Friday Fictioneers: Trophies

PHOTO PROMPT © Jan Wayne Fields

I’ll admit, I was jealous of my brother. While my life was unremarkable, his was extraordinary.

Beautiful girlfriends. A house in Kensington. Holidays to Tonga, Maui, Cambodia.

He lived in the house ten years, but as I walk the rooms, my footsteps echoing, the place feels like a feature in a style magazine. No photographs of family on the mantelpiece. No scrappy school paintings pinned to the fridge or toys on the floor. Not even a dog basket cluttering the hall.

I cuff my cheeks dry. The man had so many trophies and won nothing.

***

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the prompt picture and let your imagination fly. See here to join in.

78 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers: Trophies

  1. There are such people. And the way they tell it, you’d think them the bee’s knees. But it’s a cover. We know that, even they do not. Yea, I like your tale. Hope I haven’t just insulted your brother. Oops.

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    1. Haha! I have two brothers and fortunately, neither of them are like this. Yes, I’ve met people who judge their lives and those of others in their earnings and possessions but it seems a hollow way to live your life to me. Don’t get me wrong, I want stuff, but it’s books and plants not Bugattis and designer shoes 😀. Hope you’re well

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, writing’s going okay – 50000 odd words so far. Just trying to be as productive as possible before I return to work. Are you managing to write? At least we’re allowed out more now – will you get more photography done now?

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      2. Daughter & I going out Monday, but I’m still being careful of my back, so no ultra-long distances. Meantime, yea, I’m writing. Learning to Fly is now out to betas, but I’ working through Alsalda, 3rd draft… and I can see there’s at least another edit required before I ever think of that going to betas. It follows a family’s various responses to the unprecedented changes wrought by invading, though friendly, immigrants. Basically set at the change of Neolithic to Bronze Age and heavily inspired by the arrival of the Beaker Folk.

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  2. It’s all in perception, isn’t it? If the brother’s happy, it doesn’t matter what anyone else says. Or is he just filling the void caused by something like a fear of intimacy or an inability to connect? Deep, thought-provoking story.

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    1. I was going for the second take. But I think most of us would think someone had their priorities askew if they don’t value human contact. Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Nobbin

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      1. A lot of people, especially my compatriots, used to look at me with pity because I don’t have kids. I used to find it very belittling. But what they can’t see is that I have a very rich inner life which I wouldn’t trade for anything. What we see of a person is only the tip of the iceberg.
        Sorry, didn’t mean to argue with your perspective, just putting forward mine.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Strange how some people think having kids is the main purpose of life when there are so many ways to live and be happy. I suppose all I meant with my story was that the man had no relationships he valued in his life. Now that’s just not good for people. Thank you for reading the story with such thoughtfulness

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  3. Life on the other side. Society tries to make us believe via media that the great house, career, holidays etc is happiness. It’s a lie. No one can be that happy, not all the time and after a while it leaves an emptiness. Thought provoking story.

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    1. There have been studies that suggest once people have enough money to cover house, food and other basics, any extra cash doesn’t actually make them any happier. You need to be happy in yourself first, is day. Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment

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  4. That last line was the BEST I have heard from anyone in a long time, Lynn. When someone is so well-accomplished like that, he really doesn’t leave much of a legacy in terms of children or family. Sure, he got what he probably wanted to do and maybe he actually DID change a few lives along the way. Nice work, Lynn!

    Five out of five tickets to Tahiti. 😉

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    1. Thank you so much! That’s really good of you to say so. Pretty sure I won’t leave much behind so far as global accomplishments is concerned but I also think my son is going to grow up to be a good man, so job done 😀

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  5. What a first line! “I’ll admit, I was jealous of my brother.” If that doesn’t draw the reader in, nothing will, ever!
    And then a comprehensive dissection of a sterile life.
    And what a clever piece of writing “I cuff my cheeks dry.” Five words that tell us that her brother is dead and she is grieving, which redoubles the poignancy of your closing sentence because now he has no hope of ever experiencing a fulfilled and loving life.
    Brilliant, Lynn. A jewel.

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  6. This reminds me of the night we found our neighbor dead in her bed. She’d been dead a while but we never really saw her come and go even though she was very active so didn’t wonder. It was mid-summer so the lack of lights in her house said nothing. We let her best friend into the house ~ we shared cat sitting ~ after she arrived on our doorstep saying she hadn’t heard from Karen for a while. And there she was in bed with her laptop beside her. Hours later the sheriff was waiting for the coroner to arrive and I went over to keep him company. He mentioned how sad her house made him. No family pictures, no books. You captured that feeling so well.

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    1. Oh, my word, what a story. That must have been horrifying for you, Lish. I’m so sorry you had to go through that. Some people love such tragically lonely lives. Thank you so much for reading and for sharing your story

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      1. No worries at all.
        Congratulations, Lynn. Would love to read it once it’s out. I wish you loads of luck. I’m sure it will be a book to treasure. Keep me posted please.

        I’ve been well, yes. Thank you.
        Stay safe.

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