Familial dichotomy

My last post was almost a month back.

I am appalled. It started with ‘Not today. Positively tomorrow.‘ and eventually became ‘Is today actually today or is it already tomorrow?‘ By the time my brain smog cleared, I was wallowing in ‘Shame on you. You need to get your act together, lady!‘ Until today, eventually, after hours of self-motivating perk-up monologues, I resolved to ease myself back in with the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt.

A very wise Linda said – When you’re ready to sit down and write your post, look to the publication closest to you, and base your post on the sixth, seventh, and eighth word from the beginning of the page. Enjoy!

I picked up the paper beside me, which happened to be a real estate commercial, and read the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th words.

That’s it. That’s bloody it.
The reason why I have not been able to write for the last month – I just couldn’t get what is the serene location nor the quiet down time.

Visitors tire me. In-laws tire me out even more. Just having to constantly watch what comes out of my mouth is tiring, its tiresome. What was fascinating, and only in retrospect, was the familial dichotomy between shared upbringing and divergent lifestyles. There was a warmth that seemingly infused the room as the siblings reminisced, and yet we were constantly aware of the undercurrent of egotistical clashes that could suck that very warmth out at any moment. Verbal communications did not always speak the same language as the emotional interactions. We smiled, we laughed, we feasted, we bid tearful farewells, and then we heaved a secret sigh of relief as some unnamed burden lifted from our souls.

It took a few more days to reclaim my living space and my routine.

Now here I am. A little older, a little more cynical, but definitely also a little richer for having gained some more insight into the intricate tapestry that is my family. After all, family shapes us. And constantly reshapes us.

We look to connections with immediate family in order to understand our place within larger communities: our neighborhoods, cities, countries and worlds, our genders, economic classes, generations, races and sexual preferences. ”
– William Tolan



Jim walked through the almost desolate museum. Except for the curators and their obviously bored grandchildren, there was no one to be seen. Not even the lure of free tickets and popcorn had worked. As of now, the museum housed more extinct species than living ones.

‘Museums are becoming extinct,’ he lamented to his grandson.

‘Pops, you need to change with the times. Who wants to see some inanimate bones, when they can experience everything in n dimension in the Virtual Reality museums.’

‘Flying with the Pterosaurs and being chased by a T-Rex is not science, it is science fiction.’

‘Maybe, but at least people pay to see that.’

In response to the 146th Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge, based on a photo by Yinglan Z.


In life there is no ever after, and happily needn’t start with a fairy-tale. Twenty years of marriage had taught me that.

Ours wasn’t love at first sight. He wasn’t a romantic sweep-a-girl-off-her-feet type of guy. But he was honest, hard working, and more importantly, he gave me respect and space, a courtesy rarely extended to women of my generation.

When that mutual respect transformed into friendship and love, I cannot say.

We did not discuss things like feelings, or mark milestones with expensive gestures or elaborate adventures. As I packed away his things, I realised that while we may not have had any grand moments, we had enjoyed many happy ones.
In the brief time that we had together, we had created many beautiful memories.

Like this silly old snow globe that he gave me for our first Christmas…

“Show me that,” my mother-in-law requested from her wheel-chair. “You still have this! Your father-in-law, bless his heart, gave this to me for our first Christmas.”

I held on to the globe tenderly. My beloved had been a romantic after all.

In response to the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge of December 17th 2017, based on a photo credited to A Mixed Bag 2013

Price and value

You know mom, diamonds are not actually very valuable. Its all just an artificial hype. Consumerism at its best. You sure wasted a lot of money on that.

Trying to keep a nonchalant face, I look at the diamond on my finger. Big, shiny, expensive. The envy of so many. It looks so beautiful and desirable from the outside, that we often forget that if you ever took it in, it could kill you. One of the hardest materials, it makes a perfect cutting tool.

Yes, this diamond was the perfect reflection of the man who gave it to me.

Little does my son know, it’s not just money but an entire youth that was wasted on this.

I tried to slip it off, but after so many years, it was almost as if it had fused into my hand, become an inseparable part of me. It would be hard to take it off. But not impossible.

I soap up my finger, twisting and yanking. Slowly and painfully, inch by excruciating inch, I finally get the ring off. Wiping it clean, I carefully wrap it in soft tissue, and firmly shut it away in a box.

Pack up your things, darling. We are going to go stay with grandma for a few days.” I tell my precious son.

The 12th Scrivener’s Forge exercise in creativity, challenges us to write a scene in which we take two unrelated things and make one flow from the other.

I’ll admit that I am a little confused about what exactly is expected, but this is my attempt.


Around the lamp post we spun, you and I, as the rain came down drenching us in magic and merry oblivion. We made promises of eternal love and togetherness, vowing never to stop dancing in the rain.

Then the sun came out, drying out the rain, obliterating all traces of our childishness, and in the harsh light of day we saw only practicality. Life happened as life does.

Yet even now when the rain is falling and the night twinkles, a little child peeps out from her hiding place, and yearns to dance around that lamp post again.

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

In response to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers challenge of 15th December

The looks of me

Call me vain, but I’m quite aware of my classic French looks.

Thanks to goods genes and careful grooming, I am often told that I look more like a model than a businessman, so when women give me a second look, or when the air-hostess serves me with that extra smile, I take it as a compliment. I enjoy the attention.

But a man staring at me unflinchingly, and un-smilingly, is rather unnerving. I try not to look, focusing instead on my drink, not particularly enjoying this attention.

As we get ready to disembark, I see him pull out his white cane.

Now I stare.

In response to Bikurgurl’s 100 Word Wednesday: Week 49 challenge, based on a photo by John Luke Laube

Oh the seasons

In response to Frank’s Tuesday Photo Challenge, a humorous take on the seasons four…

Hot days are past
Winter is here
Frost Giants aren’t real
But sleet’s a real fear
We rake leaves no more
Instead we get to shovel snow

The lakes are filling
The flowers start to bloom
A burst of colour
No more winter gloom
But good days pass fast
and sun’s about to blast

Goodness gracious
Great ball of fire
Even without budging
I still do tire
Will all the perfumes of Arabia
not camouflage this odor of mine!

The trees are shedding
making a really pretty mess.
Too bad I cant say the same
about the shedding of my tress.
Tis the perfect season for my bones old.
Its not too hot, and its not too cold.

The World’s Best Brother

He adored her.
To him, she was the world’s best sister. Anything she wanted, she got.

When they were four, mama asked her, “What do you want for Christmas, Annie?”
“A doll house for me, and a tea set for Adam.”
“Don’t you think Adam should choose his own gift!”
“A tea set for me,”
Adam affirmed.
“You’re the world’s best brother,” she said, giving him one of her bear-hugs.

For her 8th Christmas, she got a pink bike, while Adam got one in red. When she decided that his was better, he swapped without hesitation.
“You’re the world’s best brother,” she swore.

Before her 12th Christmas party, he spent the entire day with her at the mall, helping her pick her special dress, and accessorizing it.
“You’re the world’s best brother,” she squeezed his hand.

On her 16th Christmas, she caught him wearing her favourite red lace panties.
“You’re a sick freak,” she screamed. “Get out of my room.”

They did not celebrate Christmas next year.
Mama went to the cemetery after church. Dad just stayed at the bar.

© Eric Wiklund

In response to the December 10th Sunday Photo Fiction challenge