New Year Shopping

Mildred needed a coat. The zipper didn’t close, and even the gentlest breeze would find it’s way to freeze her skin. Winter lay before her and New Year always came with blizzards.

Pushing her cart brimming with summer dresses she edged closer to the shop’s window,

Window shopping had another meaning compared to last year. The warmth of Richard’s hands lingered like phantom pains, and she could hear herself purring:

‘I love that necklace, darling’.

Richard smiled.

Then came the hospital bills, his funeral, and being left with nothing.

‘I would love that winter-coat’..

She saw herself; smiling in reflection.


© Shaktiki Sharma

The image this week told me a sad story again. I think many of us fear how an accident or illness can pull us down to a point where we never thought we’d be.

Friday Fictioners gather around the same image every week and exercise in the task of storytelling in only 100 words. Rochelle try to keep it all together, setting an example and inspire with her writing.

December 28, 2016

65 responses to “New Year Shopping

  1. This is insanely good. I was loving every smooth, lizard-dripped word, then quickly accepted the unexpected death and moved right past it and into that exquisite final line. That’s where I’ll be imagining a thousand different possibilities today.

    Honestly, loss can be unbearable, especially if the love is/was strong, but if her debt is paid off and she’s at zero, not below, then I think life could become the most beautiful, simplistic canvas. Maybe she’s just a gypsy girl, at heart.

  2. Possibly a long, grim winter ahead of her. You’re right, any of us can be coasting comfortably along, then a chasm opens beneath us and we fall right through. Very well written, a sad, sad tale

  3. My take on this week’s prompt told a similar story, yet from the point of view of a mother whose daughter ended up on ice. I thought of how I breastfed both my kids for well over a year and made my first stewed apple without sugar as his first meal and how he refused to eat it and how you do all that right as a parent and yet our kids can still slip through our grasp. It is scary how easy it is to slip through the cracks. This reminds me, too, that we need to look out for our friends and those in our sphere and to ask the next question and put ourselves out there for them. We all need the community fabric to bounce back from whatever adversity hits us.
    Speaking of this, I am growing sunflowers from seeds taken from the MH17 crash site in the Ukraine. I might have mentioned it to you before but the hope these represent to me seems like a perfect response to the setbacks experienced by the woman in your story.
    xx Rowena

      • Thanks, Bjorn and thank you for sharing that connection with the poppies from Flanders Field. I hadn’t thought of that and the fields of sunflowers make such a potent symbol of resistance to the effects of terrorism and war. Beautiful!
        xx Rowena

  4. Well written as usual, Björn. Life does that to us, doesn’t it? More reason to take nothing for granted. I like that she still has hope…

  5. Such tragedy. You portray the bleakness of her loss so well. I want to buy her a coat and give her a big hug. I’m guessing that her friends fell away from her since the funeral, or they’d know of her plight D:

  6. Such a tender story, Björn, that actually made me cry. So many people face this every day in the US. We have so much to be ashamed of, when it comes for caring for the people who need compassion. Thanks for shining a light on this sad problem.

    Happy New Year, friend! xo

  7. Awww … the winter chill that can touch deep inside to the core.
    The tone of her pain came through brilliantly. A fantastic well-written story, Bjorn. I got misty at the end.
    Happy New Year 2017 🎉 Cheers 🍷
    Isadora 😎

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