Birthday Girl – Friday Fictioneers, August 2018

Copyright Ronda del Boccio

Yesterday’s festivities have left Clemmie fractiously tired, and now she dozes in her pushchair, her flushed face dappled by the shifting leaves of the sycamore tree above.

Will and I nestle in the lush grass, picnic remains littering the tartan blanket, a second half-empty bottle of wine propped drunkenly against the hamper.

The sun beats down, the river slaps lazily against its banks, and bees drone as we too succumb to sleep.

When we awake, in this special place where Clemmie’s journey first began, we will find it has ended, two years, nine months and one day later.

A minor miracle that I have anything to submit today, with three builders excavating the back garden, one kitchen fitter hammering away indoors, and a random array of heavy vehicles reversing up and down our drive.  Thanks to Rochelle, who is returning from a week on the coast –  for finding the time to keep the wheels of Friday Fictioneers turning.

 

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.

61 Responses to Birthday Girl – Friday Fictioneers, August 2018

  1. neilmacdon says:

    Lush description and the hammer blow of a terrible outcome. Masterful, Sandra (despite the diggers)

    Like

  2. Sue says:

    Nooooo! But very well, succinctly told….

    Like

  3. Reena Saxena says:

    Ohh! You deliver it suddenly, but beautifully…

    Like

  4. lisarey1990 says:

    Brilliant ending!

    Like

  5. That ending is such a blow! But so well told.

    Like

  6. Iain Kelly says:

    I was having such a nice time drifting off with them, lying in the sunshine. Quite a terrifying shock at the end. Well done Sandra.

    Like

  7. A very languid quality and the bang__ the staccato blow at the end. Superbly written, Sandra.

    Like

  8. Indira says:

    Oh, Sandra, thanks it is a fiction. Beautifully written.

    Like

  9. Oh, you lulled me with your gorgeous descriptions and then you slammed me with that closing line!

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Like

  10. syncwithdeep says:

    beautiful description with a sudden end..

    Like

  11. Love the layered prose in this piece. A delight to read.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks Josh. I’ve tried to comment on your story but the ‘post comment’ button isn’t working right now. At least not for me. I’ll come back later.

      Like

  12. James Pyles says:

    Horribly tragic, especially given my granddaughter is a tad older than three (and thankfully quite healthy).

    Like

  13. pennygadd51 says:

    What a sad end. Those parents will never forgive themselves.

    Like

  14. paulmclem says:

    Brutally blunt ending. Poor Clemmie. Poor everybody.

    Like

  15. michael1148humphris says:

    I read into the story, that the child died from sun stoke, due to parental neglect. What ever, Sandra it is a fine and interesting piece of writing,

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks Michael, the idea was that she strayed into the water, but it works anyway. The clue was in the name, Clemmie for Clementine as in the song where Clementine falls into the ‘foaming brine’. Glad you liked it.

      Like

  16. gahlearner says:

    I wasn’t surprised, but only because I’ve read many of your stories before. I was afraid the sleepy mood would lead to something bad. You expertly lead us to the place of horror.

    Like

  17. 4963andypop says:

    Oh so terrible! It started off so idyllic. I particularly liked how the wine was drunkenly propped up against the hamper. The sin of succumbing to sleep in the presence of a baby ( and water).

    Like

  18. granonine says:

    Somehow I knew, when the couple fell asleep, that the ending was going to be horrid.

    Like

  19. Geez, now you’re killing off toddlers. Did C.E. put you up to this?

    Like

  20. Dear Sandra,

    Back at my desk after a day of traveling and crashing myself. But I digress, rather than making this comment all about me. 😉
    Your story lulls us into a pleasant stupor only to deliver a sucker punch to gut with a tragic ending. As always, you set the bar high for the rest of us. Beautifully told.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  21. Anita says:

    Reminds me of a Hindi movie where the couple loses their only son during a picnic.
    His father makes an effort to rescue his son & son’s friend who have fallen in the lake. But, sadly he manages to rescue only his son’s friend…his own son meets a watery grave.
    Somethings are meant to be in a particular way.
    Can we change them? Could we have changed the happenings?
    Whatever will be, will be…
    Here’s my story- The Garden View – Anita

    Like

  22. draliman says:

    Oh no, I was just getting into the idyllic mood too…

    Like

  23. Dahlia says:

    How terribly tragic but oh so very well penned.

    Like

  24. It was all going so well, and then…

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  25. Alice Audrey says:

    Wow. How horrible for them. Of course the ghoul in me wants the details.

    Like

  26. Liz Young says:

    Baked or drowned? Poor child. The responsibilities of parenthood aren’t light. I sympathise with your upheaval – we are trying to so three months’ worth of work in a cottage in the month we have before we must vacate our present flat!

    Like

  27. Very well written tragic tale. I enjoy that I never know what to expect in reading your stories. Sad for the child, sad for the parents.

    Like

  28. A powerful write, Sandra. Life’s full cycle ending as it should; although, we’d prefer it not be.
    Brilliant writing, as always, a masterpiece.
    Isadora 😎

    Like

  29. Really sad, I was not expecting that.

    Like

  30. It ends with a big bang 🙂

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  31. The story was so relaxed and peaceful, it set up that ending so well. I feel gutted. Nicely done!

    Like

  32. StuHN says:

    I now know why I was so confused by the ending: Pushchair=Stroller. I’ve never heard them called that. My original thought that she was an old woman in a wheelchair. Now I see where it went lopsided for me. Not a scene any parent wants to happen.

    Like

  33. How incredibly sad!

    Like

  34. Beautifully told and tragic ending! I sympathize with the hammering and construction noise, never easy to find space to hear in that.

    Like

  35. Sarah Ann says:

    OMG. Those descriptions of their lazy afternoon gave this such a restful feel before that hammer blow, as Neil put it – such a dramatic and powerful, and sad, ending. The guilt will stay with them forever.

    Like

  36. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Sandra,

    Languid. Serene. Idyllic. Then the hammer falls and we wake with the lovers to grief and madness.

    I see you. You’re a wicked good writer.

    The new life is truly an adventure. Never been more aware of the beauty of each passing moment.

    Cheers,

    Doug

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks for visiting, Doug. And I’m so pleased for you – truly. I can just imagine the life you’re living in that beautiful country, probably the only one I’d have ever given up my own for.

      Like

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