Friday Fictioneers – An Old Man’s Pride and Joy

ff_home-made_carHis car had been his pride and joy. It had all happened in that car. His son had happened in that car.

He had been eyeing it for as long as boys eye things like that. He didn’t let him touch it. He didn’t trust him.

You’ll get the car when I’m dead and not before he insisted. He would be there waiting. He was forever waiting. He wasn’t in a hurry.

Didn’t think you really wanted it. Just thought you wanted me gone.

I love you son. Take care of the old girl.

I will dad. I will

*********************************************************************************

(The above is my entry to this week’s Friday Fictioneers Challenge)

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40 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – An Old Man’s Pride and Joy

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Being honest I was trying to imply the son will not take care of it. He only ever wanted the car so he could sell the engine for parts and then let chickens live in it. Ultimately not respecting his father’s memory.

      Reply
  1. sustainabilitea

    Paul, I like the continuity between father and son in your piece, the give and take and the love, the car linking them together.

    Two things I noticed. In the first sentence, “His car had been”, is what you want to say, I think. Amazing how those little things can slip through all the proof-reading, isn’t it? The second thing is that although I can figure out who’s who, you use lots of pronouns (he, him, you) without making sure we know to whom you’re referring. I think if you changed some of those to nouns, the story would be more clear.

    janet

    Reply
    1. paulmclem Post author

      Wow. Thanks for taking the time to critique my piece. Good spot with the “and” instead of “had”. Amazing the way the brain can convince you a certain word is there when it clearly isn’t. I agree about be me saying “He” a lot. I know who I’m talking about but agree others may not, even in only 100 words.

      Reply
      1. sustainabilitea

        I think most of us will know, it’s just not the best way to write it, that’s all. It will sound better without so many pronouns as well, although you’ll have to edit a little to get there. 🙂

      2. paulmclem Post author

        No, I completely agree with your observations. Very much appreciate you taking the time to both read and critique my post. Only my second ever 100 word effort and I’m grateful for all the help and advice I can get.

      3. sustainabilitea

        Glad you’re participating. It’s very addictive and seeing what and how everyone writes is really helpful. Making a story (or intro to a story) 100-words has the effect of sharpening how you write since every word has to contribute.

        janet

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Thanks for your comments Ted. Yes, on reviewing the piece I have used “He” too often. Will need to work on ways to distinguish between characters in short bursts of fiction. Didn’t want to use names and the lack of words saw me use “He” repeatedly.

      Reply
  2. Sandra

    Endorse the points above, but I really enjoyed this, and a couple of memorable lines in it: the one about ‘my son happened in this car’ and the plaintive third from last line, Wel done.

    Reply
  3. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

    Hi, I nice to see you here, No once it’s in your bloodstream you are hooked. I agree with with the above, a lot of nice lines. But I was a little confused about the two he.. father and son. Maybe it would been even better to write it as a dialogou all the the way through, a father talking to with son.

    That is one of the great things about this prompt. You grow as a writer. 🙂

    Reply
    1. paulmclem Post author

      Main thing I need to work on and explore is finding the best ways to handle two characters in such a short piece. There are various options as you say. As always your comments are appreciated.

      Reply
    1. paulmclem Post author

      Thanks. Can’t believe the amount of comments and “likes” I’ve received. Looks like I’ve stumbled into the right community as I take my first few creative writing steps.

      Reply
  4. rgayer55

    Welcome to the group, Paul. You’ve already recieved some good advice and direction from great writers. This is a great excercise to grow as a writer. I enjoyed your story. The next generation just doesn’t put the same sentimental value on our treasures as we do. Well done.

    Reply
    1. paulmclem Post author

      Yes, I’m feeling right at home within this writing gang on WordPress. Some great feedback. You’re spot on in your interpretation of my story. Despite all the best of intentions, those who inherit cherished family heirlooms just never pay them the love and attention previous generations did. Hence in this example the car going to seed. Thanks again for posting a comment.

