The Day We Took Mom to Shady Rest

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

“I’m fine. Don’t be silly,” Mom said.

Paul shot a skeptical look over her head. He’d been after me for months to come out and see how she was doing.

“What did you have to eat today?” I asked.

“Oh, the usual. Yogurt and some strawberries from the garden.”

I gave Paul a triumphant look.

“Say, can you get Mom’s walker?” he said, emphasizing the word walker like an indictment.

“Where is it, Mom?”

“It’s in my trunk, dear.”

I walked through her tidy kitchen and into the garage. Which was when I saw her crumpled car. And the blood.

100 words

This has been an edition of the Friday Fictioneers, hosted by the talented and generous Rochelle Wisoff Fields. This week’s photo courtesy Rochelle-and I hope everyone’s okay!

To read more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click here.

After doing Pegman for awhile, I got used to the luxury of more than 100 words. This was a challenge!


  1. So well told. I’m still removing my heart from my mouth. It’s a sign of getting old when you start worrying about your parents’ safety on the roads, while still worrying about your children and grandchildren. I remember the relief when my dad was approaching 80 and let me sell his huge motorcycle. He still hasn’t forgiven me though.

    1. Ah, the joys of being in the sandwich generation. Thanks for reading!

  2. Oh man. This is good. I remember when it was time to get my grandmother to surrender her license. She had stepped on the wrong pedal and gone through a fence into a school yard which had been full of kids just five minutes before. It was the coup de grace for a dangerous driving career. My mother said “She’d pick you kids of for church and I would pray.”

    1. Oh no! That sort of thing is on the news all the time. I know how your mom must’ve felt.

  3. Dear Karen,

    You’re obviously up to the challenge of scaling back 50 words. Well written…a larger story layered between the lines.

    No one was hurt in the accident. I was getting off on a single lane exit ramp when I was broadsided by an SUV. Not one of my better days. 😉



    1. Glad you’re okay. That had to be scary! Thanks for reading 🙂

  4. and we walk through the garage and into another story. Defly done, Karen

    1. Thanks Neil. I had so much fun imagining the next conversation. Thanks for reading!

  5. Excellent reveal at the end, reminds me of so many stories of older drivers causing serious accidents. Great work.

    1. Thanks Iain! They make older drivers renew their licenses more frequently for good reason.

  6. peterkirsch

    Last three words add a triple underline that I wasn’t expecting at all. And the clouds roll in…

    1. I had a lot of fun imagining the conversation that happened next. Thanks for reading Peter!

  7. I love how sweet Mom is. And how you make us think “What’s wrong with these kids?” even as we wait for the ball to drop. And drop it surely does! Nicely done. (You did wonderful things with your skimpy 100-word limit. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Alicia!

  8. But it’s not blood! It’s ketchup. Honestly, you kids worry too much. 😀

    1. Lol! Mom should never eat fast food and drive 🙂

  9. Yikes! Mom’s a scary, deadly driver. My Mom’s on the verge of giving up driving, hopefully before something like this happens.

    1. I hope so! Hope she gives up the keys soon. Thanks for reading!

  10. Thank goodness my Mum gave up on her 80th birthday! A great little tale.

    My FF is called Whoopsie!

    1. Hope your mom isn’t missing it too much. Thanks for reading. I’ll check out your story!

  11. Dale

    Oh man… definitely time to remove her license. My grandmother had to hit two deer before she would admit to no longer being safe on the road…

    1. I can imagine it is hard to give up that sort of independence, but dang–safety first. Thanks for reading.

      1. Dale

        Dang indeed!!

  12. I feel so glad we managed to take my mother’s car before this happened…. I know she was out driving getting lost, so we simply asked to borrow it, and after a while she forgot she had a car…

    1. That worked out well–the forgetting was in your favor. Thanks for reading.

  13. hang on what… lol very good still asking myself questions..

  14. michael1148humphris

    Perhaps she was out hunting deers for the fridge. 🙂 Heaven knows how I will behave if someone trys to take my license away. Perhaps I will buy a souped up pavement scooter!

