The Things She Said – Friday Fictioneers, June 2016

ice-on-the-window

Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

“Jack Frost’s at the window,” my grandmother would say, and when the ice melted and snowflakes kissed the windowpanes, she’d smile.

“The angels are shaking their mattresses.”

On sultry summer days I’d laze outside, sucking clover-heads for honey, or crushing rose petals to make perfumes, and when towering thunderheads obscured the sun, she’d usher me indoors.

“God’s moving his wardrobes,” she’d say.

So when I found her weeping over her shattered moneybox, I expect to hear about “wicked magpies” or “naughty elves”.

But no.

“Your bloody father… thieving bastard,” she snarled.

And like my perfumes, something of my childhood soured and decayed.

I’ve written a new one for this re-tread, as I wasn’t overly enthused about my last offering three and a half years ago.  Thanks to Rochelle for keeping the Friday Fictioneers ship afloat as she tries to meet her publishing deadline, whilst some of us take a break.  My internet problems are not fully resolved, and I’m beginning to understand that perhaps rural areas take a back seat so far as BT are concerned.  Pity that isn’t reflected in their prices, though I have been assured that there will be ‘compensation discussions’.

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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.

77 Responses to The Things She Said – Friday Fictioneers, June 2016

  1. I still refuse to grow up…They can shatter your world with one sentence, the elders…Loved your story, Sandra.

    Like

  2. neilmacdon says:

    I really like this. But you know, I’d be tempted to lose the last line. The reader already knows.

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  3. Dear Sandra,

    Sharp, edgy and well written are the first words that come to mind. The contrast between the first and last lines took my breath away. Well done as always.

    Hope the negotiations with your cable company goes well.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks Rochelle. Glad you liked it. I have another week to wait for the fault to be fixed, but at least it’s slightly more than dial-up speed. Good speed with your book.

      Like

  4. Graham Lawrence says:

    Oh wow, I love this story. Angels and mattresses leading to such a strong conclusion which breaks forcefully with the preceding phrases and makes it so much more powerful.

    It’s worth entering into this challenge just to read all the other entries. A learning experience for sure and I’ve learnt much by reading your masterful entry this week.

    Like

  5. wmqcolby says:

    Ironic and so sad in a way. Her grandma seemed like mine was. In fact, she sounds just like her. But, my grandma would never have referred to my dad as such. She liked my dad. So troubling how one sentence can change the course of a whole lifetime.

    Excellent decision on the retread, Sandra! Hope the compensation discussions go well.

    Like

  6. Beautiful and heart-breaking. A joy to read as always Sandra.
    I hear you on the internet problems! Rural Ireland is no better, though rather than talk of ‘compensation discussions’ we get the ‘necessary upgrade work’ excuse.

    Like

  7. You know it’s really gone wrong when a positive person can’t say anything nice.

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  8. ceayr says:

    Another master class in short story writing.
    We know the characters, and care about them, and share their pain.
    All in 100 words.
    I have no more adjectives, so I will just say I love it, and once again stand in awe of your talent.

    Re BT, I loathe and detest them.
    Typical long-time monopoly attitude.
    Go get ’em!

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thank you CE! So glad you liked it. And so glad you share my views on BT. I see no way out of my impasse with them after I lost it during yet another ‘customer service’ call yesterday. 😦

      Like

      • ceayr says:

        About a year before I moved to France I had the pleasure of ejecting BT in favour of Virgin (who I am in no way promoting).
        I received a call from BT’s hilariously mistitled ‘customer services’ asking why I was changing supplier, and what could they do to retain me as a customer.
        I laughed for so long that my sides hurt for days.
        Then I told them.
        Sometimes karma rocks.

        Like

  9. Dahlia says:

    A thought provoking story! I feel sorriest for the granny – how intense must have been her anguish to behave so contrary to character. A well crafted layered story.

    Like

  10. This is just wonderful… the way something shatters when you realize that sometimes not even grandmothers are pillar of metaphors… and indeed relationships shatter.

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  11. Frustrating about your Internet but fabulous and moving story.

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  12. Lynn Love says:

    So good, Sandra. Love the switch from nice Granny to nasty Granny – though I can’t blame her for being angry. Feels very real and true. I loved my Nan – she was lovely to me – but my Dad told a tale about her taking a knife to my Grandad. We can all strike out when we’re pushed. I used to suck clover too when I was little!
    Trul lovely piece

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  13. I loved all the sayings my grandmother used, thanks for that memory.

