Beached – Friday Fictioneers, January 2020

Copyright Bradley Harris

Sand is everywhere; in our limp fish-paste and cucumber sandwiches, my salt-sticky hair, and chafing in the elastic of my knicker-legs.

Dad rages over his forgotten sunglasses.  My brother, the butt of his anger, has wandered off, so now Dad’s squinting and snapping at Mum as she nervously fingers her matted cardigan.

She so wanted a holiday.  But probably not this one.

Nearby, another family eat crusty rolls, paté, fruit and salad from plastic containers.  They laugh, play together, the grown-ups drinking wine, touching each other, teasing their kids.

There’s another life out there.

And that’s the one I’ll have.

Those were the days hey? 🙂 Thanks to Rochelle, for all that she does for the Friday Fictioneers. Click on the froggie to join us with your 100 word story.

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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58 Responses to Beached – Friday Fictioneers, January 2020

  1. michael1148humphris says:

    I liked now you compared the families and also took us behind the scenes

    Like

  2. neilmacdon says:

    Beautifully observed, Sandra

    Like

  3. James McEwan says:

    I can only cheer her on. I enjoyed how the internal thoughts and emotions came through vividly in the story.

    Like

  4. Anita says:

    Touching story.
    We teach kids a lot. Adults need to be careful.
    Love the last line. There’s decision & certainty involved.
    Glad that this child knows exactly what she/he wants.

    Like

  5. Dear Sandra,

    I could feel the grit in this…both the physical and emotional. I like the way you end with a note of determination. Well written as always.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  6. Tannille says:

    Beaches always look inviting… but all that sand…

    Like

  7. Dale says:

    Oh yes, there is definitely another life out there. So well done, I felt the sand in my own knickers 🙂

    Like

  8. liz young says:

    I spent my teens in Hove, walking on the beach to soothe my frequently broken heart, and always grateful that the beach was shingle, not sand. It’s almost impossible to get shingle in your sandwiches or your knickers!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. msjadeli says:

    So richly nuanced with human nature. A lot of story in 100 words!

    Like

  10. pennygadd51 says:

    I really like the way you contrast the two families. The pivot “She so wanted a holiday. But probably not this one” swings our attention to the happy family in a very fluent fashion; a lovely piece of technique.

    Like

  11. I’m sure that one day her children will enjoy the life she saw and envied from afar. (or he!)

    Like

  12. mjlstories says:

    When we used to go camping; it could be a very intimate space where family dynamics were on show. Beautifully captured. I feel her longing for something better.

    Like

  13. jillyfunnell says:

    Poignant, so well observed and written. I could feel the pang in the narrator’s heart.

    Like

  14. Iain Kelly says:

    Trips to the beach always sound so idyllic, but this is closer to the reality! The sand clean up afterwards is what I always remember most. Worth it for some memories though? Maybe! Nice one 🙂

    Like

  15. Bill says:

    Well crafted thoughts, Sandra. I enjoyed reading it.

    Like

  16. elmowrites says:

    Inspiring sense of hope at the end of this, Sandra. You have taken us so deep into the family through this little snapshot. I hope your MC fulfills her dreams.

    Like

  17. plaridel says:

    should take the bad with the good. i’m sure there are better days too. 🙂

    Like

  18. draliman says:

    I like that your protagonist is aspiring to a more ideal family life. I bet that other family has their fair share of bad days too, though.

    Like

  19. Your MC is on a mission. Some very beautiful descriptions, Sandra.

    Like

  20. i b arora says:

    grass is always greener on the other side

    Like

  21. Ah, Sandra, this was palpable, as was the contrast with the other family on the beach, and the sharpness of the determination. Well done!

    Like

  22. Margaret says:

    The small details bring the whole scene, and the characters, to life, and I’m there with that suffering little girl. One can read between the lines and feel that this isn’t an isolated instance of her father’s mean-spiritedness. I hope she achieves her dream.

    Like

  23. Danny James says:

    Hope she gets it.

    Like

  24. GHLearner says:

    Good for the girl to aim for better things. Margaret said it all, better than I can, it’s exactly what I thought.

    Like

  25. They say the grass is always greener on the other side. Not true but still nice to envision!

    Like

  26. magarisa says:

    Your story reminds me of Tolstoy’s saying: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” In this case, both families are surrounded by sand, but one is definitely more bothered by it than the other. Really enjoyed your descriptive writing.

    Like

  27. granonine says:

    Excellent job of contrast and comparison. Those who have grown up with an angry father will understand the yearning for something better.

    Like

  28. ahtdoucette says:

    Having been in both versions of this story, I can feel the differences beneath the surface. I hope the narrator gets the better, “simpler” life they are looking for. Well told with so many memories.

    Like

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