16 Nov

Here is my 100 word story for Friday Fictioneers, a group of electrifying individuals who write flash fiction stories based on a photo prompt (provided this week by Sean Fallon and shown below) under the watchful eye of Shop Steward, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. All of the stories can be found here. Please take some time out of your busy blogging or surfing day and check out the submissions. You will be glad you did.

My story is not a poem. The shape of the text and the choice of names and words has an underlying theme that I hope will not be viewed in a negative light. The extra challenge I set for myself gives me an extra charge and is offered with positive intent for your reading pleasure.

(To those gracious souls who commented on last weeks story please accept my heartfelt thanks. Though I was not able to respond in a timely manner I want you all to know I read and appreciated every kind word. Thank you and Aloha, D.)

Anne owed

her sister Kath a debt of love

that she was determined to

pay no matter what the cost.

Years of debilitating dialysis had

drained Kath to the limit of her

strength. She knew everyone

had a price to pay for the gift

of life and that her energy was

almost completely drained. Kath

was ready. All Anne knew was

that Kath was family and once

the tests showed their tissue

matched there was no question

what would happen. Donating

a kidney to her sister would re-

charge both their lives and fore-

stall for many years the payment

Kath owed.



57 Responses to “Sisters”

  1. tedstrutz November 16, 2012 at 9:07 am #

    Doug… I have two daughters… as I read your story, I could not help but think of them. The names would be interchangeable, as either one would be Anne. Lovely story.

    p.s. aren’t you supposed to be working?

    Aloha… Ted

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 16, 2012 at 9:16 am #

      Dear Ted,

      Thanks for your kind comment. I’m glad I was able to find a way to do what I wanted to with the first two and last two words. Got lucky with the 96 in between.

      I worked a day shift today so I’m at home and fried. Bed time soon. This getting up in the morning stuff is for the birds.



      (P.S. You would have laughed. We almost broke Mossfire today. I’ll tell you more later. D.)

  2. Charles Oyeleke Williams November 16, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    Hey Doug,
    This is really sweet in style and delivery. The story is well told and sentiments could be related to. I enjoyed this as with most of your works.

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 17, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

      Dear Charles,

      Thanks headed out to you East and West across two oceans. Looking forward to getting to your story this weekend.



  3. rochellewisoff November 16, 2012 at 9:47 am #

    Dear Doug,
    At first glance you’ve written a clever play on words. At second glance there’s much more to this tender, layered story. Beautifully written, my friend.

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 17, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

      Dear Rochelle,

      Thanks for your kind comment re Sisters, your stellar friendship and for allowing me to sit at the Queen’s court.



  4. unspywriter November 16, 2012 at 11:40 am #

    A great story, as usual, and a visual pun–something new. I was in a similar situation with my brother once, and I told him, “You don’t even have to ask.” The sibling bond is very special and the hardest of all when broken. Good for Anne and Kath.

    Here’s mine:

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 17, 2012 at 10:15 pm #

      Dear Maggie,

      I trust your situation worked out to the good. And I get you when you say, “You don’t even have to ask.” Thanks for sharing that.



  5. readinpleasure November 16, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    Beautiful metaphor, Doug. πŸ™‚ I’m linked.

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 17, 2012 at 10:14 pm #

      Dear Celestine,

      Thank you. I will find you and am looking forward to reading.



  6. Joanna (Lazuli Portals Trilogy) November 16, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    Quite simply electrifying in its quiet way, Doug. Having two sisters, I really felt this story. Thank you for writing and sharing.

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 17, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

      Dear Joanna,

      Your comment touched me. Well written and gives me an insight into your world. Sisters. A beautiful thing to be.



  7. Jan Brown November 16, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    Lovely story, Doug.

  8. boomiebol November 16, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    I love this

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 17, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

      Dear Boomie,

      I reciprocate the feeling re your kind comment.



  9. waitingforaname November 16, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    Beautiful story, Doug. The shape forced me to focus more on the words – which was a good thing… Putting the words in battery shape emphasized the purpose of Anne’s gift – to give life and energy to her sister. Again, beautiful!

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 17, 2012 at 10:09 pm #

      Thank you, thank you, thank you for your kind comment. It validated the work and thought I put into the story and has put a smile on my face this morning.



  10. vb holmes November 16, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    Lovely testament to the power of sibling love–and a very clever interpretation of the prompt.

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 17, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

      Dear VB,

      Thanks for your comment and keen eyes. I appreciate them both.



  11. sustainabilitea November 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

    Lovely. I enjoyed how you worked in all the battery references in your intro, too. As for surfing, the only kind I do in Ohio is on the web. You can do both kinds.

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 17, 2012 at 10:07 pm #

      Dear Janet,

      Thanks for noticing the references to the batteries. The name of the terminals started and ended my story and I tried to include a battery theme (of sorts) and as many battery related words as possible without overloading the narrative.

      I love that you read and comment on my stories and have found you are very observant. Few of the layers I try to weave into the weekly offerings escape your notice.

      Headed your way this afternoon.



  12. Anne Orchard November 16, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

    A very moving story Doug.

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 17, 2012 at 10:02 pm #

      I have a soft spot for the name Anne. Thanks for letting one of the sisters borrow it. (and for visiting and commenting.)



      • Anne Orchard November 19, 2012 at 7:54 am #

        I’m quite fond of the name myself Doug, but am happy to share! πŸ™‚

  13. JackieP November 16, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

    great story. Was a joy to read.

  14. Joyce November 16, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

    A beautiful, poetic story, Doug. It resonates and can recharge and energize any relationship.

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 17, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

      Dear Joyce,

      Thank you. Your kind comment has added to my amp hours. Always nice to hear from you.



  15. brudberg November 16, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

    Wonderful story. And I love how you tied the two cells of your battery text together.

