That Old Place

PHOTO PROMPT © Yarnspinnerr

Ryan pushed through the hedges to the porch on the back of the house where Pop used to sit, staring out at the lake, his binoculars beside him on the wrought iron table.

“Wow, he really let the old place go, didn’t he?”

“He’s been sick, Ryan. You’d know that if you ever came by.”

He ran a hand along the peeling paint, then brushed the flakes on his leg. “So. What do you think we can get for this place?”

“You mean sell it? We practically grew up here.”

He snorted, yanking at a vine. “All the more reason.”

100 words

This has been an edition of Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to author Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting. This week’s photo courtesy Yarnspinner. To read more stories or to submit your own, click here.



  1. I loved the characters. They were tangible, chewable almost

    1. Thanks so much for reading Neil. Chewable, I like that!

  2. Excellent sketch of a scene. Made me think of an elderly Boo Radley, somehow.

    1. Hmm, a reclusive neighbor who’s rarely seen and never talks. That sounds close to home 😉

  3. Not particularly liking Ryan.

  4. Very real, this was, and so indicative of today’s generation who’d rather tear down then and destroy than renew and refurbish. A great tale!

    1. Thanks for reading Jelli!

  5. Great writing, so much in there – Ryan’s unhappy childhood, the recently lost father, the devoted sibling. Well done.

    1. Thanks so much Iain.

  6. Dear Karen,

    I could hear this conversation taking place between my own brother and me. Well done.



    1. It seems there is at least one of each in every family! Thanks for reading Rochelle.

  7. The dialogue was very believable. I found myself disliking Ryan for his uncaring attitude. I hope he doesn’t benefit from selling! 🙂

    1. Thanks for reading, Susan.

  8. Funny how people can grow up together but not have the same attachments. One wants to keep, the other wants nothing to do with it.
    Very real feeling to this, Karen. Well done, Madame!

    1. Thanks Dale. I think it may have been you I was talking to about this… About how different kids have different perceptions, almost like they grew up in different families? Maybe not… Anyway, thanks for reading and commenting!

      1. I had that same discussion so it must have been with you 😉

  9. You’ve given that story multiple layers; Ryan’s callousness, which is not trivial but rooted in his unhappy childhood; his sister’s (I’m assuming sister, you don’t say so but it feels almost certain) gentler feelings – she has seen their father, seen him suffer, lose his strength and die; the strong bond that remains between brother and sister; the different view of the family home exemplifying their different feelings. There’s just so much there. I really enjoyed reading it.

    1. Penny you are most kind. Sometimes you find things between the lines that I wished I’d thought of (giving me more credit than I deserve). But in this case you picked up what I meant, and I feel most grand the meaning worked. Thanks, as always, for reading and commenting.

  10. Everything falls into disrepair including our parents, unfortunately. There’s always one sibling with no time for sentiment.

    1. It seems so. Great to “see” you Tracey!

  11. I could see such arguments happening in a scattered family (due to reasons such as, separation between parents)
    Wonderfully written scene.

    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Moon.

  12. Obviously not a happy childhood. I like the “snorted” nice touch

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, goroyboy!

  13. ryan’s reaction was predictable. he had left and rarely came to visit. he had moved on.

    1. He had! Thanks for reading and commenting Plaridel.

  14. A cynical one, that Ryan, but maybe more practical also.

    1. Could be… Thanks for reading Anuragbakhshi!

  15. Sounds like to very different recollections of a childhood there. Nicely understated, Karen.

  16. Not such a happy childhood for one of them. Nice one!

    1. For sure! Thanks for reading 🙂

  17. I’m the only one of four boys who chose to keep (and live) part of the family homestead, so I can definitely relate to this tale. The dialogue was excellent and spot on.

    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting Russell. Seems there is is always one who stays close to home. Also always one historian. Often the same person…

  18. Callousness becomes him.


  19. Excellent dialogue.

    I am fascinated this week by the totally different points of view this picture has engendered. One person loves it, another hates it, both having grown up in it. That is a perfect picture of the human condition.

    1. Thanks so much. Isn’t it funny–the thing that inspired me was thinking about how differently people can view their upbringing. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  20. I wonder what the future holds for Ryan and his sibling? Will there be fights about property and money? Or will Ryan let it go? Well written.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!

  21. Story with great power – I flinched at the cynical, snarling tone of Ryan. Like the subtle backstory – that the woman had done all the caring. I sense that his attitude will prevail. Good writing.

    1. Thanks Francine, so glad you liked it. I think you are right about Ryan!

  22. Wow! There’s are so many innuendos here. One brother perhaps thinking he’d done the heavy lifting, one pushing away not just because he had moved far away, but for reasons not expressed. One with good memories, one with bad. Maybe I’m reading too much into the story? Anyway, I truly like it. Kudos.

    1. Hi Lish, I’m so tickled, you picked up on what I was trying to get across. Thanks so much for reading!

  23. This is so real. I can imagine similar conversations with my siblings. It still amazes me how we all grew up in the same house with the same parents but are very different. You have captured that perfectly here.

    1. Isn’t it amazing how every member in a family can all see things so differently? Thanks so much for reading and commenting JE.

  24. Two totally different viewpoints captured here, and so economically. Well done!

    1. Thanks for reading, Jilly!

  25. A great story. The dialogue was wonderful.

  26. Great dialogue. It’s a story I’ve seen played out in real life.

    1. Thanks so much for reading 🙂

  27. Powerful flash about family and memory. Two brothers with two opposed recollections / experience of the same childhood. Sadly it often happens…

    1. It does indeed. Thanks so much for reading Luccia.

  28. Very powerful and believable dialogue – something I need to work on / get better at – it conveys so much about their lives / relationship. Great 🙂

    1. Thanks for your kind words, mumpoet!

  29. This is reflective of our times. I know so many houses that were once homes. Lovely write.

    1. Thanks Yarnspinner, and thanks for the inspiration this week!

  30. I do understand Ryan, but his lack of tact and feeling towards his sister makes him an unpleasant character. I wonder why they both perceived their childhood so differently.

    1. That is a good question… Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

  31. I agree, sometimes you just have to let the past go. Lovely piece that makes you think of your values in life.

    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting James!

  32. Great interaction between the characters. Well told

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