The End of the Road – Friday Fictioneers, March 2018

Copyright Bjorn Rudberg

 

“But do you like it?” says the youngest assistant, seemingly oblivious to Gerald’s icy stare.

“I… er…”.

I don’t actually, but Gerald, who always chooses my clothes, does.

The other girls, Gerald’s fawning fan-club, the simperati, rush to endorse his selection.

“It’s lovely…”

“Fits you perfectly…”

“Perhaps in a different colour?” I murmur tentatively, though I know the dress just isn’t me.

“It’s just not you,” declares the young assistant.

“I think you’re right,” I say.

Gerald bundles me out of the shop; the simperati round on their colleague.

In different ways, we’ve both reached the end of the road.

 I was listening to an interview on Woman’s Hour yesterday (yes I’m that kind of person) by the author of Look What You Made Me Do, a personal memoir of how she managed to get involved in coercive relationships not once, but twice.  Gripping stuff, and it’s kind of stuck in my mind so I was already working on this idea when the photo popped up this morning.  Good timing, Rochelle, leader and  herder-in-chief of Friday Fictioneers.  🙂 

 

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.

81 Responses to The End of the Road – Friday Fictioneers, March 2018

  1. Anita says:

    End of the road really!
    Sometimes, one just isn’t satisfied or can’t seem to decide. Exasperating indeed! Patience needed.

    Like

  2. Dear Sandra,

    I love the ‘simperati.’ A word that says so much it just might find its way into my own vocabulary. The ending tells me she’s become her own person apart from Gerald. Wonderfully written. No surprise there.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sandra says:

      I’m thinking of inventing my own language – it can’t be worse than what I read in the press these days. Thanks for reading and commenting so kindly, Rochelle.

      Like

  3. Varad says:

    The ending was really something, Sandra. Powerfully written.

    Like

  4. ceayr says:

    Fabulous writing, so well constructed.
    You describe a host of characters, a relationship, and a situation, all in 100 words.
    Amazing.

    Like

  5. Simperati is a wonderful word. Great depiction.

    Like

  6. Iain Kelly says:

    Such a fine line these coercive relationships, in this case it seems there’s a lot that has gone on before this incident. Subtlety done.

    Like

  7. pennygadd51 says:

    Oof! You’ve packed a punch into that story, Sandra. So much so, that I was glad you’d included the link to reassure me that your main character wasn’t about to be bumped off.
    I’ve seen a relationship like this up close (no, I wasn’t part of it), and it’s ugly.
    Great storytelling!

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Yes, I’ve observed relationships that border on this. It looks like love on the outside, but is something much more complex within.Thanks for reading.

      Like

  8. granonine says:

    I can’t think of a thing to add to the comments above. I always look forward to your stories. This one is simply wonderful.

    Like

  9. jillyfunnell says:

    Let the simperati (lovely word) have old Gerald – he sounds like a controlling bighead. I could just see those idiots fawning all over him. Glad everybody got to the end of that particular road.

    Like

  10. prior.. says:

    I could not find a definition for Simperati – but I will look again – and I was able to get the meaning from the well-written text.

    and ugh – “but Gerald, who always chooses my clothes…”
    I know a lot of women that would be angry to read this and they would go and rescue her…

    and the “look what you made me do” sounds very interesting and love hot that fueled the firection of your fiction here….

    Liked by 1 person

  11. A truly dysfunctional relationship. I walked away from a man who was just like this when I was in my teens. Thank goodness I didn’t fall into his trap. He turned out to be quite the basket case. Well told.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Dale says:

    Count me in on the “simperati”! Love that. Well written account of a woman stuck in a controlling union. She better cut them thar strings, pronto.

    Like

  13. Enjoyed the take. Love those that stretch it enough to be interesting.
    Scott
    Mine:https://kindredspirit23.wordpress.com/2018/03/21/heres-your-sign/

    Like

  14. I think at the end of the road there will be vacancy waiting to be filled from the simperati crowd… alas at the end of the road there is always the beginning of a new.

    Like

  15. Anna Rymer says:

    I love the young assistant – like a breath of fresh air – so wonderfully written 🙂

    Like

  16. Calico Crayon says:

    Nice story. Especially the conclusion. I guess Gerald will make due with one less fangirl

    Like

  17. fabulousread says:

    Very engaging! I enjoyed reading it.

    Like

  18. An honest young assistant who puts her client first, not her employer! Delightful.

    PS. Not a WH listener myself, more of a Loose Woman kinda guy!

    Click to read my 100 Word Story!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. It sounds like Gerald has an entire harem. I think he should dress them all in Genie costumes.

    Like

  20. Lynn Love says:

    This is so good Sandra, that manipulative power some people have over weaker souls. So true. I had a friendship that was a little like this, where I felt powerless to say no to a dominant personality. So incisive

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      I never had a relationship with a man like this, (apart from one who tried to control me with his sulking episodes) but I once worked with a girl who tried in so many ways to control me. Even years after I cut the strings she was still trying to find me… 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  21. draliman says:

    Ha, “simperati” 🙂
    Definitely best to call time on that relationship.

    Like

  22. Alice Audrey says:

    There’s no way I could let a man dress me. I simply can’t keep the look of morbid disbelief of my face when they try.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      It’s a weird thought, isn’t it? My husband has absolutely no interest in what I wear. It’s touch and go whether he’d notice if …. no I’ll leave that thought there.

      Like

  23. Vivian Zems says:

    I should think so! What a control freak he is.

    Like

  24. Mike says:

    A fine story, topped off with “ simperati” a great new word.

    Like

  25. So powerful, and great that it ended positively for her.

    Like

  26. Great story. I love a woman (or anyone actually) that will tell the truth irregarless of the way the majority are going.

    Like

  27. Sarah Ann says:

    So well done and thank you for the simperati – that sums it up perfectly. I see the young sales assistant and Gerald’s partner find the strength to move one, perhaps supporting and supported by each other.

    Like

  28. subroto says:

    Simperati – now that’s genius. I think I am one now after reading this.

    Like

  29. athling2001 says:

    It took me a few reads to figure out who was who and who was speaking when and I’m still not sure I have them all right. The story does touch me on some level because of the ending. I did wonder about the contrast between Gerald’s icy stare (showing disapproval?) and then the comment that he liked the dress.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Well, Gerald’s icy stare is a reaction to the shop assistant reminding the narrator that the key issue is whether SHE likes it, and Gerald believes that if he likes it, that should be enough. Sorry it didn’t work for you.

      Like

  30. Oh my, I’ve come late to the party which means it’s all been said before me.
    Great story sprinkled with a new fun word.
    Isadora 😎

    Like

  31. I like this. And thanks for the link.
    I’m that kind of person too.

    Like

  32. lisarey1990 says:

    This is a really creative and wonderful take on the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Wonderfully crafted story, so much happening in so few words. Love the ‘simperati’, and your astute observation of the power dynamic going on. Good ending.

    Like

  34. Dan Bohn says:

    It’s easier to be quite when in a group of “Yes men/women” I like the young assistant. I didn’t get the story, until the last line. Then I had to read it again. Who ever said “The first time is the best!” is not always spot on.

    Like

  35. I love this take. It feels as if the narrator has finally tuned in to her wake up call and will leave this controlling relationship.

    Like

  36. Susan says:

    It seems you are making a contrast between age and authority. The youngest is the only one willing to take a stand for honesty, regardless of the cost. Well done, Sandra.

    Like

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