Here, (done on Wednesday, but also my Thursday post), is my Friday Fictioneers submission for this week.  Every week, a large group of us from all over the world  turn our brains into mush in an attempt, sometime vain, sometimes wildly successful, to craft  a variety of ideas and themes into various types of literary masterpieces, all based on one picture that Madison Woods puts on her blog, usually on Wednesday.  If you feel so inclined, join in.  If you only care to read, you may click on the link at the end to access all the stories.  This week’s picture is from Raina Ng.

As for this piece, criticism of any kind, except rude, is welcome.  (And before you mention it, I know to be grammatically correct it would be “Until Death Doesn’t Us Part”, but that doesn’t have the right ring to it.)

‘Til Death Don’t Us Part

They’d sworn to never leave each other. He looked around the preternaturally neat kitchen which had been the heart of their home, once filled with laughter, smells of baking, children’s voices, homey clutter, sunshine and love.  Morning light filtered dimly through the blinds, creating the effect of dusk, though it was night in all the ways that mattered.

He could scarcely bear the thought of her, racked with pain from the insidious disease, smiling gamely through her drugged haze, all the way to the end.  He twisted the cap, tossed it aside.  The acrid scent of gasoline filled his nostrils.

  1. JKBradley says:

    A combustible life and death love story. In it’s darkness, it is sweet.

  2. You shocked me (that’s a good thing, means the story was very effective) – and maybe I should have seen it coming, since the title gives a pretty strong hint. But you kept his secret right to the end. So sad and so real and so frightening.

  3. Stacey says:

    That’s an incredible follow through on a promise! Crikey.

    I thought it interesting that you described morning light as dusk, but I’m not sure how well it worked (debate to ensue, I’m sure). [Morning, dusk, and night all in the same sentence struck me as overkill. I would suggest omitting dusk and sticking with morning and night (higher level of contrast).]

    I enjoyed “He twisted the cap”—it made me think old world-y type cap (if you Google “worker cap” it’s the first string of images that come up (I don’t know if that’s the actual name for that type of hat or not)). Images of a white-haired fellow dressed in tweed followed (I blame ‘Monarch of the Glen’ and a visual imagination).

    Keep it up! 🙂

    • I see your point about the three times of day. I purposefully put them all there to show that although outside it was bright, the kitchen seemed gloomy and to him, life was worse than gloomy, it was night. I can see, though, that I could lalso have left out the dusk phrase, which would have given me some more words.

      Thanks so much for the input and glad you enjoyed the story.

  4. billgncs says:

    wow — unexpected

  5. An ultimate act of love, if he plans to leave with her. If you don’t mind, I am going to end the story with him holding her hand as the smoke and fire end her suffering.

  6. boomiebol says:

    Wow!!! Very well done

  7. ooh…
    didn’t expect that. Don’t think I like it either. Not the story… just how he dealt with death. It’s good when you get a rise out of the reader. I like to keep my memories close. Burning them igoes against my grain.

  8. Raina says:

    oh dear that is sad that the memories are going to just go up in flames….all those years of building.

  9. Paul says:

    I like the three times of day relating to what he sees, what he thinks, and what he feels. Petfect!

  10. rich says:

    oh no. not that. please don’t do it.

  11. Call me dense but was he planning to burn himself or just the kitchen?

  12. Sandra says:

    I enjoyed this, and the bit about the light was very effective. I had a long think about the word ‘preternaturally’ as opposed to ‘unnaturally’ but I didn’t reach any conclusions, other than the fact that I’d obviously been distracted by the use of it. I looked it up and it means pretty much the same. So no conclusions really, just sayin’. 🙂 Nice work, and a good twist there at the end.

  13. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Miss Tea,

    It is with great pleasure that I tell you that this is the best story I’ve ever read of yours and is in the upper echelon of nearly a year and a half of Friday Fictioneer stories. “..though it was night in all the ways that mattered.” Perfect writing. This story had the type of impact on me that I wish I could duplicate every week in those who read my work. Raise a glass to yourself and drink it down. Then get ready for the comments, because you’re going to get a lot of good ones.



  14. N Filbert says:

    crap! i just posted mine – and now it will appear as plagiarism! we got a quite similar vibe off this one! Good work 🙂

  15. claireful says:

    Beautifully bleak. I also had a little issue with preternaturally, not that I didn’t understand what it meant and what you meant by it, but that it stopped the sentence flowing for me.

