Matricide – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by the wonderful Rochelle, the undisputed master of what I call Sound Bite Fiction.
She sets the weekly challenge, the standard, and the prompt photo.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on the picture below, which this week is supplied by David Stewart,

© David Stewart

Click here to hear the author read his words:

Matricide

My mother was a hero.
I don’t remember her, of course, but I have heard the story countless times.
We lived on the top floor of one of those old apartment blocks where everyone knew everyone.
The fire started far below us.
The stairs were impassable so we used the fire-escape.
Smoke and flames belched from windows
With me in her arms she struggled down the creaking structure.
An overweight neighbour lumbered on two floors down.
The ancient staircase collapsed.
We fell forty feet onto cobbles.
She broke my fall.
I broke her neck.
The family never let me forget.

This entry was posted in Sound Bite Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

66 Responses to Matricide – Friday Fictioneers

  1. That’s a great ending after the setup of the title. I can’t imagine having to live with that burden. Great story.
    -David

    Like

  2. Damn…that’s sad. I felt the sadness of a child growing up like that. Hurts my heart.

    Like

  3. doodletllc says:

    Excellent…love the chomps and bites as the tale clips along…with no winners anywhere.

    Like

  4. Colline says:

    Brilliant last lines – and so unexpected.

    Like

  5. MythRider says:

    Difficult to hit Like.
    Sorry for your lose and the guilt. It’s the fire’s fault. Not yours.

    Like

  6. Oh god, what a sad story. I sadly know some children who could not escape blame for things they couldn’t have done anything about and had no blame in besides. Oy. The cruelty.

    Like

  7. Mike says:

    Social distancing needs to be taken to a new level here. Perhaps a pair of ear plugs might be the answer

    Like

  8. Oh this is good, very good. Brilliant

    Like

  9. plaridel says:

    survivors always have guilt feelings. it comes with the territory.

    Like

  10. Aah here we have yet another sordid tale of a bitter, resentful, entitled family. I’ shall just bet if you listen to them, they’ll insist they’re such a wonderfully happy tight.knit bunch, of whom he should be happy(and of course o so unfathomably grateful) to be a part. ..Good story

    Like

  11. draliman says:

    Ouch. Loved the last three lines. A very unforgiving family, when they should have been grateful one of them survived.

    Like

  12. And thus therapists stay in business. I wish his mother could protect him from her hallowed place. He having to bear the brunt of her decision. I think if she had been spared and the baby had died, they wouldn’t have let her forget either. A family to stay away from, for sure. Great writing!

    Like

  13. I really enjoy listening to your stories, C.E.! A tragic one, for sure, not only did he lose his mother but he had to hear ‘how’ over and over from his family who blamed him. A well-woven story as always!

    Like

  14. Nobbinmaug says:

    I bet if mom had it to do over again, she would do it exactly the same way.

    Like

  15. A wonderful, tragic story. I can imagine the protagonist’s life after so clearly just from the tone and the last line.

    Like

  16. Oh… to be the cause even though accidentally is one burden to bear, especially if everyone else is in agreement.

    Like

  17. It’s as if the family bear him somehow responsible. A sorry story indeed.

    Like

  18. granonine says:

    From the title, I was expecting a story of an evil person murdering his mother. In truth, it is evil people BLAMING a child for killing his mother, when he had no knowledge. How sad life can be.

    Like

  19. Sad but enthralling.

    Like

  20. Rowena says:

    C.E., I wonder if your neighbours read all these brilliant, but very eerie fictions you post here. You probably drive a Toyota Camry and wear a brown cardigan.
    I really loved this and your usual twist at he end, and again i didn’t see it coming and so emotionally powerful as well.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    Like

  21. Anita says:

    Sad that mom sacrificed her life. The burly neighbour made matters worse.
    Situations like these play out exactly as they are meant to be…
    The poor survivor., i.e. you, will always continue to remember thanks to unfailing reminders…

    Like

  22. pennygadd51 says:

    A very neat telling of a tragic tale – tragic in the original event, and equally tragic in the feelings of guilt fostered in the survivor by their family.

    Like

  23. Reena Saxena says:

    Good to know the family survived to recall the horror.

    Like

  24. Dear CE,

    Such a tragic tale told in your inimitable matter-of-fact way. Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  25. Tannille says:

    Not if that’s a bittersweet ending or just bitter? Powerful and well put together.

    Like

  26. Iain Kelly says:

    I wonder how mother feels about it – happy to have saved her child, or like the family, a bit annoyed.

    Like

  27. What an ending to what was already a tragic, beautifully written story.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Like

  28. MrBinks says:

    Wow, this is really powerful and an absolutely perfect example of 100 word story telling.

    Like

  29. neilmacdon says:

    Absolve the guilty. Punish the innocent. Nicely told

    Like

  30. trishsplace says:

    Oh, how sad. Survivor’s guilt, such a classic hook. Nice work.

    Like

Leave your Sound Bite here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.