Mañana

This is a submission for Friday Fictioneers, https://rochellewisoff.com/ , prompted by the photo below, kindly provided by Sarah Potter.

To read other people’s stories and add your own, please click the link:

http://www.inlinkz.com/new/view.php?id=717580

Mañana

Severe mental impairment it says on this letter. I’m not mental. I’m 86. I have the odd wotsit, but Mam always says I’ve a marvellous memory.

If they come for me they’ll get a shock. Nearly 84 but strong as an ox. Boxed in the army. They treat me like a cripple. She wants to get somebody in to fix the lean-to. Like I can’t do owt anymore. I could lift that sideboard over my head.

So I told her, tell your bloody fancy man to stay away. I’ll do it tomorrow. Pass me the remote.

Alzheimer’s be buggered.

100 words

 

 

 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Flash Fiction. Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Mañana

  1. neilmacdon says:

    You covered a lot of ground in that. Well-done!

    Like

  2. Dear JS,

    In so few words you painted a colorful picture…sad, funny and touching all at once. Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sandra says:

    Beautifully done. And that voice was so familiar… 🙂 Linky not working for some today – here’s mine. https://castelsarrasin.wordpress.com/2017/06/07/hedera-helix-friday-fictioneers/

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like the exaggeration with the age. Typical!

    Liked by 1 person

    • JS Brand says:

      Thank you for reading Jane. Re the age thing, I was aiming to suggest confusion on the part of the narrator. The person I based him on is never sure how old he is but, funnily enough, when he could remember he used to add on a couple of years.

      Like

  5. jellico84 says:

    Good one. Tomorrow, indeed! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dale says:

    That was great! Loved the voice and tone…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A lot said in those 100 words. Link’s not working for some. Here’s mine https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/07/neelwritesffplant100words07062017/

    Like

  8. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover says:

    I agree with Neel, there was a lot said in this story. I love his spunk.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. JS Brand says:

    Thank you. My character certainly has plenty of spunk, but living with him can’t be easy.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is delightful. I can picture this “full of life” lady and can imagine what a fight she will put up!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Rowena says:

    I absolutely loved this story and though I’m not sure which part of the world you live in, that character would certainly be at home here in Australia…that independent, rugged, fighting spirit.
    My husband’s aunt shared a similar sort of attitude to him. She was fiercely independent and her line was: “You’ll have to carry me out of here”, rather than going to a nursing home. As far as I know, her mind was lucid to the end but she had a number of nasty strokes which affected her mobility and had to go into one. That hit us all in the guts, but most of us don’t chose our time of death and how we go.
    Very well done and excellent characterization!
    xx Rowena

    Like

  12. That is fantastic, brilliantly portrayed. You’ve created in so few words a living, breathing character whilst also providing a sensitive glimpse into the tragic world of Alzheimer’s. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. jwdwrites says:

    Slightly confused until I read the last line then had a good chuckle. Reminds me of a friend. 🙂

    Like

    • JS Brand says:

      Thank you. I wasn’t aiming to confuse, but I’m glad the dementia angle wasn’t immediately obvious. I was trying to show the character was more than the disease. Fingers crossed it worked.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Liz Young says:

    That’s the attitude! Being over 70 myself, I empathise.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. granonine says:

    Gotta love this man 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • JS Brand says:

      Thank you Granonine. I based the character on someone I know and I’ve been a bit surprised at how much readers seem to like the fictional version. The real person is loved and often loveable, but can be very difficult at times. A lot of that’s caused by the Alzheimer’s, but some of it’s due to part of the real him showing through.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Rowena says:

    I read through this again today and was thinking that it would really benefit from more length where you could allow his character to expand, because there’s so much packed in there and when you read a number of these flash, you see such potential in a longer format.
    I am a bit of a grammar and punctuation nazi, particularly in other people’s work (much harder to proof your own!).
    I was thinking in your first line, you could put inverted commas as shown to emphasize it’s not his opinion: “Severe mental impairment” it says on this letter. I also think you could expand the character of the young man his wife is wanting to get round to move the sideboard. I could see him having a bit to say about that if he wasn’t so restricted in length.
    This really has the making of a really top story with very strong and topical characters. Adjusting to old age is never easy and most of us are close to somebody with Alzheimers’.
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    • JS Brand says:

      Hi Rowena,

      Thank you for taking the time to make an expanded comment.

      I agree the story could have been much better if I’d had more words to play with. I put in as much as I dared, to try to give a flavour of the complexity of the character. I wasn’t able to make it clear that the character is frail and virtually housebound, but that he’s in denial and still thinks he’s as fit as he was in his youth. Nor could I say directly that he’s a possessive husband who imagines his wife is chasing men whenever she’s out of his sight.

      In a way the most significant thing I couldn’t say, in 100 words, was that these characteristics were there before Alzheimer’s began to take hold.

      Fingers crossed it was obvious that Alzheimer’s was the cause of his not knowing his own age and of believing, sometimes, that his mother is still alive.

      Once or twice before I’ve been tempted to flesh out a flash fiction piece into a short story, but I’ve not done so up to now. Maybe I should?

      With regards to punctuation, you’re absolutely right; there should have been inverted commas. Outside the world of flash fiction I tend to be a pedant (hard to believe in view of the excessive use of commas and the mixing of tenses in this reply) but one of the many pleasures of the genre is being able to ignore conventions. My two favourite English teachers would go mad if they could see the number of sentences I’ve started with “And”, “But” and “Because”. On this occasion the incorrect punctuation was the result of an oversight rather than an act of rebellion.

      Best regards,

      John

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rowena says:

        Hi John,
        I certainly think this would be a good flash to expand into a short story as there’s so much you could expand upon. I don’t write a lot of short stories. However, my interest in that genre was sparked last year when I found out there’s an annual competition held by our local council. I entered thinking I’d done a brilliant job, but didn’t place. I asked the judge what she was looking for and she was really focused on structure and having that twist at the end. I still haven’t written another short story since. I suspect it should be held again soon. So, I should start preparing.
        I have been amazed at home much you can pack into these 100 word flashes. I am an absolute convert to this format.
        I have become a lot pickier about my grammar over the last couple of years. I grew up in a time with very little grammar and the poetry I wrote in my 20s paid little heed to it. Now, I often find I need the commas for things to make good sense.
        I hope you have a good weekend. It’s the Queens Birthday weekend here so we have a three day weekend, which is much needed by my husband.
        Best wishes,
        Rowena

        Like

      • JS Brand says:

        Hi Rowena,

        I agree. Trying to write a complete story within a strict word limit is quite a challenge, but it’s rewarding when it comes off. The practice at editing helps with other types of writing too, but there are times when I hate having to cut out a phrase that I really like. There are times when it feels write to wax lyrical, but it doesn’t mix with flash fiction.

        I used to love three day weekends, but I’m retired now, so they all last seven days!

        Have a lovely time.

        Best wishes,

        John

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rowena says:

        My three day weekend means having the family home and my daughter’s friend is coming over, which will be fun but adds further pressure to getting the house in order. Not an easy prospect!
        Best wishes,
        Rowena

        Liked by 1 person

  17. subroto says:

    Great voice, the never give up attitude comes through. Nice one.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. The dread of old age is being useless in world which honors utility & rejects or neglects the non-utility. You have expressed it all – the fight to be fully human and to be acknowledged!💐

    Like

  19. Don’t mess with her … loved it.
    Isadora 😎

    Like

Leave a Reply

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s