Worlds Apart – Friday Fictioneers, October 2018

Copyright Jilly Funnell

The acres of glittering steel, marble palaces and arching fountains have become wearisome, while at times the overly-green lawns, sweeping man-made waterways and towering gin-palaces have resembled the stuff of nightmares.

She’s felt like a swatch of material being held up for critical acclaim against an alien backdrop, not sure which was more unpalatable, to be found wanting or to be deemed worthy of acceptance.

It couldn’t go on.

He stands in the doorway, staring at her open suitcase.

“You’re leaving…?”

“This is your world, not mine.”

He eyes her with regret.

In a certain light it could be relief.

 The (tenuous) link here is that Portsmouth’s Spinaker tower was sponsored by Dubai-based Emirates airline, as depicted on the tower itself.  And my story is based in Dubai, a city which holds little attraction for me. Friday Fictioneers however, sponsored by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, has held my interest for almost seven years now.  Time flies…


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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66 Responses to Worlds Apart – Friday Fictioneers, October 2018

  1. Iain Kelly says:

    There is something rather wearisome about the man-made wealthy landscape that has been constructed with complete disregard to how nature shaped the land. Loved the 2nd line in particular.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ceayr says:

    I agree with Iain about the second sentence, especially from ‘more unpalatable…’.
    And the last line is a gem, of course.
    You tell us entire relationships in so few words, I am again mesmerised!


  3. Reena Saxena says:

    Superb piece of writing!


  4. I’m glad she was able to reach the conclusion that it was the relationship and environment that was lacking, and not her. A superb story about her strength of character and the ability to make tough decisions based on her own needs.


  5. I’m with her. I feel that way about Lad Vegas, Nassau and any one of these playgrounds for the wealthy. Give me a narrow street with cafe tables on thse sidewalk any day.


  6. Dale says:

    Brilliantly done, Sandra. I think we are all in agreement with her. This over-the-top opulence is an eyesore.


  7. Dear Sandra,

    As always, you exceed all expectations. The last line took my breath away. On a side note, my husband spent some time in Dubai care of the US Navy. Mostly what he remembers is the heat and, of course, the gold souk. Again wonderful writing.
    BTW this month marks my 6th anniversary as Queen Cat Herder. But I joined in April of that year. Wow. It is almost 7 years. 😀 (You’ve certainly held my interest).




  8. pennygadd51 says:

    That’s an excellent story. Like everybody, I loved your second paragraph. And the conclusion – his regret – or is it relief? Brilliant


  9. Abhijit Ray says:

    Both are incompatible. They have their own outlooks to life. It is better they part company. There is no room for compromise.


  10. neilmacdon says:

    My favourite was “She’s felt like a swatch of material being held up for critical acclaim against an alien backdrop”, And the ending, of course. Interesting that we both thought of Dubai, but perhaps not so strange given the Spinaker tower


  11. granonine says:

    Nicely tied up at the end. Two different worlds may not always be able to meet.


  12. She sounds like my kind of girl. You have painted a compelling argument that he doesn’t deserve her. Nicely done.


  13. plaridel says:

    i guess to each their own. everybody is entitled to his or her own happiness.


  14. Priya says:

    Very well written. The piece is packed with some beautiful lines.


  15. StuHN says:

    Aesthetics over quality & comfort. Never been my thing


  16. draliman says:

    I’ve never been to Dubai but from pictures I can already tell I wouldn’t like it as much as rolling hills and moors. It doesn’t sound like the relationship or the environment are working for her.


  17. Rowena says:

    Brilliant, Sandra. I particularly liked the dreaded dilemma: “to be found wanting or to be deemed worthy of acceptance”? Well done.
    Best wishes,


  18. As humans, we try to improve on the splendor of our natural environment. Living in the concrete jungle of Hong Kong, I often long for the beauty of wild open spaces. I’m not a fan of Dubai either. Beautifully written as always.


  19. Liz Young says:

    I don’t like cities either. Went to Dubai once on my husband’s business trip – too much luxury is boring.


  20. subroto says:

    So true! I find the big gleaming shopping malls soulless and bland. Judging by the ending looks like he is glad she took the decision out of his hand.


  21. I like so much… it’s almost like it’s all about who should break up first… incompatibility cannot be combated.


  22. Prior... says:

    Reminded of how I feel about Las Vegas! We are kindred


  23. Wow, loved that second line, and the ending. Absolutely with you on Dubai, I’ve never understood the attraction that it holds for so many people. For me, it’s always been a concrete monstrosity, heartless and soulless.


  24. jillyfunnell says:

    She’s leaving vanity fair! You really can have too much of an (apparently) good thing.


  25. I very much agree. I have no desire to visit Dubai or anywhere so artificial. Nature’s beauty cannot be contained in a box. 🙂


  26. i b arora says:

    regret or relief, that’s the quandary….always.


  27. I was blown away by the architecture of the second paragraph. Excellent writing, Sandra.


  28. lisarey1990 says:

    Love the character development in this piece.


  29. Fantastic writing as usual, every word is brilliantly chosen so we really understand her despair.


  30. Your story is more intriguing in what it doesn’t say.


  31. magarisa says:

    It sounds like she’s been facing this dilemma for quite some time, and has finally made the decision to leave. You’ve expressed the conflicting emotions between them so well.
    By the way, the photo also made me think of Dubai and its over-the-top opulence.


  32. 4963andypop says:

    Nice last line!

    I also like the swatch comparison. I didnt know the Dubai connection of this tower. But i can see growing tired of the desert.


  33. The last line held so much intrigue for me. I feel like perhaps in some way, he wanted it to end too. Either way, I’m glad she chose herself.


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