Friday Fictioneers, 5/8/15 — ‘Soul Ties’

This week’s Friday Fictioneers photo just pulled the following story right out of me. Had no idea it was in there, but that’s half the fun of writing, isn’t it? Photo is courtesy of Madison Woods.  My story is below the picture.

Photo – © Madison Woods



“Margo, you’ve been staring at that spigot for twenty minutes.”
“What?” Margo suddenly looked at Jane.
“Why are you just staring at that spigot?”
“I was … uh … I was remembering ….”
“Remembering what?”
“You know … the prison camp.”
“What prison?”
“We were each allowed only one small cup a day.”
“You were never in a prison camp!”
“I’ve known you all your seventeen years. You’ve never been in prison.”
“The Nazis ….”
“That was your great-great-great grandmother. You never even met her.”
Margo turned questioning eyes back to the spigot. “But I remember … being so desperately thirsty … and how slowly the water ran out ….”



41 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers, 5/8/15 — ‘Soul Ties’

  1. When I went to my ancestral village in Nigeria, my great aunties came to meet me and they instantly said together that I am the reincarnation of my great-great aunt.

    1. I know a lot of people will think about this story in terms of reincarnation, but actually I was working on the idea of soul ties. I’ve studied that phenomena a good deal, in connection with my ministry, and I’ve learned that there can actually be significant ties between people who have any degree of shared bloodlines — even those shared between a man and woman as a result of sexual intercourse. It’s amazing what can be transferred from one person to the other in the soul and spiritual realms, and it was that kind of soul connections that I was thinking of when I wrote the story. It’s slightly astounding to me that a picture of an old, ordinary bucket with an old-fashioned spigot (tap/faucet) could lead to those kinds of thoughts. Our minds are a storehouse of unexpected stuff.

    1. Well, as I was telling Gilly, I’ve learned that a lot of things can be transferred from one person to another through bloodline soul ties. But I’m not sure that this story has any realism in it. It’s just the story that started flowing through me as soon as I saw the photo, so I went with the flow.

    1. Thank you for reading and sharing the supportive comment. It’s true that I’m constantly amazed at what one picture can stir up. That’s why one of my favorite exercises to do with my creative writing students is to show them a picture and give them only five minutes to write a story about it. The time limit forces them to start writing about the first thing that comes to mind, with no pre-planning or careful structuring of thoughts. Often students who feel they have no creative ideas find themselves very pleasantly surprised when they’re done because they had no idea those ideas or feelings were in them. Of course a final version requires some re-structuring and editing, but their minds find a new freedom that’s very helpful.

  2. I’m a scientist at heart, so your plot wrankles.
    But I like the way you’ve written it, just the same.

  3. This is a wonderful story. I’ve just read your explanation about soul ties and where the idea came from – such a lovely thought (although of course not all memories from other people will be good ones)

  4. An interesting story. I’m a scientist, too, but souls interest me, in the way the belief in them ties people together.

  5. I’m beginning to think my medical narrative stories come from soul ties with my former patients’ and their suffering. Otherwise I have no idea where the stories come from. And perhaps sadness and suffering transfers better than joy. Thought provoking comments this week.

    1. We did seem to end up wading in some pretty deep water, considering we started with just one little faucet on an old fashioned bucket. Thanks for taking the time to read and share.

  6. Great story. I am reading a book on memory and remembering at the moment and it explains why and how we can have memories where we have never had the experience. These memories are as real as if they were real. Funny that I should put the book down and choose your great flash contribution as the first I read today on such a similar subject. Whether it is soul ties or other reasons I think you have written it really well and it is totally believable.

    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging words. And it is amazing, isn’t it, that, out of all the FF stories available, you would read this one immediately after reading from that book. It sound like a very interesting book indeed.

  7. It’s also possible that, as a young child, someone passed on a memory and she’s forgotten it happened. Young children are very impressionable. They can be like human sponges. A good storyteller can make the memory especially impressive. Good story with great dialogue. Well done, Sandra.. — Suzanne

  8. Very compelling. I like how you’ve used dialogue and small details to bring Margo’s experience so convincingly to the page – no matter where the eperience originated.

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