Conflicting Interests – FFfAW

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writer is a writing challenge hosted by Priceless Joy. It involves writing a piece of fiction from a given photo prompt in 100-150 words, give or  take 25. If you’d like to join in with the challenge, follow the above link to see what to do. The challenge runs from Tuesday – Tuesday every week.

Here’s this week’s prompt, kindly provided by Louise at The Storyteller’s Abode.


And this is my story . . .

Conflicting Interests

‘I’ll go ahead of you,’ Alf insisted as they waited to board the pleasure-cruiser, ‘so I can help you across the gangplank. Don’t want you overboard, especially in December.’

Edna scowled and stepped in front of him as the queue moved aboard. ‘I might be getting on, but I’m not incapable,’ she retorted, eyeing the roped-off steps to the open-air upper deck. ‘I wanted to sit up there … better views.’

‘Too cold,’ Alf replied, pushing her inside towards two vacant seats. ‘Get in first, next to the window, Edna. Views’ll be good and we’ll be nice and warm – not like them idiots Christmas shopping out in the city.’

‘Which is where I’d be if you hadn’t booked this cruise!’

Edna grumbled on until they disembarked, when her face lit up. ‘Now let’s get to the more enjoyable job of shopping.’

Alf sighed. Edna had made it impossible for him to see the sights, and now he’d be dragged round the crowded shops, loaded up with bulging bags…

His grumbling continued until they got home.

Word Count: 175


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29 thoughts on “Conflicting Interests – FFfAW

  1. They sound so cute together in your story! Grumbling and going on together, life’s precious moments. Don’t think they could ever do anything apart. Love the feeling it gives me MT!

    1. Thanks, Gina. I think grumbling becomes part of everyday life when couples have been married for so many years (at least it is in our house. Lol) I have to say, though, that I really hate shopping!

      1. But having that person to grumble along with its something we take for granted and you cant get it back once its gone. I like shopping only if it’s for something I like!

  2. Oh dear, what a sad state of things, that neither likes what the other does and yet they drag each other around anyway. At first I read it as mother-son but then I thought they were a couple. Either way, I hope next time they’ll plan to do things on their own, or with a friend who shares that interest, and stick to things they *both* enjoy for their joint outings. Either that, or stop grumbling. My goodness, life is too short for that!

    1. Hi, Joy. I can see why you thought the story could be about mother and son – but I had me and Nick in mind when I wrote this. I agree that sometimes, couples need to do things they enjoy on their own or with others – for sanity’s sake!
      On the day this photo was taken by Louise, I was with my two daughters (Nicola and Louise) and my grandson, Kieran. on a trip to York to see the Christmas market there. It was bitterly cold, although it may not look it on Lou’s photo – the blue sky is deceptive. We spent most of our time looking for somewhere to have a hot drink and later a meal. Everywhere was totally packed … not at all my idea of fun!

      1. I just hate to see people grumbling, oh no! The bitter cold will do that to just about anyone, though. And when you’re traveling, you don’t have much choice but to deal with whatever activity the other person (or people) want to do and hope they’re nice about taking turns with your activity next. I hope you found warmer and more pleasing activities to enjoy after enduring that cold and crowded day!

    1. Ha ha! You sussed us out! You’re right … after so many years of marriage, most couples can grumble to their hearts’ content without offending each other. But I can’t pretend to be Edna, because shopping is my least favourite activity in life. I’d much prefer a boat ride. 😀

  3. Not even a cruise will stop her, poor Alf and his under-appreciated efforts. Despite their grumbling, there is still a sense of how much they care for each other and have put up with each other for a long time. Good job.

    1. Thanks Iain. I agree that Alf comes off worst in the story and that compromise is what long-lasting relationships are all about (speaking as someone who has been married over 46 years). 😀

  4. Hahaha! Sounds like a typical husband and wife that has been married for years! Cute story, Millie! You have been on my mind a lot Millie. I have been wondering how your sister is. I do hope she is much better.

  5. Hi PJ! Perhaps it’s a little too obvious that I was thinking about me and Nick when I wrote this! We rarely grumble outright, but there are many things that both of us have to tolerate for the sake of peace. I have to say, though, that I hate shopping – so that was just for the story.
    I’m sure Lou will explain when and where the photo was taken. It was a freezing day, just a couple of weeks before Christmas and we did little shopping. York was packed and it took ages just finding somewhere to have lunch. I was surprised the river cruises still ran at that time of year!
    I’m really touched that you should have been thinking of me. My sister left hospital just before Christmas, but has been told by consultants it will take at least 6 months for her to regain her former strength. We’re all just thankful she survived such an ordeal. I haven’t been doing much on WordPress recently because I’ve been concentrating on Book 3 of my trilogy, which should have been finished months ago. I do miss your challenge, though. A belated Happy New Year, PJ!

  6. Hehe, nothing could stop her from going shopping! Poor Alf, dragged around again.. until he comes across the electronics department, that is 😉 Great writing!

  7. A great ironic twist… the title is excellent as it perfectly fits this brief story
    An interesting subtle critic to our society, particularly insatiable at Christmas time.
    Thinking about what is next and not being able to enjoy “the (special) moment” speaks out loud in that same sense as well. Many things to ponder here!.
    Sending love & best wishes, dear Millie. 😉

    1. Thank you for such a nice comment, Aquileana. Sorry for this really late reply but I’m only just able to start catching up with myself now. I’ll pop over to your site a little later on. 🙂

  8. Yes, I had an older couple in mind when I wrote this, Inese. We oldies can grumble and gripe and still be happy together – or perhaps I should say ‘some of we oldies’. I suppose there are bound to be exceptions.
    I’m way behind myself on WP at the moment as I’ve been spending time on my book. But I hope to catch up reading some of my favourite blogs very soon! I must have a few of your posts to read, which I’m looking forward to doing. 🙂

      1. Thank you, Inese. I think I may well have to take a longish break from blogging (and perhaps sleeping as well) in order to finish Book 3! 😀

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