Wednesday, 15 August 2018

RUTHIE - 100 word story

'What a photo!' was my first thought about his week's Friday Fictioneers photo prompt. There was only one way for me to go with it...


PHOTO PROMPT © Yvette Prior



RUTHIE

'Why do you always argue?' Ruthie slumped, plucking at her bandaged throat.
'Because I care,' said Raymond.
'I'm fresh out of hospital and fresh out of smokes.' Ruthie pouted. 'And where's my whiskey? Did you drink it?'
'Don't be ridiculous.'
'Pleeese, mate.'
'I'm not going to help you commit suicide.'
'Stop being melodramatic. Pleeese, Raymond. I neeed my babies.'
'Don't ask me to do this.'
'PLEEESE.' Ruthie began to tear the bandage.
'Jesus, Ruthie.' Raymond threw a packet of cigarettes down.
She scrabbled for a lighter.
Raymond found the whiskey.
'Thanks, mate.'
He stared at her. 'Knock yourself out, Ruthie.'





I hope you enjoyed this story and I look forward to your comments. 


If you wish to read more Friday Fictioneers stories, you can find them listed HERE




If you'd like to join in the challenge, you'll find all the information posted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields 
- her blog is listed on 'My Blog List' on the right hand side of this page.



On a final note - I always try to visit the blogs of everyone who comments on mine. If I haven't commented on yours it's either because I haven't been able to find your blog when I've clicked on your name or because you have a wordpress account that requires me to sign in first. 







54 comments:

  1. I'm sure there's a baggie somewhere around too

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    1. Probably, Neil, probably! Goes with the territory.

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  2. Dear Susan,

    I hope Ruthie's insurance is up to date. Raymond might as well start planning the funeral...that is if he sticks around. Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

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    1. Loosely based on a true story, Rochelle. He's in an impossible situation.

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  3. Maybe, she's had enough and wants to go out living the way she wants to. Either way, it's hard on Raymond.

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    1. Ruthie can't see beyond her addictions and Raymond can't force her to stop. Thanks for commenting, Varad.

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  4. Replies
    1. Thanks, Lisa. Sometimes dialogue is the only way to tell a story.

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  5. Gosh, I looked at the photo and realised I wouldn't know where to start. That was really well written, Susan. It tells a much bigger story and the characterisation is astute.

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    1. Thanks, Helen. Yes, there's a much bigger story here - glad it worked for you.

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  6. I'm sorry for her and more for him. I'm working at a hospital and see patients often walking outside, dragging their infusion stands/carts behind them and sucking on a cigarette. Not even being very sick stops the addiction. Sad story.

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    1. It beggars belief really, but addiction can't be underestimated. Thanks for commenting, Gah.

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  7. Ruthie seems like a lost cause, if the last operation was warning enough, there's not much more anyone can do for her.

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    1. Sadly she's past caring beyond her next fag and her next drink.

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  8. Replies
    1. I wasn't sure what you meant, but on checking I assume you're referring to Respiratory Therapy?

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  9. Wow, that's powerful. Ruthie's manipulative behaviour is very believable, as is Raymond's capitulation to it. You've written this really well, Susan.

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    1. Thank you, Penny. Good to have your feedback.

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  10. In the early 1970s, when I was a young teen, my mom smoked (although, like Bill Clinton, she didn't inhale). I eventually told my mother "You know, when you smoke, you blow it all into the air. I breathe that air, too. So whatever illnesses smoking causes, aren't you taking a risk with my health as well as your own?" Yep, although there were studies back then about second-hand smoke, the average Joe on the street hadn't heard about them yet. I came up with the concept all by myself. Years later, long after she'd quit, and I'd started, my mom reminded me of my earlier comments, telling me I should quit, or at least not smoke around her!

    Sometimes, illness (especially if it's fatal, or potentially fatal) gives people the attitude of "Well, the damage is done, so why should I even try to quit now?"

    I smoked off and on for about thirty years. During that period, I quit several times. Many of those times ranged from six months to two years. Haven't had one since my heart attack almost four years ago. I half-jokingly told my cardiologist that I intend to start smoking again when I'm in my eighties. At that point, if it cuts my life short, who cares?

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    1. Both my sister and I breathed my Dad's second-hand smoke during our young lives. I took up smoking, my sister didn't. She died of breast cancer. I'm still here. Luck of the draw? Maybe. But I stopped smoking years ago - it doesn't hurt to stack the odds.

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  11. You did a pretty good job on the degradation front yourself. I've known a few Ruthies over the years.

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    1. Thanks, Alice. Yes, there are Ruthies all around us unfortunately.

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  12. There's only so much help he can give her, at the end she has to choose to change. Nice one!

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    1. Yes, that's exactly it, Alistair. The person with the addictions has to want to change.

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  13. I hope people realize that they have enough excuses to smoke. But they need only one reason to quit- family.
    Good take on the prompt. :)

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    1. Yes, good point, Priya. I would add a second point: health. Thanks for commenting.

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  14. The brutal effects of addiction.

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    1. Yes, alcohol addiction in particular is a terrible illness. Thanks for your comment, Anurag.

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  15. As they always say... no one can help ones like this except themselves... It is so very sad for those around them.
    Well done, Susan!

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    1. In the real world it is very sad. Thanks for commenting, Dale.

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  16. There comes a point where quitting isn't going to matter. I think she's there.

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  17. I wonder--does there come a point when the spouse of an addict is finally going to give up and walk away? It just seems so futile.

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    1. Love? Compassion? Maybe both are what keeps a spouse from walking away.

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  18. Morbid tale. Shows how difficult to kick smoking habit.

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    1. It was the only way I felt I could go with that photo! Hope I didn't depress you too much.

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  19. Great dialogue, Susan, and totally believable.

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    1. Thanks, Liz. It felt right to tell the story through dialogue.

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  20. Oh addiction can make people so self-centered. I pity Raymond. Ruthie can't see anything beyond her addictions.

    Piyali (Wordpress)

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    1. That's exactly it, Piyali. I'm glad to know that my intention worked in the story.

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  21. Raymond is a true enabler. You told the story well.

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    1. He is, isn't he, Susan? Thanks for the feedback - appreciate it.

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  22. Oh dear, pretty sad but true, well written

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    1. Sadly, this does happen to people. Thanks for commenting.

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  23. How poignant... I feel Raymond's pain.

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    1. Thank you, Magarisa. Appreciate your comment. :)

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  24. The two personalities come across vividly through the dialogue. Raymond is helpless. Ruthie is beyond help. A tragedy well written. Jilly, Sugar on the Bee.

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    1. Thanks, Jilly. Glad to know the dialogue worked for you.

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  25. You created a vivid scene with the dialogue, well-done! You went the same direction as I did. Raymond just wants to help Ruthie but she is caught in that destruction cycle of extreme addiction.

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    1. Thanks, Brenda. Dialogue seemed like the best way to write this story. :)

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  26. Replies
    1. Yes, you're right. Thanks for commenting, Dawn.

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  27. Its hard to argue with addicts. Very effective dialogue.

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    1. Thanks, Subroto - glad the dialogue worked for you.

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Many thanks for commenting. I appreciate your feedback.