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  14. paulmclem says:

    Good to see the real Granny shinning through…lol.

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  15. helenmidgley says:

    Great story, and great killer line 😉

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  16. gahlearner says:

    I love this, and I like the last line, it underlines the bad taste Granny’s realistic outburst leaves. We all need to face reality eventually, but maybe in a gentler way. These other moments with Granny sound magical, and I’m sure they’ll stay with the narrator.

    Like

  17. The two sides of grandmother revealed so charmingly! 🙂

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  18. Ooh, good ending. Liked this a lot. Saccharine to sour in a sweep. Lovely.

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  19. My first grandchild is due in September. I’ll try not to be grumpy gramma. I really liked this story and I think the last line is important.
    Tracey

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  20. I remember so many sayings from my grandmother and mother. Yours are spot-on in this story and the last line is perfect!

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  21. rgayer55 says:

    Harsh realities have a way to eroding our Edens. I feel for the child. But truth is not always an easy pill to swallow.

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  22. You’re such a good writer, Sandra. What a great character story. I loved it.
    -David

    Like

  23. IB Arora says:

    the last but one line was hard hitting

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  24. I love this story, and the beautiful double-portrait of grandmother and child. The pithy sayings are lovely, but most lovely of all are these words: “On sultry summer days I’d laze outside, sucking clover-heads for honey, or crushing rose petals to make perfumes, and when towering thunderheads obscured the sun, she’d usher me indoors.”
    The last line of your story, however, crashed down on me. Such a sad for the grandchild to have a souring of her love for her grandmother!

    Like

  25. draliman says:

    No more little sayings when it all becomes very real. I’m sorry for the child.

    Like

  26. You’re right, Sandra. The older story was good, but this one’s much better. I’m sorry to hear about your internet problems. I often have them even though we’re in the city, but the problems come and go. A slow connection is a big main problem. Well written as always. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Like

  27. Jan Brown says:

    A wonderful grandma who made her grandchild’s childhood magical! What a crashing blow it must have been to hear her utter angry truths about the child’s father. A poignant, emotional story.

    Like

  28. mickwynn2013 says:

    There is a great deal of beauty in old, traditional sayings and I learn some great ones here. Sad that such a genial lady was let down by her son.

    Like

  29. mjlstories says:

    Loved this – and I like the last line. I remember those rose petal perfumes going sour.
    BT are rubbish! We’ve always got on with the engineers when they finally make it out to the house, but last time I had a BT phone fault they phoned me to check on it – I picked the message up on the answer service after the fault had been fixed…

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      We used to crush them into medicine bottles and next day the stench was overpowering! BT have sent me SMS messages telling me they’ll ring between certain times – it never goes any further forward. Then I waited in a full morning for a proposed visit which never materialised because ‘the worksheet hadn’t been processed in time.’
      Grrrr!

      Like

  30. That made me smile!

    Like

  31. Very enjoyable story; an easy read and you really bring the characters to life. Gotta love those phrases! I’ve heard them, I’m using them, I’m sure I’ll hear them again…
    Happy trails!

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  32. Very sad and beautifully written. Childhood dashed in so few words.

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  33. Amy Reese says:

    This is just simply brilliant. I love how she referenced weather and how when the ice melted snowflakes kissed the windows. I can see why things soured at the end there. Oh, darn that reality!

    Like

  34. liz young says:

    Childhoods should trickle away, not be broken in one hit.

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  35. I loved this story Sandra. Grandparents weave wonderful stories. The last line threw a killer punch!

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  36. She tried so hard and had so much heart. Sadly often this is what comes of the dreams and hopes of childhood. Great work as always.

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  37. Indira says:

    Loved this Sandra. But the grandmother’s reaction is justified. How much one can take?

    Like

  38. Nicely done Sandra. The contrast between the nice safe grandma expressions and the harsh reality of her reaction to the stolen money is a nice touch, underlining how shocking her father’s actions were

    Like

  39. Margaret says:

    Wonderful images to show the grandmother’s imagination and whimsy. She’s lovely. Her outburst at the end just shows her humanity and makes her real to me. Sad that the child’s illusions are shattered so suddenly, however. Beautifully told, Sandra.

    Like

  40. madamewriter says:

    Resonating imagery, Brava! Nostalgic and serene then shattered by Truth. Amazing work!

    Like

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