Jar of Hearts – Friday Fictioneers, January 2019

Copyright Bokeh-Priya-Bajpal

 

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.

Pressed for time again today, a re-run.  In fact, probably a re-re-run.  One of my favourites though, because it enables me to provide a link to one of my favourite songs, Jar of Hearts.  I’m a sucker for harmonic progression.  Thanks to Rochelle, for her leadership of Friday Fictioneers.

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.
This entry was posted in Friday Fictioneers, Just Sayin'. Bookmark the permalink.

85 Responses to Jar of Hearts – Friday Fictioneers, January 2019

  1. Dear Sandra,

    This sounds dangerously like a few people I know. I’ve managed to drift away but not without the guilt that accompanies it. I’m glad you reran this one. Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 2 people

  2. neilmacdon says:

    Fascinating characters

    Like

  3. I thought about these characters for some time. They all left me in despair.
    Touching story.

    Like

  4. Fabulous story – loved the voice – and the ending!

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Like

  5. Willie sounds a strong character, just like his mother!

    Like

  6. ceayr says:

    I commented recently on how incisively you view and describe the human condition.
    This is another master class in Flash Fiction.
    And I never follow links, but I did.
    Great song.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. A sad tale. I have known some people like that, alas. Well done.

    Like

  8. She got what she deserved with Willie it seems. Now, I’ll have Jar of Hearts running through my mind for the rest of the day!

    Click to read my FriFic tale!

    Like

  9. Sue says:

    Oh, very good…you are a masterful observer

    Like

  10. Anita says:

    Hope Willie energetically continues to drum on.
    That’s what life is all about. Keep doing what we love in the best possible way while we are alive.
    Another Try – Anita

    Like

  11. michael1148humphris says:

    If someone to stands up to a bully, they may wither away, well done Willie

    Like

  12. Nicely done as usual, Sandra. Good for Willy. May more people be like him in those situations! (When I saw the title, I was sure the story was going to go somewhere much more literal and gruesome.)

    janet

    Like

  13. pennygadd51 says:

    What an incisive picture of a matriarch and her dependent family! I loved the song, too. You’re right – that repeated slip from major to minor is absolutely gorgeous; borrowed from New Orleans jazz, I suspect. Thanks for the link. Like CE I hardly ever follow links but your link was well worth it!

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      I read a technical review of that composition, most of which was beyond me as I’m not terribly musical, but the conclusion they drew was that it was a masterpiece of chord progression. I’m glad you liked the song, and the story.

      Like

  14. Oh, this mother reminds me so much of a person I know. You captured her perfectly. And, like Father, your last line finished the story with a bang!

    Like

  15. Abhijit Ray says:

    Willie was mother’s favourite, was he? When everyone gave up on her, he continued.

    Like

  16. Piyali says:

    Well done, Willie! Perils of a family succumbing to the abusive manipulative matriarch. It was a sad tale told so beautifully. I’ve seen some mothers like this, they just suck the life out of everyone. Not all mothers are a gift from God i guess!

    Like

  17. Jar of hearts- brilliant. I’ll remember that..

    gramswisewords.blogspot.com

    Like

  18. draliman says:

    She sounds like quite the soul-sucker. I’m glad at least Willie was able to push through.

    Like

  19. Love both the story and the song!

    Like

  20. subroto says:

    A fine portrayal. I known people like Willie they just keep going on, oblivious/impervious to everything else around them..

    Like

  21. I’m so glad Willie was impervious to his mother’s manipulations. Another masterpiece story, Sandra!

    Like

  22. plaridel says:

    mothers are supposed to nurturing. i guess there are exceptions.

    Like

  23. Indira says:

    Realistic characterization of the mother, seen some, but they get their match sometimes. Beautifully written.

    Like

  24. Great piece, which song are you referring to?

    Like

  25. 4963andypop says:

    “Suddenly went bang!” What A very abrupt and powerful way to suggest suicide. I cannot help thinking of a certain bunny on tv when You describe Willie. Sounds like he did everyone a favor.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Dale says:

    There are those who thrive on sucking the life out of others. I’ve unfortunately knows such soul suckers…
    Well done! And yes, lovely song!

    Like

  27. Priya says:

    It somehow reminded me of the ‘evil queen’. Sounds scary. Very well written.

    Like

  28. Liz Young says:

    My first mother-in-law was like that. Even now her sons hate her, and she’s been dead twenty years.

    Like

  29. Anna Rymer says:

    Wow – that is so thought provoking and eloquent! Such a wonderful observation of what people can do and be. I love this.

    Like

  30. lisarey1990 says:

    I actually know a few people like this. Very controlling. You captured this piece very well.

    Like

  31. Some people can be very draining and demanding, but others (like Willie) can be a tough nut to crack. Excellent piece, Sandra.

    Like

  32. Margaret says:

    A grim story, Sandra, and such a succinct and apt portrayal of characters like the mother.

    Like

  33. gahlearner says:

    Sounding like a broken record here, but this is another exceptional piece from you, Sandra. Insightful, precise, intelligent, and always heart-breaking. I know someone like her, too. It’s a never ending fight.

    Like

  34. StuHN says:

    So, you knew my mom? Nicely done.

    Like

  35. Rowena says:

    Sandra, I am having a wonderful afternoon parked in the lounge room with my laptop with the air-con going and my dogs bringing me fragments of tennis ball while reading through this week’s takes inbetween what could only be called a salvage mission in our daughter’s room. She’s away and I’ve pulled the room apart trying to get some kind of order. I knew it was bad but we’ve been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to get in there and it’s easier with her away.
    That jar of hearts was chilling but don’t we all know someone like that, hopefully not too personally. I clicked through to the song and absolutely loved it. Will have to download that one. It’s sad in a way but there’s a real strength and determination in her and that’s what draws me in. She’s a survivor, not a victim.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    Like

  36. Lynn Love says:

    Ooh, how I know women like this, that suck the joy and pleasure from other people – and they so often do it to their own children and their spouses! Beautifully captured truth Sandra

    Like

  37. Violet Lentz says:

    expert character study. I feel empty when I read it.

    Like

  38. granonine says:

    The therapist in me jumped right to Narcissist, which may or may not be the case; too bad the others in the family didn’t have the fortitude of the youngest.

    Like

  39. Nice one Sandra, the bullies can’t cope with those of independent, undaunted spirit.

    Like

  40. Oh it’s dark…. A mother who sucks life.. Whoa

    Like

  41. Too bad Willie wasn’t the first born, but then perhaps it was his birth order that gave him his power.

    Like

  42. Quite an apt prompt for what I’m currently going through. I’m also turning away beating my one drum, but as you say, it isn’t without that side serving of guilt.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Excellent piece, Sandra. I loved the fact that the youngest didn’t get sucked up into the demoralizing drama.

    Like

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