City Life – Friday Fictioneers, April 2020

Copyright Roger Bultot


The city barely sleeps.

Neither does it dream; it has nourishment enough from the broken dreams of those who spend their lives fluttering like moths, beating fragile dusty wings against an unattainable light.

Occasionally it dozes fitfully towards dawn, but seldom more than that.  The streetlights may dim a fraction, the drumming of tyres on tarmac may fade to a soporific hum, yet  tranquility is rare.

So eventually my children will return home, to be restored by silence, stillness, darkness, peace.

They will know where to find me when the time for them is right.  I can wait.


As the lockdown continues, the list of chores seem to grow daily.  When did I ever find time to have a life outside the home?  Thanks to Friday Fictioneers and Rochelle for this little foray each week outside the confines of our ever-cleaner, ever more beautifully maintained home. 

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' and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

75 Responses to City Life – Friday Fictioneers, April 2020

  1. ceayr says:

    Jings, Sandra, in addition to your unmatched ability to read people, you also do creepy so well!
    I don’t know who or what your narrator is, but ‘silence, stillness, darkness, peace’ made me squirm.
    ‘I can wait’ caused a small shudder.
    Really cool!


  2. dmmacilroy says:

    Hi Sandra,

    Noodles steeping in the sauce pan. My chores are done for the day. Dinner soon.

    This is one of your best and that’s saying something, because over the years you have consistently delivered story after excellent story. I hope the readers in this new generation of FF have figured that out, because nothing is more certain in my mind. (For your consideration, and with a request for patience with one so long removed from the fray, please read your story absent the words total and perpetual. The ‘used to be me’ heard it this way and if you like it then there’s two words gone and the city’s song still beautifully revealed.

    An evocative tale, well imagined and written.

    Stay safe. I’m watching out for you.

    Yours, D.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra says:

      Lovely to hear from you, Doug, and am enjoying reading your daily blog from the backwoods. I share many of your concerns. As you can see, I’ve taken your advice, and for the benefit of those reading later, the amendments were the removal of ‘total’ tranquility and ‘perpetual’ soporofic hum. I agree – adjectival excess creeps in to take the writer unawares. Thank you. And you too stay safe. From what I hear you are safer than most of us. And that’s good. Looking forward to a day when you may grace these squares once more.


    • pennygadd51 says:

      Doug, As one of the relative newbies I can assure you that Sandra’s writing is held in very high esteem. It is clever, elegant and sometimes heartfelt, and only rarely less than excellent.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent write. Atmospheric and more than a little ghostly – with a great enigmatic ending.


  4. neilmacdon says:

    You create a world and a mentality with so few words, Sandra


  5. Tannille says:

    Loved the mood of this story. Perfectly fits the prompt.


  6. Sue says:

    Most atmospheric, but is there something eldritch?


  7. Dear Sandra,

    You’ve captured the hum of the city. Well crafted with subtle nuances. You never cease to amaze me.




  8. Beautifully written slice of life from the perspective of a parent. Well done.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos


  9. Mike says:

    Yes some cities never seem to sleep, I really enjoyed reading this Sandra


  10. Iain Kelly says:

    An eerie atmosphere with a little shudder at the end. Fits the current world we live in very well.


  11. Lovely meditation this week, Sandra.


  12. Lynn Love says:

    I agree with CE there – that had a really sinister edge there, intended or not! Almost makes me fear for those children to scream – don’t go home! at them 🙂 Great story
    Chores a plenty being done here – the garden is more ahead than it’s ever been (I have seedlings everywhere!) and my other half has painted pretty much every room in the house. What will we do with ourselves if lockdown goes on much longer? Only kidding – I’m getting A LOT of writing done.
    Keep well


  13. Anita says:

    Nice words. May our loved ones be safe wherever they are.
    Sweet are the fruits of patience.
    May your waiting time be good and after the patience, may you get the fruits!
    Stay safe.


  14. granonine says:

    Sounds like death, and Death is waiting. Don’t know if that’s where you were heading, but that’s I what I saw. As always, an intense and layered story.


  15. What soulful atmospherics. I a m a huge fan of your writings. Reading you is an unvarnished pleasure, Sandra


  16. Dale says:

    So funny… I didn’t feel it sinister so much as sad. Beautifully written. You truly are a mistress of this genre.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I like the image of fragile dusty wings. I hope your children return without any trouble.


  18. pennygadd51 says:

    This is a wonderful piece! You use effective description to characterise the city as the place where dreams – and with them, people – are broken, and then change the mood to the patient waiting of the mother, who knows she will have to pick up the pieces.


    • Sandra says:

      Many thanks for reading and such a lovely comment, Penny. Sorry to be late acknowledging it – the days seem to run together and I lose track of where I am in the week.


  19. I felt something else as well… the sense of being locked inside if you are “at risk” for covid-19 it means you have to wait for children and grand-children a long time. I can sense the stillness inside even if the city is humming.


  20. Nobbinmaug says:

    This is intriguing. There’s kind of an ominous, creepy feel, but, at the same time, there seems to be an underlying sense of hope.


  21. msjadeli says:

    Your description of city life is uncannily accurate and poignant. My take is that the narrator is death, where peace finally may be found for the dashed dreamers. Another great story, Sandra!


  22. plaridel says:

    it’s a description of new york city as i remember. well done.


  23. Atmospheric and a tad unsettling, perhaps as those times are.
    Hope you are keeping well, these oh-so-odd times!
    Na’ama (from very odd NYC)


  24. draliman says:

    Lovely, she knows her children so well. The excitement of the city only lasts so long for many.


  25. Scratching my head about people finding this piece unsettling, Sandra. Loved it.


  26. We do have to wait for them!
    Loved it!


  27. Liz Young says:

    I have a mental list of jobs around the house I mean to do, but writing is more important!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Thom Carswell says:

    Some beautiful imagery in this piece, Sandra.


  29. wmqcolby says:

    Hey, Sandra! How are you? Excellent story, masterfully constructed. I sure enjoy the mood it has.
    Five rooftops and chimney sweeps. 🙂


  30. You’ve created the atmosphere of the city, even in its not-so-silent early hours. I like it very much.


  31. I like the the mysterious city, as a character in a way. As others have said, it is creepy The last two lines evoked a rendezvous in a tomb or in the after-life. Well done.


  32. Ananda says:

    An understated bluntness. A calm hopelessness. A beautiful bird’s eye of the city


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