The World Out There – Friday Fictioneers, February 2023

Copyright Roger Bultot

The need of others to demonstrate their affections almost immobilises her at times.

Caught in the headlights of their emotions, whether expressed in words, gifts or physicality, she flounders.  Love is an anathema to her, brought up as she was in a household where other currencies prevailed… spite, anger, violence.

She’s working on it though.

Her therapist says she owes it to herself to release her inhibitions.

Says she needs to bridge the gap between her world and the real one.

To release her ‘loving soul’. 


She puts away the paint remover, stows the sponge and walks on.

Tomorrow maybe.

Thanks as ever to Rochelle, for her leadership and continued commitment to 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 World Out There – Friday Fictioneers, February 2023

  1. James McEwan says:

    The conflict of inner strife is apparent, where buried emotional pasts are difficult to wipe away.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tannille says:

    Christmas has The Grunch and Valentines Day has her.
    Childhood trauma runs deep. But she might be making improvements, baby steps at a time.


  3. Dale says:

    Wonderfully done, Sandra. We not “one size fits all” and to not have known love in childhood makes it a helluva lot harder to understand it as an adult. I like that she hasn’t written herself off completely.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a stunning take on the prompt. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Rowena says:

    Great insight in this one, Sandra and beautifully written and I really felt such a sense of sadness for her at the end and for those I know who are stuck in a similar spot.
    Best wishes,


  6. elmowrites says:

    I like that she’s holding a tiny bit of hope underneath all that pain. So much of our past shapes the way we are, and if all she’s doing is scrubbing at least she isn’t inflicting her pain on others.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. neilmacdon says:

    Wonderful character sketch, Sandra


  8. Iain Kelly says:

    What we learn from our parents… Nicely done as always, Sandra.


  9. Dear Sandra,

    It’s hard to give something that was never given. Well done.



    Liked by 2 people

  10. michael1148humphris says:

    A great character sketch, and a great opening line.


  11. Having a therapist offers some hope. As you said, tomorrow maybe.


  12. Liz Young says:

    Perhaps her therapist needs to start avoiding cliches!


  13. Says she needs to bridge the gap between her world and the real one. This line struck a note. It’s apparent she’s been hurt but who is he/she to say which world is real


  14. Bill says:

    Excellent, Sandra. We are each doing the best we can. What makes a person?


  15. I empathized with her.
    We are all her, i suppose.


  16. Nobbinmaug says:

    It’s hard, maybe impossible to overcome the things ingrained in us during childhood. The desire to change can go a long way. It looks like she’s taken the first steps.


  17. Justawriter says:

    The ending was super anticlimactic, but I enjoyed it. You have a sharp sense of humour.


  18. poetisatinta says:

    Great take on he prompt ❤


  19. plaridel says:

    if anything, there’s hope. she still sees her therapist.


  20. authorfleurl says:

    Baby steps. Nicely done, Sandra, great take on the prompt.


  21. She will get there in her own time.


  22. Forestwood says:

    “brought up as she was in a household where other currencies prevailed.” A wonderful phrase and poignant story, Sandra. Well done.


  23. Nan Falkner says:

    Good story Sandra! Thought provoking.


  24. msjadeli says:

    My mind says you’re describing an “anti-love” vigilant that has been removing external demonstrations of affection? If she does that to the heart graffiti, I wonder what she does to those kissing in public… Fascinating malady that it sounds like she might be recovering from. It’s tough when the ugly emotions are the only ones you’ve witnessed during your upbringing.


  25. Her therapist is right. Hopefully one day, she’ll release her inhibitions.


  26. Heather Musk says:

    I hope she has the patience and faith in herself to be able to explore love and what it might mean for her. So sad that all she’s known are negative emotions.


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