Friday Fictioneers: Supplementing the Pension


© David Stewart

Mrs Bailey reported for duty dead on seven every Wednesday morning. Her age always succeeded in getting her the easy jobs.

“You’re on worms today.”  She sighed with relief. They usually gave her morning tea duties but she liked being outside with the other volunteers, soaking up the sun as she gift wrapped the worms’ food in newspaper before placing it in their bin. She loved the community garden. Not only did the banter and cameraderie ease her solitary home life, so did the take-home veggies. Enough for a week. Money was sparse. 

Thursday’s she volunteered at the chicken farm.

Rochelle  hosts Friday Fictioneers each week. All are welcome to join in and write a 100 word flash, then add their link via the blue frog found on her site. Otherwise use the blue frog to see other people’s responses to the photo prompt which this week is courtesy of .© David Stewart

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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72 Responses to Friday Fictioneers: Supplementing the Pension

  1. Dear Irene,

    In a hundred words you told me a lot about Mrs. Bailey. She sounds like someone worth knowing. Sensitively written story.



    Liked by 2 people

  2. bkpyett says:

    Salt of the Earth!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a story of courage and life. Mrs Bailey has learned to accept her lot in life and make the most of it. An uplifting story

    Liked by 1 person

  4. misskzebra says:

    The banter must be good to prefer feeding the worms to tea duty!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sandra says:

    Love Mrs Bailey. And your story. Going to wrap up some worm food right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Money is sparse but Mrs. Bailey volunteers anyway. Good story.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. micklively says:

    Mrs. Bailey learns the benefits of giving. I like it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Irene,

    This has the ring of truth to it, a sound that carries with clarity through the writing and the morning air. Well done.



    Liked by 1 person

  9. That’s a good way to make ends meet. The community sometimes has within it the solution.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. …and Friday at the village pond? They say the fish is good.

    Rosey Pinkerton’s blog

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Charli Mills says:

    So many Mrs. Baileys in the world go unnoticed. She has a survivor’s instinct, yet a compassionate inkling, too. She serves where she knows she can supplement. Well-written.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. ansumani says:

    What a resilient character! Nice one.


  13. Resourceful and strangely not a victim of her circumstances at all. It made my heart sing.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. M-R says:

    You don’t get these kinds of opportunities when you live almost in the CBD, alas !

    Liked by 1 person

  15. noelleg44 says:

    Loved Mrs. Bailey, a very clever woman, I’m glad she didn’t have to eat the worms.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Mrs. Bailey has found a way to fulfill her life. We should all be so.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Don’t blame her a bit, worms to kitchen duties, much, much better. Good for Mrs. Bailey. A lovely story!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. gahlearner says:

    What a great character Mrs. Bailey is! I’d have taken worm duty, too. Wonderful story.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Francesca Smith says:

    She definitely sounds quite the resilient lady. Very intricate indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Sounds like a good way to spend retirement.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I love this Mrs.Bailey. She embodies the principle of ‘give and take’. To paraphrase Gibran, even the giver needs the taken, they are both equal.’

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Don’t know why but the story warmed my heart, lovely, simply lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Indira says:

    Very delightful story. Loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. What a lovely snippet of a life well-lived!


    Liked by 1 person

  25. Such a sharp, fun piece, Irene. It resonates with how life really runs, and made me smile.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I would hug Mrs. Bailey. Even thoughthe pension was sparse she made the most of her life as a volunteer. Working together with other people cheers her up. A great story.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. draliman says:

    Sounds like a good way to spend retirement (and gather enough food for a nice Sunday lunch!).

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Alice Audrey says:

    Did she get eggs or friers?

    Wonderful portrait.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Sally says:

    Not sure I would enjoy feeding the worms. Great story.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. subroto says:

    She is a survivor that one and probably the one with a smile. Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Looks like Mrs. Bailey is a nice woman who knows how the system works. Good for her. Well done, Irene. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Dee says:

    I love Mrs Bailey, you did a great job on her. Well done Irene 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Margaret says:

    What a lovely story. I’ll bet there are a lot of Mrs Baileys out there, working away quietly.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Lynda says:

    I’m glad Mrs. Bailey is able to make do. She is a survivor. You certainly packed a lot of information into only 100 words!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Ellespeth says:

    The sounds like a wonderful way for people to live in harmony and care for our aging populations. Enjoyed reading this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Oliana says:

    What a wonderful character you have created here! Such s positive person making the most out of life

    Liked by 1 person

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