Thirty Pieces of Silver – Friday Fictioneers, August 2019

Copyright Randy Mazie

We create our own reality, they say.

And I’ve only recently grasped the hair’s breadth between Joe’s reality and a nightmare.

I bring food daily to the derelict multi-storey, occasionally clean clothes. He sells the clothes to fuel his habit.

Sometimes he recognises me, his eyes fill with tears.  Mostly though, he’ll snarl, scrabble away towards the shadows.

I no longer want him back.  I’ve other siblings that mustn’t be tainted.

“I’m coming home soon, Sis,” he says today, and my own reality edges closer to hell. There are, I’ve learned, no fairy-tale endings.

“Here’s 30 bucks,” I say.  “Treat yourself.”


I love it when a story has legs; I’ve long fretted that once a short story is published, it dies its own death – you can’t use it again, unless, of course you’re a world-famous writer.  My story The Reluctant Witness won Writing Magazine’s flash fiction competition way back, and then won again on the only site I knew that accepted previously published work, Ink Tears.  And now it gets a third outing on Amazon as part of their Splash of Ink commemorative collection. I think I can let that one rest in peace now – its work here is done.  🙂

Someone whose stories very definitely have legs is Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, leader of Friday Fictioneers.  Thank you Rochelle, for all your work.

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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43 Responses to Thirty Pieces of Silver – Friday Fictioneers, August 2019

  1. neilmacdon says:

    An insightful picture of how, lurking beneath generosity are other emotions

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thee veiled Biblical reference to throwing thirty pieces of silver is very laudable. What a fabulous story, expertly written. Hat’s off to you, Sandra.


  3. Reena Saxena says:

    Excellent take on the prompt!


  4. Tannille says:

    Sounds like a nasty cycle!


  5. pennygadd51 says:

    My goodness that’s a dark and powerful story! Kudos, Sandra!


  6. An interesting story of familial martyrdom. I sense self-interest behind the altruism. Well done.


  7. Rowena says:

    Brilliant story, Sandra and congratulations on not only your success with getting your flash fiction piece published but just getting it out there. That’s something I really struggle with. Not so much from a courage point of view. My struggles are more along the organizational and energy front.
    Many of us know someone who has a family member like this and it’s really hard for them to know how to deal with it in the long term. Usually really difficult, heartbreaking decisions are made and walls are put up. For me, it’s very much a case of until you’ve been through that, you don’t know what you’d do.
    Best wishes,


  8. Nobbinmaug says:

    Wow! That’s beautiful and harsh. It’s awards are all well earned.


  9. msjadeli says:

    This line sums up your story, which is a microcosm of a larger truth: “There are, I’ve learned, no fairy-tale endings.” Excellent flash fiction.


  10. Dale says:

    This was brilliant, Sandra. Keeping him where he “belongs” so she can more easily easily deal with him – on her terms.

    Kudos on that story (which was also brilliant!)


  11. That was dark, harsh, and so impactful. Brilliant. And many congratulations on the spate of awards Sandra!


  12. draliman says:

    Oh boy, that last line. I bet he can buy an accidental overdose with that…


  13. I like the way she recognises Joe’s reality is a nightmare, but she doesn’t want her own reality turning to hell with his return.


  14. More often than not. family members in his situation are set aside, ignored and even forgotten. A poignant piece indeed.


  15. Dear Sandra,

    This story does have legs. Brilliant piece of writing as I’d expect. 😀




  16. plaridel says:

    it’s a situation that has reached beyond her capability to handle. the state has to take over. he needs professional help.


  17. 4963andypop says:

    Money buys distance. A lesson in healthy (and otherwise) boundaries. Who we think we should be, when faced with such crises, and who, based on many factors, we choose to be,may be two different things.


  18. Wonderful story, how great that it has seen the light of day on several occasions.


  19. Liz Young says:

    Well done on getting your story placed three times! Though I’m not surprised, seeing the quality of your flash fiction.


  20. Hmmm… I’m not sure what is worse, her brother coming back or she giving him money to fuel his habit.


  21. michael1148humphris says:

    Such a brilliant but sad story.


  22. James McEwan says:

    The point of no return, come to mind.


  23. WoW! Good stuff, really brilliant tale


  24. granonine says:

    Sandra, I was intrigued by your title, wondering where you were going with it. You never disappoint. Excellent.


  25. That’s interesting, Sandra. I sent one story and got second place but the found out it became their property. I now am very careful. The publishers sometimes think it’s terrible of a writer to ask for money or some to keep the publishing rights. How small of us to ask for those things (they think). 😦 — Suzanne


  26. Great 100 words. Congrats on your publishing feat. (so to speak 😉 )


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