Photo copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

I notice rough places where workmen slapped paint right over the chipped surface of the balcony columns. I look away. “No stripping, no sanding…lousy job.”

No one even tries any more, my father’s ghost sighs.

In a sudden fury I break off my manicured fingernails, leaving them bleeding. Inside, I bandage my fingertips, then drive to the hardware store for sandpaper, paint stripper, gloves. I am sanding away when my husband arrives.

He squints up at me. “Alicia, what are you doing?”

Fixing what your hired hands left wrecked. A true craftsman’s daughter, I sand harder. “Trying,” I yell down.

If it is worth doing…it is worth doing right. 😉

Find more Friday Fictioneers flash fiction for this week here.


9 responses to “Trying

    • My grandfather was a skilled carpenter. I always notice things like sloppy paint jobs…and, believe me, it makes apartment living something of an adventure. In my last apartment, someone had allowed candlewax to melt all over the mantel. The apartment crew *painted over the wax*. I didn’t even need a visit from my grandfather to know that mess had to go! I ended up scraping it all off and re-painting because I just couldn’t stand it.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Maybe she was suddenly frustrated with feeling she was limited by her nice manicured nails…maybe she just wanted her hands to look “useful” and more like the way she remembered her father’s hands looking. Either way, you’re right–she would have done a better job without her fingers covered in bandages. Her temper got her into trouble. 🙂


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