The Recluse – Friday Fictioneers, June 2020

Every day, an endless procession of feet trudging past her basement window.

Dirty feet in flip-flops, tortured feet in stilettos, bouncing Nike-clad feet.  With time the scene changes to soft suede slouch boots, and then to wellington boots – shiny ones, floral ones, staid green town-and-country wellingtons.

Eventually there are no feet at all, the windows whited-out for weeks before white turns to grey and crunching or sloshing noises replace the silence.

In this way she marks the passage of time.

There are other ways, but this she has chosen.

Or was it chosen for her?  She can’t remember now.

 

Just back from an early morning walk on the beach.  Our little town is coming back to life, the beach-huts have re-appeared, the lifeguard station is back, and deck-chairs are stacked ready.  Let’s hope the virus isn’t biding its time.  Thanks to Rochelle for leading the Friday Fictioneers in their weekly stroll.

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.

76 Responses to The Recluse – Friday Fictioneers, June 2020

  1. neilmacdon says:

    What a lovely glimpse into an odd mind

    Like

  2. ceayr says:

    Strange, sad, and immensely powerful.
    ‘Or was it chosen for her?’ is devastating.

    Like

  3. Tannille says:

    Interesting how some things mark time.

    Glad normality is creeping back. Same here. Went to a coffee shop yesterday after a 3-month isolation.

    Like

  4. Reena Saxena says:

    Good to know life is getting back to normal in certain places.

    Like

  5. This is heartbreaking!

    Like

  6. MrBinks says:

    Love it. I think we were in the same mindset with this one!

    Like

  7. dmmacilroy says:

    Hi Sandra,

    I like the way you placed yourself in her shoes by showing us others footwear. i especially liked winter.

    Are you a lifeguard? For some reason I pictured you seated high in a tall white chair beneath a sun shade, eagle eyes watching the surf for struggling swimmers. Don’t forget your sunscreen.

    Cheers,

    Doug

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Lifeguard??? Moi??? Nothing could be further from the truth. Rochelle’s the water babe, I’m strictly on the water, not in it. Thanks for reading and sorry your stats were disrupted by visitors from these shores.

      Like

  8. Dear Sandra,

    I could picture the different shoes and feel a sense of isolation. Well shod story.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Anita says:

    How some people mark time! Interesting story.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Such a beautifully written, poignant story, Sandra.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Iain Kelly says:

    Great expression of her particular view of the world, and left wondering how she came to be stuck with it. If you haven’t seen the Korean film Parasite which won the Best Picture Oscar last year, I recommend it. It features a family who use their basement window in the same way.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Loved her personality and the way you went in her mind and told from her perspective.

    Like

  13. Sue says:

    Interestingly told

    Like

  14. Dale says:

    Brilliant take, Sandra. That last line brings us up short!

    Like

  15. Gabriella says:

    Very good take on the prompt, with a very powerful last line.

    Like

  16. You always have something thought-provoking, Sandra, and each piece is always so well-crafted. In this case, aren’t we all a bit like this these days, with fewer people out and about (at least for a time.) Glad things are opening up, but at least here it’s been accompanied by a surge in virus cases.

    janet

    Like

  17. msjadeli says:

    I’m sure shut-ins have time-markers just like this. Well-done.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Yes, I feel as though I’ve missed spring altogether, even though I’ve been out and about in the garden. The seasons are to be enjoyed in the comany of others, I’ve realised.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. pennygadd51 says:

    That last line is devastating, moving her from the status of eccentric to someone who is being seriously abused and has been for years or even decades. Brilliant!

    Like

  19. granonine says:

    Beautifully written. I can see exactly how it would happen. Becoming a recluse without meaning to? It can happen!

    Like

  20. I really liked this. Wonderfully descriptive and powerful.

    Like

  21. oneta hayes says:

    Sandra, this is a splendid bit of writing that really follows the picture prompt challenge.

    Like

  22. How very real, and very sad! I’ve lived in a basement for a time, not quite facing a road, but a driveway of the house of the family that rented me the space. It was an odd thing to see only feet, wheels, and the odd eye-to-eye with a stray cat.
    I don’t miss it. And yet, it was a roof over my head at the time.
    This was very well done, Sandra!

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks for reading. I can’t imagine living with a window only at foot level. I think I might go crazy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, it was not fun. It was necessary at the time, and I’m happy to have had the option for a safe roof over my head, but I would not recommend it as a way of life … Now it’s just another story (sorry) in the building of my life … 😉

        Like

  23. brilliantly original take, a basement of course!

    Like

  24. Different seasons, different footwear. A touching final line.

    Like

  25. 4963andypop says:

    This imprisonment or hermitage in a basement (it is, if you’ll pardon my pun) an abasement of human life) is very poignant. The waste of life, the struggle for sanity. It begs for a backstory.

    Like

  26. Liz Young says:

    Gods! I hope isolation doesn’t last that long.

    Like

  27. draliman says:

    Quite sad. A recluse or locked away, I wonder?

    Like

  28. plaridel says:

    like they say, this too shall pass.

    Like

  29. wmqcolby says:

    Great imagery. I could see myself there. Makes me wonder what she was trying to remember. Good sense of mystery. Great, Sandra! 🙂

    Like

  30. Mike says:

    It is such a strange world that you describe her living in. Yet it remained me of railway station waiting rooms. [pre coronavirus]

    Like

  31. Nobbinmaug says:

    As long as those flip flops aren’t embracing socked feet, it’s not such a bad existence. Your story was far too serious for that joke. I get the feeling, her stay in that basement is not self-imposed. The way you suggest that and that she’s accepted her circumstance is very well done.

    Like

  32. An interesting way to measure the passage of time. There is an underlying sadness here as she watches time march by. Superb story!

    Like

  33. James McEwan says:

    Long term isolation is torture, and anything that keeps you sane should be applauded.

    Like

  34. Oh, how I remember wearing those stilettos … OUCH !!!
    This could be so many here in Florida. Children who’ve created a basement life for their aging parents. SAD … beautifully conveyed. Have a peaceful weekend.
    Be safe … Be Healthy … Be Happy
    Isadora 😎

    Like

  35. Emotionally powerful, I could imagine the basement’s limited view, humanity reduced to the shoes they were wearing. You capture the poignant mood so well.

    Like

  36. I’ve been through these shoe milestones. Now it’s slippers or crocs.

    Like

I'd love to hear your views; it reassures me I'm not talking to myself.

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