Charity – 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
Roger Bultot.

© Roger Bultot

Click here to hear the author read his words:


She pats down her hair, looking effortlessly smug.
I’m just so busy, she confides in me, her voice carrying to the far corners of the room, those poor unfortunates need me so much!
I wince.
I teach them how to survive here, she continues loudly, how to recycle, how to re-use the things that others cast out. They utterly adore me because I spend so much time with them!
And how are your little ones, both well? I ask, desperately eager to change the subject.
Oh they’re fine, she waves dismissively, I have a nanny to take care of them.

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53 Responses to Charity – Friday Fictioneers

  1. robprice59 says:

    Read it three times and came to a different conclusion each time. Keep ’em guessing?


  2. She’s such a clearly defined and distinct character. You can get a sense of exactly who she is in just this short exchange.


  3. James McEwan says:

    Altruism to the point of selfishness, indeed.


  4. Bill says:

    There is no smug like effortlessly smug. Well told and message received.


  5. Dee | Grammy's Grid says:

    Well done and the audio was a nice addition!!


  6. Having nannies and wet nurses, weren’t they the norm in aristocratic and wealthy society? Where the mothers graced the nursery for about 20 minutes per day like a presiding deity and left to do other stuff. Maybe that’s why the children turned out to be so broken. Good one CE.


  7. There are several things in your story and about your character that make me wince. There are people in need, and a need for people to help, but often this gets turned around and upside down. Fantastic writing and storytelling as always!


  8. draliman says:

    Sounds like her priorities are a bit off. Of course, you don’t get recognition for caring for your own children…


  9. notestowomen says:

    Sometimes charity is needed most at home. Powerful and sad story of parental neglect, Ceayr.


  10. subroto says:

    Charity does not begin at home for this one. She probably lives life through the social media too. Nice one.


  11. My like button too doesn’t work, but i loved this, so true in certain circles. I’ve got a mate whose friends all have nannies and send the kids away to school, sometimes you’ve got to ask yourself, whats the point? I was sent away to school for what my folks thought was “for the best” But I didn’t have parents to nurture me from 10 to 18, by the time I was 18, they didn’t know who I was. This was both of our losses. I listened rather than read by the way. Good stuff


  12. Michael Humphris says:

    I enjoyed how you built this story.


  13. Iain Kelly says:

    Charity begins in the home, someone once said…


  14. Sue says:

    I think I’ve met this woman! Brilliant writing 🙂


  15. My teeth were gritted in the first line – brilliant!


  16. Dora says:

    When someone is as “effortlessly smug” as this do-gooder, you know someone else is suffering for it. Effortlessly ironic, C.E.


  17. Rowena says:

    Very well portrayed, CE. It looks like a few of us recognise this woman in one guise or another. This woman seems to personify the idea of building treasures on earth instead of heaven. She’s so annoyingly pompous. Makes me feel like knocking her down a peg or two.
    I’ve been joing in on online parenting forum for parents of teens over the last week, mainly because I’ve been disconnected from a lot of my friends with kids the same age as mine due to covid.There was a message from a Dad whose ex-wife was doing her medical degree and she ignored the child when she was staying with her and she child feels quite rejected and the Dad has been left to do the explaining. I personally believe you can’t outsource your kids, especially as they get a bit older and need more understanding. They don’t need you hanging round all the time, but they need you when they need you. It’s exam and assessment time here atm and I’ve been touching base with teachers as they’ve gone a bit off track somewhat due to covid. Trying to maintain the work /family balance is a struggle for most families but kids will know where your heart is.
    Best wishes,


  18. pennygadd51 says:

    I daresay she gives the kids 20 minutes quality time a day, and they absolutely adore her for it. It’s not the time you spend but the focus…
    Ouch, what a painful little story, CE.


  19. Tannille says:

    Warped priorities, people are funny like that.


  20. granonine says:

    My like button is still not working, but consider yourself liked 🙂

    I’d be willing to bet money that those poor folks do not adore her. Someone so full of herself tends to assume that everyone else loves her as much as she does.

    I’ll bet her kids and the nanny aren’t too impressed.


  21. Sandra says:

    She’s certainly going to be leaving a legacy somewhere. I think I know some women like this actually.


  22. Dear CE,

    It’s safe to say, her kids will remember how much time she didn’t spend with them.




  23. Reena Saxena says:

    Well… maybe they are happier with the nanny 🙂


  24. neilmacdon says:

    Now that’s satire. mate, in the Swiftian vein


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