Friday Fictioneers…Missing

Posted: September 9, 2015 in Family, Friday Fictioneers
Tags: , , , , ,

Recipe for a Friday Fictioneers story:

Take one photo.
Add some thought. (Amount is optional.)
Shake (or stir, James) to make 100 words.
Enjoy immoderately.

Serves one or more. No calories.

This week’s photo is from a Friday Fictioneers stalwart, Jennifer (ElmoWrites) Pendergast.  I’m sure it has a much happier memory than the story I derived from it.


I miss my dad.

He took us on hikes where we found green frogs and slithering snakes, taught us to swim and always splashed us, gave us piggyback rides, told us stories.

That was before he and Mom started fighting.
Before her bruises.
Before she fell down the steps and broke her arm.
Before he was gone.

Mom made a pile of stones, one for every year he’s been gone. That’s where I go over the good times so I don’t forget them. Or him.

Mom said it’s a place I can remember Dad.

They remind me of a headstone.

  1. So touching (and chilling). Great piece.

  2. Interesting and I like the idea of the stones which would give a person a place to stop and ponder. 🙂

  3. Dear Janet,

    I wonder if these are monuments to the day Mom finally had enough and did Dad in. Well done.



  4. I liked the piece although it was upsetting. I, too, had the same thought as Rochelle (great Virgos think alike) – if ma buried pa there….

  5. Sandra says:

    Compelling story; nicely done Janet, and lovely to see you for a second week. 🙂

    • Thanks very much, Sandra. It’s nice to be back now that I don’t feel compelled to read every single story and to write every week…unless I want to. 🙂 Looking forward to reading stories…after I get the laundry going, the groceries put away, the… Well, you get the picture. Errands and housework take so much longer than it seems they should.


  6. Lena says:

    Very touching! And I too liked the idea with the stones.

  7. I will keep this story going through the entire day as it continues to grow and a plot twist is added; such great fun.

  8. A great story.. and you told so much told in so few words. I wonder if it might be a real headstone of sorts.. dad sure deserved it.

  9. elmowrites says:

    Missing, or missing? I’m certain you intended the ambiguity, but I wonder whether you have an answer in mind too! And yes, a happier memory for me, but I still managed to write a not-happy story 😉

    • Jen, I did have an answer, but of course, the ambiguity makes it, at least to my mind, a better story. Even I, with my positive outlook and story-writing tendencies, took the darker outlook today.

      Thanks for dropping by.


  10. I wonder if Mum broke her arm digging :/ But he had it coming anyway. Great story arc.

  11. Love your intro 🙂 If it’s a funny story we do lose calories laughing 😀

  12. ceayr says:

    Painful thoughts mixed beautifully with sweet memories.
    Great piece of writing.

  13. Margaret says:

    I get the sinister undertone to this, but I can’t help but grieve for the father, and wonder what went so wrong. Lovely ambiguity.

  14. Perhaps it is a headstone. A sensible mother though allowing her child to love her father.

  15. Dale says:

    I like the fact that the mother did not poison the child’s memory of his/her father. What good would come of that, now that he is gone (in whatever manner that was)? Well done!

    • Thanks, Dale. It would be tough not to ruin the child’s memory of the father, but hopefully it will work out in the long run. “Gone in whatever manner” is definitely the question.


  16. That story was spine-chilling, and also sad. I thought the child’s point of view was innocently unsettling.

    • I think a young child might miss what’s going on in an abusive situation, although I do wonder what he or she will think when older. Abuse is always sad, I think. Thanks for the perceptive comment.


  17. ansumani says:

    I love that the story has multiple layers of love and hurt -suspense and intrigue with nostalgia. What may have happenned can be interpreted many ways but the essence remains that one happy family was broken and remains hurting. Well done piece.

  18. An interesting observation on the way children and adults see the world differently. Beautifully done.

  19. gahlearner says:

    I love this, and its ambiguity. The child’s happy memories and then the painful ones… without mom’s interference, one way or the other, this could have become very painful memories for the child, too, over time.

    • Dad was obviously one person to the child and another to Mom. I, too, wonder what the child will think when older. I think those memories might become a bit tainted or at least there will be another reality to them.


  20. Dee says:

    Wonder what the child will remember when they are an adult? Powerful story Janet, very well told as always. Good to see you in the ‘Hall of Fame’ again this week…

  21. helenmidgley says:

    Great job, I loved that I re-read it again to see what else was between the lines 🙂

  22. Amy Reese says:

    What a chilling story. Like Helen, I had to re-read. Really well done and written. Good to see you, Jane!

    • Thanks very much, Amy. Nice to be back for a bit. I’m out of town this weekend, so I’m slow on getting to the stories, but I’ll catch you later on that. I always enjoy yours as well.

  23. plaridel says:

    i guess nobody’s perfect. the best we can do is keep the good memories alive.

  24. Very touching in spite of the violence visited on the mother. Memories of any one person will differ based on the perspectives of the person left behind. Lovely memories are always possible.

    • Perry, even Mom probably has some good memories of the times before things got bad. Not sure what she’ll do about the last, really bad memory, but her child won’t have to deal with that one, unless someone finds out something more.


    • Perry, even Mom probably has some good memories of the times before things got bad. Not sure what she’ll do about the last, really bad memory, but her child won’t have to deal with that one, unless someone finds out something more.


  25. erinleary says:

    I had a feeling that might be exactly what it was! Great story.

  26. This is like a beginning of a thriller.
    Sad and yet gripping.

  27. draliman says:

    A very grim tale. I wonder if he left or did Mum fight back? Nicely done!

  28. Sadly, too many children see these things happen and are emotionally scared from it.
    Well written, Janet. It speaks to a subject that is relevant today.
    Isadora 😎

    • Thanks, Izzy. Abuse is a terrible thing and it doesn’t surprise me that the abused person sometimes snaps and injures or kills the abuser. Often, the abused person never does anything, even leave, and the abuse continues. Definitely a sad situation for all involved.


  29. Alice Audrey says:

    Definitely a dark undercurrent to this one, but I’m with the mom.

  30. i b arora says:

    abuse and counter-abuse?

  31. I also think those stones are more than a place to remember. They’re a marker. Well written even though creepy. This is truly from a child’s point of view. O_o — Suzanne

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