The Sisterhood – Friday Fictioneers, July 2021

Copyright Sandra Crook

We watched as she unwrapped him, one layer at a time, pausing to caress, assess, sometimes rationalise before moving steadfastly to the next layer.

There was a doggedness about her, transitioning slowly from an unwillingness to accept each revelation, through a resolve to overlook, and often culminating in self-recriminations. 

She took longer than we had.  At times we thought she may never get here. It was like watching our lives in slow motion.

Her destination was inevitable.

We made space for her; she duly arrived.

We commiserated, embraced, relaxed, and anticipated the next.

We’d not have long to wait.

This week’s picture is the remains of two straggly pine trees which used to overhang our house. Every season of the year brought new deposits of one kind or another, needles, fluff, cones, twigs. Neither of us like cutting down trees, but when the roots began to raise the paving stones on the terrace, heading for the garage, we had to bite the bullet. Watching its slow decay as it makes a home for all kinds of insect and fungal life has been sad but fascinating. Thanks to Rochelle for choosing the pic, and for leading the Friday Fictioneers.

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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52 Responses to The Sisterhood – Friday Fictioneers, July 2021

  1. neilmacdon says:

    Mysterious and atmospheric. I’m not entirely sure who the sisters are, and what they’re doing, but I liked the feel of this very much


  2. Dear Sandra,

    I’m not sure who she’s unwrapping. But I’m completely engaged in the process and the emotions expressed.




  3. A strange tale. I couldn;t quite follow what exactly was happening but it had good feeling.


  4. elmowrites says:

    Beautiful photo, and the sense of death leading to life is matched by your haunting story. I have so many possible interpretations in my mind, some more grizzly than others!


    • Sandra says:

      It appears to have been a tad obscure. 🙂 It was a kind of ‘ex-wives club’ thing, the former wives watching the latest wife discovering just who or what she had married. Then it occurred to me the ex-wives may have all met a grizzly end… so your instinct was right.

      Liked by 1 person

      • elmowrites says:

        Oh gosh, now I’ve reread it with that in mind and it’s all even better! Your characters could easily relate to mine, so I should have seen it earlier. Thanks for the explanation, I loved revisiting this story.


  5. An intriguing tale indeed. I’m left wondering who he is and why he was wrapped.


  6. Pingback: Pay the Price – Friday Fictioneers | A Dalectable Life

  7. great photo. We’ve recently hauled decaying logs onto our own property for just this purpose. I love the story, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. msjadeli says:

    I’m lost as to what’s happening, but it’s intriguing to see such focus by females on a male — for good or ill 😉


  9. Dale says:

    I love this, Sandra. There are so many ways we can interpret it and you’ve created such an atmosphere.


  10. pennygadd51 says:

    What a fascinating take on the prompt – and what a beautiful description of how honeybees procreate!


  11. plaridel says:

    i don’t know but somehow your story reminds me of the following lines from e.e. cummings:

    your slightest look easily will unclose me
    though i have closed myself as fingers,
    you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
    (touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

    or if your wish be to close me,i and
    my life will shut very beautifully,suddenly,
    as when the heart of this flower imagines
    the snow carefully everywhere descending;

    well, i’m just probably overthinking or something. 🙂


  12. draliman says:

    I feel a bit sorry for the bloke. It sounds like he’s being passed from “sister” to “sister”, getting dissected and then discarded 😮


  13. I guess the unwrapping was virtual rather than her actually stripping him off with an audience.


  14. Bear says:

    That sounds almost scary. Great story,


  15. James McEwan says:

    it is almost like a birthing, and a realisation they are twins.


  16. The wives are now ghosts, waiting for the next one. Who is this awful man? Its a really powerful, intriguing piece.


  17. Sheena says:

    Even your story has so many layers. I unwrapped a few after reading all the comments. Loved it.


  18. athling2001 says:

    Mysterious and beautiful piece. Well done.


  19. Nobbinmaug says:

    My initial thought was a mummy, then the metaphorical sorting through the layers, getting to know someone. When I read your explanation in the comments, I reread it, and it all made sense.


  20. michael1148humphris says:

    I saw a group of butterflies, escaping from their pupae, each to their own interpretation I guess


  21. A sad passing into a group I’m sure she never wished to be a part of, yet she found camaraderie and comfort there. A powerful description of the stages of grief at the death of a dream. Fascinating as always, Sandra!


  22. Oh, there is so much in this! Lovely! (and thank you for the photo for this week’s FF!)


  23. Tannille says:

    So sad the trees had to be cut. We’ve done the same. After decades they grow too big and start causing issues to the pavement. I dread to think what root systems can do to a house foundation.

    I read the story as a metaphor to a relationship. All that unwrapping.


  24. GHLearner says:

    What a great metaphor. I read it as the ‘spirit’ of a shelter for abused women.


  25. Sandra says:

    I think that’s the best interpretation yet. I wish I’d had that in mind instead of flitting between the ex-wives/murdered wives club. Thank you!


  26. subroto says:

    It seems that a relationship is being analysed, possibly that of a serial cheater and his victims. Either that or she is an embalmer who works with mummies. Possibly the former. Thanks for the photo of the week too.


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