Unlikely Bedfellows – Friday Fictioneers, February 2017

Copyright Roger Bultot

Copyright Roger Bultot

Where he was prickly, plodding, pedantic, our daughter was mercurial, almost ethereal.

She rose each morning, her vitality unfurling to flit amongst the strands of other people’s lives, touching, inspiring, illuminating the darkest corners of their souls before sinking exhausted into repose within his bear-like arms each night.

By anyone’s norms, they were incompatible.

But who were we to judge?

Now that he’s gone, we see more clearly.

He fashioned her world, tethering her excesses, providing safe haven.  He was her anchor, the Yin to her Yang, Abelard to her Heloise.

She lived for him.

And we cannot make her whole again.

In-laws, hey?  Don’tcha just love ’em?   🙂  Inspired by the picture I’m paying tribute to our five-year-old orchid, whose swansong lasted the whole of last summer, peaking in November with 17 simultaneous, perfectly magnificent ivory blooms, but which is now staggering into oblivion with only one sorry, yellowing base leaf left.  So long, mate.    😦

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Friday Fictioneers is entering February, just seven more weeks before it’s officially spring.  Thanks to Rochelle for her hard work, and congratulations to Claire Fuller whose second book, Swimming Lessons, was released last week.  My copy arrived at the weekend, and Claire tells me that it’s set where I live, on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset.  Justification, if any were needed, to move it to the top of my reading list! 

 

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.

94 Responses to Unlikely Bedfellows – Friday Fictioneers, February 2017

  1. Wow – I loved this story! An interesting perspective on love and death.

    Like

  2. Iain Kelly says:

    Excellent use of the prompt, and a fitting tribute 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. MrBinks says:

    Lovely. Just lovely.

    Like

  4. Such a black and white story, much like life. Well told, Sandra.

    Like

  5. neilmacdon says:

    Beautifully observed and written, Sandra

    Like

  6. Dear Sandra,

    You’ve done it again! Almost poetic, I could well imagine these two people. The last line brought me to tears.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  7. Killer opening line on this one. The delightful style and grim subject matter work very well together.

    Like

  8. jellico84 says:

    Don’t know which I liked more, the story, or your tribute. They were both wonderful! 🙂 ❤

    Like

  9. Oh no, another daughter story and me with a daughter!!!
    I love the story. In fact, it sounds like mine.
    Lately, I have been very appreciative of my husband and his support of me.
    A marriage like that leaves a vacuum that cannot be filled.
    Good one!

    Like

  10. wmqcolby says:

    Sandra, I STILL don’t know how you manage to put all that in 100 words, but you always do. Incredible! I keep thinking she is someone who hopefully learned from him and is whole in another sense. Maybe, should she get remarried, she will find someone like her and add to his life as well.

    Five out of five Parts A into Parts B. 😉

    Like

  11. ceayr says:

    What everyone else has said!
    This hits hard and low, takes the breath away, and brings tears.
    Superb.

    Like

  12. Well done again, Sandra.

    Like

  13. Well, ouch. Your words flow so beautifully, weaving a very sad tale.

    Like

  14. Lynn Love says:

    Beautifully told, Sandra. So true that you often see couples who seem incompatible but seem to survive – thrive – for years. Some kind of chemistry. And well done for keeping your orchid so long – we sell a lot in our shop and some people have the knack for them, some don’t. You clearly do 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra says:

      I have two, the white one is/was Ollie (Olivia), an the more showy purple one is called Oprah. She is enjoying being the sole centre of attention now. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lynn Love says:

        Very popular plants these days and not as tricky to keep as some people think. Will you replace Ollie so Oprah isn’t on her own?

        Like

        • Sandra says:

          I don’t think so, Lynn. It’s tedious having to use boiled/cooled water, feeding from the bottom etc, and they do tend to ‘sprawl’ a bit, which offends my eye for symmetry! 🙂 But I’ve enjoyed the experience, and I love the blooms, not to mention their longevity. I’ll try something else. Any recommendations?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Lynn Love says:

            My mum had great success with an anthurium plant – kept it for years and she really is no plantswoman. Flowered for much of the year too. Some people find peace lilies very good – again free flowering and elegant plants. Never kept one myself, though. For a florist, I’m very good at killing plants … 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  15. Perfect light and shade in this one Sandra, and a gorgeous poetry to it

    Like

  16. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover says:

    A master class in writing. The second paragraph just soared above the words you used.

