The Light of her Life – Friday Fictioneers, November 2016


Anton is dying.”

The note from Hortense is terse, the icy subtext clear.  His former lover, Sasha is not welcome at the bedside.

Sasha would like to think Hortense has extended a courtesy; more likely though that Anton’s insecure young wife intends to perpetuate her rival’s suffering indefinitely.

She gazes out over the rooftops of Charmes.  The colourfully glazed tiles of Anton’s house glow vibrantly in the morning sun.

Will she sense when it’s over? How could she not?

Suddenly a gentle breeze stirs.  Cinnamon cedes to brown, dandelion dulls to ochre as emerald ebbs towards sage.

And Sasha knows.

Happy little soul, ain’t I?  Well, I did warn you about me and November.  On the move again today, driving back through France after a brief visit to ‘winterize’ the boat and prepare her for sale in the spring.  😦    The photo prompt this week was taken on one of our cruises a couple of years ago, in the pretty little town of Charmes, situated in the Vosges region of le Grand Est, between Nancy and Epinal.  Happy times!  Thanks to Rochelle as ever for her leadership of the Friday Fictioneers over the last four years.  The girl done good. 



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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64 Responses to The Light of her Life – Friday Fictioneers, November 2016

  1. neilmacdon says:

    This is just beautiful, Sandra. Dark umber tones of melancholy and Sasha’s ambigous tease – will she know when it’s over. I know you meant Anton’s death, but I like to fancy she might mean the marriage, so her suffering will indeed be eternal

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Sandra,

    Here’s hoping your moving ordeal is soon over. Cheerful little piece. Nonetheless, breathtaking and well written. Thanks, as always, for your support.



    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is very beautiful Sandra. Hoping you feel better soon x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Iain Kelly says:

    Suits the mood of November, especially today! Well written and poignant.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The beauty of your writing is indescribable and undeniable. I bow to the master of words.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ceayr says:

    The only problem I have with your writing, Sandra, is my own lack of superlatives to communicate my admiration.
    This piece is subtle and moving, illustrating perfectly the power of love and loss.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Brexit writ large. Nice story. Most of these are pretty dark.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Very melancholic, and beautiful. Odd how yours and Neil’s (the only two I’ve read so far) and mine have people suffering in bed.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sue says:

    As Claire has said…melancholic and (achingly) beautiful

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dale says:

    Hauntingly beautiful, Sandra. The descriptions were so poetic and lyrical. Loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lynn Love says:

    Gorgeous, sad and wistful writing Sandra. It’s a sad fact of life and loving that the feelings don’t always die with the relationship. Lovely.
    Good luck with selling the boat – the end of an era?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It’s a dark piece, that’s true but it is so peaceful, there is light in it.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. paulmclem says:

    I could read the last two para’s over and over again. Perfect feel to the close of this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Totally enjoyed the sights and feelings in this: the fading colors, the feel of a breeze. They add such depth to this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The heart needs no presence. It has its own innate sense. Great, especially the changing colors!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Lizy says:

    I feel for Sasha. It is hard to grieve openly for someone you have loved in secret.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. draliman says:

    Beautifully written, all the colour has gone out of her world.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. gahlearner says:

    See, that’s what I mean when I speak about the beauty of November. I love how everything comes together here. The older lover’s remaining love, the vengeful young wife, and Anton’s spirit visiting where he feels most loved. The colour change makes it perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Thanks for the colorful picture prompt this week, Sandra. Thanks also for explaining where it was taken. I’m always curious about that. Lovely story with its descriptions of the various colors. Grand writing as usual. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Mike says:

    A beautiful piece of writing Sandra. So much said in so few words. A great read. Thanks.


  21. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover says:

    A touching story. I would like to believe that Sasha did feel the lose loss of her lover.


  22. An entire epic story, in these few words; it’s fantastic! “Cinnamon cedes to brown, dandelion dulls to ochre as emerald ebbs towards sage.” Oh, it blows me away.

    But no, how can you sell the boat? I dream of your adventures and travel along! Will you get a new boat, or are you done barging in? 😉 Wonderful story and photo, Sandra!


    • Sandra says:

      Glad you enjoyed it Dawn. As for the boat… “there is a tide in the affairs of men…” And for us the tide takes us in another direction. We’ll hire a boat as and when we feel the urge from now on. Thanks for visiting Dawn.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Beautifully written, love the control of tone, sad but not mawkish and the imagery with colours? Fab!


  24. You pack so many emotions in your short stories and always leave me wanting to read more. Well done, well done!


  25. Pingback: Trouble At The Lollipop Guild – Honie Briggs

  26. HonieBriggs says:

    Dear Happy Soul,
    This prompt is terrific. Your story is magnificent. The intensity and release are pitch perfect.
    With Gratitude,


  27. you tell so much more of the story than just these 100 words. Elegantly told, especially Anton’s passing. I know how it feels to know the moment a loved one has gone, despite not being there and you captured that perfectly


    • Sandra says:

      I was torn between telling two stories to this prompt. One was the issue, which I’ve always found so hard to rationalise, of not being able to sense when the love of your life is gone. And the other was the ‘irrelevance’ of the other woman at such a time, and the grief associated with that. I wasn’t sure I’d done either well, to be honest. Thanks for your reassuring comment.


  28. I love how you wove the colours into the story.


  29. Michael Wynn says:

    Beautifully Autumnal on all levels. The dying of the light springs to mind.


  30. Hello, and sorry to be late commenting… last week was exhausting… I especially love the way you dull the colors.


  31. Margaret says:

    Bjorn’s beat me to it. I love the fading colour images too. The whole story is superb. Poor Sasha – but I feel a sense of acceptance at the end, and I suspect that Sasha is more at peace than Hortense. So much in your hundred words!


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