Microfiction: Nan

When I saw Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers prompt, I knew exactly what I was going to write. Here it is, in exactly 100 words




Nan had lived in the house in the glen since she was married. That made sixty-three years, five of them alone since Grandad died. We grandchildren visited, reluctantly, too foolish to appreciate the peace and quiet. When the council decided to flood the glen to make a reservoir, Nan refused to leave. The night before the bailiff came, she set Grandad’s chair outside, looking down the glen. That’s where they found them in the morning, her and the old dog with his head in her lap, her face to the sunrise. I often wonder if she saw it.


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.

88 thoughts on “Microfiction: Nan”

  1. What a little cracker jam-packed with truth …. the truth about getting to an age where digging one’s heels in is the only thing left to do, the truth about the dreadful coldness of the needs of the masses outweighing the rights of the little individual to just live in their place in peace and the truth about us all as youngsters not understanding the power of tranquility until it is gone. I loved this.

    1. Thanks Osyth 🙂 It’s what my mother’s mother did. She got too frail to look after herself and wouldn’t ‘be a burden’ so the nice lady from social services said she should go into a home. Grandma agreed. But the night before she was due to be moved out of her house, she wrote a letter to each of her children, each of her grandchildren, with her thoughts and wishes for the future, mentioned an item of her belongings she’s like each one of us to have, sealed the envelopes, put the light out and never woke up again. She had a terribly tragic life, but she decided exactly when she was going to end it, through sheer will power.

  2. Nothing eccentric about Nan in my book. People can become one with a place and there can be the living death of being somewhere else and she’s quite old to start over. This is her home.
    xx Rowena

    1. I agree with you, Rowena. Others might say she could have been happy somewhere else, and any life is better than none at all, but it was up to her to decide, and old people don’t always see it like that.

      1. My husband’s aunt used to say they’d have to carry her out of her home in a box, but unfortunately she had a nasty stroke, which wasn’t quite nasty enough. She ended up in a nursing home. She was such a strong character but her body couldn’t keep up with her mind.

      2. So true and yet for so many it’s hard to let go themselves and it’s also hard for families to let them go.
        MY grandmother had a series of mini strokes and lost her voice. I asked he what she’d like me to pray for and she said getting her voice back. I’d thought she’d be wanting to go. She was clinging onto all of us and didn’t want to leave us behind. She was very sweet!

      3. That’s tenacity for you! Very few of us are lucid enough to know when enough is enough. It’s fear of death. Even religious people have trouble with that final leap.

  3. That was a sweet show of defiance. Reminded me of a book called “The House I Loved” by Tatiana de Rosnay where an older woman refuses to leave her home that the city wants to demolish…

  4. There’s a dignity in choosing your own ending and she did that, in the place she loved, thinking of her other half. Lovely, warm story Jane

  5. She knew her mind, that Nan. No sense changing it at this point, not for such a stupid reason as some bureaucrats changing up the landscape.

    A sad story, but at least she doesn’t have to leave her place of peace.

      1. There comes a point where a peaceful end is a happy end. I watched two of my grandparents linger over-long after becoming bedridden, and it was no blessing for them.

      2. I’ve not had to witness anything like that and I’m glad, even when, as in my parents’ case, their deaths came as a terrible shock. At least they didn’t get old and infirm. They’d have hated that.

      3. It was hardest on my mother, but at least it gave her time to get used to the idea, and time for them to get their affairs in order. Not like with her sister, who passed rather suddenly this fall. Which reminds me, I should call my mom. ❤

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s