Afterthought – Friday Fictioneers

It’s time for Friday Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, our very talented fairy blog mother. I thank her for her dedication and leadership of this group. Thanks also to The Reclining Gentleman for the this week’s beautiful photo, just in time for Valentine’s day.

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly writing group, challenged write a 100-word story based on a photo prompt. If you’re interested in joining in, here are instructions. All are welcome.

PHOTO PROMPT © The Reclining Gentleman
PHOTO PROMPT © The Reclining Gentleman

Genre: Realistic Fiction (100 words)

Afterthought

The dust never settled in Rhea’s house. Only the broken remained, intact and unpatched. The faucet still dripped its feeble presence.

The door creaked with Janie’s entrance.

“Here. It was grandpa’s favorite color.” Janie offered a bouquet of yellow daffodils, picked fresh from the neighbor’s garden.

It didn’t matter then. “Why would it matter now?”

Janie shrugged and skipped away, leaving the splayed flowers behind.

After washing a vase, Rhea posed the stems in a vase where they exceeded their expected stay.

Every time she wanted to throw them out, she sniffed the bright petals. “Maybe I never knew him.”

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For more stories from the Fictioneers, click here.

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64 thoughts on “Afterthought – Friday Fictioneers

  1. “… leaving the splayed flowers behind.” This line is so descriptive. And the longer the flowers lived within the vase, the more she wonders…did I really know him? How much do we really know about our parents or grandparents? I have a small book I’ve been filling in periodically — one for my son and one for my daughter. It asks me questions about my childhood, my memories, what games I played when young, what was school like, etc etc. Somehow, I think this will leave something behind of the way life was….help them to know me better, when I gift them with these little books. But then, who know? Perhaps they’ll sit on a shelf and ultimately be discarded — sent with all the old books to a recycle place or tossed. But I do think, it’s important to let our children and grandchildren really “know” who we are.
    Well done.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for all your wonderful comments, Lillian. I think that you’re exactly right. The longer the flowers stay in the vase, the more she will question if she really knew him. Do we ever really know someone? It’s a mystery. I think there are always pieces you never get to see. Your memory books sounds fabulous and it makes me want to do one! That is a true gift to have a collected book of memories straight from the source. I’d like to know where you found it or if it’s something you’re putting together on your own. I should hope your kids will cherish it. I bet they will! At the very least, you put it out there for them to discover. I suppose it’s up to them if they want to take it further. Anyway, great idea! I’m thrilled you enjoyed my story.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was a wonderful story. I ordered these special albums — well, not really special. They’re adjustable so you can add pages. Pages are actually acid-free black paper and each page is slipped into a plastic sleeve — the kind that protects the photos, paper and your writing. I used an acid-free white pen to write on the black. Did some research on ancestry.com first. I had drawers of mementos family had sent me…..a letter from an aunt to her then sweetheart in WWII. Marriage certificates from my grandparents….newspaper clippings…I did have to get some special mending tape for some of the things. I have my mother’s baby “book” — really only about 8 pages — she was born in 1913. They turned out truly fabulous….I just have mine to finish — did one for each child. If you’re interested, I can look up the album and pages and send you the amazon.com page they’re on. It was a chore — but a chore of love.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks again, Lillian. What treasures you have! You really got me thinking about the possibilities after reading about your labor of love. I have lots of odds and ends now all over the place that should be pulled together somehow. I’d love to get that information from you. I would appreciate that! I’m sure all your work will be worth the effort.

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    2. I have such a book too, although I’ve not written in it for some time. I agree with Lillian, it would be nice for them to know the real us, especially the grandchildren who didn’t get a chance to know us when we were young.

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      1. It’s a wonderful idea. I tried to provide details of my kids’ lives to enjoy in their later years. It has since been abandoned. I’ve never considered doing one for my own life. After losing my dad, I can see what a gift that would be. Thanks for your comments.

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  2. It’s funny… last year I bought three 5-year, One-line-a-day Diaries: one for me and one for each of my boys. Sometimes I write about the day and sometimes I leave snippets of memories. I’ll be handing them to each of the boys in four years’ time! Maybe they will read them, maybe hey will chuck them.
    This was a lovely and poignant story, Amy! I loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a great idea, Dale. When writing this story, I certainly didn’t think about these things! I’d like to try it. I know the hardest thing is keeping it gong when our lives get busy. It’s a great thought though. Your kids will be lucky to have these journals and, hopefully will appreciate them eventually. Thank you, Dale.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think we don’t ever know someone completely. Perhaps everyone has a hidden piece they don’t share or give away. That’s what I tend to think. Yes, exactly. The flowers slowed things down and made her more aware.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A very touching story! I love the imagery of the these lines: “The dust never settled in Rhea’s house. Only the broken remained, intact and unpatched” and this one: “Janie shrugged and skipped away, leaving the splayed flowers behind.”
    There is SO much in this story — the various types of loss, both physical and emotional, and the loss that one experiences when one realizes one never really knew someone while they were alive.
    But then, do any of us ever TRULY know someone?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thank you! I’m glad my story touched you. Thanks for all those nice things you said. 🙂 Yes, I totally with you about loss and that you feel it both physically and mentally, and are maybe not even aware of how it’s affecting you at the time. Then you have a little set-back like Rhea had and it’s a real eye-opener perhaps. A deeper loss because we can’t go back in time. But I think it does put a different spin on your present life in hopefully a positive direction.
      I think that’s the age-old question. Do we ever know anyone completely? Or, as someone else mentioned, maybe we know people in a very specific way that isn’t always the same for someone else (i.e. we know versions of people). I think that might be an interesting story to pursue. Hmm.

