Pot Plant – Sunday Photo Fiction

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge presented by my old friend Al Forbes.
The idea is to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by what you see in the picture (below).
This week’s prompt
is again one of Al’s own intriguing creations, and reminded me, slightly out of the blue, of a story I wrote years ago that is included in my book, Medville Matters.
This is an abridged version, cut to meet the word limit of this challenge.

Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

© Al Forbes

Click here to hear the author read his words:

Pot Plant

‘So is your mum not coming up this afternoon, then?’
Has she ever let you down, dad?’
Her mother has been dead over twenty years.
She pats his hand and looks around the small ward.
‘Ach, I’m an old fool! That’ll be twenty four years next month since I lost her, you know.’
he lost her.
No mention that she lost her mother.
In that, at least, he is always consistent.
Yes, dad.’
‘You’ll take care of my plants, that peace lily was your mother’s favourite, you know.
I remember her wiping the leaves, snipping and pruning, she had green fingers all right.’
She gave her father the plants about ten years ago, after his last cat disappeared, as cats do.
Her mother never tended a plant in her life.
Yes, dad.’
‘Cal was here yesterday afternoon, never misses a visiting, you know. Aye, I don’t know what I’d do without him! He’s been a real tower of strength since I lost your mum.’
Her brother’s freak drowning accident eighteen months ago was the final straw.
Although Cal had been home only once in the twelve years since he emigrated to Australia, her father refused to accept it.
His decline was swift and terminal.
‘Yes, dad.’

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11 Responses to Pot Plant – Sunday Photo Fiction

  1. Mike says:

    The human mind is a complex thing. You nailed this in this story.


  2. athling2001 says:

    What a sad story. I’m glad he has somebody left, even if he doesn’t know she is the only onel.


  3. A change in mood from you today Sir, extremely moving.


  4. willow88switches says:

    Moving story, but I have to say, initially, I was confused by the narrative voice, especially the use of italics and the flipping back and forth between “he/she” – I had to read it 3 times before I was sure who was “speaking” ….. brain is a bit mudded I guess. Sometimes it’s hard to get “ghosts” to sit still in voice, especially harder for “condensed” versions – but I think the tension, from the narrative itself is just the right line of “unease and impatience” … good job capturing this!


    • ceayr says:

      Thanks for persevering, Pat, you are probably right, this piece was not right for editing.We tend to forget that the reader does not know what has been cut, but we still see the whole story! Glad you got there eventually.

      Liked by 1 person

      • willow88switches says:

        I think it was my brain C.E. – at least, we’ll chalk it up to this …. I’ve just read it again, and I think for me, the “hard part” is within the first few lines, because I’m not sure if it’s an internal dialogue the daughter is having with herself – the limitations of “typing”/formatting perhaps ….. but on the whole, today, my mind clearer, it still is a strong story, and it makes sense enough. 🙂

        Cheers (and I’ll be trying to respond to emails soon, I’m a bit behind and wrapped up in NaPoWriMo)


  5. EagleAye says:

    So sad to see her father fading away after all that heartache. She’s got a great heart to endure all that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ceayr says:

      Thanks, Eric.
      I am sure you know the story of the elderly gent who is asked why he visits his wife in the care home every day, when she clearly doesn’t know who he is.
      Because, he says, I still know who she is.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Anna Rymer says:

    Really heart felt and very real! What a loyal daughter!

    Liked by 1 person

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