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 17, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

      Dear Bjorn,

      Thanks for noticing the setup. i thought/think that that was/is going to escape most people’s eyes. Keen ones, you have.



  16. bridgesareforburning November 16, 2012 at 11:13 pm #

    Hi Doug,
    Really like your new photo. Very handsome. As for your poem, you managed an uplifting and touching story out of a tough prompt. Ron

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 17, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

      Thank you, Tom,

      I appreciate you visiting and commenting.



    • Douglas MacIlroy November 17, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

      Dear Ron,

      Thanks for commenting about the photo and Sisters. Headed you way soon.



  17. The Bumble Files November 17, 2012 at 4:52 am #

    Hi Doug,
    I liked this very much. I thought it was tender and heartfelt. I see also its special delivery and I have to say, I think it’s most clever. I see owed (positive and negative charge) at the top and bottom and I don’t know if this is intentional, but it seems to be shaped like a battery. Am I right?

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 17, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

      Thanks for seeing what was the hardest part of putting my story together. For some reason I always seem to make things more difficult on myself. In this case I decided to spin a story around the words Anode and Cathode, the names for the two terminals of a battery. I got lucky in that I know a bit about dialysis and the trials and travails of organ donation and receipt.

      Yes, the story format was intended to be shaped like a battery. That, too, took a while to sort out. Lots of shaping and reshaping with the ‘return’ key.

      Headed your way this afternoon. Tahnks for visiting with such a keen eye.



      • The Bumble Files November 17, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

        Wow, that was a masterpiece! You had so much to sort out. Excellent.
        Watch out for the rain. It’s stormy here and actually raining for once.

  18. rich November 17, 2012 at 5:24 am #

    certainly was not an easy prompt this time. well done, sir. well “felt.”

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 17, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

      Dear Rich,
      Thanks for visiting. I had a nice talk with Ted about you. He let me in on something I should have sorted out long ago. Had to laugh at myself for thinking all this time that you were the boss. (Will probably continue in that vein, though, and that’s cool.)



      • rich February 28, 2013 at 3:07 am #

        believe it or not i didn’t see this comment until today. i’m always amazed when other people are interested in things about me. i mean, people without badges. thanks very much.

  19. lora13mit November 17, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    Aloha, Doug. You never let us down. Another lovely story. ps: Thank you for the sweet and thoughtful birthday wishes. Lora

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 17, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

      Dear Lora,

      Thank you for dropping by. I don’t have a dufflebag since I’m already here, but there’s room for you once you arrive.



  20. Shirley McCann November 17, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    Very nicely done.

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 17, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

      Dear Shirley,

      Thanks for your comment. headed your way soon.



  21. claireful November 17, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

    Very beautifully written, but I was left with the question – why didn’t Anne offer sooner?

    • hopedancer November 17, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

      Powerful words. Like the take on “recharge” and the “Anne owed” and “Kate owed” at beginning and end.

      • Douglas MacIlroy November 17, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

        Thanks for noticing that. Those two words (Anode and Cathode) were the genesis for my story and were difficult to craft one around. I appreciate you stopping be to read and chat for a spell. Thanks.



    • Douglas MacIlroy November 17, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

      Dear Claire,

      At the outset of dialysis, kidney health is often better than in later stage patients and functioning can sometimes be restored. There is also the slow pace of selection from the ‘list’ for organ transplants. If there is a donor kidney available through regular channels (which often, unfortunately for the donor, means that their death is involved) then that is the preferred route since a sister or family member would not then have to consider the question of offering an organ to a loved one. As conditions get worse and the transplant option window narrows then, at times, family members will step forward. Anne may already have offered earlier and been rebuffed by Kath. Hard to tell. This story was set in the late stages and we can only wonder about the lead up to this moment.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.



  22. rgayer55 November 18, 2012 at 12:13 am #

    Dear Douglas,
    What an electrifying story. The ease with which your words flow send the reader shooting down an emotional river, digging hard through rapids and savoring the deep, calm pools between the shoals. Well done, my friend.

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 18, 2012 at 12:19 am #

      Dear Russell,

      Thanks, as always, for your comments and for dropping in to read. Why aren’t you in the pictures at OWL? That would have been a hoot.



  23. Sandra November 18, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    There was much on the technical side here to occupy the mind, athough the sentiments were, naturally, very moving. I really liked the structure, shaping, format… call it what you will, which gives up a litte bit more each time on subsequent readings. Good one.

  24. Sarah Ann November 18, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    This is beautifully crafted and a beautiful tale.

  25. billgncs November 19, 2012 at 12:26 am #

    Hi Doug — I am always impressed by the feeling you can fit into so few words. This was complex on so many levels, really art.

  26. Paul November 24, 2012 at 4:50 am #

    Don’t know how I missed this the first time around. Beautifully written but the intensity of feeling between the sisters is not exclusive to siblings. If necessary I would do the same for my son. Or my wife, if possible. And many other people I know and love. You are a very gifted writer and, without knowing you, I would hazard to guess, a very caring and loving man.

    • Douglas MacIlroy November 24, 2012 at 5:05 am #

      Dear Paul,

      I know what you mean about the intensity of love between people. For the purposes of the story I used sisters, but you’re right regarding the rest.

      Thanks for your kind comments re my writing. That is always a shot in the arm. As for the last I can only say it takes one to know one.

      I appreciate you talking the time to stop by and read and comment, especially on a story gone by already. Many Mahalos.



      • Paul November 24, 2012 at 6:31 am #

        Well your story was only a week old so I didn’t feel it was too late to comment. The truth is, I have no idea how to keep current on the blogs I follow and enjoy. I’ve deleted several but still find it difficult to keep up. Your blog is one of the few I always look forward to and read, though I might not comment each time

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