Short story: Care home memories


Someone had moved Joyce’s chair so it no longer sat square-on to the television. “Probably that Polish cleaner with the unpronounceable name,” she muttered. “Always nudging the furniture with her vacuum.” Joyce let go of the zimmer frame and lowered herself carefully down. “My grandfather invented the vacuum cleaner,” Joyce said loudly to no one in particular.

“Shh, I’m watching this,” said William from the chair next door.

The television showed a continuous flow of traffic at night, obscured by a lily in a pot.

“My mother was the most wonderful gardener,” Joyce said, her eyes welling.

“Shh,” said William.


This piece of writing is part of the Friday Fictioneers writing group. Each week writers from around the world attempt to write 100 words (or so) starting with a picture, this week from Lora Mitchell.

I’d love to receive comments and constructive criticism. Click here to read other people’s stories inspired by this picture or to join in, with the group hosted by Rochelle Wishoff-Fields.

23 thoughts on “Short story: Care home memories

    • I think conversations often go like that – two people with different agendas, it’s just in the elderly it’s more pronounced. Thanks for reading and commenting Sandra.


  1. I agree with lingeringvisions. Well done. This reminds me of my dad who was in a home for the elderly. All he wanted was to get out of there. Well, finally he did.


  2. Clare,
    William seems easily entertained judging from what’s on the TV. Poor Joyce could use someone with conversational skills. But on a positive note at least they both can still hear. You captured the atmosphere perfectly as Sandra said. Nice work.



  3. Joyce needs to find someone else to talk to. This was a horrible reminder of what some of us have to look forward to. Well done.


  4. Dear Claire,
    I actually find this story more horrifying than vampires and zombies. Both are lonely and desolate in different ways. My take is that he escapes in whatever flitters across the screen while she craves denied companionship. In any case, believable dialogue.


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