Routine (I Knew the Word)

dawn-in-montreal

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

“Our neighbors to the right were so close you couldn’t change your mind but they’d know.  The ones on the left were closer.”

I nodded.  Pops could get nostalgic.

“Up at dawn, off to work or school.  Dinner at 6.  Routine.  That’s what I miss.”

I knew the word.  It was for people who were comfortable, knew where the next meal was coming from.  People who assumed they would be alive at the end of the day.

“This could’ve been home.”

“Come Pops,” I said, taking one last look at the burned-out city, “it’s dangerous here.  Time to move on.”

— —

Word count = 100

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This week’s prompt is here and uses a photo © Dale Rogerson.  Read more or join in by following the InLinkz “linky“.

41 thoughts on “Routine (I Knew the Word)

  1. jillyfunnell

    Very well-constructed story, excellent title and I really like the witty observation about the close-at-hand neighbours – I have those neighbours but as I never want to feel alone I enjoy hearing them sneezing and changing their minds.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Of course everything was better back in the day. The world is going to Hell in a hand basket, most likely because of the little things, like all of those stolen paper clips ;) Thanks.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Seeing burnt out cities does seem to put a damper on the fun… ;) Most people do think the past was so much better than the present, while we have actually been improving. Well, except for the burnt out cities…

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Just about everyone sees the past with those rose-tinted lenses and we usually see the past as much better than today, though that is rarely true. However, it is very true int his story ;) Thanks.

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  2. cordeliasmom2012

    Nicely done, and true for so many of us who have visited our childhood homes after being away for many years. (“Yikes, I don’t remember it looking like this! What a dump!”).

    My mother-in-law’s favorite saying about city-type housing is that you can shake a mop out your window and break your neighbor’s window across the way.

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks. Our memories always make things nicer, bigger, etc. Of course in this story “Pops'” home was destroyed by war/comet impact/zombie apocalypse or whatever, so it sure wasn’t what it used to be ;)

      I’ve heard a few good phrases about how close the neighbors are, but for some reason this one is always the first to my mind.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks! Of course that I used the phrase in the title was almost an after thought – I typed out “Routine” and my fingers just kept typing…

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  3. ceayr

    Routine is an interesting concept, and most of us have more of it than we realise.
    Even a life as disorganised as mine finds regular time to write, read and think.
    Excellent story, love the line ‘ People who assumed…’

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I think we all do have little routines and feel a little out of sorts when we can’t follow them. My pets are all on routines, though we didn’t intend for it to be that way, and remind us when a routine is broken, often in a not very pleasant way.

      Thanks!

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