Any Place, Any Time – Friday Fictioneers, August 2016

Copyright Vijaya Sundaram

Copyright Vijaya Sundaram

I’m leaning against the door.

Outside, the sky spasmodically brightens with hell-fire, while behind me the television plays out an unspeakable loop of savagery and bloodshed on the streets of my city.

The doorbell rings again.

If I open this door, I’ll be taking the first irrevocable steps into a world without her, and I’m not ready to do that yet.

Our last exchange, earlier tonight, was brief and typically hostile.

“You’re not going out like that?  You look like a tart.”

“Well, you’d know all about that.”

There’s a shuffling outside the door.

But then an exhausted, frightened voice…



Lovely to see a story from a fellow Friday Fictioneer, Lynn Love, winning  Writing Magazine’s Bronte-themed story competition with Night of the Crying Women.  Good one, Lynn.  And also good to have a new prompt to get my teeth into; I was getting lazy.  Many thanks for the respite though, Rochelle.

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.
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40 Responses to Any Place, Any Time – Friday Fictioneers, August 2016

  1. neilmacdon says:

    As it is outside, so it is inside. Beautifully rendered, Sandra


  2. Lynn Love says:

    What a great story, Sandra. You built such a lot of tension in those opening sentences – leaning against the door, hell-fire in the sky, the loop of horror on the television. We know something truly awful has happened and your character is dealing with it alone.
    A really exciting take on the prompt. Ever written any sci-fi?
    Thank you so much for the mention, too. As a long term WM subscriber (and having entered SO MANY of their comps over the years and only ever being shortlisted before) I was delighted to finally win. You’re very, very kind. Thanks again 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Iain Kelly says:

    A really touching sense of family closeness amid a terrible war. Great work.


  4. Al says:

    Good story Sandra. I like the tension and the fear.


  5. Dear Sandra,

    Family tension and added danger have me wondering what lies beyond the door. It feels to me akin to the dilemma of the lady or the tiger. Am I warm? You’ve not lost your edge over the summer.




    • Sandra says:

      It’s a straightforward story from me this time, Rochelle. The kind of situation any mother could face when her daughter goes off to a night out on the town, particularly a French town. As regards the ‘edge’, if anyone has maintained that sharp edge over the summer, it’s you with your story this week. It’s a cracker! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Evocative and well-crafted.


  7. A lovely portrayal of mother/daughter relationship.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. gahlearner says:

    Whoa, so much for gathering rust through the summer… I think you were sharpening your edge instead. 😉 This lady’s world is torn apart, inside and out.


  9. Graham Lawrence says:

    Such a powerful second paragraph and cutting edge storytelling. I’m inspired once again by your writing 🙂


  10. The world is rife with troubles everywhere within and without.
    Is that the daughter outside the door. I really hope it’s her and not more bad news.


  11. I start to sound like a broken record, when I tell you -once again- that you always leave me wanting to read more.
    The bloodshed in the city makes me wonder where you are and what had happened. Very well done.


  12. Liz Young says:

    Will Maman let her back in? Of course she will – she clearly still loves her. So poignant.


  13. michael1148humphris says:

    When young we often learn the hard way, great writing. Mike


  14. Interesting. It wasn’t the relationship or situation I imagined at the beginning. I definitely went on a journey in this short piece.


  15. I could really feel how she couldn’t leave having parted like that… The somewhat happier end made me smile… and I hope they can leave together now.


  16. Oh, I love that last word – such a little word of hope, when I thought this was going to be one of your unhappy stories. Just great.


  17. rgayer55 says:

    You paint emotions well. The turmoil roiling inside her definitely came through. And no dead body this time. 🙂 Five stars!


  18. wmqcolby says:

    Yes, I like the parallel of the emotions and the fireworks. At first, I thought of some kind of war, but, conflict comes in all varieties.

    As usual, Sandra, you rocked it! Five out of five tarts. 😉


  19. ceayr says:

    Taut, tense, terrific.
    Thoughts of Nice.


  20. draliman says:

    Of course she’d come home to mum 🙂


  21. Michael Wynn says:

    Vivid is the word that springs to mind when I read this, great description and atmosphere maintained throughout, so you’re transported there.


  22. Looks like all other conflict melts away when true cataclysmic conflict exists. But don’t know if she’s coming or going, alive or dead.


  23. Laurie Bell says:

    Oh no… poor child. A great way to describe the turmoil inside with that of the outside


  24. Excellent job of showing us the dysfunction of this family. I wanted to leave the room 😉


  25. Dahlia says:

    In so few words you have taken us right into the center of such events that can occur at any place any time.


  26. Amy Reese says:

    Great tension, Sandra. I got the sense her girl had run out into the darkness of the night but has come back amid all the chaos. What a nightmare. Great descriptions. Indeed, you have not lost your touch at all. Well done.


  27. Margaret says:

    Mothers and daughters. I have one of the former and two of the latter, and I understand the minefield one has to navigate every day. Well told, Sandra.


  28. I can understand both sides in this story, Sandra. If I had a young daughter in France, I’d worry also. The young often don’t understand. They’ve been raised seeing violence. A generation after the war grew up in peace. Good writing as always. —- Suzanne


  29. A tense, worry-wracked story with a great setting! I love how you portrayed the push-and-pull of the relationship between mother and daughter.
    (Apologies for my lateish response to your story! My computer is dead, and I’m using my husband’s computer to respond to everyone’s posts before the next Friday Fictioneers story gets posted tomorrow!)


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