Jar of Hearts – Friday Fictioneers, March 2016

Copyright Sean Fallon

Copyright Sean Fallon

 

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.

I’m happy to re-run the story I submitted for this prompt back in 2012, together with the link to one of my favourite songs bearing the same name.  My good news this week, (and who can’t use a bit of good news these days?) is that I’ve been one of ten people short-listed for the Magic Oxygen Literary Prize 2016.  There were almost a thousand entries, across 32 different countries, so even though I don’t expect to go much further, I’m still ‘well-chuffed’ at getting past 19 judges, and securing a place in the anthology, to be published later.  Rochelle, our genial hostess, is going from strength to strength, blossoming into a star of screen and radio.  I don’t know how she finds the time to orchestrate Friday Fictioneers in such an able manner.

Christina Perri – Jar of Hearts

About Sandra

I cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and write fiction and poetry. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
This entry was posted in Friday Fictioneers, Just Sayin' and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

92 Responses to Jar of Hearts – Friday Fictioneers, March 2016

  1. Wow, a beautiful piece!! Love the connection with the toys and how some die and some keep going. And congratulations on the short listing!! What an achievement!

    Like

  2. Dear Sandra,

    It’s kind of nice to rerun favorites. This one was a good one to revisit. Alas, there are people who are like that, who just suck the energy from you. Still well done and congratulations on the short list. And thank you for you kind words.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Hi Rochelle, I quite like having re-runs (or re-treads as we call them in one of my writing groups). It gives you a second chance if you don’t feel you did the photo justice last time, and also, a second chance at sharing a ‘dead’ story if you rather liked what you’d submitted previously. I confess, this is one of my favourites so I was happy to re-run.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. writelindy says:

    Fantastic writing Sandra. I recognise the characters.

    Like

  4. First congratulations… i hope you make it even further (I think you will actually)… I love the story and this one is one I recognized… there are people sucking up all the heart, yet there has to be something to keep them going… very close to real life..

    Like

  5. Congratulations for being short listed Sandra. It’s a real achievement. Good luck (I think you can go all the way!)

    Like

  6. Great story Sandra!
    And congratulations, hope you progress further.

    Like

  7. The Voice says:

    Since I’ve not read this story before, it’s new to me. Nicely done, both on the story and making the short-list.

    Like

  8. A sad testimony of a controlling spirit.

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  9. What a story! I am speechless, one of the best I ever read from your mighty pen. Congrats on your success!

    Like

  10. Michael says:

    Well done Willy and well done you.

    Like

  11. Michael says:

    Today’s just not my day please excuse the spelling mistake

    Liked by 1 person

  12. mickwynn2013 says:

    Congratulations Sandra and great story, first time for me.

    Like

  13. Carolyn Page says:

    A powerful and touching story, Sandra; one sadly based on reality for many.
    Well done to your success. One of ten from one thousand; now that’s an achievement!

    Like

  14. Congrats on your entry. This story is quite thought provoking. I think of the people i have known like this and can only hope by my own dismissal I have helped to diminish them.

    Like

  15. elmowrites says:

    I can’t imagine having a cruel mother, but you give me an inkling. I like how the son resisted, although it makes me wonder at what cost.
    Congrats on more good news, you go from strength to strength.

    Like

  16. Delicious ending! And, again, congrats on another writing milestone.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks Alicia. Last year I started my writing year with a couple of successes and then it all went fallow for a while. Here’s hoping there’s more consistency this year.

      Like

  17. d3athlily says:

    What a wonderful story. It’s so true. Some people are only capable of negativity. Congrats on your story success! 😄

    Like

  18. ceayr says:

    The thing that impresses me most is that you were writing such fabulous stories 4 years ago.
    I think this is a small masterpiece.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks CE, I appreciate that comment. I sometimes wonder whether I didn’t have better ideas back then, but have acquired more skill at putting them across since then. All I know is I gave a lot of good ideas away ‘for the love’ as it were. 🙂

      Like

  19. Lynda says:

    I knew this woman.
    Very well written as always, Sandra.

