The History Man – Friday Fictioneers, January 2017

sandra-c-2-002

Sometimes it seemed as though light flooded the dusty recesses of his brain, and memories began to spew like flour from a mill-wheel.

He’d lived through two world wars, coronations, a moon-landing and the unleashing of science’s most diabolical creation, yet we rolled our eyes, thumbed our phones and stared into our screens, oblivious.

And before we knew, it was too late to listen.

So I’m writing this story for my grandchildren.  Hopefully, by the time they want to know this, they’ll still be at liberty to read it.

I start to type…

“He said he’d make America great again…”

This photo was taken inside the watermill at Sacrewell Farm near Peterborough.  Built in 1755, it remained a working mill until 1965.  Thanks to Rochelle for using it this week, and for leading the Friday Fictioneers into 2017 in her inimitable way.

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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'. Bookmark the permalink.

84 Responses to The History Man – Friday Fictioneers, January 2017

  1. HesterLeyNel says:

    “And before we knew, it was too late to listen.” Scary.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. neilmacdon says:

    Chilling, But, let’s hope, not prophetic

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love how your photo is bringing out all the metaphors this week Sandra! A powerful piece from you this week, highlighting what many (even those outside of the US) are afraid of.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Sandra,

    I love how you built your story, brick and mortar, shaft and wheel. You are so very good. Delicious ending. I wonder how it will all turn out?

    Cheers,

    Doug

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Sandra,

    Chillingly well written. We’ll see where it leads, won’t we?

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  6. ceayr says:

    Deep truths here, Sandra, expertly portrayed as ever.
    I think most of us wish we better remembered the stories our parents and grandparents told us.
    And, as Ben Elton would say, A little bit of politics there…
    Made me laugh, but nervously.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The Diary of Anne Frank, 2017 edition. Let’s hope this is a proper turning point in our history, not the Guns of August. Well done. I love the images in the first paragraph.

    Like

  8. michael1148humphris says:

    The minnows often feel powerless, but the when one rises to take charge thing still go wrong. So it beholds the writers of the world write and tell it as we see it. In that way occasionally someone may take notice. So I was pleased to read your story this week.

    Like

  9. Sue says:

    Chilling, but I really hope not prophetic…

    Like

  10. wmqcolby says:

    Concise and provocative. Actually rather humorous, although I don’t know why. (?!)
    Five out of five “Don’t worry, be happy”s.

    Like

  11. So few of “us” take history into account when making big decisions. The next generation always knows better – or chooses to forget. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. That great big nuclear-powered out of control sword of Damocles…

    Like

  13. Joe Owens says:

    The main complaint I have about “Make America Great Again” is that I do not see it as not great as it is. Sure there are things to improve, but any large thing has its faults. I loved your photo, it is something of great interest to me, the history of how things are made.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra says:

      To get the right words for the first paragraph I had to research how a flour mill worked. It was harder than you’d think to find some resources on it. But interesting, nonetheless.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Ouch! Good one!
    And I love “memories began to spew like flour from a mill-wheel.”

    Like

  15. Dale says:

    So very well done, Sandra, as per usual! Brilliantly à jour without naming names…Could apply to much of history (minus the thumbs and screens, of course)

    Like

  16. Iain Kelly says:

    The countdown is ticking on until he takes over, the signs aren’t getting any better…

    Like

  17. Lynn Love says:

    Lovely photo, Sandra – very inspiring as is your story. How easily we allow people lives and moemories and experiences slip away, too caught up in our own to listen. I was trying to say this to my son the other day – grab people’s lives while you can – but he’s only twelve. What interest will he have until the generations above him are gone and it’s too late?
    Lovely tale, so beautifully told and tragic too.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      The funny thing is, when the first parent dies, you’d think it would be a wake-up call that half of your heritage is no longer accessible to you. But it doesn’t seem that way, and it’s only after the second door closes you realise there’s no going back now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lynn Love says:

        You’re right there – the human mind in denial, I suspect. I’ve been thinking since your post about writing down everything I know about my family – the good and the bad – for my son to find when he’s older. There’s a couple of extra marital scandals, some husband beating – some light criminal activity. And some complex, confusing, interesting people. There’s a story in every family, isn’t there?

        Like

  18. Graham Lawrence says:

    That’s a very powerful message Sandra! Thanks for the inspiring photo!

    Like

  19. Chilling story Sandra, and brilliantly constructed

    Like

  20. elmowrites says:

    Chilling stuff, Sandra. I’m hoping you’ve got it all wrong and we’ll be able to sleep walk ourselves out the other side of this one too.
    From a writing point of view, I’m trying to untangle the characters here – is the first ‘he’ the same as the last, or is it the narrator’s grandfather and the parallel between the narrator as grandchild and the narrator as grandparent? I’m tired, perhaps I’m just being slow. but this wasn’t quite clear to me.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      It’s the latter, Jennifer. If the last ‘he’ were the same as the first ‘he’ then the sentiments of ‘making America great again’ wouldn’t really apply, would they? Unless that catchphrase has been around for a really long time. Perhaps it has. Sorry to have confused you.

