“He seldom visited; it won’t change anything,” said my grandmother, on learning her eldest son had died unexpectedly, “though he did send me a tenner every Christmas … I’ll miss that.”
Years later, within hours of my father’s death, my mother converted his bedroom into a study.
“It’ll be nice to have the extra space,” she enthused.
A coping mechanism? Or staggering self-centeredness, a family trait which hopefully has skipped my generation?
Disappointing then, when facing two sombre-looking policemen on the settee opposite, I heard my voice ring out clearly.
“Good grief, he was only half-way through painting the dining-room…”
How effectively can a 250 word story be converted into 100 words, without losing the effect? I’m not sure, but if you’re interested, judge for yourself by comparing this week’s Friday Fictioneers offering to my original story, A Family Trait, published six years ago in Apollo’s Lyre. Thanks as ever to Rochelle, for the dedication she demonstrates every week to Friday Fictioneers.