That Time of the Year – Friday Fictioneers, December 2019

Copyright Mikhael Sublett

He’s gone.  And once again we start to pick up the pieces.

There are egos to be restored, confidences to be rebuilt, dreams to be resurrected, wounds to be healed.

Like a hurricane, every year he bowls in, strewing gifts in his wake, invoking a past that we’d mostly forgotten, or at least buried so deep in our consciousness there was only the slimmest chance of revisiting it.  But he was always a man for the long odds.

“I’m proud of you all,” he said, leaving.  “Everything you are is because of me.”

No disputing the accuracy of that observation.


I so wanted to write something different to this, but you have to take what the muse is willing to offer.  And I had said I’d try to make it to Friday Fictioneers every week until the end of the year.  Rain, snow or hail, Rochelle always manages to make it here.  Thank you, Rochelle.

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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46 Responses to That Time of the Year – Friday Fictioneers, December 2019

  1. ceayr says:

    Subtle. Brutal. Acutely observed. Expertly rendered.


  2. neilmacdon says:

    I don’t see any need to apologise for this. This character portrait of the dysfunctional family and the egotistical father is brilliant


  3. Dear Sandra,

    Whether new or retread, you should never apologize for your brilliant writing. This puts an exclamation point in how I’m feeling about the holidays. Well done.




  4. Reena Saxena says:

    Reminds me of many corporate heads…


  5. Tannille says:

    I think a lot of families have someone like this. You captured the situation.


  6. Colline says:

    Nor the arrogance! 😀


  7. Excellent double meaning there. Great story.


  8. Iain Kelly says:

    At first I thought you had written a tale of Mr. Claus visiting, but nothing so trite and cheery from you Sandra! Expertly done as always.


  9. Sue says:

    Both subtle and brutal…..great write


  10. granonine says:

    This ugly man has more than one mental health diagnosis, with one of them being Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Woe to the people in his path. He is the only one who matters.

    Perfectly depicted, Sandra.


  11. Powerful story – so vividly drawn. Up to your usual standard, Sandra – never ignore what the muse offers!

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos


  12. Dale says:

    Some folks are forces to be reckoned with; some in a positive way, most in a negative one. This guy – how does he sleep at night? Proud, indeed.
    Well done, Madame!


  13. Nobbinmaug says:

    Damn that Santa Claus!


  14. Oy. … And I’d say, not everything they are is because of him. … But the good things they are, are IN SPITE of him …


  15. Natasha says:

    More power to your Muse, Sandra.

    Happy holidays.


  16. A stunning last line. A very accurate description of a megalomaniac, a narcissist, a man doomed.
    Beautiful characterisation, Sandra.


  17. draliman says:

    Ha, great and very cutting last line.


  18. Sandra says:

    Thanks. Incidentally, your website seems to need a sign-in now. Is there a reason for this?


  19. Indira says:

    Excellent. You captured the character brilliantly.


  20. pennygadd51 says:

    Keenly observed and incisively written. I wonder how he became the way he is?


  21. They should probably;y stop inviting him round for Christmas, brilliantly perceived as ever! Great stuff


  22. plaridel says:

    i’m sure it’s not the end of him. he’ll be back like a cat of nine lives.


  23. siobhan1967 says:

    A really intriguing piece that gets better every time you re-read it. Loved the line about the long odds.


  24. Gone but making sure he’s not forgotten.A gem.


  25. msjadeli says:

    I like the wry, bittersweet last line. Toxic parenthood is never forgotten as it becomes part of the fabric of who we are.


  26. Russell says:

    Very well done, and so accurate to a lot of situations out there!


  27. michael1148humphris says:

    A topical piece,


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