Fandango’s Story Starter #2

First of all, let me offer a big thank you to those of you who participated in the inaugural edition of my new Story Starter prompt. I am both humbled by and grateful for your reception to this new writing prompt. So let’s see what happens this week.

As a reminder, here’s how it works. Every Tuesday morning (my time), I’m going to give you an incomplete “teaser” sentence and your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to build a story (poetry or prose) around that partial sentence. It doesn’t have to be the first sentence in your story, and you don’t even have to use it in your post at all if you don’t want to. The purpose of the teaser is simply to spark your imagination and to get your storytelling juices flowing

This week’s teaser is:

To be clear, what you’re saying is that…

If you care to write and post a story built on this teaser, be sure to link back to this post and to tag your post with #FSS. I would also encourage you to read and enjoy what other bloggers do with this teaser, assuming (hoping?) that some bloggers will give it a shot.

And most of all, have fun.

30 thoughts on “Fandango’s Story Starter #2

  1. Mason Bushell July 13, 2021 / 5:01 am

    Hello, Fandango. I’m going to have to pass today as much as I wanted to participate again. I’m spending half the day being sick! Damned ticks are a nuisance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango July 13, 2021 / 8:01 am

      I hope you feel better, Mason. Did you get a tick bite?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mason Bushell July 13, 2021 / 9:01 am

        Thank you, Fandango.
        Yes I was bitten yesterday and UK ticks can carry Lyme Disease and so you have to have a course of meds. Well my body rebelled against those meds making me quite ill. It’s easing but I’m still running off to the toilet every 40 mins or so. Fun times!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango July 13, 2021 / 12:38 pm

          My wife had Lyme Disease from a tick when we lived in Pennsylvania. Not fun at all.

          Like

          • Mason Bushell July 13, 2021 / 12:40 pm

            In hope she recovered well. I have preventative meds and just have to wait 6 weeks for blood tests to see if I got lucky.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen July 13, 2021 / 3:44 pm

      I have an aunt and cousins who have long-term Lyme issues that flair up from time to time (such that my aunt, who is a registered nurse, was being careful in planning her jab appointment). And I’ve been hearing, via medical people, that the “Long Covid” symptoms are similar to Lyme’s.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mason Bushell July 14, 2021 / 1:39 am

        Thats not good for your poor aunt.

        I hope the meds I have will stop me getting Lyme. I’m not getting vaccinated so that shouldn’t be an issue hopefully.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marleen July 14, 2021 / 9:46 am

          I, too, sure do hope the meds keep you from getting Lymes.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. pensitivity101 July 13, 2021 / 5:24 am

    Oh, this is so like our government……….. to be perfectly clear…………… let us be clear………………… lying little s***s. Will come back to it with a post though……………

    Liked by 2 people

  3. JT Twissel July 13, 2021 / 12:28 pm

    I’ve got a friend who’s a lawyer who says “To be clear..” all the time. Drives me nuts. I can’t today but I’ll check out the contributions!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Marilyn Armstrong July 13, 2021 / 12:58 pm

    just to be clear, there IS no truth or if there is, it has nothing to do with me. Right? No? Wait a minute. I need to rethink this.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Marleen July 14, 2021 / 9:55 am

    😂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Marleen July 16, 2021 / 10:09 pm

    Okay, I’ve finally come up with an approach. It has come about because of two elements: someone’s story earlier under this prompt and a conversation I had with my mother (or that she, rather, had with me… last week); I have subsequently thought beyond what she said (and may go back to these topics, or one in particular, with her on a future occasion). Pretend it’s not me, so it’s a story.

    ~~~~

    “I have things to tell you about him. I’ve wondered if I should tell you, or if I should put it in a letter for after I die instead.”

    “Pfft… put it in a letter,” I scoffed. Why don’t people speak honestly instead of being jerks?

    “He didn’t like that one boy you dated. He told you that.”

    “No, he didn’t tell me that.” Mom was always a manipulative sort and had told me, back then, that “Daddy” didn’t want me to be dating this peer from my private high school. She knew Dad’s opinion was more important to me than hers in most situations. So that was her best bet, even if it was untrue. (Her own opinions were along the lines of marrying someone rich. This had come up years prior, and I had been stunned. First of all, why would I need to marry rich when she’d told me I’d have my own career? Secondly, gross. Who was she? Who is she?)

    It didn’t ultimately matter if anyone else liked him in my family, because that boy had disqualified himself in my own estimation eventually. And it didn’t take long. But, in the meantime, I had to be horrified as she said various things that weren’t what the relationship with the boyfriend was like and other things that were contrary to how she had portrayed herself in relation to me when I was a bit younger.