  16. Tom Poet says:

    And I thought mine was dark…At least I didn’t light her on fire or imply he might have or that he worked for a gas station or maybe he was going to torch the house or he was real cheap and saved a few bucks after she overdosed cremating her in the backyard. My mind is spinning….Nice piece. So many places to go with it!

    • Yeah, I don’t usually do the dark side, but he just took the story there for some reason. Glad you “liked” it and saw some of the possible scenarios, although the overdosing-cremation one isn’t one I’d thought of. 🙂

  17. Hi Janet,
    Powerful writing, with a palpable sense of grief and a dramatic ending. Great story. Ron

  18. Deliciously depressing. Beautifully written. Incredible. Applause applause.

  19. Jan Brown says:

    Sad but effective. I love the phrase “night in all the ways that matter.” Heartfelt but shocking in the end (a good combination).

  20. Echoing all previous comments, really – how unoriginal! But yes, shocking, powerful, sad, and so effective.
    Thanks for stopping by ours already.

    • I’m always up early and we’re heading to Philly for a very short weekend trip, so I can’t read much today after the morning. 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting.

  21. unspywriter says:

    Very powerful, and we can’t help but agree with his decision. Wonderful story.

    Here’s mine:

  22. Very well done piece, very sad.

    Somebody needs to coax me out of that room now …

  23. kdmccrite2 says:

    Disturbing and sad. Vividly written. I liked it!

  24. kdmccrite2 says:

    Disturbing and sad. Vividly written. I liked it!

  25. Russell says:

    Dear Janet,
    I love that phrase, “it was night in all the ways that mattered.” I think this is my favorite piece of yours I have read so far. Very well crafted. The emotion still lingers in the air – mixing with the gas fumes.

  26. John Hardy Bell says:

    Oh wow. That last line was a real doozy! A love story of a gut-wrenching sort.Hauntingly beautiful.

  27. Parul says:

    That’s extreme indeed!

  28. Brian Benoit says:

    Ooh, really interesting way to let us know what he’s up to at the end, and a suitably tragic story without being unbelievable or overdone. Nice job!

  29. Wow. Yours has gasoline, too. Interesting to see the differences we did with that plot device.

  30. I didn’t expect the twist ending…the ultimate form of despair..blow up the house with everybody and everything in it. Nothing left for the kids (if there are any) to inherit….just ashes.

  31. Anne Orchard says:

    I think you did a wonderful job of conjuring up the despair of those left behind who don’t have the courage to continue feeling the pain.. Myself, I think it’s feeling the pain that proves how much the person who died matters. Very emotive story indeed.

  32. Cindy Marsch says:

    You are very popular, Janet! You always have more comments than anybody except our Hostess! Very well done–it kind of reminds me of the skyscraper clouds one a few weeks ago and the person who had a terminally ill spouse jump from the balcony.

    Here’s mine:

    • The number of comments is probably due to me replying to everyone!! :-). We,re visiting Megan in Philly, so I don’t have as much time to read. I’ll have to catch up tomorrow night. I always look forward to reading everything. Glad you liked my darker-than-usual story. It started out much lighter but the story had a mind of its own.

  33. The problem with true love is that sometimes you have to learn to live without it, which some lovers simply can’t handle. This is a very engaging story. Excellent job!

  34. So sad, and yet so sweet. Two people who vowed to stay together. Awesome job.

  35. Jan Morrill says:

    “…though it was night in all the ways that mattered.” Wow. A powerful and sad piece. I could picture and FEEL it all. Well done.

    • sustainabilitea says:

      Thanks, Jan. I love your picture for this week, although as of now, I don’t have the faintest idea what my story will be about. Reminds me of my trip to Mykonos during my trip to Europe in the 70’s.

  36. Oh yes, I see your point… It was the week before I wrote my first entry.

    • Doesn’t it seem as if we’ve always been doing FF? In a good way, of course.


      • I remember reading Jan’s entry, and thought I’d join next week… and so I did. A little bit the same as a wordgame on twitter I play daily.. for 1,5 years now…

      • You do a lot of online writing. I hope at some point I can do more than my blog and FF, but readying the house for the market is time-consuming! I’ll try to be patient 🙂 Bill got me into doing FF as well as blogging. I’m glad he did. I love it.

      • I get absorbed easily… 🙂 my first stories were limited to 140 characters, so 100 words seemed like a lot. One thing we do is that every sunday we write a common story by connecting tweets. That’s really a lot of fun. Has been going on for a year now.