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Sunday Sisters

by Jubbly 

Posted: 15 April 2005
Word Count: 667
Summary: Flash for the Relief challenge

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Even though we shared a flat we rarely saw each other during the week, Sunday was our special day. Erica was studying fashion at college and I worked long hours in an office, on Sundays we enjoyed London. We’d rise late, still chilled to the bone in our tiny central heating free flat. It only had one bedroom and we took turns sleeping in the bed, the other option was cushions on the floor, which when you're young can be surprisingly comfortable. We’d wrap up in blankets and curl up on the sofa drinking tea and reading the papers that one of us would have bought from a vendor late the night before. We’d take long soapy baths sharing the same water, tossing a coin to see who’d go first. We’d dress alike, never intentionally, it just happened, if I chose a black skirt and pink top then Erica would emerge from her room in a pink skirt and black top, we complimented each other, literally as well as figuratively. Even though we’d known each other since childhood our adult friendship was just beginning. We’d been neighbours when we were young, next door but one, always in and out of each others homes, she’d drag her lonely only self around to play with me and my two brothers, I miss sharing, she’d often say, it doesn’t come naturally to me being an only child, I need to learn it.

And she did, we shared jewellery, makeup, clothes and sometimes men. Our Sundays were spent linking arms and hiding under big grey coats, as we marched through London streets, meeting for coffee and patisseries in the Soho cake shops then catching a foreign film in one of the many art cinemas that lined the alleyways. In the summer we’d swim in the Serpentine lido and eat ice cream cones in the park. We’d grab a table at the local Italian and raid the kitty for a cheap bottle of red to take with us. Dark winter afternoons were spent drinking in the French Pub, when days would blend seamlessly into nights.

Some evenings we’d sit in front of the tiny ten-inch black and white telly and talk through entire movies and South Bank shows. We’d experiment with nail varnish and back combing hair, stitch and unstitch second hand dresses then dye them black and start again.

When I first heard the news I couldn’t believe it, but now sitting here in this café it all seems so real. Like I can feel her beside me. I remembered those late night conversations that she’d always start and never finish.

“Didn’t he ever try it with you?” she’d ask, eyes pleading.

Each time I’d shake my head, almost in disbelief, perhaps that’s what she sensed.

“Hello Sophie, how lovely to see you.”

He looked down at me, his moustache as I remembered it and his eyes piercing and thorough.

He took his seat and ordered tea for two even though it was obvious I had been drinking coffee. Of course he moved years ago, our old neighbour, whose house sat squarely between Erica’s, and mine a thorn between two roses. I tracked him down through a friend of my brothers, he was very surprised to hear from me but said he visited a private club most Sundays, right in the heart of Soho, let’s hook up, he suggested.

No Erica, he never tried it with me, I don’t know why, but I’m sure it had nothing to do with me being any better than you.

The waiter brought the tea and my love for you forced my hand. I plunged my sharp little knife right through his heart and as his bewildered eyes met mine I whispered.

“That’s for Erica, you dirty old bastard!”

You were so full of life, so beautiful, my Sunday Sister, lying white and lifeless in a cold dark morgue. Your life taken by your own hand, rest in peace my darling, he is no more.

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Comments by other Members

Silverelli at 19:47 on 15 April 2005  Report this post
I'm sensing a theme with relief this week. We all wrote about death(except Shay-whihc we could probably connect to death if we tried hard enough).

great flash, Julie.

I did get confused about what the man had done to Erica, why he deserved being stabbed, can you enlighten me? Was it a sex change issue? Am I thinking too deep on this one?

This is off topic, but do you guys consider American films, foreign, over there?

I liked the voice here.


Flashy at 20:42 on 15 April 2005  Report this post
I remember when i was last here that you had a speciality for these short sharp flash fiction
pieces. To be honest i'm not sure about this one some of the lines appear clumsy and on first read i too am confused.A few examples of lines that sounded odd to me below.

'which when *your* young can be surprisingly comfortable.'