      Reply
  5. rochellewisoff

    Dear Paul,
    First of all welcome to Friday Fictioneers. To some it’s a great exercise in concise short story telling. To others of us it’s an compulsion and an addiction.
    Glad you participated this week. I concur with what others have said. It was a little confusing to me as to who exactly was talking. I read it a couple of times. Nonetheless it’s an emotional tale of a father son relationship. I hope you’ll keep coming back.
    shalom,
    Rochelle

    Reply
  6. rich

    well done. i’m curious why you didn’t use quotation marks here:

    You’ll get the car when I’m dead and not before he insisted.

    Reply
    1. paulmclem Post author

      Cheers Rich. As to your question about quotation marks there is a straight forward answer. Didn’t even think about them. Yes, of course they should be there. However, I came up with this little story very quickly and being new to creative writing was excited to get it online to see what people thought. I am more used to fact based, journalistic writing and as such have very rarely dealt with issues such as who is speaking and using quotations. When proof reading this story I admit to being guilty of adding in the grammar and emphasis in my head i.e. in my mind It reads exactly as I want it to. I just need to make sure in future pieces I write in such a way that you don’t need to be inside my mind to understand exactly who said what etc. Was actually contemplating making changes to my story to factor in the lessons learned. However, decided against it as this is what I submitted so it would a bit of a cheat to amend it.

      Thanks again for taking time out to comment on my blog.

      Reply
      1. rich

        many people make changes. there’s no “cheating.” i have seen lots of times when people have made comments and suggestions, then revised their stories. i know i have done that often. so it is up to you, of course.

        nice to meet you.

      2. paulmclem Post author

        I have actually created a new version of the story based on the helpful comments received. Was planning on posting it as a separate blog piece this evening. In it I will review and explain the changes. Hopefully one or two of the Friday Fictioneers will read it and give their thoughts. Thanks again for taking time to comment on my work.

  7. Joe Owens

    I think most of us fathers wonder what will happen when we are not around to guide the decisions. Sons get different ideas and have different passions about things.

    Reply
  8. lingeringvisions

    I liked this but I didn’t get the sense the son wouldn’t take care of the car or that there was animosity between them until I read the comments. The way I read it the son always wanted it, maybe since he was 10 or 12 years old but the father told him not until he was gone. At a certain age, maybe 17 or later he gave it to him to let him know he trusted him and wanted to see him in it, something he wouldn’t be able to do if the son didn’t get it until the father was gone. Obviously that was all my imagination! Lol

    Reply
    1. paulmclem Post author

      Thanks for taking the time to compose such a lengthy comment. Much appreciated. Yes, on reflection the point wasn’t that he wouldn’t take care of it, he just wouldn’t lavish the same level of attention his dad did. Bit like a child who wants a dog and promises to walk it every night. They don’t, but not because they don’t love the dog, they just move onto other things and don’t give it the attention they once did. The son did want the car but despite best intentions it eventually fell into disrepair. Doesn’t men the son didn’t love his dad. Just had other things and other priorities in his life.

      Reply
  9. Lynda

    Argh, nobody will ever take care of your prized possessions like you did. A great story, but needs some character names for clarity.

    Reply
  10. Parul

    I really like this story. though I got confused in the pronouns at a few places – who was the son and who was the Dad, I liked what you created for the prompt.
    Welcome aboard! 🙂

    Reply
  11. Michael Fishman

    I think the relationship between father and son is a lot more complex and a lot deeper than these 100 words. I liked the sentimentality in the story but I had difficulty distinguishing between what were the father’s thoughts and what was dialogue.

    Reply
    1. paulmclem Post author

      Thanks for the comments. Yes, there is a lot more going on here. 100 words is just giving you a flavour of the underlying story. As I’ve said to others, I agree about the slight confusion as to who is who. I attempted to address this in a redraft .

      Reply

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