Almost Saintly – Friday Fictioneers, December 2021

Copyright Claire Fuller

“Wouldn’t want one in my workshop.”

“One what?” Geoff says, glancing around.

“The ree-tard there – a liability, I’d say.”

“He’s no problem. Someone’s gotta help ‘em.”

“Better man than I am, Geoff Roper.”

“His ma begged me to give him a job; what can you do, hey?”

“You’re a push-over.”

“Way I see it, you have to do your bit. You can’t just pass them by, Hank. You can’t pretend they don’t exist.”

“You got kids, Geoff?”

“… Nah, we wasn’t blessed.”

The customer leaves.

Geoff locks the door behind him.

“Let’s go, son, your ma’s got our supper ready.”

It’s been a tough week, so I was grateful to Rochelle, our Friday Fictioneers leader, for reminding me of the story I posted for this prompt last time, otherwise I might have been missing in action yet again. Click on the frog to read other stories

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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35 Responses to Almost Saintly – Friday Fictioneers, December 2021

  1. neilmacdon says:

    Those little social lies, eh? They gnaw at you

    Liked by 1 person

  2. pennygadd51 says:

    A very thoughtful story, Sandra. It must be awful to feel ashamed of your child for a disability. We might feel judgmental about the shame but it can be hard to avoid. Your title sums up the ambiguity of the situation brilliantly.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dale says:

    I’m thinking the only reason Geoff didn’t say the boy was his was to refrain from the real ree-tard from feeling foolish… as Penny said, a thoughtful one!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rowena says:

    Sandra, from my perspective this is probably your best yet. Beautifully written. My dad has his MBA but he ended up owning a large scale lawn mowing business, which employed people who were generally down on their luck, or in between jobs. He employed his brother in between jobs and my cousin who has a disability until he was driving the weedsprayer along the nature strip at death defying speeds. He also felt everyone needed to do their bit.
    Best wishes,


  5. michael1148humphris says:

    A story that is well worth telling again. Earlier this week I was at a party for so called disabled individuals, it was a fabulous night, no one got drunk, but every one was having a good time.


  6. elmowrites says:

    I love the title, Sandra, and so much to think about there. I’ll be wondering how good a man Geoff Roper is all day!


  7. granonine says:

    “Almost Saintly” is an excellent title for this all-too-human story. I’m glad things have improved, to some degree, in the way we see disabilities.


    • Sandra says:

      I must confess, this story is about 7 years old, and I was vaguely uncomfortable about using the word ‘ree-tard’ this time. Last time it felt cruel. This time if felt almost prosecutable. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      • granonine says:

        I believe that one of the things we do, when we write, is to portray people as honestly and realistically as possible. That doesn’t mean we ARE our characters. Doesn’t mean we agree with what they say or do. No one who matters would think you would use such a term yourself.


  8. msjadeli says:

    You’ve created richly textured social commentary with your story, Sandra. It pushes all of the emotional buttons.


  9. Sue says:

    An all too human story, well done


  10. James McEwan says:

    There is a lot of depth to this. Particularly the way Geoff handles Hank, he needs to keep this customers on side but at the same time gain respect. The truth may change Hank’s opinion of him. I like how the white lie holds the story together.


  11. Dear Sandra,

    How sad Geoff couldn’t own up to the fact that the boy was his son. I think there could be more story to this one. Still a goodie.




  12. Awful that he wasn’t honest. Great dialogue though.


  13. Pretending to be the good samaritan rather than telling the truth. He probably thinks it’s good for business.


  14. plaridel says:

    how long can he can his secret? just wondering.


  15. draliman says:

    I had a feeling during his conversation with the customer and all his excuses/reasons that he harbours a sense of shame and doesn’t feel that his son (as we later find out) isn’t “good enough”.


  16. GHLearner says:

    This hurts on so many levels, you really tugged on the emotion strings here. What a despicable customer, and worse father. Great stuff, Sandra.


  17. Bill says:

    A nicely composed tale with a twist. Well done, Sandra.


  18. Bear says:

    He;d be a better father if he admitted the child was his. That said, I don’t like people using the term “re-tard” or any such reflection of the same. It’s demeaning. Sorry, I believe that ALL life is valued… just some are MORE valued than others. A person with special abilities is one of the most valuable members of our society… just for starters, their life reminds us of how truly blessed we ALL are. Lovely story, just wish our society was different, is all. Have a Great Christmas!


  19. A story worth telling and re-telling. … And, I’m sorry it’s been a rough week. Am tardy with this one, but I’m sending good juju anyway, for a better week this time. Na’ama


  20. dorahak says:

    Wonderfully told, thick with irony, Sandra, and it all makes a mockery of love when it comes up against shame.


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