Losing You – Friday Fictioneers, January 2018

Copyright Sarah Potter

 

Fingers of mist drift low in the valley, ensnaring trees and bushes in a gentle, transitory embrace.

Ailsa hurries forward, biting her lip as the sharp frost eats into her fingers, drumming relentlessly into her arthritic knuckles.

The barn is empty, the wood-shed locked.  He surely can’t have gone far?

Panic rises, like bile in her throat.  She’d better phone for help.

Again.

Back at the farmhouse, Joe hunches over the kitchen table, jaws manipulating a chunk of soda-bread, sausages sizzling on the hob.

“Anything wrong, love?”

She folds into the chair opposite.

“Everything’s fine, dear.  Just stretching my legs.”

A lovely morning here today, brilliant sunshine, contrails criss-crossing clear blue skies, and the builders back at work in the mud-bath outside our kitchen door, with no reason to expect an early finish… yay!  Thanks to Rochelle, the first lady of Friday Fictioneers for all her hard work. 

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.

72 Responses to Losing You – Friday Fictioneers, January 2018

  1. neilmacdon says:

    Beautiful and atmospheric writing, Sandra

    Like

  2. pennygadd51 says:

    Powerful writing, Sandra. I wonder why life feels more frightening and less rational as we grow older?

    Like

  3. Dear Sandra,

    Heart breaking story. I can’t think of anything more frightful than losing someone that way.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  4. Moon says:

    Wonder how Joe is related to Ailsa and why he was unable to help.
    And now I wonder if my questions are valid.🙂
    Wonderful writing, as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Iain Kelly says:

    Difficult to tell when he is having a good day and she can stop worrying. Emotional story Sandra.

    Like

  6. I think it works Sandra. You could feel the panic Ailsa’s panic. Dementia is a cruel affliction for the sufferer and the family.

    Like

  7. Excellent evocative piece. I like the way it shows secrets and strain. Well done.

    Like

  8. The word “again” clarified for me what was going on. Lovely writing, Sandra.

    Like

  9. I’m a bit confused, too. If Ailsa’s outside searching for Joe, who’s sitting at the table with him? Or was Ailsa briefly hallucinating? It might be clearer if you state her name instead of “She.”

    Like

  10. Sandra says:

    I thought when I said ‘back at the farmhouse’ the reader would realise that Ailsa had returned. Apparently not so. 😉

    Like

  11. Anna Rymer says:

    This is beautifully written Sandra. I did wonder if this was dementia but actually thought it was Ailsa that was lost in confusion. I definitely read it as Ailsa returning to the table – I really sensed her relief as she folded into the chair. The odd tweak and your meaning would be clear and it’s beautiful once you understand. I loved the urgency and the underlying love.

    Like

  12. Jelli says:

    Great story… can read so much into this.

    Like

  13. Varad says:

    I could feel for Alisa as I was reading and therein lies the story’s success. Good one, Sandra.

    Like

  14. Lovely story with vivid imagery. It left me wondering if it was in fact Ailsa who was the one suffering from dementia.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Like

  15. Dale says:

    That sense of panic – made me think of two movies: “On Golden Pond” and “Away From Her”. – both of which show the one spouse searching desperately for the other in total fear that they will not find them.
    As usual, wonderfully done!

    Like

  16. Lynn Love says:

    So reall, that feeling of panic and of having to conceal how very worried she was so she doesn’t upset him. I confess, I wondered at first if it was her wandering, losing the house she should know, the kitchen that should be familiar. Sad and atmospheric story

    Like

  17. EagleAye says:

    My wife always feels the same way when she can’t reach my cell phone. I’m such a space-cadet about keeping it charged. I keep my phone with me continually just to save her from grey hairs. Loved the tension in this one.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      You sound like my husband. His favourite trick is to respond irritably “Yes, I’ve got my phone,” as he leaves the house, but then leaves it in his locker at work, or switched off. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Liz Young says:

    Who has lost the plot here, I wonder? Ailsa or Joe? Heartbreaking portrayal of dementia.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. michael1148humphris says:

    I did read it as him, but reading the comments I now see how other readers saw it as the woman having dementia. How terrible if they both had dementia.