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    1. Thanks for all the kind words, Bjorn. They mean a lot. When you lose someone or something, I think it does have a way of refocusing or re-prioritizing what really matters in life. So, I think you’re absolutely right. This could be a great beginning for Rhea.

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  4. When we lose a parent or grandparent we learn so much from hearing other people talk about them. They knew them at such a different level that it can make us feel like we are the ones who never truly knew the person who died. It’s just that we each have different relationships with people so we all know a different version of them. I don’t think anyone ever has the complete picture. Rhea seems to need to learn this or something like it at her own pace.. I love the symbolism of the daffodils sitting in the vase

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very well said, Siobhan and a good point for Rhea. People have different relationships with others, sometimes based on function, age, time, job, etc. And they cross over. And then people change, so people do have relationships with the earlier or late version of someone, too. It’s all very fascinating to me. Thanks so much for wonderful comments.

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    1. Thanks so much, Laurie. You think people will live forever until they’re gone, even if they’re getting older and are sick. I think you still can’t believe it when they’re gone. I’m glad you enjoyed my story.

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  5. My father always picked daffodils for my mother. He always said, “Its best to give people flowers when they’re alive and can enjoy them, than waiting till they die and sending flowers to the funeral.”

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  6. Dear Amy,

    I loved the irony of the broken being intact. It works beautifully. Your thought provoking piece has certainly started the flow of conversation. The mark of a good story. I have so many questions about my grandpa…so many questions I wish I’d had the foresight to ask. Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments, Rochelle. I’m so happy it sparked the conversation here. I think we all have so many questions about someone while they’re living, but don’t always have that opportunity to ask. But I think even you had all the time in the world, you might not get it all or has you say, not have the foresight to ask. It’s an interesting puzzle to think about. Thank you.

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  7. Thought provoking tale. Lovely imagery.
    The skipping through the generations is so true. I only recall hearing a few of my own father’s wartime memories when he was telling my own children. And then so soon it’s all too late.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s interesting how another layer can be exposed watching how our parents relate to kids and/or their grandchildren, just as children learn something new about their parents when they become parents themselves. Thanks for your nice comments.

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  8. If I were to die today I do not feel even my youngest, and the one I am closest to really knows me. He’s 23 and been pretty much wrapped up in his own life for most of it, as it should be. It’s not until you are maybe even your thirties that you appreciate your parents as people having been young once, and lived a life beyond being your parent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s interesting to think about even if we would rather not. I suppose if you put something together for them to remember you by it would be in a light that you’d would like them to remember you in, in how you see yourself. I agree kids are too wrapped up to understand their parents at a young age and are too busy trying to understand their own lives. I know I was. Now that I’m older and am a parent, I see my parents so much differently. Thanks for your thoughtful comments, Dawn.

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  9. When my grandmother was recuperating from a broken hip she cut colorful pictures from magazines of the time and pasted them into a scrapbook. I still have it, full of pictures from magazines of the 40’s. It brings back my childhood when I see it. I’m writing a memoir of my life from birth until the year I graduated high school. If my children read it fine, if they don’t fine. I’ve enjoyed writing it. Things like those flowers can also remind us of people we loved. Well done, Amy. 🙂 — Suzanne

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    1. I imagine seeing your grandmother’s scrapbook is really insightful. It would seem such a simple thing to do, but has so much meaning for the rest of us. I don’t have such a thing from my grandparents. In fact, I only met one of them. That’s wonderful you’re writing a memoir. When your kids are ready, I’m sure they will appreciate reading it! It’s a wonderful gift you’re giving them, Suzanne. Thanks.

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  10. I just love everything about this – the way it’s written and its message. It’s wistful and poignant, and relatable to anyone. And your sentence structure is so incredible here – it’s always something I pay attention to in your work. Great job as always, dear friend! It’s always a pleasure to read your words! Hope all is well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What wonderful, kind comments, Kelly. I appreciate you taking the time to write such nice comments. I think this story came to me in a more simple way than others do, like it was on the tip of my tongue. I glad you could relate to it, too. Thanks so much. All is pretty well. Just getting back from a trip, so I’m tired! I see you were traveling, too. I don’t know about you, but I always need a day to recover. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree! It’s always tough to transition back to reality. And every time we get away for a little while I realize how much I needed it! I’m sure you feel the same way! Cheers to the rest of the week and being productive, right?! Or at least we will try! xo

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