The End Of The World For Now : Friday Fictioneers

by , under Fiction Prompts, Flash Fiction

Rochelle  picked a beauty this week for her hundred-word flash fiction prompt. Click the link below the story to see the other entries.

bandstand

“I’m not going.”

He set his lip in that way he had. The stubborn lip, she called it.

“Chas, that’s nonsense. You love it. Besides, they can’t play Bix without their cornetist. They’re counting on you.”

He shook his head. She stood, came to him. She laid her hand on his cheek.

His eyes pooled, but he wiped them on his cuff before they could spill.

“What’s the point, Gracie? I really don’t see the point anymore.”

“My dear man,” she cooed. “My dear, dear man. The point is to keep on going just as we have been. That’s all.”

  1. rgayer55

    We all have at least one stubborn lip, don’t we? What an encouraging and supportive wife. I can only surmise that something drastic has happened (a seriously illness?) that’s making him feel this way. I have confidence she’ll convince him to go. Well written. The emotion really came through.

    Reply
    • Simon John Cox

      Funny, I read it completely differently – I thought her reply was quite dismissive of his feelings, and the way she acted tenderly while telling him what he would do bordered on the sinister. To me it came across as manipulative…

      This illustrates one of the things that I love about these short fiction challenges – as we’re constrained in terms of the amount of explanation we can provide there is necessarily a lot of ambiguity, and the same piece can mean wildly different things to different people.

      Reply
      • J Hardy Carroll

        Yeah, I hear you. Weirdly, I was thinking of P.D. James’ Children of Men when I wrote this. There’s a scene where the narrator Theo, witnesses a Quietus Ceremony where the old people are chained to their chairs. As I wrote the piece, I thought of how little comfort there can be in even the most affectionate interchange.

        Reply
  2. bykimberlylynne

    Interesting way you’ve crafted a superficially sweet story around a toothy theme. Very nice exploration of the question: At what point does encouragement and support become manipulation and compulsion? Love it.

    Reply
  3. Francesca Smith

    It is interesting how two people read this in the same light, but were drawn to separate conclusions.
    At first, I also thought she was speaking to a child!
    On the one hand, she should have let him make up his own mind, but on the other, rather than let emotions trap you, it is better to carry on.

    Reply
  4. aliciajamtaas

    I see this as a very supportive relationship under the strain of a hardship the reader doesn’t know. I like how people are reading it in many different ways. Kudos.

    Reply
  5. rochellewisoff

    Dear J Hardy,

    You don’t tell us what exactly has happened to dishearten Chas but you show us a loving supportive relationship. Nicely done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Reply
  6. gahlearner

    At first I thought she was speaking to a child, too. But the ‘I don’t see the point…’ speaks of sadness, lack of hope. She’s so supportive, it’s a great story.

    Reply
  7. Tracey@WhatsforDinnerDoc.com

    Thank you for trusting the reader. Clearly you made us think about encouragement vs. manipulation. I chose encouragement but I will stay mindful about when I might be crossing the line. Well done.
    Tracey

    Reply
  8. Ellespeth

    When one person in a relationships is asking what the point is in going on, it’s very comforting – I’d imagine – to have someone insist you just keep going.
    That was my dad’s philosophy of life…get up in the morning and shower and just get on with it.
    Ellespeth

    Reply

Don't just stand there.