    Like

  17. This is perfection in writing… how do we ever know how it works before it’s broken and too late to mend.

    Like

  18. Dale says:

    This is simply beautiful, Sandra. I feel un-tethered myself these past two years…

    Like

  19. Laurie Bell says:

    Wow Sandra ! I love this. Such incredible vision and loss. Who is the anchor and who is the strength. Well told. I’m lost in this one

    Like

  20. rgayer55 says:

    Great story, Sandra. I love the contrast of their personalities, it’s so very real. In many ways, Connie and I are exact opposites. Her strengths fill the voids of my weaknesses, and I hope to provide a voice of reason and rational to keep her wild hares in check.

    Like

  21. writelindy says:

    Another great story Sandra.

    Like

  22. Beautifully written and the last line took my breath away.

    Like

  23. draliman says:

    So sad that she’s lost her anchor. A loss to the world as a whole too by the sounds of it. Lovely piece!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. This is so touching Sandra.

    Like

  25. Jade M. Wong says:

    Aww, I love your take on both the photo and the whole concept of compatibility. How many times have we looked at a couple and immediately concluded that they were incompatible and then it turns out they’re truly soul mates. The whole concept is so fascinating, and you weaved a beautifully bittersweet tale from it!

    Like

  26. I feel relief that I am not the only one who wrote a story about death this week. Exceptionally well done -if I may say so.

    Like

  27. Sarah Ann says:

    Beautiful, poignant and touching. Sadly in-laws, and others, often can’t see the balance difference brings. Well told.

    Like

  28. plaridel says:

    that’s sad. sometimes, we can only realize someone’s worth when s/he is gone.

    Like

  29. handmadejewelryhaven says:

    I loved the bearlike embrace. I felt that.
    Very lovely.

    – Lisa

    Like

  30. Tamal says:

    May your orchid blossom in the afterlife. Wonderful story.

    Like

  31. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Sandra,

    Epiphytes know in life who loves them well. I love your writing, and you.

    Like a good orchid, I’m hanging around in a podocarp forest, watching and reading you from afar.

    Cheers,

    Doug

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      It’s always a lovely day when you pop by, Doug. I think about you a lot. And know I can place you in a pine forest. I hope you’ve found contentment there, and thanks for dropping by from time to time.

      Like

  32. Ros Nazilli says:

    What a wonderful use of the prompt. You are indeed a wordsmith.

    May I also say that I find this site inspirational. xx

    Like

  33. Opposites attract or they say.A beautifully written and poignant piece.

    My story is called Stardust

    Like

  34. beautiful. Love the word use 🙂 A lovely story in all

    Like

  35. They seemed like a great couple! In my view, ideal partners are strong in each other’s areas of weakness, and balance each other out.

    Like

  36. Liz Young says:

    Another sad tale of a life lost – perhaps she will find it again in time.

    Like

  37. HonieBriggs says:

    I cannot keep orchids alive. Days are numbered for the one I have now, but I just find it to hard to resist replacing them once they’ve gone to that great hot house in the sky. Delicate and cheerful just as you describe. I really like the line “strands of other people’s lives”.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks for reading Honie. Yes, I think today will be the day I dispose of the remains of my friend Ollie. I’ll miss her, but will try to resist replacing her. 🙂

      Like

  38. Michael Wynn says:

    Beautifully told and excellently paced. Really good Sandra

    Like

  39. Beautiful! I love how the word choice, the sound of it, so mirrored the characters. Very poignant.

    Like

  40. We certainly took similar paths! I’m glad I’m in such good company. I love the comparisons–– played back and forth, like tennis: zero, love. Really wonderful writing, Sandra!

    Like

  41. Great response to the prompt. I feel quite weepy.

    Like

  42. No one knows what goes on behind closed doors.

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  43. restlessjo says:

    Told beautifully 🙂
    We have but one flower left on our orchid. Maybe it will rally 🙂

    Like

  44. Heartwarming story, Sandra. Yes, relatives can give us some of our best story ideas. What a lovely tribute to your orchid. Great writing as always. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Like

  45. This just broke my heart.
    Sometimes true love isn’t a smooth jigsaw puzzle.

    Like

  46. Dahlia says:

    Beautifully penned.

    Like

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