Driving Home for Christmas – Friday Fictioneers, December 2017

By the time he left Oxford, the first few threads of conviction were beginning to unravel.

He hadn’t contacted her to say he was coming; he hadn’t contacted her in months, to be truthful.  But he always came home for Christmas; she’d be expecting him.


By Northampton, snow was falling, as was his confidence, but his mood lifted as he left Leicester behind.  Frankly, whose wouldn’t?

After Leeds, it was plain sailing to York, and he arrived outside her house to find a party in full swing.

Her engagement party…

She’d obviously seen the light long before he did.

One of my favourite Christmas songs – get well soon, Chris.  And one of my favourite blog hosts, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, takes the Friday Fictioneers one step nearer to Christmas.  And closer to the shortest day… which leads us ever closer to … yay!

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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85 Responses to Driving Home for Christmas – Friday Fictioneers, December 2017

  1. neilmacdon says:

    A good picture of the way movement helps us reach decisions. combined with your usual sting in the tail


  2. Martin Cororan says:

    …What has Leicester ever done to you?! And who hasn’t driven to see a woman, having not spoken to her in months!


    • Sandra says:

      Hmm now let me see. Reputedly the second worst place to bring up a family in Britain, and the worst in England, fourth worst employment rate in the UK as well as having fewer primary schools and one of the highest council tax rates. Other than that… well I got my degree there, but then I completed it through distance learning while living in Jo’burg. Now there’s a city to leave…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that song! Fabulous prompt this week Sandra – thanks!


  4. Moon says:

    Devastating, assuming he was hopeful she would be waiting.
    Beautiful writing, as always.


  5. Dale says:

    I had never heard that song! Love it.
    As for that story… ouch. But seriously, what was he really expecting? Fabulously done.


  6. One of my favorite Christmas songs! Your story has its usual flair, I love it.


  7. granonine says:

    Not such a merry Christmas for him, poor guy. Loved the way you built toward the climax.


  8. Dear Sandra,

    Poignant story and loved the song. She wasn’t going to wait on him forever, was she? Well written as always.




  9. Varad says:

    Either way, I don’t think he’d regret that journey.


  10. Funny how thoughts and convictions change over a long journey! Well written, Sandra.


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  12. Iain Kelly says:

    Poor Leicester, it doesn’t have much going for it. I’m surprised a few haven’t heard the best Christmas song ever. As for him, well, I think he’s got his just deserts there. Still, there will be some drink at the party to drown his sorrows with.

    Liked by 1 person

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  14. I think there is no “home” any longer… I had not heard that song before… it’s actually a lot better than most of those than we are spoon fed every year.


  15. Sue says:

    Oooh, well done!!


  16. pennygadd51 says:

    You made me laugh with the sting in the tail, Sandra! I had been thinking he was going home to mum, not that he’d neglected a ‘girlfriend’ for several months! What a crass young man. Lovely fluent writing.


  17. Perhaps he should have driven there at Easter every bank holiday, not just at Christmas! So, it’s Oxford for the festive season in future and that’s not bad!.

    Click to read my FriFic!


  18. Well written as always. So he sees there’s a difference between a generic “coming home for Christmas” and coming home to her — at least in her understanding.


  19. James says:

    Oops. Well, I guess he’d better rethink a few things, poor fellow. Then again, he did arrive unannounced.


  20. Another Christmas spoiled? Or perhaps all of them, from now on? Then again, the hunter doesn’t really want the fox. He just enjoys hunting.


  21. Lynn Love says:

    Well, that’s what comes from assuming anything! Wonderfully structured tale, with a great build and pace and a fab sting at the end. And love your pic this week Sandra – where is that lamp? Poor Chris Rea – hope he’s on the mend soon


    • Sandra says:

      Thanks Lynn, glad you liked it. The lamp was on Swanage Pier. Rochelle saw it on a montage of FB photos I’d posted and asked if she could use it. Yes, Chris Rea does seem to have had more than his share of health problems. Great song.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lynn Love says:

        It’s rather elegant, that lamp – simple enough to become all sorts of other things too, as this week’s stories prove! Yes, poor Chris Rea. I suspect he’s had a tough, musician’s life though. These things do not often make a healthy older life. Yes, you’re right, a great song


  22. A lesson in not taking people for granted – well done. (And who wouldn’t be happy to by-pass Leicester?)

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos


  23. Oh, never assume anything! Nicely done, my dear.


  24. plaridel says:

    like they say, a woman has her limits. she can’t wait too long.


  25. EagleAye says:

    Uh huh. That’s what happens when you’re not minding the store. Seems to me he had this Christmas Surprise coming.


  26. Joy Pixley says:

    Wonderful cautionary tale about assuming people will always be there, even if you don’t bother to hold up your end of the relationship. I like how you portray his doubts and reassurances over the course of his ill-fated journey – I imagine I’d have those same doubts if I were him.


  27. Given that he had not bothered to keep in touch for months, I wouldn’t be surprised if he gatecrashed the engagement party for some dinner and drinks at the end of his long journey…and found someone else there in the process 🙂


  28. That awfully awesome pun on the light. Guess he saw it too late. The light just brcame dark for him!


  29. Jan Vanek says:

    I love that song, too, though I only heard about it for the first time a few years ago. Lovely story with a surprising ending–very nice! Thank you for the challenging prompt–I’m enjoying reading the variety of interpretations!


  30. bbryanthomas says:

    Simply Great Sandra. Procrastination catches us all.



  32. draliman says:

    Oh dear, I hope he’s got somewhere else to crash. So she wasn’t waiting at home for him all this time, then.


  33. He better just keep on driving. One of my great grandfathers left Leicester I’m told in the 19th Century and came to the U.S. According to what you’ve said, he made a wise choice. Good writing as always, Sandra. Thanks for the great picture. 🙂 — Suzanne


  34. Liz Young says:

    Well! Either he’d left it a very long time to contact her, or she’d moved on with lightning speed!


  35. Well written as always! Great photo prompt as well!


  36. Laurie Bell says:

    Waited too long methinks. Great story. The drive gives a life to the musing.


  37. Susan says:

    A crafty take on the prompt. I felt bad for the young man, however. Not a happy Christmas for him.


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  39. A sad story that drives him the pitfalls of waiting a wee bit too long. Guess they left with a few bottles to drown his sorrows in.


  40. It might teach him not to take someone for granted in the future. Good story.


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  42. Sally says:

    He does sound rather arrogant making such an assumption that she would still be waiting for him. Great story.

    Liked by 1 person

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  44. Sarah Ann says:

    Ouchy ouch. He shouldn’t have expected an invite after being incommunicado so long. He’ll need a drink after that long drive and I wonder if she’s magnanimous enough to let him? It is Christmas after all.
    I do like the humour in the middle there – are the roads round Leicester that bad?


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  47. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Sandra, Wow, what a surprise but if he didn’t know she was having a party – they must not be that close or unrequited love


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  49. An ‘ouch’ of a sting at the end Sandra and I know that route well.


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  51. magarisa says:

    The ending certainly packed a punch (and must have felt like a punch in the gut for him). What a superb take on (your own) photo prompt!


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