Faulty Connection – July, 2019

Copyright Dale Rogerson

Eric tried to tell his parents; they didn’t listen.

So party games remained unplayed, prizes unpresented, trampoline untrampled.  Dainty triangular sandwiches curled at the edges, as cream curdled on the jellies.

The solitary guest, a little girl way off the social circuit herself, sang ‘Happy Birthday’ in a reedy voice, then blew out his candle before announcing she didn’t like cake.

His father practically blew a fuse.

“You’re a social disconnect, son.  You gotta network in this life.”

Eric’s something big at General Electric now.

Successful…? Absolutely.

Rich…? Bet your life on it.

Hard-wired for loneliness though.

Some things don’t change.



A re-hashed re-run from four and a half years ago, as I succumb to the flu-ey cold that my husband has finally shared with me after ten days.  I really thought I might make it through unscathed.  Thanks to Rochelle, the leader of Friday Fictioneers who turns up week after week to host our get-together.

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'. Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to Faulty Connection – July, 2019

  1. neilmacdon says:

    If we think of ourselves like machines, perhaps we become like them


  2. Eric’s become something….that really told what’s become. Very well written Sandra.


  3. ceayr says:

    No spark in Eric’s life, hmm?
    I just love ‘trampoline untrampled’.


  4. Dear Sandra,

    So nice of your husband to share. :/ I think I remember this one…still brilliant after all these years. Wishing you quick recovery. Take care of yourself.




  5. Great writing, Sandra! Loved this.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos


  6. Jolting prose. It crackles. 😉


  7. pennygadd51 says:

    It wasn’t until I came to write a comment that I realised what a complex little tale this is. Eric’s loneliness was “hard wired”. That’s tremendously sad – but did he realise he was missing out? His father would seem to have been responsible for his loneliness, at least in part, but did he actually just give his son the tool to be at least a worldly success. Fascinating.


  8. bearmkwa says:

    Re-enjoyed! Hope you feel better soon.


  9. Iain Kelly says:

    I feel for Eric, God, how much do I dislike the ‘networking’ involved in my day job!


  10. michael1148humphris says:

    A story which makes one think, Eric may have attempted to change, but it is hard to override the genes one is give. Hope you soon feel flu free.


  11. msjadeli says:

    Many techie types are hard-wired this way. Very good origin story for them.


  12. Dale says:

    This story may be a repeat but it goes perfectly with my photo! Just leave Eric alone. If he hadn’t been told all his life that what he was was wrong, maybe he’d actually be happy!
    Excellent write.


  13. Abhijit Ray says:

    Eric could not have reached where he was professionally without some social / interpersonnel skill. May be he did not find / meet his kind of people when his birthday was celebrated. Some people can be choosy about company.


  14. draliman says:

    Poor Eric. I like all the ways you brought the photo theme in.


  15. Tannille says:

    We are who we are. 😀


  16. Poor Eric. After having almost everything, still lonely.


  17. Very sorry you’re sick and hope you feel better soon. All the money and success in the world can’t satisfy if you’re lonely. Think his father did him a disservice. So sad.


  18. A great story, Sandra, although unfortunately very true sometimes. You can’t force someone to be an extrovert. I hope you get feeling better soon.


  19. James McEwan says:

    I am not sure Eric is lonely, perhaps eccentric and as he finds his interests in the scientific world or running big companies instead of making friends, socially. Maybe if his father was not so hard on him, he would have turned out all right.


  20. Liz Young says:

    I feel really sorry for Eric – his parents could have handled things so much better.


  21. His parents didn’t really know him. For some, being alone is a life choice.


  22. Spot on. And a touch of The Graduate about it.


  23. Some things are as they should be, even when others don’t understand. Nice story Sandra


  24. plaridel says:

    too bad, he can’t get it all.


  25. A good, well-written story, Sandra. This one was new to me. I guess Eric found a way to network without coming face to face with people. Either that or he hired someone to network for him. If you can pay enough, you can hire someone to do what you can’t and still make more money. Unfortunately, Eric’s father has probably found something else to complain about. He doesn’t sound very nice. —- Suzanne


  26. gahlearner says:

    I think Eric got his disconnectedness from his parents. How can they not know that their son has no friends? Great story, Sandra.


  27. lisarey1990 says:

    I could relate to Eric. He’ll be fine. Great story & get well soon.


  28. When I go fishing solo, Connie tells people I’m out with my “best friend.”
    Hope you’re feeling better soon.


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