    “Divorcing him was the biggest mistake of my life,” she reached. I was yanked back to another timeframe.

    Aside from remembering the obvious that things weren’t perfect after the divorce, the only other thing she imparted about him was that he was a terrible communicator. This was brought on because I told her he hadn’t said he didn’t want me dating that boy (which she may have, I’ll surmise, asked him to tell me but which point-of-view didn’t have to be the way he saw it just because she did).

    “I agree.” Let’s call that the biggest mistake. It was probably the most painful and consequential on top of inexplicable. Yet, she had come up with so many other shocking behaviors that this served as a cover of sorts for her. We don’t have to talk about the rest of them if she doesn’t want to. What would be the point anyway?

    “Oh, well. I’m glad you got to sit in his lap all those times,” she said with a jealous or begrudging tone and studied grown-up resolve as if she had granted this to me rather than it having been a natural aspect of being a little girl. Somehow, I didn’t have a right… commonly called a birthright.

    I ignored this. Well, actually, I largely ignored it; I mainly ignored her tone. I said, “I have warm memories.” I hardly ever think back to sitting on his lap either; I wasn’t an adolescent begging for things while batting my eyes. I mean, it had to have been no older than when I was eight if even then when sitting that close was at all descriptive of my being a daughter.

    “You have his personality. You know that, right?” I won’t bore you with our “personalities” or character traits, but I agreed while proceeding to compare and contrast. “I went over to his house, once, and did the dishes. That woman he was with was staying out late. That’s when I knew the divorce wasn’t a good idea,” she went on. “He was with that woman.”

    “I know he was with her,” I said as a matter of fact. My mental images went back to when he took the two of us out to eat so I could meet her. He asked me what I thought. I answered that she was “fine” (generically) but didn’t convey enthusiasm. She was better than anyone I’d met because of my mother’s proclivities. Woven in, I had the rooms of his classic but artsy home in my head, the first property (not the first but the first he bought after taking on real estate as an activity at about the same time I was having my first child in California across half a continent and about six years).

    “Well, that’s when I knew I’d made a mistake.”

    “I think he was completely disoriented because he was in a situation he never thought would be part of his life.”

    “Yeah, I do think so.”

    I know I was disoriented, myself.

    “I just couldn’t believe it,” she continued, looking for outrage at his behavior. The audacity, I sensed she hinted, to have a grown woman in his life. After being divorced, I held to the end of that thought (silently that day). Or was I supposed to be aghast that he hadn’t chosen someone to do his dishes?

    She had brought up the dishes and the woman after she had asserted that he didn’t cook until late in life and I’d retorted that he’d cooked before he was old, I was sure, given he had to cook after the divorce as he wasn’t likely to want to constantly pay to eat at restaurants. Simultaneously, it was simply a full-on lie. But… she was fishing for credit as the parent who provided food. I neither confirmed or denied. They both cooked. They both worked outside the home. He cooked long before the divorce.

    Why was she so stupid? On top of her wasting time and our energy on inferior men — says his daughter — I was educated in the feeling of disgust when one particularly self-impressed guy spoke to me as if he had authority in my life… like… like he had a right to be my dad or tell me what to do or think. Mother fucker. This is the middle-age adult me superimposing my own words. I didn’t even think the word “fuck” back then, and I didn’t tell him he was “not my dad.” But he knew without a doubt that he would never have authority or even respect. He saw it in my eyes and heard in in my silence. Morally, he was a lesser of her evils. He wasn’t married. But he had a tad of evil in him, in part demonstrated when — years after I’d left my mother’s home — he sued her for a total of anything he’d ever given her.

    So, to be clear, what you’re saying is that Dad having a relationship that didn’t go as one might hope is the same, on equal footing and, by the tone of your voice, worse, than you having several relationships, or honestly just sex, with married men and even with someone you later suggested I date (without letting me know this)? Or is that not what there was to tell me? What is the thing you might want to put in a letter?

    I may have my father’s body exhumed for a dna test when it’s time to dig up that area to bury my mother. She’ll be buried there. There are no objections to her being buried there, despite the divorce, in his family’s plot. It’s possible she doesn’t really know who my birth father is (I’m thinking while it never crossed my mind before). However, people tell me I look like his side of the family. Some people, that is. Others say I look like my mother. And, hey, I’ve got the better of the two personalities.

    ~~

    {I’ve been a smidge unfair to my mother. She put a pinch more emphasis on it being a bad decision to have filed for divorce.}

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