The Softness of Kudzu – Fiction

This piece is submitted for Friday Fictioneers.  Thanks to David Stweart for our photo prompt and to Rochelle  for hosting this weekly photo challenge.  Please click on the lil froggy – at the end of this piece – for other stories.

david-stewart2The Softness of Kudzu

There’s just a rusting iron fence remaining. The grand antebellum house is gone. Kudzu vine covers its foundation.  I drove here today because Mother is dying and, when this was a home for single mothers, she’d taken us to live here.

Daddy was in hospital, then, being treated for some mysterious illness Mother’s family had whispered about – as though a curse had come true.

Sister Agnes greeted us and showed us to our room. It was a small room with four cots. “Thank you, Sister,” Mother said.

I remember, just outside the French doors was a balcony and banana trees and Heaven’s sky.


This is a photograph of Kudzu vine:

16 thoughts on “The Softness of Kudzu – Fiction

  1. Good story Ellespeth. As long as people continue to whisper, we’ll make little progress. It’s a good thing the children had a caring mother. It looks like this daughter learned from that. Well written —- Suzanne


    • At least they had somewhere to go and were fed and sheltered while the father was in hospital. I’m glad the mother didn’t stay with the gossiping and whispering family members. Hard to know what might have been best for the children…they stayed together. Hopefully the father recovers

      Thanks for reading this, PJ.

      I’m going to read a few FF stories and then pop over to FFFAW. I can’t wait to see the photograph for this week. Hope all is well,


      Liked by 1 person

      • I think you are right, they stayed together and that was important. And I agree, being around whispering and gossiping would not have been good for them. I almost didn’t comment on your post because I didn’t want you to think I was trying to get you over to FFfAW. Of course, I love for you to participate in FFfAW but I always understand when you can’t do so. We have a beautiful photo this week thanks to Graham Lawrence.


    • Thanks, Millie. When I was growing up (50’s-60’s) there were several of these homes in New Orleans. Run by the Sisters of Charity. There were also illnesses – like mental illness and cancer – people whispered about. We are a product of those times…

      I’m happy you enjoyed the levels of detail.


      Liked by 1 person

      • I remember well such places over here, too – especially ‘mental institutions’. People often talked about the patients as though they were something to be feared… and scorned. (I’m talking about the 50’s here, too). So many types of illness simply weren’t understood. When I see documentaries now about how patients in mental hospitals were treated, I’m totally horrified. I know your story was about cancer, but that was feared, too. Some people even thought that was ‘catching’. Thank goodness that better knowledge and understanding has enabled us to move on from such things. And thank you for the thought-provoking story. 🙂


  2. Dear Ellespeth,

    My grandmother died of cancer when my mother was thirteen. I remember her telling me that Grandma’s illness was spoken of in whispers for cancer was something to be ashamed of. I’m glad we’ve progressed beyond that. Very poignant story.




    • We’ve barely progressed beyond whispering about illnesses – and still whisper about some. Maybe fear breeds shame. I’m not sure. Some families whisper more than others 😦

      Thanks for reading this piece, Rochelle.



    • As a child, she was probably happy to remain anywhere with her mother. I’m glad my words painted a picture for you – that’s one of the outcomes I strive for.

      Thanks for passing by to read and comment, Irene.


      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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 )

Connecting to %s