    Like

  20. I wonder which of them was really lost. It’s difficult to tell as we age, who is leading whom?

    Like

  21. Oh, I can feel her fear. My mother had Alzheimer’s and there was always fear she would roam off even when she was placed in a nursing home with an ankle alarm. She wore it because they found her roaming outside the home.

    Like

  22. Joy Pixley says:

    Great sense of dread, and of her having to hide it from him in the end. It worked out fine this time, but next time may be all too soon. Very evocative.

    Like

  23. Honestly, I too did not get the dementia part. I read it as a story about a woman who gets scared that her husband has gone missing, and then finds him calmly cooking in their kitchen. Worked without the illness for me too though 🙂

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      With short pieces, you need to include clues, I think. So the word ‘again’ was the clue that this has happened before, leading the reader to assume (I hoped) that it was dementia, because if someone repeatedly went missing, that would be a probable cause. But I see that the piece was misleading to some. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Mrs. Dash says:

    Superbly written. I could totally imagine this

    Click Here to see what Mrs. Dash Says

    Like

  25. draliman says:

    Very atmospheric. Ailsa must live in constant fear.

    Like

  26. She folds into the chair opposite. What a lovely line is this. I have always loved your writings, Sandra. Yes, this works and how! You’ve captured her panicky state of mind perfectly.

    Like

  27. subroto says:

    You conveyed her panic really well. Superbly written as always.

    Like

  28. To lose our memory is the cruelest twist of all 😦 Great writing, Sandra!

    Like

  29. A thought-provoking piece. It had me thinking ‘what if…?’

    Like

  30. granonine says:

    Well, there’s two in a row on the same theme I chose this week. Sandra, your writing always moves me to improve my own. You say so much in so few words.

    Like

  31. Balaka says:

    Dementia can be a difficult thing to handle for the care giver..nice story

    Like

  32. Wonderful scene-painting here, characterisation, and emotional tension. I hadn’t realised, until I read other people’s comments, that either of them had dementia. I just thought she was old and was suffering an anxiety attack/senile agitation because she couldn’t find him and thought he had hurt himself or died.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. rgayer55 says:

    My dad had dementia. Oh the things my poor mother went through.

    Like

  34. Laurie Bell says:

    Wow this one was gripping! You captured the mood so well

    Like

  35. Your story just reminded me of an article I read about an elderly Canadian couple who died in the freezing weather. He didn’t return and she went to help him. 😦
    Beautiful writing, Sandra. That first line sets an evocative mood.

    Like

  36. I could see it was dementia, but actually thought it was Alisa coming apart looking for Joe when he was home all the time… maybe it doesn’t matter, i think the mechanism would be the same, that sense of drifting apart.

    Like

  37. This story has such a clear “feeling” to it, I loved the writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Sarah Ann says:

    Such beautiful and cold opening images. Ailsa’s fear, the repeated searching for Joe, her weariness all come across so well. And Joe, sitting there without a care in the world. Carers of those with dementia have so much to worry about and you captured this so well.

    Like

  39. This one gets you in the heart.

    Like

  40. I figured Joe was a wanderer with dementia. My mother had Alzheimer’s but only wandered off once when we were in a mall and told her to wait for us on a bench on the inside. She’d always waited before but not that time. We found her slowly walking down the mall aisle. She loved to walk. Good writing, as usual, Sandra. —- Suzanne

    Like

  41. Atmospheric – felt engaged from the start- a powerful story line- poignant. Nice one.

    Like

  42. Indira says:

    Excellent writing, dear.

    Like

I'd love to hear your views; it reassures me I'm not talking to myself.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.