The View From Down Here – Friday Fictioneers, May 2019.

Copyright Susan Eames

They’d arrived late, after a long drive.

“Would you,” asked the funeral director, “like to view the body?”

“No!” Ellie gasped, horrified.

I would,” said David, grim-faced, ignoring his sister. “I’ve never been frightened of Dad, and I’m not going to start now he’s dead.”

Crushed, Ellie lingered outside the chapel-of-rest.

Years passed.

“Would you like to say goodbye to your mother?” says the same man today.

Ellie’s guilt smoulders still.



David recoils.

The sands of time may have shifted, but the moral high ground remains firmly in place.

“God, no! I’m not one for gawping at the dead.”

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter Sorry… it’s a repeat from three years ago.  After a no-show at Friday Fictioneers last week, I’m still bereft of any form of creative inspiration.  I hope this phase passes soon.  Welcome back, Rochelle.  Sounds like you had a wonderful time.

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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65 Responses to The View From Down Here – Friday Fictioneers, May 2019.

  1. ceayr says:

    As you so deftly describe here, there is one in every family.
    But you?
    Bereft of inspiration?
    What chance do we mere mortals have?


  2. Dear Sandra,

    From where I sit, your story works. A good one and no need to apologize. There are weeks like that and it’s always nice to revisit any of your well-told stories.




  3. neilmacdon says:

    Again, no problem from me about the repeat. This is one I’ve never read before. It’s a good one


  4. Tannille says:

    I hope your muse comes back. It’s not fun when creativity dries out.


  5. Anita says:

    Tough choice.
    Sad when we have to be part of funerals…


  6. I wasn’t on FF three years ago, so this was new to me. Well done and hope the muse returns soon.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos


  7. Gawping at the dead is not something I’m keen on and I want no one gawping at me when I pop off!

    My go at Friday Fictioneers!


  8. Kalpana Solsi says:

    The muse will return. Nice to read an old story. Every family has its own peculiarity.


  9. Iain Kelly says:

    That moral high ground is a very shifty place to stand.


  10. Dale says:

    Well, I don’t remember reading this one so, it’s new to me 😉
    Great brother, finding horrible ways to be a cad to his sister.


  11. granonine says:

    Sandra, it’s hard for me to imagine you having writer’s block. I, too, hope it passes soon. And why not re-use the old stories? Most of them are new to me, and this one is SO realistic.


  12. I just started the Friday Fictioneer’s recently -very enthusiastic if I may add. I had tough times with some of the photographies as well and I understand. If you feel nothing when you look at a picture, you can’t force it and you shouldn’t. There is so much beauty out there to write about -no worries, your muse will be inspired in no time.


  13. pennygadd51 says:

    Your story beautifully captures the family dynamic, and the larger truth that morality is a whip that we can use on others – as David does – or on ourselves – like Ellie.


  14. Looked for your story last week. Am glad you are back and sure your creative imagination will spark again. Your story has so many layers and deeper meaning (as always). I really enjoyed it no matter when you wrote it. Thanks for posting! =)


  15. Sandra, great story, as always. We all through periods like that; at least, I know I do. I’m sure your muse will return soon.


  16. plaridel says:

    no harm done. this is the first time i read it. well-written as always.


  17. draliman says:

    It appears that it’s his own personal and slightly fluid moral high ground 🙂


  18. I hope the kids cremate me so there’s no need for a last look. My dry spell lasted 6 months. It appears that you never wander too far from the page.


  19. gahlearner says:

    What a piece of work that brother is. I like the idea of recycling old stories, I hadn’t read that one before either. Give your muse the rest she needs, she’ll be back.


  20. DB McNicol says:

    Repeats are fine with me….I’m new to the challenge. Well done…there’s always that ONE!

    DB McNicol
    author, traveler, shutterbug
    Author Blog
    Personal Blog


  21. My parents died in 1994 and 2010. Totally different perspectives!


  22. Abhijit Ray says:

    Different people, different time, different standards. Nicely done.


  23. kzmcb says:

    Beautifully written. It’s a first for me, too, and I like it a lot. Having read about writers losing the creative urge at times, have you tried forcing yourself to have a break and NOT write for a period of time? Just looking, photographing, smelling, hearing, ect., for a time. A holiday of sorts. All the best and don’t be hard on yourself.


  24. Being a cradle Catholic, I’ve peered into and knelt beside many open caskets in funeral homes. I was even asked once if my grandmother’s body looked natural. I told the director she needed her glasses on as she always wore them. Some people aren’t used to it and no one should be forced. I didn’t read this story before, so it was new to me. Well written as always, Sandra. —- Suzanne


  25. The muse, its taken a sabbatical. Happens to all of us. Meanwhile, what a lovely story, even if a blast from the past.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. mjlstories says:

    I’ve been skiving for weeks now (and hating myself!). Have a break – it’ll come back to you in due course. Meanwhile I enjoyed the story. Nothing like a sibling to get on your nerves!


  27. Great story Sandra, I know how you feel missing a FF, I put out something terrible a few months back just so I didn’t miss it. Its a strange compulsion to feel!


  28. 4963andypop says:

    Tough question to answer for any son or daughter. I like how you allowed the son to shift positions, without losing an iota of confidence. Reminds me of someone.


  29. Margaret says:

    A very powerful portrayal of a difficult sibling relationship. How sad that he’s so set on getting the upper hand, despite their shared losses. You write so well, Sandra, and so convincingly, even in 100 words. Regarding your writing struggles lately – no fun. I hope you’re back in full throttle very soon.


    • Sandra says:

      Thanks, Margaret. Sorry to be so late responding. Yes, that’s a good point about the shared losses. Seems that some antagonisms are too strong to be mellowed in accordance with the circumstances. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. My post the previous week was a rerun. I didn’t say anything about it, and no one seemed to notice. FFF has quite a bit of turnover, so it was new to most folks, and the rest of us have short memories.

    My mother ALWAYS wanted to see the corpse, otherwise she felt cheated.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. The moral high ground comes in handy when we want to cover our weaknesses. I hope your muse comes back to you soon. FFF isn’t the same without the core group of writers, which includes you. 🙂


  32. Your creative shelf life is long, Sandra; I loved it. The story and dialogue ring true and sharp.


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