Microfiction #writephoto: Home

Novel writing’s on the back burner today. This bit of frivolity is for Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompt.


“You wouldn’t dare!” they said with one voice, their faces all with the same open-mouthed shock-horror expression.

“We always have Christmas here, at home. You can’t not do it here!”

I looked at him and he looked at me. We both shrugged. “Our home isn’t here anymore,” he reminded them. “We’re moving, remember. The boxes are filling up; the removal van is booked. We’re moving on.”

“But we’re your children. We’ve always had Christmas together.”

“Nobody said you couldn’t come with us,” I said.

Their turn to look at one another.

“To the countryside?” Jim asked.

“That farmhouse?” Emma asked.

“In the field?” Bea asked

“And sleep on the floor?” Sara asked.

We nodded. “You’re welcome to join us there, but we’re off. Dog and the cats are coming too, and the cake and the turkey-that-isn’t-a-turkey-just-a-big-chicken.”

“We’d have to go on the train,” Jim said.

“And walk from the station,” Emma said.

“In the fog,” Bea said.

“It’s bloody miles!” Sara said.

“Well you’d hardly all fit in the car with Dog, the cat carriers and all the food, would you?” I said, in what I thought was a reasonable voice.

A sullen silence set in once the penny dropped. Feet shuffled, theatrical sighs were heaved.

“Anyone would think you didn’t want to spend Christmas with us,” Jim said, his lower lip jutting in what looked dangerously like petulance. I looked at husband and he looked at me.

“You have your own places now,” he said. “You must have since you hardly ever sleep here. You certainly have your own friends and your own entertainments. For years you’ve only ever popped in to eat, open your presents, and piss off to a party somewhere more interesting.”

“This year,” I said, “if you want us to spend Christmas altogether, you’ll be around for the spud-peeling part, the wood-chopping part, the washing up part and the house-cleaning part.”

I looked round at the faces that were now less sullen, brighter, as ideas began to click click round in their heads.

“Imogen is having a party on Christmas night, and her parents will be away,” Bea said gazing into the middle distance.

“Pete’s band is playing at ‘The Dog and Gun’. Should be fun. The bar will be open all night,” Jim said thoughtfully.

“Can I come?” Emma asked. “I like Pete.”

“Can I bring Justin?” Sara asked.

“How about if we all go and then move onto Imogen’s party afterwards?”

“Where’ll we all crash?”

“Garden. There’s tents. We’ll need sleeping bags that’s all.”

“Excellent,” Emma said. “You sure you two will be all right out in the woods on your own?”

I turned to him and he turned to me and we smiled at one another. Was there any need to answer that one?



Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

51 thoughts on “Microfiction #writephoto: Home”

      1. We did hope that we’d be gone before Christmas but events have conspired against us. Actually, it was more the chimney flue that is too narrow for modern pipes to get through so we’ve had to look for an old wood burner with deadly narrow tubes that will actually get up the flue.

      2. I don’t remember what Field Head was like without the central heating, but we just had the Rayburn in the kitchen for ages and the coal fire in the sitting room. You had to be tough in Yorkshire.

      3. I shouldn’t admit to this but we slept three in the bed when I was little. Don’t remember being cold, but do remember getting slapped often enough because we used to play at circuses and acrobats when we should have been asleep.

  1. I love it! Parents finding their feet as humans with needs again after countless nappy rashes, snotty noses, toilet training, pocket money, pimples, puberty and eventual dissection!
    Merry Christmas to all the parents out there experiencing freedom from the fight!!
    (Even I get the pressure and I’m gay and single!!!!)

  2. I can so relate. My husband and I are here alone for Christmas and I do love my kids but they are off doing other stuff – and I am grateful. So I’m staying in, making comfort food, doing a lot of snuggling, and watching the squirrels play in the snow. Maybe we’ll all Skype each other from all the corners of the world where we live. Sounds like a great celebration to me. This is an engaging microfiction. Just what I needed today. Thank you. And happy holidays. 🙂

    1. Christmas is for kids, as far as I’m concerned, which doesn’t mean that they can go on being kids and having their parents making their entertainment for them once they reach adulthood. I’m looking forward to them making the transition and sorting out their own Christmases.

  3. I understand the feelings, but I’m happy to have older daughter and wife here for a visit, and both daughters here for fondue on Christmas and latkes the day after.
    I am glad the parents took the dog and cat. 🙂

    1. We’re all pleased the animals get taken care of 🙂 I just find the whole thing so physically wearing. If someone would volunteer to even peel the potatoes I’d be thrilled. I bet yours help.

  4. Oh I loved this Jane…..as today is Christmas Day we are juggling children and expectation as well….since my daughter’s marriage broke up this year for the first time her children will not be coming here tonight so that’s a bit sad but the way of things for now….merry Christmas Jane, best wishes for 2017…

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