Renaissance – Friday Fictioneers, March 2019

Copyright C E Ayr

The chair is mine now.

For thirty years it was his chair, moulded by time to his generous proportions, the arms polished by perpetually drumming fingers, the head-rest darkened with grease.

For twelve months now it’s been our chair, my body sinking into hollows created by his, my fingers exploring places restlessly worn threadbare.

It’s cocooned, cosseted and comforted me in the aftermath.

In recent weeks I’ve added crisp linen covers, and the re-upholstered framework now yields gratefully to my frailer physique.

So now, like the journey, the chair is mine alone.

And now is the time to move on.

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This was going to be a tale about a cat missing its owner, but the muse wouldn’t have it.  ‘Your anthropomorphic phase is behind you,’ it said.  This is the last photograph I would have expected from Friday Fictioneer C E Ayr – I had him down for a dog man.  Thank you once again to Rochelle, for her leadership of our happy band.

 

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 Renaissance – Friday Fictioneers, March 2019

  1. Dear Sandra,

    This shows how observant I am. I didn’t notice the cat. Love the voice in this and the purrrfect story.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  2. Iain Kelly says:

    A lovely sketch of the grieving process told through a chair. Nicely done. Amazing how most people in their homes stake out ‘their’ particular spot – I know I have mine! 🙂

    Like

  3. Still together, in spirit anyway. Delightful Sandra.

    Like

  4. Lovely story, and in actuality the first line is definitely something a cat would say!

    Like

  5. pennygadd51 says:

    What a subtle story! You describe the process of grieving and moving on in such a way that we realise it wasn’t necessarily the happiest of marriages – the perpetually drumming fingers being one clue, and the way the widow has appropriated her deceased husband’s former chair, changing it to suit her wishes – I bet she’s changed many other things too. You are such a clever writer, Sandra!

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      There’s always some minor irritation, even in the best of relationships, I think. My husband is what I call a ‘foot-fidgetter’. Constantly shuffling his feet against the carpet. Thanks for reading, Penny and for your lovely comment.

      Like

  6. gahlearner says:

    Wonderful description of characters and physique. Somehow I see a throne with king and successor in your story.

    Like

  7. granonine says:

    I’m at the stage of life in which I am keenly aware of how short my days with Terry could be. Your story really spoke to me.

    And I didn’t notice the cat until I’d read a couple of stories 🙂

    Like

  8. ceayr says:

    Ouaf, ouaf!
    You got that right, I have a severe allergy to cats.
    But it was a cool photo op, I thought.
    Great story, subtle as ever, not sure she is grieving too much, just starting to realise she is better off without him, maybe.
    Well, that’s my take, helped by your title.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      It can be taken either way. In my mind she’s been grieving but is now able to look back on those minor irritations with detachment, as she moves on. Somehow I knew cats wouldn’t be your thing. 🙂

      Like

  9. notestowomen says:

    Nice one, Sandra 🙂

    Like

  10. Precious memories will stay with us forever.

    Like

  11. Letting go is never easy, maybe it’s time for a brand new chair now.

    Nice story!

    -Rachel

    Like

  12. Sandra, this is one of my favorites of yours (and I’ve loved quite a few). This is incredibly astute in noting grief and loss. The simplicity of the descriptions, the alliteration in the 4th paragraph, and the use of words like “aftermath” and “like the journey” that leave the reader wondering about the story beyond these 100 words. I so love your writing, Sandra; write a novel!

    Like

  13. Here’s to letting go and moving on, which does not need to mean forgetting ….
    🙂
    Na’ama

    Liked by 1 person

  14. michael1148humphris says:

    Loved the story, so full of emotion

    Like

  15. Dale says:

    I love everything about this… And weirdly, could apply to my bed…His side, that is.

    Like

  16. plaridel says:

    i guess when sitting on the chair becomes uneasy, it’s time to stand up and walk outside and enjoy the view.

    Like

  17. draliman says:

    Nice, life and loss told through the chair. Like Rochelle, I didn’t see the cat either!

    Like

  18. Abhijit Ray says:

    You not only took possession, you changed it too beyond recognition. Safely, it is yours now. Nice story.

    Like

  19. Liz Young says:

    What a lovely tribute to a lost love.

    Like

  20. Ditto above.
    And it’s right not to write about a lost owner.

    Like

  21. Lynda says:

    Sandra, I guess it’s all about perception. When I read your story I got the impression the owner of the cat had reclaimed the chair after the cat’s demise. I had a couch that had been thoroughly claimed by a now deceased cat. It looked much the way you describe the chair. I would have liked to have had it reupholstered. FWIW: I saw the cat in the prompt instantly. Could it be that I was prejudiced to see your work in this light because of it?

    Always an enjoyable read!

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      I just went back to read it from that POV. And you’re right, if I’d substituted plucking claws for drumming fingers it would have fit that scenario beautifully. In fact, I rather like the story from that point of view. Thank you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  22. 4963andypop says:

    I really liked this concrete (asin, not abstract or cerebral) journey through grief and back to life again. I enjoyed the comments too, especially pointing out that cats can be as hard on furniture as this lost husband was.

    Like

  23. Jade M. Wong says:

    Aww…the gradual build and release of the grief is conveyed so well to the reader, it really touches the heart! Amazing writing, Sandra.

    Like

  24. Very touching and moving tale. I went down the anthropomorphic route 😉

    Like

  25. Margaret says:

    This is a powerful story, Sandra. It made me think something I’ve thought before – that death is such a mystery. We’re here sitting in chairs and wearing clothes and driving cars (or scooters) one minute, and the next we’re – what? And for those left behind there is such a strong imprint of our presence in those things that were part of our existence. Well told. Again.

    Like

  26. Violet Lentz says:

    Very well told. Something we must all make peace with, as it sounds like your protag has..

    Like

  27. This is so well told, the comfort of sitting there and how time moves on… the gentleness of acceptance in claiming the chair as her own is perfect.

    Like

  28. Beautiful. Graceful and subtle writing.

    Like

  29. subroto says:

    Grief changes us but then in the end we eventually move on, as we must. Beautifully written as always Sandra.

    Like

  30. Lynn Love says:

    This story is so wonderfully detailed – that worn and greasy chair, that finger drumming, the fact she’s had it re-covered to suit her needs. Just beautifully done, a fantastic way to represent a relationship Sandra

    Like

  31. I like how you captured her grief in her attachment to an inanimate object. And yes, it is time to move on.

    Like

  32. I love this perspective!

    Like

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

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