Friday Fictioneers for December 9th, 2022

Each Wednesday, the magnificent maven of mystery, Rochelle, sends us a notice with a photo prompt. Inspired by the prompt, we are challenged to write a complete story in fewer than 101 words. To go to her blog and join the fun, click on her photo below.

I usually avoid reading other Friday Fictioneer stories until I have written and posted mine. This week I read Rochelle’s first. Her story replaced her photo as the primary prompt in my mind. Eventually, I wrote this one which I felt was more influenced by the photo, maybe.

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Genre: Fiction
Title: The Best Outcome
Word Count: 100

***

The Best Outcome

James and Cathy had a wonderful life together. Highschool sweethearts who’d recently celebrated their sixty-sixth wedding anniversary. They’d raised five children and lost count of the grand and great-grandchildren whose names were too often forgotten.

After their fiftieth year together, James and Cathy made some end-of-life medical decisions and a covenant. Neither would allow the other to suffer an unnecessarily prolonged, painful death after all better options had been exhausted and all hope was lost.

The time came. It fell upon James to end Cathy’s tormented life. He couldn’t. He ended his own, alone in the garage. “What is love?”

***


Look both ways and try to see other points of view.
Mind the gaps, we don’t need more damn bricks in the wall.

Click on the photo above to read more wonderful, and probably uplifting, stories by the brilliant writing cast of Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers.

Haddaway sings while we shuffle happy dance.

33 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers for December 9th, 2022

  1. Quite a few thoughts ran through my head. I’m hesitant to share them… but here goes anyway. First gut reaction: Selfish Chickenshit. He couldn’t bear to be alone so he liberated himself from doing as he promised and then left her alone. I am so mean, aren’t I?
    You know you’ve done well when you generate such reactions from your writing…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dale.
      This was not that hard to write, but I pushed myself to post it. It’s too depressing and all too real.
      His Parkinson’s made it impossible for him to be her caretaker and his morals prevented him killing her. He did go to the garage and shoot himself. Inspired in part by Bukowski’s “Hell is a Lonely Place.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. See… Now I feel like a total shit. That’s the trouble with 100 words. His having Parkinson’s changes things. And if his morals prohibited him, he should not have made the promise – I know, in the moment, we think we can until we have to and realise we can’t.
        It is a sad story all the way ’round, that’s for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The pact was fiction because I don’t know if they had an agreement. It’s hard to talk about. The rest happened.

        Even for healthy people, being a caretaker is unbelievably hard physically, emotionally, and for the rest of the family.

        I don’t have any answers. But I do have opinions. No more bleak stories for a while. 🙂 Promise.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You wrote it was a fictional piece… of course it was inspired by something real. So very sorry it was something you obviously held close.

        I know it. My mother landed in the hospital from taking care of her husband. It was a relief when he passed, even if it brought great sadness.

        You write whatever the hell you want to write! It’s always excellent and thought-provoking.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Got to say I pretty much agree with Dale here. I guess the “What is love” is to be taken as a cynical/critical observation? It felt that way to me. Very moving though, that it came to that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There is a great feeling of devotion between the couple. But I was annoyed that the rest of the family seemed forgotten by them, the truth is the family left and forget them. I think a suicide pact in old age is leaving it a bit late, where is the rest of the family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, James.
      I am sure the family stepped in later, but I don’t know. The irony is that this occurred in a State where assisted suicide is legal if terminal within six months.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Bill,

    Boy does this story raise all kinds of emotions and questions. I tend to share Dale;s thoughts, too. What makes him so sure she wouldn’t be going first? But then not knowing Cathy’s thoughts and feelings. Well written and evocative piece.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Rochelle.

      After reading your story, I wanted to write a letter (in fact, I did). But then I recalled this story. I don’t like going so dark, but such is reality for many.

      Peace,

      Bill

      Like

  5. I know the difficulty he faced from making that decision for pets too many times. I can’t imagine what it would be like to do so for a spouse of 66 years. Powerful story.

    Rochelle’s is usually the only story I read before writing mine. I figure if I forget to read anybody’s, it better not be hers.

    Liked by 1 person

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