Do Not Go Gentle… Friday Fictioneers, March 2019

Copyright Anshu

 

We stare at each other across the years of mutually-unfulfilled expectations.

“I have to go back to London tomorrow, Dad.”

He doesn’t respond, momentarily distracted by a pretty nurse scurrying past.

“Is there anything you need before I leave?  Anything at all?”

He presses his shiny knuckles thoughtfully to his mouth, before leaning towards me in conspiratorial fashion.

Grasping his outstretched hand, I’m conscious that this may be the defining moment of our lengthy antagonistic history.

“You couldn’t give these a rinse for me, could you?”

Seething, but clutching his dentures in my hand, I hurry towards the bathroom.

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https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=31b56e13cf9f3dece6c1 If you’re wondering how I got here, well I saw those wooden piano keys and they reminded me of wooden teeth which, though it hardly bears thinking about, were the precursor of the modern denture.  Flashing a perfect smile, as ever, Rochelle leads the Friday Fictioneers out once again. 

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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95 Responses to Do Not Go Gentle… Friday Fictioneers, March 2019

  1. Reena Saxena says:

    It is interesting how an image sparks a series of thoughts, and reaches somewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sad but familiar (and I guess so for many)

    Like

  3. neilmacdon says:

    That brought a wry smile. But where’s the creepy? There are no axe murderers in this. Who are you and what have you done with the real Sandra?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The decrepit piano echoing the loss of memory – sad and poignant!

    Like

  5. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Sandra,

    He’s already gone, I’m afraid. That cavalier and unfeeling remark having been said, I think your story encapsulates two lives sadly and succinctly.

    I hope winter is treating you well. Spring is on the horizon and I’m on the figurative loch wall, watching as you journey. Pleasant trip, my friend, pleasant trip.

    Sincerely,

    Doug

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      How lovely to see you on here again, Doug. Thanks for dropping by. I’m told you’re very happy in your new life. I’m glad about that. More than glad, really.

      Like

  6. Violet Lentz says:

    Very clever take, Sandra.

    Like

  7. Dear Sandra,

    The opening line tears at my heart, hoping there’s resolution. The end took me by surprise. Nope, the old man deserves to be left alone. Ugh. Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  8. Iain Kelly says:

    Dad doesn’t appear to view their meeting with the same sense of gravitas as his son, which I guess shows their differing views on life and their relationship. But it did give me a chuckle.

    Like

  9. Not the ending I was expecting, but it was absolutely perfect. Sad.

    Like

  10. granonine says:

    I caught the connection right away. Just hope the dentures were in better shape than those old piano keys 🙂

    Like

  11. Lovely – and rather sad – little snapshot on dysfunctional relationships – and thanks for the explanation – I certainly didn’t see the connection. 🙂

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Like

  12. A sad part of life we don’t want to hear about. Great writing.

    Like

  13. Dale says:

    Fabulously done, as per usual, Sandra!
    Such a sad relationship and I love how you got to the dentures via the piano!

    Like

  14. ceayr says:

    I am squirming, and laughing, uncomfortably amused.
    You just keep producing these 100-word gems.
    I have no hats left.

    Like

  15. Liz Young says:

    Eugh! And if you were rich you could have implanted into your mouth the teeth of poor people who’d sold theirs – that’s worse than wooden ones, in my opinion.

    Like

  16. M K Zebra says:

    You had me at “mutually-unfulfilled expectations.” I’m practically clenching my teeth on behalf of your seething protagonist.

    Like

  17. draliman says:

    I guess their time has (not) been and gone.

    Like

  18. Ha! Well done! And I do love the stream of associations that led to this little story. This is what makes FF so much fun!
    🙂
    Na’ama

    Like

  19. I knew where this was going already from the title… and love how you turned the end to something more amusing than the heart wrenching sorrow of Dylan Thomas.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Anna Rymer says:

    Wonderfully written as always – a sad reality too.

    Like

  21. plaridel says:

    i love your wry sense of humor. 🙂

    Like

  22. The old guy seems to be getting one over for the last time, seeming slightly callous and disinterested with his son’s departure. A really good take, loved it.

    Like

  23. Ha ha ha, and ewwww, though I know there’s an element of sadness to the story 🙂

    Like

  24. gahlearner says:

    That made me laugh and grind my teeth at the same time because it feels so true. You can have that kind of selfish behaviour from sweet and loving people too, when they slowly go. Smiling sweetly and pressing something gross into your hand, yeah…

    Like

  25. 4963andypop says:

    Ha! Disappointed to the end. What a lost opportunity to mend fences. Love shiny knuckles.

    Like

  26. Abhijit Ray says:

    Did he ask you to rinse his dentures to spite you or to form a bond with you, one final time?

    Like

  27. michael1148humphris says:

    Wooden dentures, now that takes me back, fabulous use of the prompt Sandra…

    Like

  28. Russell says:

    I think just maybe, I would have gotten a nurse for that job. Just saying… Great read!

    Like

  29. Well that was not fun, but glad he did it and gave a new direction to the relationship

    Like

  30. Tannille says:

    So much emotion and tension in so few words.

    Like

  31. dorothy says:

    I don’t know but I find this sweet. Great job!

    Like

  32. pennygadd51 says:

    Oh, Sandra, this is another terrific story! The plot encapsulates a dysfunctional relationship spanning a lifetime, and shows how it must have played out again and again and again. You set the scene with such superb economy – the pretty nurse says everything needed about where they are. One fascinating thing. You don’t gender the offspring, and yet they come across quite strongly as male. Is it the antagonism, I wonder? Or am I mis-reading?
    Lovely work. Kudos!

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Yes, I notice someone else thought it was a man. That always surprises me when that happens. When I occasionally create a male narrator I’m always apprehensive that it won’t work.

      Like

  33. I’m sure ‘seething’ underplays what your narrator was going through. I was expectinga gentler parting.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      I had endless trouble trying to find the right word. It’s inadequate, but whilst I could have done it with more words, there seemed to be no one word for the task. Thanks for reading.

      Like

  34. Eww, but at the same time, funny. Love how you got to the story. You just never know….

    Like

  35. Lynn Love says:

    She was reaching out and all he gave her was his teeth to rinse? No hope for the man. Perhaps he just can’t cope with emotions, with talking, would rather bluster along pretending everything’s okay than face the problems he has with his daughter. So well written Sandra

    Like

  36. This is a creative view of this photo prompt. Great job!

    Like

  37. Didn’t expect that. That’s one old piano. Just think of the splinters from wooden teeth.

    Like

  38. StuHN says:

    Thanks for the explanation. I didn’t see any connection until then.
    The story told so much, as always, of their “relationship.” Poor kid.

    Like

  39. Esha M Dutta says:

    So much said in so few words! Loved your take on the prompt!

    Like

  40. Margaret says:

    Wonderful, Sandra. You have such a gift for coming up with left of centre story ideas. I love this one.

    Like

  41. An interesting snapshot of a parent/child relationship.
    On a side note–My grandchildren are fascinated by my partial (four upper teeth). They love for me to take it out and grin for them, but dart away if I suggest they touch it.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. magarisa says:

    So sad and believable. They are certainly not on the same page.

    Like

  43. This was so very subtly heartbreaking. Great writing, I could really see those “shiny knuckles.”

    -Rachel

    Like

  44. The years of ‘mutually-unfulfilled expectations’ continues. He is who he is till the end.

    Like

  45. Jelli says:

    Very beautiful and sadly sad this was. A vision of aging that is all too true.

    Like

  46. lisarey1990 says:

    Very sad. Great writing.

    Like

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