  15. So much detail squeezed in there, it’s great! I especially like how you misdirect and then, blammo, drop how bad things really are.

  16. I picked on the elderly driver too in my flash fiction.
    I recall from my own grandparents the difficulties experienced with different family members juggling arrangements and the clashing opinions, which led to a huge breakdown in my Dad’s close knit family which only started resolving some time after my grandmother died. It was a disgrace.
    My husband’s very independent aunt was renowned for saying : “You won’t get me off to a nursing home. You’ll have to carry me off in a box.” unfortunately, her body had other ideas and she had a not-massive-enough stroke and there was no alternative. Knowing what that meant to her and how it went across the grain must’ve been terrible for her son, but he really needed his own life by then. No easy solutions other than to die young I guess…something most of us avoid at all costs!
    xx Rowena

    1. Oh my, these are tough issues to work through for sure. Look forward to your story. Thanks for reading mine!

  17. Oh dear. I’m glad my mum has pretty much stopped driving and never drives after dark (she’s in her early 80s).

    1. Seems to be the trend around here. Thanks for reading!

  18. Oh my oh my! That’s pretty unseating! Is mom a monster or become one because of her health!

  19. This is so terrifying and so real too. I have a similar story to Josh’s – my mother in law kept driving even though she had several medical problems and a ‘fuzzy brain’ as she described it. At a set of lights she put her foot on the accelerator rather than the brake, totalled a BMX (fortunately parked and empty) then ricocetted into the front of a cafe (fortunately closed, without the usual chairs and tables out the front). Could have been very, very nasty …
    I can really see this being the opneing for a longer piece, Karen – a ‘whodunnti / what did she do’ kind of mystery, starting as domestic drama, galloping into death! Great tale

    1. Oh what a harrowing experience for you and for your mother in law. Glad she is well.

      I had fun imagining the next scene, maybe I will work it into something longer. Thanks so much for reading and your kind words!

      1. My pleasure 🙂

  20. An adult child’s fear for elderly parent’s driving well written. So many directions this tale can go.

  21. Ha Ha! Looks like mom was in a fun ride! Well written.

  22. Michael B. Fishman

    I kind of wanted to laugh at the ending with the reveal of the blood on the car but I couldn’t because everything that led up to it was so scary, tragic, personal… pick one. This is a strong story, Karen, and very well written and my favorite so far.

    1. Thanks for your very kind words! Thanks for reading and glad you liked it.

  23. Great ending, a very well told, sympathetic tale

    1. Thank, I’m glad you liked it!

  24. Oh, my! Great ending of what seemed like an innocent scene.

  25. What a great story and so close to home for many people. My mom had backed up into a car at a store without alerting the driver. When the cops came to her home later, she had forgotten what she did until the cops showed her the dent and paint from the other car. Those were the days her dementia had not been diagnosed yet. My car died on the bridge on my way to Montreal 3 years ago and I only rent a car when I need one but want to retire in an area where there is public transit when I will decide to give up my driver’s permit. I am pretty sure my kids will tell me soon enough but I hope I will do it before it comes to that.

    1. Very frightening about your mom! Car free is a nice way to be. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  26. Bet there are going to be some raised voices. Well done.

  27. Oh no who or what animal did Grandma hit? I’m hoping they are not in the crumpled trunk with the walker, but that’s my imagination getting away with me. It’s a difficult thing losing your license to drive when a person is so used to that independence. My Grandpa still drove before he died in his early seventies but he drove very slow that even my Grandma told him too speed up and he’d get mad. On one hand all he did was drive to nearby appointments, church, and groceries. On the other, going 30 km/hr to 40 km/hr on your average road posted 50 km/h to 60 km/hr could have been an accident waiting to happen! As a child his slow driving just drove me crazy!

    1. What a visual you make–in the trunk! I hope not too, yikes.

      Your grandpa sounds like my grandma was–she said she drove slow so that she wouldn’t have to brake around the corners. Luckily she lived in a small town and they all knew to stay out of her way. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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