Short story: enlightment

lvbydawne_2As he drove his car up the drive, Rex saw that every light in the house had been lit, making the windows glow like a wall of old masters in mahogany frames: shabby sitting room piled with books, bedrooms showing unmade beds and in the kitchen, the silhouettes of his grown-up daughters, arguing. He could imagine the conversation:

“I’m going to call the police.”
“No! That’s what he wants. The attention.”
“But he might be dead, in a ditch somewhere.”
“Then let him stay there. Teach him a lesson.”
“I mean it.”

Rex put his car into reverse.


This week my story was also inspired by a long weekend I spent in the Gothic Temple in Stowe Landscape gardens, which my husband organised for my birthday. This magnificent building can be rented from the Landmark Trust. On Sunday night we put all the lights on and went out into the dark. It looked amazing.

gothic temple


For those who don’t know how Friday Fictioneers works, this picture (this time supplied by Dawn M. Miller) is our inspiration for our weekly online writing group hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Click here to read other people’s amazing stories or to join in. And please comment below with any suggestions for improvement on mine.

44 thoughts on “Short story: enlightment

  1. Claire,
    I love your description. Sounds like the kind of place I’d love to visit. It sounds like Rex has his family all figured out, but I’m wondering how much of the conversation is probable and how much he is making up. Very interesting piece.


  2. I wonder whether any of them are enlightened or all imagining things worse or different than they are. If the story’s true, I feel sorry for all of them. As David said, the descriptions of the house sound so friendly, a sharp contrast with the attitudes of the people.



  3. Loved the short story – poor Rex, reverse has to be his destination. This is definitely a dysfunctional family – so if it’s his family, he’s partly to blame. Really not from the “Father Knows Best” or “Leave it to Beaver” era. By the way, love the Gothic Temple. What a wonderful gift your husband gave you. Neat place! Nan


  4. I always look forward to reading your stories, Claire. I loved the way you likened the scenes in the house to old masters. There are so many stories through the windows of a lighted house at night.


  5. No wonder Rex decided to reverse-no point going in where you are not loved or needed-what a sad state for a family to be in!Guess the e=wife is dead-lucky?An interesting take on the prompt Claire with a lot of possibilities:-)


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