Last Flight of the Swans – Friday Fictioneers 13th April, 2022

Age didn’t soften the blow. He was old, and she was old. Still, his death was brutal. She’d held onto his ice-cold body until the neighbour called their daughter. “It was time.” No! It would never be time. They would dance together for eternity: the swan and her beloved prince.

Celeste made them tea, right through Winter, and barely noticed he never said a word.

Now, the snow was thawing, and his chair had risen from the dead.

She couldn’t bear it.

The neighbor found Celeste lying on the snow still holding the axe.

The chair was split in two.


100 words. PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

For those of you who know me well, you’ll know our daughter dances seriously. After a very disjointed couple of years, dance is back with a vengeance and I spent hours at the studio last week for open week and it’s dance competition this week. Part of me quite enjoys living and breathing dance, but am just a bystander and with my health issues, it’s really difficult to keep up with the demands of high pressure dance. At today’s competition, it wasn’t one of the dancers on stage who crashed and had a fall. It was yours truly who managed her feat of brilliance from her chair. I ended up on the floor and the whole competition came to a grinding halt for a good 10-15 minutes. I felt humiliated. What no one tells you about having offspring pursuing a high octane career path, is that they’re taking you with them. You also have to measure up. Sadly, I don’t believe I can. Well, not in a physical sense anyway. However, I’d imagine I’d be hard to beat if imagination had anything to do with it. However, that’s not the domain of a dance mum, and could even be a curse. Much better to stay in your place. Fire up the engine. Sew up those pointe shoes, and pay the bills. (Humph, feeling a bit sorry for myself tonight and very sore. Perhaps, my love affair with dance might return again in the morning.)

This has been another contribution to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wishoff Fields:

Many thanks and best wishes,


28 thoughts on “Last Flight of the Swans – Friday Fictioneers 13th April, 2022

  1. Rowena Post author

    Thank you, Neil. I watched a mesmerising dance with a young duo and it was so captivating. Imagine spending a lifetime with someone you are so compatible with! My husband and I are opposites, which has a different dynamic and I guess as a couple we believe well-rounded.

  2. Tannille

    Sad story. I guess that chair won’t be going to heaven. At least the couple are together and young in the afterlife.

    Don’t worry mum, I think you’re holding up better than you think. You’re helping your daughter live her dream.

  3. Rowena Post author

    I wasn’t sure if anyone who pick up on the reference to the chair being split in two. It was a bit obscure. There was a reference in Matthew 27:51 “At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split,”
    She split the chair with an axe but there’s that ambiguity.
    Thanks so much for the encouragement, Tannille. So much goes on behind the scenes with her dance, and I try to handle it for her to free her up to dance, study and work but then I find out I’m mortal too, and it usually comes in the form of a faint or fall. Wearing a mask with my reduced lung capacity becomes problematic when I’m stressed.

  4. trentpmcd

    Sorry, hope your love affair with dance does return soon so you can enjoy your daughter’s performances.
    Interesting story. Something similar came to mind, but I decided to go silly instead of morbid. After posting, I thought maybe morbid would have been better…

  5. Tannille

    I actually don’t know the bible. But found the chair splitting a great analogy.

    Ugh the masks. So hard to breathe and hear. Slow down when you can. Productions are hard work for those involved.

  6. pennygadd51

    I love the swan symbolism. This is powerful writing, Rowena; the violence is genuinely startling and essential to the impact of the piece. Well done indeed. Kudos!

  7. michael1148humphris

    I strong and interesting story.. It is frustrating not to be able to dance. but we at least move to the music of writing.

  8. Rowena Post author

    Thank you very much, Penny. I’ve been sensing that my results with these have improved lately. I am compiling them and reworking them and hopefully looking at publication.

  9. Rowena Post author

    Thanks, Tannille. I stopped today. We went out tonight but otherwise a quiet day. I can see Easter being a restfest.

  10. Dale

    Very well written, Rowena. Losing a partner – in life, no matter the nature of it – can be debilitating. The split chair symbolises it really well.
    Hope you recover from your fall!

  11. Rowena Post author

    I’m sorry you’ve been through this and relatively young.
    I’m getting there. The foot is still misbehaving which is annoying because it’s relatively minor damage. I need to find a nice quiet place to rest for awhile. Actually, going to bed would be a good start. It’s very late.

  12. Margaret

    Such a sad ending, and as you say, ‘It’s never time.’ The images of dancing, of swans, and the final scene all work together to build a powerful story. Sorry to learn about your mishap at the dance comp. I hope you’re feeling a little better by now, Rowena.

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