The Slow Burn – Friday Fictioneers, February 2019

Copyright Anshu Bhojnagarwala

 

Shortly after we entered the room, I understood that part of my life was over.

Like a fox scenting the breeze, she sensed his presence, swiftly leaving my side to prowl amongst the assembled guests.

They found each other within moments.  How could they not?

For years afterwards, the rest of us warmed ourselves at the glow of their dancing, flickering passion, implicitly rationalising that nothing so incandescent could be sustained indefinitely.

Later, much later, he apologised.

“We shall share her ashes,” he declared magnanimously, and returned half my wife in a burnished copper urn.

The man was all heart.

The first Friday Fictioneers of February – and after that exercise in alliteration, all that remains is to thank Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for the time she dedicates to leading us out, week after week.

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.
This entry was posted in Friday Fictioneers, Just Sayin' and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

89 Responses to The Slow Burn – Friday Fictioneers, February 2019

  1. neilmacdon says:

    Beautifully dark and obsessive. Perhaps the last line doesn’t match the voice of the rest?

    Like

  2. ceayr says:

    Once again I am struggling to understand how you can hit so hard in so few words.
    And, unlike Neil, I love the bitter sardonicism of the last line.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Iain Kelly says:

    I liked the last line. Underneath the veneer he has been holding up for all those years, he is as human as we all are. Now that the mask has slipped, I wonder if he may act on another base instinct. A little pent-up revenge perhaps?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Varad says:

    I liked the last line, Sandra. Often a change in the tone at the end can unleash a good gut-punch to the readers and this was just that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks. Sometimes a piece seems to get too ‘heavy’ and I’m tempted to burst the balloon at the end in a flippant manner. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But I nearly always feel better for it. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Violet Lentz says:

    brilliant Sandra. Ooo I loved the close!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. jillyfunnell says:

    Bitter and ironic. Loved this piece, Sandra.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I liked this – it had a sting!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Anita says:

    Imagine haring her ashes!
    Sharing is caring. Much conveyed in a few words, Sandra.
    The Night of Bonfire – Anita

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dear Sandra,

    If I weren’t sitting here swilling coffee in my fuzzy robe I might be standing and applauding. What a guy indeed. Fantastic! Brilliant! Brava! Am I too effusive?

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 2 people

  10. A wonderful tale, and as for the close…inspired!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great piece of storytelling here. The irony of the last line really ties it together. What a guy!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Liz Young says:

    Share her ashes? What a gent!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. pennygadd51 says:

    It’s a wonderful take on the prompt. You’ve written it beautifully, concentrating so much into your 100 words. I love the tie-in between the flickering flames of passion and the ashes that remain at the end. The sharing of the ashes suggests that her husband had indeed shared passion with her for at least some of their marriage. Elegant piece, Sandra!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Dale says:

    So good, Sandra.
    What a guy; truly, oh so generous…not a sardonic bone in his body, I’m sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Indira says:

    Brilliant as always, Sandra.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. michael1148humphris says:

    What a great story you painted, shared ashes indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. The bitter irony of the last line is perfect… to me there it can also reflect the double defeat of actually love the man behind it… there is a song in Swedish telling a similar story.. “Trubbel” but I think no translation can make it right…

    Liked by 1 person

  18. plaridel says:

    sarcasm at its best. well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Ooh bitter and twisted, which I love, a real triumph!!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Nan Falkner says:

    The Slow Burn is a wonderful title! Great story! Nan Falkner

    Like

  21. Well, what’s fair is fair … (ahem…)
    Well done with this! Very well told and quite powerful in its understated tone. Fab, Sandra!

    Like

  22. Kislaya says:

    I like the title of your story and what a brilliant ending. Let both men make peace!

    Like

  23. Ha ha ha, dark and so much fun as always 🙂

    Like

  24. Abhijit Ray says:

    There was great chemistry between the two. How did she end up in the urn? What killed her, jealousy or disease?

    Like

  25. Quite sad. I wonder why we all stick around even when we get hurt!

    Like

  26. draliman says:

    What a nice chap 😉
    Almost like he cast a spell over her.

    Like

  27. The POV usage confused me for a moment, but once I got the gist, this story carried all the poignancy, mystery and irony you packed it with. Wonderful use of the prompt, Sandra!

    Like

  28. Joy Pixley says:

    What a tragic story, made more so that he could see it happening right in front of him, and understood that he was losing her and couldn’t do anything about it. Great use of the symbolism of the image!

    Like

  29. gahlearner says:

    I love the whole piece, but that last line: Boom! Perfect.

    Like

  30. A poignant tale of a man trying to rationalize his heartbreak. I love the sarcasm at the end, it gives a glimpse to how he really felt. I think the wife still cared for him, why else would the man who stole her away acknowledge his right to half her ashes (which is creepy on his part by the way). =) Excellent piece!

    Like

  31. granonine says:

    Beautifully organized, from title to last line. Dark, sad, but it sure sucked me right in 🙂

    Like

  32. StuHN says:

    Sad tale that feels like it should be a Leonard Cohen song. I doubt I’d be able to watch them together, let alone receive her ashes.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      I suppose it has got a “Famous Blue Raincoat” feel to it. “treated my woman to a flake of your life, and when she came back, she was nobody’s wife.” Loved that line.

      Like

  33. I love to read beautifully written, understated stories like this one. Brava!
    Ronda

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thank you, Ronda. I appreciate your comment. And I enjoyed your story too, such a bitter-sweet celebration in store. (I couldn’t work out how to comment on your website – sorry).

      Like

  34. 4963andypop says:

    Love the fire and light imagery throughout. The sharing of the ashes is so crass. It makes you wonder whether she made the right choice. And all those people, just looking on while theaffair continued under their noses.

    Like

  35. I love the bitter sarcasm in the last line. How sweet of him to share. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  36. James McEwan says:

    The cheek of the man – No you burnt her out – you keep her.
    there is a sort of illogical acceptance from your character, I loved the sad tone.

    Like

  37. I don’t think she made a good choice if he could make a comment like – would share her ashes! Seriously! Loved your take Sandra, it’s brilliant!

    Like

  38. lisarey1990 says:

    I love the voice and the idea here. The feelings of the person are put across very realistically. A great read.

    Like

  39. Margaret says:

    I guess that kind of attraction just can’t be resisted. And it seems to have stood the test of time. A brilliant response to the prompt, as always.

    Like

  40. Lynn Love says:

    Wow! That ending, Sandra. So ‘magnanimous’ and yet such a bitter thing to hear as a husband. Just a stunning piece of writing, well constructed and I like the animalistic overtones to a passion that was more instinctive than cerebral

    Like

  41. subroto says:

    What a brilliant way to show the impact of infidelity on the lives of the betrayed, I liked the impact of the last line.

    Like

  42. Superb writing, Sandra. The title leads us and I like that since it builds at the end.
    Always brilliant …
    Isadora 😎

    Like

  43. Wow. Just an excellent write, Sandra. Amazing flow of words.

    Like

  44. Excellent indeed. What an insensitive man to send back half the ashes, what a taunt. The bitterness is palpable throughout.

    Like

  45. The title is so apt. Superbly written.

    Like

  46. I liked it. A bit dark… good writing

    gramswisewords.blogspot.com

    Like

  47. Lynda says:

    Well done! I think when I took my hiatus from Friday Fictioneers, that maybe I should have kept up with reading my favorites in the group. You are an accomplished wordsmith and I love your wit.

    Like

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