Friday Fictioneers – 18th April

Every Friday writers from around the world contribute 100 word stories prompted by a photograph supplied by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields to Friday Fictioneers. I love constructive comments on my stories.

Copyright - Doug MacIlroy

Copyright – Doug MacIlroy

The Dragon

Trevor must have sped straight to the hospital after I called. Jimmy was high on ventolin, me on adrenalin.

I looked behind Trevor as he came in.

‘She’s not coming,’ he said. Relief felt like sedation.

Trevor pushed back his son’s fringe. His adam’s apple lifted and fell, lifted and fell.

Jimmy’s mask was strapped to his face. Smoke puffed from its holes as he wheezed.

‘I’m a dragon, Dad.’

Trevor’s smile twitched downwards. He cleared his throat and nodded.

We stayed in the hospital for one precious night. Watching over him. Like a family again.

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67 Responses to Friday Fictioneers – 18th April

  1. Adam Ickes says:

    This story left me speechless. That’s a good thing. Well done.

  2. Lovely story. Coming from a family of asthmatics I can relate to the dragon bit, but was also deeply moved by the relationship. I particularly liked that they knew each other so well that Trevor understood why his ex-wife looked behind him as he came in, and answered her so calmly.

    • Thanks, Siobhan. My daughter had mild asthma when she was younger but was never hospitalised, thank goodness. I really wanted to make the story about the relationship between the parents. Maybe I succeeded!

  3. znjavid says:

    What a wonderful moment when parents reunite for the sake of a child! Very well written.

  4. Well-written emotional scene of a family united, if only for a short time, because of a health crisis. Good story.

  5. subroto says:

    That is such a poignant story, beautifully done.

  6. Like a family says it all. Well done! (and “relief felt like sedation” a very nice line!)

  7. helenmidgley says:

    That was beautifully crafted 🙂

  8. A killer of a last sentence. Just lovely.

  9. Having been wheezy too often while growing up, I had sympathy breathing pangs for Jimmy. Lovely story, Karen.


  10. Liz Young says:

    That’s a lovely line – “relief felt like sedation” – well written story/

  11. Dear Karen,

    It took me more than one read to get it, but I’m glad I made the effort. I’ve been fortunate enough not to have ever had to deal with asthma in myself or my kids. You told a complete story. Well done.



    • Hi Rochelle. Thank you for taking the time to reread the story, and I’m glad it paid off. I think the story is a little disjointed which makes it more difficult to see clearly. Thanks for your comment. Cheers, Karen.

  12. dianathrelfo says:

    Karen, I could visualise the entire scene and feel the emotions quite vividly through every word, phrase and sentence. Absolutely love this depiction of the complexities of feelings that can be experienced when a ‘broken’ family briefly reunite.

  13. Shandra says:

    What a lovely, complex story told and yet untold.

  14. Horus says:

    I wonder how over the years, meaning of the word “family” keeps on changing !

    • That’s an interesting concept to think about, Horus. You’re right, there are so many various meanings of the word ‘family’ now. The nuclear family is just one of those.

  15. Sandra says:

    ‘Relief felt like sedation’. A terrific line, I can truly identify with that. As well as being ‘high on ventolin’. Been there, done that. 😦 Great story Karen, well done.

    • I developed a strange allergy to garlic about 15 years ago. It gives me asthma now – the only thing that does. I sympathise with anyone who has to battle that regularly. Although ventolin relieves the symptoms it certainly has the opposite effect to a sedative. Thanks for dropping by, Sandra.

  16. K.Z. says:

    oh such great writing! a moving story with so many emotions involved and i felt my heart break a little.

  17. plaridel says:

    i could see conscious uncoupling working in this case.

    • Thanks for your comment, Plaridel. Conscious uncoupling is a strange term I came across yesterday for the first time. And here it is again! I’ll have to look up exactly what it means.

  18. Karen, this is you at your best! The writing is tight, compelling and draws the reader in. “Relief felt like sedation.” That sentence is just gorgeous. I think you could have left out the “crazy elevator” reference, as the motion of his adam’s apple alone seems more precise and clean. Otherwise, I thought this was just fantastic!

  19. I know that relationship. This was a poignant reminder that stung my eyes.

  20. Amy Reese says:

    Wonderful story, Karen. It’s tightly written and packed full of emotion.

  21. draliman says:

    Great story, very bitter-sweet. I like your take on the helmet in the photo.

  22. rgayer55 says:

    It took me a minute to realize what “she’s not coming” meant, but when I finally got it the story shifted gears and the reality of the situation clicked inside my pea brain. Well done, Karen.

  23. Wonderful story Karen! Every line is packed with emotion and the last line was so piognant. ‘One precious night’ says it all.

  24. I always like to read such a fine family story

  25. Lovely Karen, the sense of family comes through and its importance is obvious. Well done.

  26. DCTdesigns says:

    Karen, I loved the tenderness of the little boy’s “I’m a dragon daddy.” It was heart breaking. And the sense that these two parents can come together for their son is beautiful. I have half a half brother and sister so all too well know the difficulties of mixed families. So in my head the other woman had to be the reason for the divorce and leaving her behind was a kindness. So well written.

  27. I’m amazed at how you were able to convey so much emotion and back-story with such vivid description. Such a beautiful image of a family coming back together again. It’s too bad that sometimes it takes the most tragic circumstances to make that happen. Very powerful!

  28. Nan Falkner says:

    Karen, this is so wonderful and sad at the same time. A trip to the ER and then they are a family again – like old times. You know, you really know how to write a story and suck your readers in! Awesome! Nan 🙂

  29. atrm61 says:

    Very poignant and well told Karen:-)Glad that the parents cared more about their kid than their “differences”.My daughter had mild asthma when she was a kid but then as she grew and we moved to a hotter climate,it disappeared-phew!

  30. Wow, a beautiful story. Just perfect. I love the dragon image and the special moment they can spend together again without ‘her’ there.

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