Thursday, March 23, 2017

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Post 1484.  Thursday March 23

Friday Fictioneers



At the manor, a log fire crackled before a food-laden breakfast table. Maids fetched and carried, servants moved discreetly. Outside, a chauffeur readied a gleaming limousine for his master's trip to the factory. 

His workers tugged their forelocks as he walked twixt clanking machines, a handkerchief pressed to his face.

Times were good.

*

At the decrepit tied cottage, a chill wind whistled through broken windows. Five scruffy urchins played on the filthy floor. Their mother, large with child, struggled to feed them. Hopefully, her husband would earn a shilling today to buy food tomorrow.

Recently a child died and was buried in a pauper’s grave. They couldn't pay a doctor.

Soon their eldest would be six and sweeping chimneys at the manor.

Times were dark.


Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers and to J Hardy Carroll for the picture.











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49 comments:

  1. I'm appalled at what children were required to do not more than 100 years ago. Today we do not even allow them to play outside without an adult hovering. That too seems dark.

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    Replies
    1. ...the opposite extreme. Thanks Denise

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  2. Dear Keith,

    Striking contrast between the servants and the served. Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    https://rochellewisoff.com/2017/03/22/24-march-2017/

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  3. Two sides to every story, as always.

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  4. Perspective is everything. What might be a great life for one might be a life of dark struggle for another, that's why it is so important we stay tuned to each other and what's happening in the lives around us, sometimes we can do something to help.

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  5. And so it goes... the rich feeding off the poor...

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    Replies
    1. ...and the poor go without. Thanks Dale

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  6. You did really well to bring out such a good contrast in so few words.

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  7. The best of times and the worst of times, and as you were born, so you lived. Not much has changed in some parts. Ask Nike.

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    Replies
    1. The same but different. Such is life. Thanks Jane

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  8. I loved it. It's like the beginning of a Dickens story.

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    1. That was in my mind as I wrote. Maybe I'll be as famous as Dickens one day - or not! Thanks so much

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  9. Such a sad tale Keith, but very well done. :)

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  10. Well, we don't have children sweeping chimneys anymore, but there are plenty of that age working in Third World sweat shops for a bowl of rice a day, making goods for us to buy in our high streets and online -- lots of stuff we don't need. I'm sure there are also plenty of underage slaves smuggled into Western countries who stay under the radar as far as the authorities are concerned.

    And yes, it's a tragedy, whenever and wherever. Just now, I think things have got particularly materialistic and although things have changed from 100 years ago in many ways, we still have vast inequality.

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    1. Thank you for your contribution Sarah. You are, sadly, spot on. Will things change? Not in our lifetimes I fear.

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  11. Liked the dark shadowy pattern of the story...

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  12. The haves and have-nots. And guess who does all the actual work? Nice one!

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    Replies
    1. ...and the rich get better. Thanks Alistair

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  13. Two parallel existences, different to extremes; well told. Well done, Keith! :)

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    1. Glad you liked it. Thanks so much Sascha.

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  14. Time has passed, backdrops have changed, but the contrasts remain. Very well sketched.

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    1. It does and I imagine it will forever be so.

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  15. Startling contrast. And very applicable to today's world, too, when we consider the differences between the quality of life of the 1% and society's poorest.

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    Replies
    1. Some things never change. Just the detail. Thanks Magaly

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  16. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

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  17. Love the flip. It showed us both sides of possibility. Very good take on the prompt.

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  18. Fantastic - you create the opposing scenarios in very few words, this manor house which causes so much satisfaction and so much misery to opposite ends of the scale in society which is still applicable today. Very nicely done.

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    1. It may appear different today, but beneath the surface it's still the same. Thanks Rebecca

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  19. He'd stepped out of the limousine and strode over to the waiting workers, intent on getting HIS message across. 'It is the way it has to be' he explains. 'For my glass to be much better than half full, their measure has to be short, so much shorter. It has always been so, is now and ever will be! Q.E.D!'
    Flourishing a dismissive wave he turned on his heel and strode on up the steps, fawning acolytes on his coat tails. In mid-stride across the threshold the plate glass sliding doors snapped back shut, weaponised as guillotine blades for today.

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    Replies
    1. Wow!A sub-story all of its own. Cheers Rambler.

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  20. To quote Dickens from tale of two cities

    "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"

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  21. so many people through history have lived the darkest imaginable lives while others grew fat. Nicely drawn contrast, Keith

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  22. Replies
    1. They certainly were - for some. Thanks Dawn.

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