Friday Fictioneers offering (100 words):


We’d seen “normal” families. We would occasionally get invited to parties, barbecues and the like, so we knew how families were supposed to be together; play together and enjoy each other’s company; support each other; love each other.
So Dad built the Rolls-Royce of outdoor kitchens, with oven, pantry, fire-place and even a fountain, in the wood at the bottom of the garden. And we used it a couple of times but we were going through the motions, pretending to be a family. Then the kitchen was left to rot. Throwing money at the problem didn’t address the root cause.



About micklively

Fifty-something, pacifist, six sigma black belt, lean implementer, brewer, vintner, guitarist, wood-turner, and slave to collies.
This entry was posted in competition, fiction, writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

78 Responses to Kitchen

  1. yourgirlj says:

    I can definitely relate! My dad was always so focused on making money that I don’t even think he realized that we were no longer a family.

  2. Indeed. Seen those kitchens, and seen far too many of those families!

  3. hafong says:

    I think I know that kitchen. 🙂


  4. Keeping up with the Jones’s isn’t all it’s cracked up to be when your rotten at the roots. Well told story.

  5. Hrm, that family sounds ominous. Well written, you hint at the antithesis of a happy family!

  6. Margaret says:

    Such a sad situation – a family trying so hard to be ‘normal’ and not realising what the root of their problem is. Well told.

  7. mjlstories says:

    Reading a shed load of great stories this week and of all I’ve read so far yours really gets inside that weird abandoned place in the picture prompt. I can look at the picture now, with your story in my head, and shiver.
    A true sad tale.

  8. adamjasonp says:

    “Throwing money at the problem didn’t address the root cause.”  I guess not.  Such a great amount of moss can definitely sum up household neglect of a dysfunctional family.

  9. Dave says:

    I actually wondered what sort of weird building had a fountain so near the fireplace…concluded it must be a perspective trick.
    Irrelevant, sorry. You handled the “loss” theme very well.

    • micklively says:

      I wasn’t sure at first either but I looked long enough to decide it must be a posh picnic site. I could be totally wrong of course.
      Thanks for your feedback.

  10. Well said. Money can never cover over the broken places in our relationships. The blood of emotional wounds always seeps through the cracks of our finery.

  11. Donna says:

    That was a great story so glad I found your blog will keep reading

  12. AnnIsikArts says:

    I enjoyed this. It reminded me of the kitchen gadgets gathering dust at the back of my cupboards. Each has its story, like your outdoor kitchen. Not all abandoned gadgets have unhappy stories of course; with some it’s a case of evolving to a higher state of consciousnesss. Take food processors, for example … 😉

  13. Alice Audrey says:

    So sad. Well written, but sad.

  14. So much said about such a deep and common subject. Great job!

  15. Jan Brown says:

    So sad that the kitchen reflects the decay of the family. This is an apt description of the family in desperate need of help. Well done.

  16. draliman says:

    Never a truer word written. Great take on the prompt.

  17. A strong story and a great take on the prompt

  18. Wow…this is great…35 comments. Think you found a home Mick 🙂

  19. wildbilbo says:

    This is good. Throwing money at a problem that cant be solved by money… really powerful theme here, and very well expressed.
    Nice work.

  20. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Micklively,

    That is so often the way of it, right? Our lives are littered with such flotsam and jetsam. Mute reminders of relationships gone south.

    This was a very good representation of that sad truth. Well done.



  21. subroto says:

    Ah that’s a great last line and a fundamental truth that many forget. Nice take on the prompt.

  22. Oh wow, I know this family. :/

  23. A great story. The sadness of the narrator is obvious as he explains knowing what a loving family looks like but that his family was unable to achieve. That is so true to life these days.

  24. Sandra says:

    Enjoyed this. There was a kind of resigned pathos about the voice in it. Well done.

  25. Deftly done, Mick. If only dealing with dysfunction was as simple as splurging on a great outdoor picnic spot!


  26. Great last line, you summed it up so well.

  27. But, really… what is normal? 🙂 You’ve dealt with an all too familiar situation in so few words. Well done!

  28. ansumani says:

    Well written

  29. Deep story here, well told. Bravo.

  30. gahlearner says:

    The older I get, the more I realize that my family is not the only one who tried too hard, and never achieved ‘normal’. Is there such a thing? I really liked how you showed where priorities for a family shouldn’t be.

  31. Wow! A harsh, raw summary of a family with deep-rooted issues. Nice work in just 100 words!

  32. Aw mom! Barbecued moss? Again?

    I like it.

  33. Ah.. this is the truth in so many functionalist families.. I guess the root problem was something entirely different.

  34. Good story, Mick. What you wrote is right. People cannot “pretend” to be a family and actually accomplish it. Well done. 🙂 — Suzanne

    • micklively says:

      Many thanks for your input Suzanne.
      I come from a family who were close until I needed them, so this was an easy tale for me to relate.

  35. Dear Mick,

    The last line says it all. Well done.



  36. i b arora says:

    we are always after the symptoms, pretending to remedy the disease, least interested in the root cause for it often lies within us

I will be pleased to read your thoughts, even if you don't agree.

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