'she’d drag *her only self* around to play with me and my two brothers,'

'He looked down at me, his moustache as I remembered it and his eyes kind and thorough.'


crowspark at 23:38 on 15 April 2005  Report this post
Chilling last para Julie.
Couple of typos:
"since we were childhood"
"she’d drag her only self" (or a reference to her status as an only child?)
Great writing with wonderful treatment of the relationship between the two.
Thought there could have been more clues to justifiy the revenge killing at the end.

Great flash.

Jubbly at 08:50 on 16 April 2005  Report this post
Thanks Bill, Adam and Alan, I've made a couple of changes. Adam , when I see foreign films in the context of those characters , I'm referring to films in another language other than English, sub titled etc. So no, I don't consider American films foreign. The man abused Erica in some way, but it's interesting you bring up the sex change thing, as the real case- transvestisism was part of the deal as well.


Dee at 09:52 on 16 April 2005  Report this post
Great story, Julie. Loved the calmness of the moment when she took her revenge.

she’d drag her lonely only self around to play with me
I don’t think you need ‘only’ because you show it in the following line, but that’s a minor point for me. My main problem with this line is the word ‘drag’. It implies reluctance, which doesn’t gel with the rest of the paragraph.

There are a few misplaced commas:

between Erica’s, and mine a thorn
between Erica’s and mine, a thorn…

And I saw a few lines where I would use a full stop rather than a comma – but this could be a style thing so just ignore me if you don’t agree:

I tracked him down through a friend of my brothers, he was very surprised to hear from me…
I tracked him down through a friend of my brothers. He was very surprised…

Otherwise, another class act from the Jubbly stable.


Account Closed at 12:26 on 16 April 2005  Report this post
Hi Julie,
I know it's called Sunday Sisters but I didn't get the final tie-in with the all the Sunday stuff at the beginning. There is some lovely stuff in here about the relationship between the two women - then ending seems a bit sudden. I wonder if you couldn't start the whole piece with the morgue scene, instead of springing it on us at the end. This would leave space for us to be wondering how it happened.
There is a lot of flashing back which makes the we'd do this structure a bit heavy in the first two paras.

Agree with Dee about breaking up the sentences.

a friend of my brothers, = I think it should be brother's

A good base, but I think it needs some tidying up.


DerekH at 13:36 on 16 April 2005  Report this post
Julie, I have to say that I thought the first part, describing the relationship, was just wonderful. The second part, the meeting, stabbing and the ending, seemed weak in comparison.

I was thrown by this line of dialogue “Hello Sophie, how lovely to see you.” because I read it still in Erica's voice. At first I thought it needed to be after the next line rather than before...but not sure if that would work.

Still loved the first half, it was very real and engaging.

Nice flash,


Anj at 20:54 on 16 April 2005  Report this post

I loved the evocation of this friendship, of how entwined two women can be. It was so lovingly and convincingly drawn that the arrival and killing of the inbetween-neighbour seemed a bit brief; I'd have liked to have seen some interplay between them that highlighted for us what he'd done (although I did get what he'd done) and her welling anger.

Great flash

Take care

lieslj at 16:49 on 18 April 2005  Report this post
Hello Julie,

There is a reflective quality in this piece which feels as if it distances the reader from the narrator. I wonder if by telling it in first person it also retains a 'we did this, we did that' feel which might be more immediate and engaging in the third person.

I found the murder hard to believe. It feels like we never see Erica, only the narrator's recollections of her, and so it is hard to feel any sympathy or connection with the victim either.

Maybe if there was some dialogue between the narrator and Erica it would enable me to see and feel her as a separate entity.


bjlangley at 22:12 on 22 April 2005  Report this post
Hi Julie, I think you paint a great picture of the relationship between the two girls in the first part, which does enhance the tragedy of the ending, though I agree with other comments that this ending isn't quite as strong as what went before it.

In petty mode, I wasn't sure if "central heating" required hyphenating?

All the best,


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