      Like

      • elmowrites says:

        Thanks for clarifying. I think I settled on this interpretation myself, but then I wondered if we were a lot further into the future and the World Wars etc weren’t the ones of the 1900s. Basically, I was tired and reading too much into it, I think!

        Like

  21. I’m so happy that i correctly identified this as a mill… thank you.. your story sends chills down my spine when I realize how easily we can redo the same mistakes over and over.

    Like

  22. “He said he’d make America great again….”
    so many stories can unravel from this beginning line that you ended so ominously with.
    It shall be interesting.
    But then, the whole world is becoming so interesting from England, to Germany, Turkey and Greece, to the middle east, Korea, Russia, and China. Nothing is sacrosanct.

    Randy

    Like

  23. jwdwrites says:

    Classy from the first line to the last. Well done

    Like

  24. plaridel says:

    hear ye, hear ye, it was the trump of the deal.

    Like

  25. While the writing is wonderful, I truly pray that it remains fiction. I’ll be at the March on the 21st, to voice my thoughts. Happy New Year, Sandra.

    Like

  26. Rowena says:

    Sandra, this was fantastic and the more I read it and read the other comments, the more I found.
    I really liked this line: “Sometimes it seemed as though light flooded the dusty recesses of his brain, and memories began to spew like flour from a mill-wheel.”
    I have a box full of cuckoo clock parts stashed under my desk and what I call the “cuckoo clock hearts” are fascinating with all their brass cogs.
    Myt next door neighbour was the local jeweller and repaired old clocks and when he went into a nursing home recently, the cuckoo clock parts were put out beside the road. They intrigue me and I could see them being welded into some kind of sculpture one day. I wonder how long I’ll be storing them, though, until they find their maker?
    xx Rowena

    Like

  27. paulmclem says:

    My feeling (and hope) is that Trump will become a pale shadow of the rhetoric he spewed during the Presidential race. Happy New Year, Sandra. All the best for 2017.

    Like

  28. draliman says:

    We’ve failed to learn from the past, but hopefully the future generation will take heed (if, as you say, they are able). Chilling. Nice one!

    Like

  29. DebraB says:

    Very chilling. Some great images as well!

    Like

  30. Great metaphor here. Hope is our only hope. Very well written, undoubtedly as always.

    Like

  31. Oh Sandra. It is so easy to get discouraged in these dark days but rest assured that many Americans are awake and fighting. This was a a good reminder to listen to your elders before they leave us too.
    Tracey

    Like

  32. k rawson says:

    Sandra,
    A well told tale that I really wish was entirely fiction.

    Like

  33. Pingback: Once Upon A Time: Fiction Friday | It's a long story …

  34. Michael Wynn says:

    I love the way you itemise the things he’s lived through, it really hammers home how we should have the respect to listen, but don’t. Chilling last line too. The whole thing seems to say, we never listen and probably, we never will.

    Like

  35. Liz Young says:

    Great photo, Sandra, and a story to make one think. Well done on both counts.

    Like

  36. rgayer55 says:

    I remember watching “Fahrenheit 451” as a teen and thinking, that could never happen. Now, I’m not so sure.

    Loved the photo and the historical note on the mill.

    Like

  37. subroto says:

    A minor rewording “He said he’d make America grate again….” Yeah now it works for me.
    Just kidding, wonderfully written as always.

    Like

  38. A great commentary on the attitude of the young today and the pain of the old ones. You have actually given a ray of hope of how the passing generation can impact the Now generation, even if they won’t listen now!

    Like

  39. Ooooo, Sandra, you made me shudder. Sometimes I think that people will physically meld with their electronics one day. I want to shout very loudly, “Wake up!” It’s no good crying after the event, whatever it is.
    Jolly well written, and jolly well said.

    Like

  40. The last line hits hard. I wish many would read but then I fear they wouldn’t understand. I can only begin to imagine what will be said about us in 20 o 50 years. Very well done!

    Like

  41. I just commented on someone else’s post that I often visit a mill like this near where I live and now I’ve read yours I realise it is the same one! We love visiting the farm.

    Like

  42. anne leueen says:

    Well…..this is a thought provoking post with an open ending leading us to the unknown future. Thank you. I enjoyed it.

    Like

  43. And the world rocks on the edge of a knife to see how this is going to play out.

    Like

  44. It astounds me how people can see the same things so differently.
    I want to stick my head in the sand or rise up, often both in the same afternoon.

    Like

  45. A sad reflection on what present day society deems important.

    Like

  46. I loved the imagery in your opening para Sandra. Let’s hope there will still be liberty in years to come…
    oh, and a lovely photo too 🙂

    Like

  47. Dahlia says:

    I could so see this! Very well penned. Loved the photo and thanks for the background, was wondering what it exactly was.

    Like

  48. Not a very good picture of the future.

    Like

  49. James says:

    Just a few days after the elections, I wrote a time travel story about a person going back to a few years before the election and changing the results. My time traveller ended up in an eternal loop, first trying to go back and make one person President, seeing the result in his present, and then going back again to favor the other individual. We never know how history would have played out if the other option had won, but there’s no guarantee it would be any better. Just different.

    Like

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