Sunday Photo Fiction – One Day


The shrill peel of my alarm thrust me into another unwelcome day. I stumbled to the bathroom and turned on the taps. The pipes groaned in protest. While I waited for the water to warm I stared at my reflection through slitted eyes. I looked older than my 40 years. I felt about a hundred. I winced as the water stung my red raw hands. I rubbed them dry. No lotions for me. What was the point of softening skin that had never caressed a lover or soothed a baby?

In the bedroom I squeezed my bulk into the too small dress I wore yesterday, picking off the congealed egg with my nail. I glanced at the clock. It was 6.27 am. Mother would be sitting up in bed now, walking stick poised ready to bang on the floor if I was so much of a second late. She would readily empty her bladder in protest at my neglect, grimacing as she told me she couldn’t help it. Couldn’t possibly wait another moment for her selfish daughter to tend to her needs.

Every day was exactly the same, monotonous, backbreaking and lonely. I dreamed of breakfast in bed, of holidays in the sun, sometimes I even dared wish for love.

One day things would be different, the thudding of the stick on the ceiling above me sliced through my thoughts, I was forever waiting for that day.

Written for Sunday Photo Fiction – a story of around 200 words inspired by a prompt.


17 thoughts on “Sunday Photo Fiction – One Day

  1. I think we owe a lot to our parents but I don’t think we should be expected to totally give up our own lives and happiness. Unfortunately the population is aging and your story is probably played out around the world every day. Great story.

  2. I like the beating her mother over the head with her bedpan–but I suppose it’s because that’s the kind of story I would write. 😀
    Seriously though, it’s a sad fact that so many people care for mean, spiteful, ungrateful people, losing all joy in life in the process. My siblings and I cared for our mother for about 6 months before she died, but through it all, she remained kind and thoughtful. Never a harsh word passed her lips. I hope when my time comes, I can leave this world with as much grace and dignity as did my mother.

  3. This was a very provocative piece of writing. Even though you could have continued, the piece has strength and merit just as it is. Harsh and sad reality for many in today’s world, regardless of point of view – those needing care, or, as in this case, the care giver, many who often are abused equally, if not so more, by those around them. Sad truth in reality that for many, aging is such an ugly process, void of genuine care, concern and compassion, for ALL involved.

      • Yes, different countries and cultures definitely handle and consider aging and death with completely different responses and attitudes, some, with great respect, compassion and care.

Constructive criticism appreciated

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