Mother love

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story with a beginning, middle and end in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz (the blue frog) on your page. Link your story URL. This story complements the one I published last Wednesday

FF - A strange place for a theophany 170816

Photoprompt © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Mother love

“I’m worried about Deborah. I want to visit her today.” Jennifer tugged the silken peignoir tighter around her bony shoulders.

Charles sighed.

“She has to grow up sometime, darling.”

“You know she doesn’t always eat properly.”

It was only a fifty mile drive.

The lift was broken, so they had four flights of stairs to climb. Jennifer wrinkled her nose at the smell outside her daughter’s flat.

Deborah, stick-thin, in crumpled clothes and with matted hair, opened the door and peered out. She had a look of exaltation, which swiftly faded.

“Mum! You know I don’t like you coming here!”

35 thoughts on “Mother love

      • Thanks for explaining that to me , dear Penny .I admire your compassionate attitude towards readers who , sometimes ,don’t get it right . I have had bitter experiences as a reader , but that doesn’t deter me from commenting or ask for clarifications when I don’t understand 😀 Thanks again .

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the perceptive comment, Christine. Certainly a Westerner would think she was suffering from an eating disorder. But would someone from one of the mystical and contemplative traditions agree? And yet you’re right; she needs help whichever route she wishes to pursue.

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      • Hi Christine!
        Yes, major depression certainly fits the physical appearance, and you’re right that eating disorders are often associated with a desire to have a beautiful self-image – it’s just a distorted image. Would a look of exaltation fit with depression, I wonder?
        At all events, the ‘true’ explanation of any story is the one that carries conviction to the reader, irrespective of any intentions of the author. It’s very valuable to me that you have commented with your impression of the story, because it helps me improve my skills of writing and plotting. Thank you very much indeed for your comments!

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    • Yes, neither mother nor daughter have a healthy relationship with food. Well spotted, that the mother, too, is in need of counselling. Her reasons for not wanting to eat are different from her daughter’s but the end result is the same.
      Thank you so much for the care with which you read the story!

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    • I imagine her dad as a rather phlegmatic, practical man. He might sit down beside her and listen to what she is trying to achieve. Maybe he will be able to help her see a safer way forward – for example, guided meditation in a organistion that values mystical experiences.

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    • Thank you for the comment, Miles. The symptoms in the story almost fit that diagnosis, but there is the look of exaltation as she opens the door. What caused that, I wonder? She could certainly use help to improve her mental health or she could do herself serious harm.

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    • Yes, and even in “good” families, trust can be lost in the transition between teenager and young adult – especially if the child feels guilt about aspects of their behaviour.
      Thank you for your comment, Lynn – you’re very kind!

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      • Difficult to get it right as a parent of a teen too, trying to coax them into being more thoughtful without laying on the guilt, trying to show you understand what they’re going through. Always a juggle. My pleasure 🙂

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  1. Even though both your stories can stand alone, together they paint a great picture. Mother love, worry, care, rebellion, finding oneself and one’s god/spirit/inspiration, it’s all there. Maybe mum can teach her the Zen of keeping clean and healthy. 🙂

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  2. You squeezed in so much in so few words Penny – well done! The mother knows her daughter well possibly because they are similar. The look of exultation made me pause and wonder if she is on drugs which would be in keeping with her appearance?

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