Friday Fictioneers : The day Chaucer beat Gramma Mags

PHOTO PROMPT © Fatima Fakier Deria


Florence gazed up through the old cypress tree at a speckless sky.

The tree listed to the west, its bark wizened, branches balding. Gramma Mags had instructed Morris to cut it into logs, burn it through the blistering winter to come.

But one autumn afternoon over cucumber sandwiches and slabs of Madeira cake, Florence read from Dickens, Bunyan, Shakespeare, Chaucer until the sun set prickly through the leaves. She rubbed the trunk with pinked fingers.

‘This tree’s older than them all, Gramma.’

Gramma had nodded, pulled her shawl tight against the wind. ‘Best knit me another shawl then,’ she said.


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the picture and hone your own story. See here to share, read and comment.


For those of you unfamiliar with any of the literary figures mentioned above –

Charles Dickens

John Bunyan

William Shakespeare

Geoffrey Chaucer


82 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers : The day Chaucer beat Gramma Mags

    1. Thank you Alicia. Sad to chop down a tree unless you have to. I think they might need more than one shawl knitting though! Thanks for reading


  1. Dear Lynn,

    I loved speckless sky. You have such a way with description, but I’ve said this before. 😉 I’m glad that Florence changed Gramma’s mind. Lovely piece. Thank you for the links. I know of these authors but cn’t say that I’ve read all of them.




    1. Thank you so much Rochelle – it means a great deal to me that you like my writing.
      As for the authors, well I felt a bit daft including links to Shakespeare and Dickens as I’m guessing most writers will have read some of their work. Chaucer I’ve only read translated into modern English (I love the sound of the Middle English original but can only understand scraps of it!) and Bunyan … well, I confess I haven’t read him either, so I need to read my own links! Thank you again


    1. Thank you Joy. I didn’t exactly shake the world with this one, but some days you just have to write what comes to you if nothing else will. I love trees too. We have a cherry tree and an apple in our garden and though they’re not huge, I love having them – such pleasure when the blossom comes

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Stories have their own unique values, and it’s not always world-shaking; sometimes it’s soft and sweet. I would love to have cherry and apple trees in my yard! If I had a yard, that is… We get a lot of citrus here, and fig trees, which are great until the rats find them (ugh).


      2. We can grow fig trees here, but I’m not sure our weather is quite warm enough to ripen them properly. Same with the many passion flowers you see around the city – we get the lovely flowers but the fruit are a bit hopeless. Definitely not warm enough for citrus! Thank you for the encouragement Joy

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I come from apple and corn country, so walking past lemon, grapefruit and even palm and banana (!) trees in my neighbors’ yards took some getting used to!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Wow! Sounds hopelessly exotic to me, though logic dictates these trees must grow plentifully somewhere. Citrus, though – that must be amazing to walk past

        Liked by 1 person

      5. The best part is when your friends have too many lemons or grapefruit and invite me to come over and pick as many as I’d like!

        And if you want *exotic* — we actually have Birds of Paradise all over the place here. I remember thinking that was the most exotic flower I’d ever seen, and here they’re more common than lilies.


      6. Wow! Birds of Paradise, really? That’s amazing. We can’t even grow them as house plants here. I’ve only ever seen them in the glasshouses at Kew Gardens in London. How gorgeous. Our apples and cherries sound pretty tame compared

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely thought, that great fiction can change somebody’s mind about a practical action. How heartening to thing that we writers participate in that heritage. Your story is encouraging, Lynn!


  3. Oh for goddness sake, just get some logs on the fire!
    Seriously, your usual delightful creation.
    And like all the soft hearts above, I think a 600-year old tree is worth saving.


  4. I hope Morris hears of Gramma Mags updated thought. Loved how you detailed the lean, and balding branches. I had to check out your matching description. Well done Lynn.


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