Whither Reality #shortstory #prompt

Jane Doughtery’s picture prompt and theme this week is Abandon

jane d abandon

Which is real?

Gwyneth knew her place. She was up making breakfast and cleaning the stove before first light, setting the fires and preparing the children for school, her husband for work and her mother for a day in her chair. None paid her any heed, except if something wasn’t right when they complained bitterly and loudly. When everyone was gone and mother asleep she set out for the mill, climbing the steep hill, into the sharp prevailing wind and often times rain. She was always a little late, always criticised and humiliated. She wore grey and her skin reflected her clothing choices. She hunched and made no eye contact.

One day a new weaver asked her her name. Gradually Sarah befriended Gwyneth, not that she got her to talk much. But she found out about the hard life of unremitting toil, the thankless hours and zero respect. Gently she tried to persuade Gwyneth to think of herself, to free herself from the servitude of her existence.

Gwyneth just smiled. Sarah wasn’t the first to suggest she abandon her responsibilities and wouldn’t be the last. But they didn’t understand, she thought as she ploughed slowly home. In her head she lived with the sort of abandon that Sarah could only dream about – of parties and balls and frocks and handsome princes. Inside her head, inside her happy place, she danced and she sang with complete abandon which, she knew only too well, wasn’t available in real life. Why would she give up her beautiful fantasy for a different no doubt depressing reality?

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published three books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars and Salisbury Square. In addition I published an anthology of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand this summer. A fourth book will be out soon. This started life as a novel in a week on this blog and will follow later this year. I blog about all sorts at geofflepard.com and welcome all comments. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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13 Responses to Whither Reality #shortstory #prompt

  1. Erika Kind says:

    Imagination is free and you can be who and wherever you want to be. I love that story, Geoffl!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ritu says:

    We can all be something else in our dreams….

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’d like to know what Sarah was proposing she do about it. Slit hubby’s throat, push Mum off a cliff? Living in your dreams is safer.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Eileen says:

    Hmmm. Became a lot happier with reality when I focused on creating beauty and finding magic in it, instead of the imaginary.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Eileen says:

    But still, a clever and well written response to the prompt.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Norah says:

    I doubt the drudgery of the everyday would be erased by imagination. If only. Interesting to surmise.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Interesting. Layered in an unexpected way. I like it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Microfiction challenge Abandon: the entries – Jane Dougherty Writes

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