    Like

  20. There are so many people like that and they do so much damage. Within the family home it must be devastating. Thankfully the little brother broke the cycle.
    Congratulations on being shortlisted Sandra, well deserved 🙂

    Like

  21. i b arora says:

    how do you manage to write so beautifully, i envy your writing

    Like

  22. A beautifully written, amazing story, Sandra! Your humanity and your oblique analogy to that image leaves me deeply moved and somewhat shaken.

    Like

  23. Indira says:

    Congrats Sandra for your great achievement. Nice story.

    Like

  24. wmqcolby says:

    I remember this story, Sandra, I’m glad you re-ran it (it must have been a good idea because I did the same for mine!) and shared it again! Sorry I have been out of the loop, as we say in the States. All the best.

    Like

  25. liz young says:

    Some mothers do think it’s their right to live their kids’ lives.

    Like

  26. plaridel says:

    this is the first time i read the story. thank you for reposting it. otherwise, i would have missed a truly good story. congrats on being recognized again. you deserve it.

    Like

  27. rgayer55 says:

    I’m sure I read this one the first time, but I can barely remember what I had for breakfast let alone something I read three and a half years ago. I’m glad someone was able to turn the tables on her. Sounds like she was a real Debbie Downer. I try to stay as far away from those people as possible.

    Congrats on making the short list. Rochelle has a real advantage in that area because she’s only shoulder high to begin with. Like you, I’m amazed at the amount of energy that little woman has and the volume of talent that resides in such a small package.

    Like

  28. Lovely story. Congratulations on the short-listing and good luck

    Like

  29. I love the witty imagery here, Sandra! And who isn’t now envisioning a pink bunny???

    Mazel tov on such an incredible honor! I’ll keep my fingers and toes crossed for you, when I’m not eating or typing. When do you hear the final outcome? Hope your name ends up on an even shorter list… of one! xo

    Like

  30. Amen … I concur with the previous comments, Well done !!!
    Congratulation on the ‘Magic Oxygen Literary Prize 2016’. It’s extremely well deserved.
    Your writing is inspirational.

    Like

  31. erinleary says:

    That was a great take on the prompt. I love your comparison. Strong writing then and you just keep getting better and better.

    Like

  32. Amy Reese says:

    It sounds like it was all a power struggle for mom and a battle of wills. It seems like someone will lose that battle eventually. Great story, Sandra. Congrats on your great news!! Yes, I do need some. I’m so thrilled for you. Excellent!

    Like

  33. gahlearner says:

    Great story, horrible mum, what everyone else said. And congrats on your short-listing. Way to go, Sandra!

    Like

  34. draliman says:

    Well done Willie, refusing to crumble. There are people about who just suck the life out of you.
    And well done getting to the short-list!

    Like

  35. Stephanie Alexandra says:

    Something quite haunting superimposing mechanical operations over corporeal ones. I keep rereading.

    Like

  36. subroto says:

    Interesting family dynamics portrayed here. Congratulations on the very well deserved short list .

    Like

  37. What a strange story about a dysfunctional family with a battery type metaphor. Never read anything like that before. Great, as usual.

    Like

  38. Margaret says:

    This is an amazing story – so insightful, and even more poignant that it’s the mother who’s draining the hearts from her children. Congratulations on your shortlisting. I’d never heard of this award – or organisation – before, and I think it’s just a wonderful idea. I’m sure you’ll be in with a strong chance.

    Like

  39. jwdwrites says:

    Thank goodness one of them got the better of her! Another beautifully crafted story Sandra and fantastic news at more recognition of your talent, I wouldn’t be surprised to see you go all the way.

    Like

  40. Congratulations, Sandra for being short-listed for the Magic Oxygen Literary Prize 2016 and so being in the anthology. I hope you win but, as you say, you’ve gone far already. Great story. It’s horrible to have to stay away from a family member because they virtually suck the life out of you. Well done. —- Suzanne

    Like

  41. Congratulations and good luck, Sandra! I enjoyed your story, and I’m glad that Willie survived their mother! Nice take on the prompt.

    Like

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