Road Runner – January 2020

Copyright CE Ayr


When the motion stops, the problems start.

Winding ribbons of motorways, the lazy curve of a slow-flowing river, the pitch and toss of a turbulent sea.  All of these keep the past on the back-boiler, out of sight, yet simmering gently.

But tonight all is still.  And the tide of memories returns.

He saw them today.  Could have reached out, spoken, touched them.  But even from across the jetty he sensed the tentacles of their neediness, coiling, ready to strike, squeezing the liberty from his soul.

His woman, still beautiful, his kids still cute.

And some other guy.  Still.


Happy New Year to all Friday Fictioneers, past and present!  Now entering my ninth year of participation, so thanks to our leader Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for services rendered to the cause.  I’ve a feeling this year is going to be a good one for her.  🙂


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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42 Responses to Road Runner – January 2020

  1. neilmacdon says:

    Dark, layered, and lyrical. This is one of your best.


  2. Tannille says:

    How sad. Common enough. Well done.


  3. ceayr says:

    Subtle and superb.


  4. Anita says:

    Chilling. So many questions.
    Did he kill the other man? Maybe the other man killed his family?
    Loss of loved ones is really painful. May no one have to go through this…
    Have a great 2020!


  5. You have an expressive dark spot somewhere inside that lovely exterior, Sandra!



  6. Love what you evoke here Well done.


  7. Iain Kelly says:

    A sense of tragedy both lived and perhaps still to come here, lurking in that last sentence. Great start to the new year 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear Sandra,

    By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes. Wonderfully menacing and well described. re my year…from your mouth to God’s ears. 😉
    You’re our reminder that I didn’t create Friday Fictioneers and I’m grateful to she who did. (Madison) You still show the rest of us how it’s done.



    Liked by 2 people

  9. Dale says:

    Sandra, this was incredibly fabulous.
    A lone wolf who had a moment…


  10. Nobbinmaug says:

    If I had kids with tentacles, I’d drop them off on the other side of the jetty, too. It’s a good thing I’m not attracted to octopuses… anymore.

    Seriously, that’s a hefty price for freedom. Far too many are far too willing to pay that price. Beautifully written!


  11. msjadeli says:

    Great atmosphere here, covering a lot of turf.


  12. I can feel the dark forces pulling at him… the urge to escape and the desperate jealousy… somehow I feel that he has come to a point where either something very bad will happen or he will just slip away (as he has done so many times)


  13. pennygadd51 says:

    What a wonderfully subtle evocation of an abuser. I’d never thought before of an abusive husband seeing his wife and family as needy, and draining too much from him, but now you’ve pointed it out, it seems eminently likely. We all like to be the good guy in our own story, don’t we?


    • Sandra says:

      I didn’t see him as an abuser, just someone who needed his freedom, but feels a degree of regret, particularly when someone else steps into the void he has left. Thanks for reading Penny, and a Happy New Year.


  14. draliman says:

    The problem with getting away is that you take yourself and your memories with you. Nice one!


  15. Russell says:

    A powerful piece. Maybe it’s best if he just keeps rolling!


  16. Liz Young says:

    Sounds to me as if he is still enmeshed in those coils to some extent.


  17. Tasha Louise says:

    Brilliant story, really touching and emotional! He doesn’t want to be with them but still misses them.


  18. I loved the first line and it’s certainly true. Memories we wish to forget march to the forefront when we stand still. He’s caught between longing for his family and stubbornly clinging to the choice he made. You superbly create so many layers in very few words!


  19. Both atmospheric and intriguing. Beautifully written Sandra, but then I expect nothing less from you!!


  20. plaridel says:

    poignant. time for him to move on as she did.


  21. GHLearner says:

    Someone can’t settle down and committ. The sadness, regret and also relief is so well hinted at.


  22. I bet their happiness is what causes the deepest pain. Great writing–as usual.


  23. How sad, beautifully evocative, the piece is a triumph


  24. James McEwan says:

    Yes it is hard to let go. So much behind this story.


  25. I love the way your story builds, how the ‘pitch and toss’ pauses for for the dramatic ending. I really liked the phrase, squeezing liberty from his soul. Great story.


  26. Looks like he is afraid of commitment and the responsibilities that go with it. Almost like a teen!
    Great depth!


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