ readers to make them see what you want them to see). That’s my two cents’ worth, anyway.

        Like

  16. Once again, I’m posting comments that don’t show up on my end, so I’ll try it one more time but only one more time. Poor Emily, she’s running out of family members! I agree I don’t see the comedy here, but the story’s as good as ever as is the “twist.”

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Maybe they don’t show up because they’re still in moderation, Perry. We’re a good way ahead of you time-wise, so when you comment I’m not there to approve them, I’m in the land of Nod. But it’s nice to meet you so many times each week. 🙂

      Like

  17. lillian says:

    Oh my! I read your explanation to a reply above … telekinetic…..and reread the story. Wow! Either way, it is a very good tale. Ah….if only we had more than 100 words….then the telekinetic aspect would be there loud and strong for all to see the first time. But — again, either way, it’s a very good story.
    And I do think, small children “wish” for things and don’t understand why they do or don’t come true. And when they do come true, if it’s a terrible wish, they probably do take it upon themselves and feel the guilt. A heavy burden to bear.

    Like

  18. I struggled this week too. I wrote something happy, which I never do. I want to write more happy things, but it is hard sometimes. The picture was beautiful.

    Like

  19. Sandra says:

    Thanks for visiting.

    Like

  20. draliman says:

    I ended up getting two stories out of this – brilliant! I first read it the “wrong” way and found it terribly sad that the child thought they had caused the brother’s death.
    Then after reading the other comments, I read it as telekinetic/zombie and found it hilarious, especially the last line 🙂
    So I’d chalk this up as a success.

    Like

  21. Oh my! Another shocker well done!

    Like

  22. liz young says:

    Struggle or not, you were still on the first line of entries again! And it was well done, again.

    Like

  23. I can’t believe you are apologising for this!. A great little tale that takes the reader first one way then another. I hope you find next week’s equally challenging – it clearly suits you!

    Visit Keith’s Ramblings!

    Like

  24. I did not see this as the little girl having special powers but I still thought it was a nice depiction of the guilt that kids feel sometimes. I could see how she might think that because she wished her brother dead somehow she was responsible for it. It is a different story if she really has the power, of course. I think it is very hard to develop our concepts sometimes in such a small amount of words. I have been struggling lately myself but I think I just needed some space from writing. Sometimes we need a break. I don’t know if you feel the same.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      To be honest, I’ve given myself a break since we came to Spain before Christmas. I’ve only really done FriFic and a few bits and pieces for my writing crit group. I keep waiting for the inspiration but it’s hiding somewhere. Hope you get your mojo back soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, Sandra. I am a bit off the writing myself because the prompts do not always inspire my thinking. It helps if there is something in them that I can relate to. The family scene you described with the little girl was very good. I was thinking you could have just written it straight without the big twist and it would be very good.

        Like

  25. Amy Reese says:

    I see no sign of despair here. I found it riveting, Sandra. I felt the tension and the slam of the fist.

    Like

  26. subroto says:

    With a person like that in the house you wish they’d stop bending the spoons. I could be wrong but it seems like that the parents have been given the same treatment as Georgie.

    Like

  27. Poor kid to believe she had killed her brother. And her parents don’t seem to have got over their loss.

    Like

  28. Judee says:

    All I can say is that even when you struggle, your still pack a punch. Dark, yes, but effective. I admit, though, that the telekenetic part wasn’t obvious to me – though I had an inkling from the bubbles, but feel that may have been too subtle? Maybe if you had said the handle was melted or deformed instead of crazed.This is a case where just a few more words might have been needed. 🙂 But as others have said, even removing the telekinetic element, it still has power.

    Like

  29. Sandra, I’m not sure you can write a bad story… or, I haven’t seen one yet! Given that yours is #6, you can’t have agonized that long, and this is far from weak! “He retreats behind the gates of his despair” is a beautiful use of the prompt. I too missed the humor, as the ironic pain of this was so poignant.

    Like

  30. Oliana says:

    What a story! sibling rivalry, so natural and yet the guilt and isolation when a sibling dies. They have lost not only a sibling but their parents are absent in so many ways for long periods of time. Very sad.

    Like

  31. Margaret says:

    I enjoyed reading your stories – because to my mind, there are two, which I only know because of the fascinating conversations in the comments. So – twice the punch! Of course, once I realised the telekinetic power aspect, some of your phrases had much more meaning. (By the way, I’d feel like a genius if I ever got my story together in time to make it into the first ten posted.)

    Like

  32. MissTiffany says:

    Kids deal with grief in a different way than adults – and unfortunately they often blame themselves for the wrongdoing (in divorce, in death…) hopefully this broken little family can mend itself.

    Like

I'd love to hear your views; it reassures me I'm not talking to myself.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s