Friday Fictioneers – The Blues

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story, based on a photoprompt, 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. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

FF - The Blues 180523

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The Blues

‘The blues’ they call it, and I can understand why.

In the pre-dawn light of a dull March morning, with drizzle coalescing on the windows, nearby houses loom, shapeless, out of the blue-grey mist.

I boil a kettle for coffee. Did I really used to grind beans fresh every morning?

I suppose I’d better wash the plate that I used for my microwave dinner last night.

No. That can wait until after coffee.

Perhaps I’ll feel better when spring finally arrives. Gerald’s plant looks cheerful enough.

It’s nearly a year now since he died.

I wish I could join him.

93 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – The Blues

    • Dear Neil
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I found the emotion of the prompt very ambiguous. There were cheerful lights in the crystal, but those blue misty windows behind. However, it was the microwave that swung me towards pessimism…!
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Keith
      Thank you for reading and commenting. Spring certainly can lift the mood, but I fear my narrator has much more grieving to live through. However, eventually I’m sure she’ll enjoy life again.
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

      • Of course you can not enjoy one thing to the fullest, if you did not have to suffer the other and vice versa. But do you think there is a direct fair balance (1: 1) within a human life or is it not rather that there are people who suffer more and people who slide through life almost without suffering?

        Liked by 1 person

    • Dear anie
      That’s a very profound question, and I can only offer a personal opinion.
      No, life isn’t fair. I am outrageously privileged, with plenty of fresh, tasty food and a secure roof over my head and in a peaceful and beautiful environment. Just a flick of the dice, and I could have been born in Syria, or Afghanistan or Yemen where I would almost certainly have none of those things. All I can sensibly do about that is support charities who work in those places, and campaign for social justice; none of which stops me being unfairly privileged.
      But when I say that grief is the price we pay for joy, I am thinking more in a personal way. If we experience joy, we are at some point going to lose it, and that will hurt.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for your answer, which I is very interesting. No doubt that we are very privileged alone through our birthplace. And after living in Brazil for almost 5 years, I am very aware that we are moaning at a very high level. But I am also aware that the situations in which people live (financially, politically, socially …) are not solely responsible for happiness. On the contrary, I believe that people who have a lot of money tend to be more unhappy because they attribute their existence and how they are treat by other people only to their money and not to their personality/ soul.
        But you are right, I also should definitely do more for justice and make room for it in my life. This is not only a help for others, but also brings happiness and social developement for myself.
        We can only develop if we have mistakes and gaps and we can only learn if we lack knowledge … and we can only value happiness if we know the sadness. But I do not think we have to lose our joy once we found it, even if death is a mean thing that we all have to deal with sooner or later. I believe joy strengthens and gives us power and we should learn to deal with grief and pain in the present, but actively seek the path to joy …. if that works and make sense …; )

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    • Dear Susan
      Thank you for reading and for your kind comment. I think the photo is a good prompt, because it’s so rich in detail. I’m glad you felt the story was bittersweet, because the prompt felt very emotionally ambiguous to me.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Such a poignant story. I often wonder why we are given great love only to have to lose it. The turn of the seasons and the plethora of anniversaries and memories must be incredibly hard to bear.

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  2. That is horribly lonely. My Dad died over a year ago and I know my Mom misses him terribly. She’s in an assisted living home now, so she doesn’t have the constant reminders of him around her anymore. Also, living with other people gives her a lot of built in company. We’ll be selling their house soon.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Lynn
      Thank you for reading and for your lovely comments. I think it was an excellent prompt because it holds so much emotional ambiguity. I allowed the outdoor feeling to corrode the domesticity, but I could equally have chosen to have the beauty of the fine crystal bowl, with its flower, and the play of light in its facets, push back the gloom outside.
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Bjorn
      Thank you for reading, and for your very helpful comment. I’m so pleased to learn that the detail of not grinding the beans worked as planned.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Clare
      Thank you for reading and commenting.
      My dad died six years ago, when my mum was 86. It took years for her to regain her zest for life, but she has done. In fact I’ve just come back from taking her out for lunch at a nice hostelry about five miles from her home, and we had a lovely cheerful time. There’s hope beyond bereavement, but it takes time. I hope your mum comes through okay.
      With best wishes
      Penny

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    • Dear Jan
      Thank you for reading and for your thoughtful comment. ‘Hopelessness’ is a good word to describe her state of mind. My mum was bereaved after a long marriage – over 60 years – and that was her state of mind for a long period. Thank goodness she came through, and now takes pleasure in life again!
      With very best wishes
      Penny

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    • Dear Irene
      Thank you for reading and commenting. Yes, age and grief are both dragging her down. It can take years to recover some enjoyment after losing a life-long partner, but it can be done. There’s always hope!
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautifully done, Penny. For some, grief totally takes over. For others, they do so in moments reserved for it. One is not necessarily better, I should think.
    This reminded me of my first Dear Mick that I wrote, one year after his death. One of the things I told him about was my using a single serve coffee filter now. But I do still grind my coffee 😉
    I hope she finds something to live for.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dale
      Thank you for reading and commenting so kindly. You and I seem to be soul-sisters in our love of good coffee!
      When my dad died, mum was devastated – well, they’d been married over 60 years. My sister and I tried our best to support, but mum grieved almost continuously for about three years. Then, gradually, she started to pull through, and now she has some genuine enjoyment again from life; which is great.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

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      • I should think after almost 60 years there would be devastation as well as total loss on where to go from there. It would be like losing a limb as well as part of your heart.
        Good for your mum for slowly coming back – can’t be easy in your late 70s, early 80s (if I do the math…)

        Liked by 1 person

    • Dear StuHN
      Thank you for reading and commenting. There’s a surprising amount of blue in the photo, and that, together with the microwave (possibly the most depressing cooking equipment imaginable) prompted me to write a sad story

      Like

  4. This one made me teary eyed, Penny. My dad passed away 5 years before my mother. She kept a little picture of him on the dining table so they could share meals together. She was a woman of strong faith. I know she couldn’t wait to be reunited with Dad again. I saw them recently in a dream. They’re both young and happy now.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is heartbreaking and beautiful. It’s so real – even cleaning a single plate is more than the mind can muster when gripped by depression. The depression that often follows grief – leaving you lost in the sadness, unmotivated to live. This is so beautifully written – makes me want to reach out and hug her x

    Liked by 2 people

  6. So sad that your narrator wants to join Gerald a year later. Your descriptions in the second paragraph are so strong. Hopefully the need to keep his plant going will sustain her until spring comes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sarah Ann
      Thank you for reading and for your thoughtful comment. It may well be that keeping Gerald’s plant alive will sustain her, and give her just enough will to live.
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Like

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