Eye of the Beholder

“You know that scene in Papillon where Steve McQueen is locked in a pit for five years?” he said once. “I’d be fine with that.”

She’d smiled at what she thought was a joke.

Years later, when the kids had fled to families of their own and they both retired, they’d sold the house and taken a snug cottage on Marquette Island. The closest village was down  six miles of dirt road.

“Not a human in sight,” he laughed. “I don’t have to see anyone but you. This is paradise!”

She stared at the empty vastness, saying nothing for now.

 

Friday Fictioneers

17 thoughts on “Eye of the Beholder

  1. I have me a feeling she’s in need of a bit more than just his visage and company … Hopefully she’ll find a happy medium – going into town (six miles or not) once or twice a week? Volunteering someplace? Chatting online … ?
    Nicely done, Josh!
    Na’ama

  2. Let us just say that they don’t seem to have the same idea of paradise… Here’s hoping they find a way to make it work – together…

  3. Papillion was one of my favourite books when I was very much younger. I’m with him on avoiding other humans but not sure I’d like something so desolate. I fear for her state of mind and think he might live to regret moving there.

  4. You give us an intriguing and thought-provoking situation, but I find it a little unsatisfying as a 100 word flash. It’s a situation that cries out for a larger canvas. They’re a couple who have raised a family; they know each other very well, and must be able to work together. I’m sure she’ll have a plan, and it will be the working out of that plan that would drive a longer story.
    Alternatively, it’s just crossed my mind that this may be an allegory about being ’empty-nesters’. At all events your story has led me to think, which is good!

  5. I hope she is able to tell him how she really feels. I have an idea she is not too keen and maybe he’ll get bored with the quiet and find more balance. I hope you have a wonderful holiday time, Josh!

  6. This is the flip side of the adage “opposites attract.” While we sometimes revere the ideal of the writerly hermit, such a lifestyle has its disadvantages. One cannot force isolation on someone who does not want it at least not without repercussions.

    Marquette is beautiful, though!

Don't just stand there.