Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Of lawnmowers, bowties and blowflies

This story has been removed for further editing and refining.. Hopefully it will be submitted to competitions and perhaps an Anthology...

thanks for popping by when it WAS up.. and leaving your comments

Story inspired by the [Fiction Friday] prompt at Write Anything, submitted to JM Strother’s #FridayFlash  via Twitter - as well as Writing Adventure Group.

Prompt -Coming of Age Tale


Adam Byatt said...

Mowing the lawn seems such an Australian pastime with the added bonus of blowflies. There is such a dark moment in this when the father believes that he just doesn't get it. How many young men are faced with the same dilemma in our culture, when they have no strong idea of what masculinity could be, apart from what they are told that it should not be. Great insight, Annie.

Jen said...

Such tragedy. When it began, talking about becoming a man, I thought it might be about sex. Then as it became obvious that he was just a child and his father was there I felt cold-- I knew there had to be a tragedy there. You drew out the happy day and the terrible result very well.

The suicide note just kills.

A typo here: "As he hand withdrew the packet..." Her hand, I think?

Laura Rachel Fox said...

A unique version of a coming of age story. The suicide at the end was a bit of a surprise, but I like that you worked up to it slowly with a few tinges of doubt sprinkled through his mowing experience.

Even though the mother makes such a small appearance, her impact on the story is huge.

You really have something to work with here.

John Pender said...

Wow Annie! I thoroughly enjoyed this one! I was expecting the father to come out of the shed wielding some trinket for the son with a big smile on his face, but you ended it right where I would have. Right up my alley.

Walt said...

In a rare moment of connectedness, he put his hand on my shoulder. “This is the start of being the man of the house lad.” he patted my shoulder and almost as an after though as he strode towards the shed, he added, “ You’ll learn the rest when you need it.”

That paragraph had an eerie finality to it that told me he wouldn't be seeing much more of his father. I wasn't expecting the suicide, I thought perhaps some sort of terminal illness.

Fantastic story! Thanks for sharing

Marisa Birns said...

Passing the man-of-the-house torch to his son with lawn mowing duties as a last step before dying.

A tragic tale so well told!

Shelli said...

All right, that twist completely shocked me. I didn't see it coming at all. I thought it was such a sweet story up to that point. It went from a gentle graduation from childhood to a leap into adulthood, complete with the pain it brings. Great suicide note, too. Very well done.

Icy Sedgwick said...

"An ancient fan creaked its way round, periodically blowing a scrap of paper as it fluttered like a dying butterfly on his work surface"

This one line cemented the entire thing for me. I'm not sure's just such a poignant, powerful sentence.

Beautiful flash.

terryhaferkamp said...

I agree with Walt, that one paragraph set the tone that the father would not be around to see the young boy grow up. The pace was good and the ending took me by surprise. Good story and good writing skills.

Girl Fren' said...

Your title is brilliant. You had me at *bowties*. The narrator's voice held me, as well; utterly believable guy-ness about it.

There was a chill in the father's statement, but you never gave it away. And the suicide note seemed tragically real; tragic--more than sad--because from this distance, living had become intolerable.

Splendid piece. - Kate McIntire

Anonymous said...

Holy cow! That ended differently than I expected! Very creative.