The Eye of the Beholder – Friday Fictioneers, March 2016

Copyright Ted Strutz

Copyright Ted Strutz


“She sees the best in everyone,” he said.

“Lucky for you then,” I snapped, coldly.

He flushed.  “You couldn’t just be happy for us, I suppose?”

“You’re so right.”

In a shower of rose-petals, silver horseshoes and rice, he and my sister drove away,

He turned out to be the no-hoper I’d always known he’d be, but he made her happy, and he nursed her right to the end.

Today, in the same church-yard, pansies flourish in the grass.

“I’m nothing without her,” he sighs.

“Don’t put yourself down,” I say.

There’ll always be people like me to do that.

It’s lovely to see a bunch of spring flowers on a grey day like today, even if they are nestling inside a less than salubrious vase, so thank you for that Ted Strutz.  (And yes, I did use the word ‘flushed’ deliberately.)   🙂  Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, a very talented author/illustrator, who leads a busy, busy life.  Thank you Rochelle, for finding the time.  

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.
This entry was posted in Friday Fictioneers, Just Sayin' and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

86 Responses to The Eye of the Beholder – Friday Fictioneers, March 2016

  1. Dear Sandra,

    Bittersweet and poignant tale. I felt rather sorry for the brother in law and the last line made me laugh and wince at the same time. No surprise that it’s well written.



    Liked by 1 person

  2. Being happy in life is one of the most valuable things one can have. So it seems he did right by her.


  3. The sister in law is a very interesting character.


  4. oldentimes says:

    Brought a big smile at the end. I know that family too.


  5. This story, although different, reminded me a bit of Ashley and Melanie in “Gone With The Wind”. Your description and dialogue make it all seem realistic Sandra. Well written as always. 🙂 — Suzanne


  6. Ashley Danielle says:

    I believe we all at some point in our lives know of a couple where we don’t approve of the spouse. This story very much hit a soft spot in my life. I just pray I am not bitter like that forever toward him. Isn’t it great when a story can reveal something about yourself you are trying to hide, even when it hurts? Thank for this story. It definitely won’t every leave me.

    Ashley Danielle


  7. You’ve captured a character in so few words – wonderful. The use of ‘flushed’ did make me smile.


  8. ceayr says:

    Superbly written, with authentic dialogue.
    I hope not too close to home, Sandra.


  9. That last line is a killer. Such a hard-hitting and well constructed story, epitome of life’s truths.


  10. neilmacdon says:

    A crunchy tale full of malignancy and irony


  11. Dale says:

    Your title says it all. Totally adds those extra words! And I half-wish the last line wasn’t there, that she had become gracious after all the years… Family. They are the worst!


  12. emmylgant says:

    Prickly tale so well delivered! Families are land mines I think. Walk with your eyes open and armour well -strapped..

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Families! Sad tale but I felt hopeful at the end she’d be less judgemental in future.


  14. storydivamg says:

    Fantastic, Sandra. How on earth do you weave this wonderful short tales so quickly? I’m impressed. “Flushed” was inserted so naturally that I had to go back and reread to find it. Ha!

    All my best,
    Marie Gail


    • Sandra says:

      🙂 Thanks MG. If I don’t get a story out quickly, then likely as not I may not get one out at all. I can literally feel the inspiration draining away as the clock ticks by. Glad you found the flush eventually. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Graham Lawrence says:

    He flushed! How appropriate!


  16. Oh, I laughed at the last line. Still, I feel a bit sorry for the bro-in-law.


  17. elmowrites says:

    I’m not sure why she’s so embittered, although I must say I wondered with him flushing whether the sister had stolen the narrator’s man. But maybe she’s just a grumpus. Either way I particularly liked the line about “he turned out to be a no-hoper” – anyone who makes his wife happy and nurses her to the end is a funny kind of no-hoper, so I’m glad the narrator’s a little redeemed at the end.



  18. d3athlily says:

    Haha that last line made me chuckle even whilst I felt sorry for him.


  19. Love your choice of words! lol


  20. I’m with Jennifer. I thought the “flushed” meant that they were together in the bathroom when he flushed which would have made them intimates and thus explaining the bitterness. No-hoper – I’m going to use that some day.


  21. Jan Brown says:

    I did wonder about “flushed”! Thanks for clarifying. Good story! Sometimes no one is good enough for our sisters (or our daughters or nieces).


  22. mickwynn2013 says:

    It’s so true, there’s always someone round to put you down, normally out of jealousy. Hopefully, he can ignore it and maybe she’s learnt lesson.


  23. Bastet says:

    What a fantastic thumbnail of the “sister-in-law” really a rather nasty piece of work isn’t she! An oddly she seems to know it herself – which isn’t normal for this sort of person I think .. so I guress there’s still hope for her.


  24. draliman says:

    At least he made her happy, that’s the main thing. Your title is very apt!


  25. Caerlynn Nash says:

    Nice story. And yes, I caught the “flushed” and giggled since I blatantly used the word “crap.” 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Thom Carswell says:

    The lives of three whole characters perfectly captured in just 100 words. Well done!


  27. IfeomaO says:

    Absolutely loving the range of emotions and just as I though she had warmed up in the end…Great job. I missed reading stories from FF and I hope to rejoin soon enough 🙂


  28. wmqcolby says:

    In a world where we all would do the obvious, you did the in-obvious. Class with a capital K, Sandra. Super story! 🙂


  29. plaridel says:

    he loved her and made her happy. i think that was the most important.


  30. ansumani says:

    Sandra, You have bought out the complexity of their relationship and two characters in 100 words. Amazing!


  31. He was of far more to her than the brother could ever conceive because she saw him with that inexplicable thing called love. But I wanted to see the Twilight Episode with the same name and all those pig-faced doctors!


  32. rgayer55 says:

    Ha! That last line killed me me with laughter.
    This gal will make someone a great mother in-law.
    We all have our roles in life. She has hers figured out and down pat.


  33. liz young says:

    You describe so eloquently the assumptions families can make about other member’s choices of partner.


  34. Oliana says:

    This wise tale you penned beautifully, moved me. Well done!


  35. Amy Reese says:

    I loved how you inserted the “flushed.” You are so clever, Sandra. It’s hard to see our loved ones with someone we don’t like. Well done.


  36. “He turned out to be the no-hoper I’d always known he’d be, ” What a beautifully acidic line!


  37. gahlearner says:

    Gosh, I could be that person. I don’t have a sister, but I’ve seen friends being with the ‘wrong person’… I love how your MC grudgingly admits that there might be, just a tiny, little good side to the guy if he did care so much. And I was glad about the last line, made me laugh despite the sad. She’s being herself…


  38. Helena Fox Dunan says:

    A whole life journey captured in a hundred words. My goodness. What an incredible picture of a character, told in her responses, her sharp observations, her unwavering lack of compassion or connection. I have sympathy for the brother in law and sister, but also for the narrator, because she has to live with herself. She knows who she is—that is revealed clearly in the punch of your last line. This is very powerful, Sandra. Sad on many levels.


  39. Chekii says:

    The last few lines speak ever so clearly the personalities at play within the story. Such a very well crafted story indeed, I enjoyed reading this.


  40. subroto says:

    At least she is honest. Another interesting character crafted by you.


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