The Magpie – Friday Fictioneers, June 2021

Copyright Alicia Jamtaas

Here, in this hide-away, are the missing pieces of several jigsaws.

Letters I’d misplaced, whole bundles of them, and others which have never reached me… all here.

My diaries, the illicit gifts furtively unwrapped and hidden away, cherished photographs of my other life… all here in my daughter’s secret place.

Having sated herself on both the public and private aspects of my life, whilst destroying much of the latter in the process, she’s moving on.

“I have a right to a life of my own,” she says, “I need to be free.”

She was never burdened with a sense of irony.

Here in the UK the hot weather is set to break later tonight with thunderstorms spreading up the country. Love a good thunderstorm. Thanks to Rochelle for finding the time to lead the Friday Fictioneers every week.

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 The Magpie – Friday Fictioneers, June 2021

  1. neilmacdon says:

    What a delightfully monstrous child

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anita says:

    She is a courageous girl, daring to live in such a place 🙂
    A rebel in her private getaway with secrets!


  3. Sue says:

    Courageous or monstrous? I haven’t quite worked it out


  4. Dear Sandra,

    The daughter sounds anything but courageous. Self-seeking, self-absorbed and downright sneaky. And now she wants to move on? Sad and infuriating story.




  5. jenne49 says:

    What a brilliant piece of writing that generates so many questions. About the daughter, but about the mother too. Just brilliant


  6. Tannille says:

    Wow, so much to this tale. I’d love to read more. Complicated relationship.


  7. pennygadd51 says:

    You are a wonderful writer, Sandra. This piece is terrific from beginning to end. That last line “She was never burdened with a sense of irony,” is a cracker!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. msjadeli says:

    Sandra, one of your best character studies yet. You could build a world around these two.


  9. msjadeli says:

    p.s. GREAT title!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Love that last line. I have been in a lot of AA meetings where I hear somebody go on and on about how they used to be so selfish. “Enough about me. What do YOU think about me?”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Relationships between mothers and daughters are often difficult. A very intriguing multi-layered story.


  12. My daughter did that to me I’d slap her! And I love thunderstorms too.


  13. Nobbinmaug says:

    I love the metaphorical use of the shack in the woods as a secret hideaway for both mother and daughter in their troubled relationship.


  14. Dale says:

    I can’t top all the other comments except to say this is so well done. You have a gift!


  15. mjlstories says:

    They both sound a handful! Intriguing.


  16. What a selfish child! Destroying memories, spying (in a way), and then moving on because she deserves her own life! I don’t like her very much. Well done!


  17. James McEwan says:

    Amazing.I have heard of parents infringing into the lives of their children, reading their diaries etc, but a daughter being so deceptively secretive and prying into her mother’s life is a different angle. Oh, by the way, can I have all those missing jigsaw pieces back, thank you.


  18. Reading this made me feel thankful that my daughters grew up fairly normally. Either that or I didn’t realise what was going on!


  19. elmowrites says:

    I enjoyed the story, but it’s the title that stands out for me. Excellent choice.


  20. Dora says:

    Wonderfully wrought story. The magpie moves on after picking apart her mother’s life.


  21. draliman says:

    Yes, please, go away and be free. Leave the poor mother alone to pick up the pieces. Delightful child 😮


  22. plaridel says:

    everything has an expiration date whether we like it or not.


  23. GHLearner says:

    Superb writing. I have neither sympathy for mother nor daughter. If you grow up finding out that your mother lives a secret double-life you’re not going to be all understanding and frienshipy, especially in puberty. Young people tend to extreme reactions. And if the mother doesn’t see that and bemoans the irony… obviously they never really talked to each other. But there’s so much more in that story- We’ll never know unless you write it. 🙂


  24. granonine says:

    Oh dear–questions, questions! Did Mom have two lives? Was she a bigamist? Or were these secrets from before she married and had this selfish child? Daughter seems not to care much about what she destroys. Bitterness kills everything it touches.


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