Author Topic: Short Piece  (Read 2489 times)

Offline *Lorraine*

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 298
  • The sun always shines in Cognito-by-the-Sea
Short Piece
« on: October 31, 2006, 10:20:39 AM »
This was originally written as an exercise for Novel In A Year but I'm posting it here today because my Dad died on the 31st October and I tried to capture something of him in this short piece.



When it came to anger Fran had definitely inherited genes that were at odds with one another. 

Her mother’s temperament was laid down by generations of fiery Italians which resulted in an explosive quality similar to Mount Vesuvius, only far more regular.  In contrast her father had an especially easy-going attitude, known for his ability to dispel difficult situations with gentle humour and a calm acceptance of life’s ups and downs.  These elements of his personality had always been there but it was after he’d returned from three years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp that he acknowledged their existence.  His outlook on life became defined by the war, not by the horror of it but by his good fortune to have survived it. 

When her mother’s anger had been aimed at the young Fran it tended to flare quickly, only subsiding once the flames had been doused by her father’s carefully chosen words.  In his absence temper would get the better of her and she would lash out with a slap to the back of Fran’s already quaking knees.  But occasionally and more prevalently during Fran’s teenage years, the anger took a more long-term form, simmering and rumbling on for days with intervals of stony silence.  Looking back Fran was unable to remember any of the minor misdemeanours she had committed that led to her mother’s vociferous outbursts or, worse still, the emotional blackmail of an afternoon spent in bed with “One of my headaches”. 

Only once in all her childhood had her father so much as snapped at her and of course she remembered the occasion with sharp clarity.  One evening as he relaxed in his armchair after a long day at work Fran watched her father disappear behind the wall of his broadsheet newspaper.  Feeling bored and excluded she flicked a finger at the centre of the paper with an irritatingly regular rhythm.  Tap, tap, tap until he lowered his arms and the sheets folded like a concertina into his lap. 
   “For goodness sake Francesca.  I’ve read that same line three times!”  That was it, that was all he said but she didn’t like the tightness in his voice and his normally smiley brown eyes looked sad. 

The memory of this moment, insignificant to anyone else, produced the same hot flush of shame and instant regret in the adult Fran that she’d experienced forty-odd years ago.  The only difference being that in the intervening years heart failure had succeeded where the war hadn’t so she’d been left to cope with her mother’s continuing volcanic eruptions without his wonderfully calming influence.     
( ) ( )
(>'.'<)
(")  (") 

Rabbit Welfare Fund : Because Rabbits Deserve Better

PaulW

  • Guest
Re: Short Piece
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2006, 10:29:06 AM »
I loved this. It's well written, which is irrelevant really, the warmth of the characters though is marvellous. My mother was a bit like that as well, though with her it was 'I'm going to the kitchen!' that was her threat. (And with her cooking it really WAS a threat!) ;D

Good stuff Lorraine.

nassj

  • Guest
Re: Short Piece
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2006, 10:33:03 AM »
It's lovely, thank you for letting us read it.

Offline *Lorraine*

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 298
  • The sun always shines in Cognito-by-the-Sea
Re: Short Piece
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2006, 10:37:28 AM »
Thanks Paul.  Today's date should be difficult for me but he was such a cheerful chap that I find it hard to feel sad.  Angling was his passion and so I always start the day by writing a note to him and I 'post' it from the bridge over the river.  

If I did any cooking at my parent's home my Mum always told my Dad to "Make sure Lorraine doesn't burn herself".   :)

Thanks candy floss.   
( ) ( )
(>'.'<)
(")  (") 

Rabbit Welfare Fund : Because Rabbits Deserve Better

Offline sugy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1274
  • A baby squirrel.
    • Golf Grumble
Re: Short Piece
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2006, 12:08:58 PM »
Hi Lorraine, that short piece has said plenty.

Even my mother used to lose it very often, now, I think she has sobered down as we all meet eachother only once a year. But, sadly it looks like I have taken after her. I seem to lose it too with my four year old ever so often. And I always keep hoping I'll change for the better, but not sure when! Even my father lost it once with me...for letting four little pups run around the room while he was busy doing up a plan for a building! :)

Sugy


Offline *Lorraine*

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 298
  • The sun always shines in Cognito-by-the-Sea
Re: Short Piece
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2006, 12:15:23 PM »
Thanks Sugy.  There's quite a bit of Dad in me but my youngest daughter is the one who has inherited his humour and personality.  Families are complicated things aren't they?  And don't worry, we all lose it sometimes!   ;)
( ) ( )
(>'.'<)
(")  (") 

Rabbit Welfare Fund : Because Rabbits Deserve Better

Offline bonnie_clide

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 94
  • Fantabulous!!
Re: Short Piece
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2006, 05:21:14 PM »
I'm daddies little girl. Well written, well written.  ;D
My soul mate died in infancy.