Jar of Hearts (Friday Fictioneers, November 2012)

This week’s prompt from Friday Fictioneers comes courtesy of Sean Fallon.  When I saw this, I just couldn’t get a particular song out of my head.

Funny thing about mother; slowly, surreptitiously, she just kinda sucked the heart out of you.  One by one, people diminished, gave up, drifted away.

Some of us, like my father, suddenly went bang;  but my sisters and I, we just slowly wound down, crumbling, giving in, until finally we stopped functioning altogether.

All except Willie, the youngest of us kids.  He just went drumming on, like some damn automaton, plugging away at life, refusing to get sucked under.

And that was what finished her… in the end;  without his, her jar of hearts wasn’t worth a dime.

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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59 Responses to Jar of Hearts (Friday Fictioneers, November 2012)

  1. Turnabout is Fuad play and Mom for hers. I really liked this. Your story and mine are polar opposites this week!


  2. Blasted iPad changed “fair” to “Fuad.” What’s that all about??


  3. Intriguing interpretation. I like it!


  4. Sandra, thanks for sharing that beautiful song. I’ve never heard of it before. All I can think of when I see this is all the toys that have stopped working. Your piece is quite rich and complex. I really enjoyed it. Nice job!


  5. wmqcolby says:

    Super ending to a read that actually pops with flavor! Teee-RIFFIC!!!


  6. billgncs says:

    good one! That makes my shake my foot slower and slower and….


  7. Sounds like my Jewish mother. If she can’t eat your heart out, she just can’t be happy. And that’s every last heart in the family – there can be no hold outs. She takes no prisoners.

    Good story.


  8. Quite a story, Sandra. Sad and eerie at the same time, Great take on the prompt.


  9. boomiebol says:

    A very original take on the prompt. Sad and nicely done. I love that song by Christina Perri.


  10. Lori Lipsky says:

    Such a touching story, and you said so much in so few words. Well done.


  11. brudberg says:

    Very nice and sad take on the prompt.


  12. So he couldn’t keep going and going and going. No energizers. That’s what came to mind as I read your entry. Great work.


  13. beccaaudra says:

    Sad ending, I had to read a few times to let the jar of hearts moment sink in. And now the songs in my head!


  14. Jan Brown says:

    Powerful stuff. (No pun intended.)


  15. unspywriter says:

    Nice work. I liked the aspect of the two sisters, just winding down; that was an apt description.

    Here’s mine: http://unexpectedpaths.com/friday-fictioneers/the-rising-of-the-moon/


  16. Anne Orchard says:

    Very original and thought-provoking. Makes me count the blessings of my family.


  17. Clever take on the battery prompt, Sandra, and one I really enjoyed. I’ve liked the song for a while, too. I like how you linked that in. 🙂


  18. Very different approach turning the batteries into hearts and making the jar a collection. Good job.


  19. A unique and sad take on the prompt. Beautifully told, Sandra. 🙂


  20. vb holmes says:

    Nice to know one of her victims had the strength to resist–sad for the rest.


  21. mari wells says:

    That was very original, I had to go hug my kids. Thanks.


  22. Hi Sandra,
    Guess Willie was the Energizer Bunny of the bunch! The mother sounds like a character you could develop even further. Intriguing and alluring story. Would like to read more of it. Ron


  23. Beth Carter says:

    Interesting take on this. What a sad tale. Glad there was a hold out in the family. What a controlling mom. I’m on board, too, with a humorous take.


  24. Tom Poet says:

    Hey Sandra,
    The youngest learn the most the fastest. Really enjoyed this one….an excellent take on the prompt.


  25. Another reader who loves the clever twist you put on batteries! Very original, and unfortunately very real too – I’ve met people like this.


  26. rich says:

    all or none or it ain’t complete.


  27. claireful says:

    Lovely piece of writing. Interesting how the narrator can see what is happening in the family, but not do anything about it.


  28. Dear Sandra,

    For my own reasons, which is what is always the case, i guess, your story this week (and thanks for sharing the song) was right up there with the best work I’ve ever read from you. Cannot share more. Just know that this was picture perfect and very well written.




    • Sandra says:

      Thank you Doug, I appreciate your sentiments. I think the character struck a chord with a few people. Write what you know, they say. 😉 And while I’d be the first to admit that the song is a bit dirge-like, it’s one that gets into your head. Thanks for dropping by.


  29. tedstrutz says:

    A Jar of Hearts… a nice image. Kind of the same energy… for people.


  30. Russell says:

    We all know people who can suck the heart right out of you with their negativity and depressing attitude. You did a brilliant job of capturing this–and I love the brother. Positive energy has a way of short-circuiting those who make it their life’s work to bring the rest of us down.


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