Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge #12: luncheon


Madame Dubois entered the dull, grimy mill, shook out her umbrella, and called brightly: “Henri, François, I hope you didn’t get too wet.”

Spreading the quilt created a dust storm, but Madame held a hander-chief to her face, and the choking was minimal. “I must bring a broom again next time,” she thought.

She unpacked the basket: plates, knives, 2 kinds of cheese (Henri and François had different tastes), fresh baguette, newly churned butter, ale, milk, honey. Heavy load to carry from the farm house.

“Come along,” she called, listening for their whispers, their laughter, and running footsteps. Soon the old mill echoed with them from a thousand corners and cracks.

Her boys. Always at play. Always wanting to explore, discover, enjoy.

Madame Dubois packed up the left overs. There was a definite sadness in her eyes. A rarely shed tear streaked down her cheek. It was hard for her to come every week, to bring their luncheon. But how could she abandon them. She knew they died that day, playing in the mill; the boys just hadn’t realized it yet.

Witten for Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge 12: Henri Rousseau  and abandon


15 thoughts on “Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge #12: luncheon

  1. mother wintermoon September 4, 2016 / 5:18 pm

    Wonderful writing! I was pulled right into the story, with a supernatural twist. Love!


  2. merrildsmith September 3, 2016 / 3:27 pm

    Excellent story.
    I honestly read this after I wrote mine. Very weird. :)


    • taleweavering phylor September 4, 2016 / 2:34 pm

      Comment was eaten. It is interesting how we both interpreted the painting as a ritual surrounding death. Something in Jane’s words and the painting itself may have triggered our similar responses!

      Liked by 1 person

      • merrildsmith September 4, 2016 / 4:58 pm

        Yes. She looked like a tragic figure to me, and I guess to you, as well.


  3. Jane Dougherty September 3, 2016 / 11:42 am

    About half-way through I got the feeling that this was going to end in tragedy. Tragic without being maudlin. I love the last line.


    • taleweavering September 3, 2016 / 12:34 pm

      I had hoped to sustain the charade longer, so the twist would be more surprising. I didn’t want a weeper, just a tear or two. Thanks Jane.


      • Jane Dougherty September 3, 2016 / 1:03 pm

        It was a creeping feeling, a suspicion, but you kept the suspense until the end.


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