It rained on our last night in New Orleans.
But it wasn’t the rain that stopped us going out.
Strong, stable, always-in-control Jay had finally let his emotional guard down. Hunched on the bed, his shoulders jerked with each silent sob. He cried for his dad, for the emptiness and regret that comes when someone close to you dies.
I looked through the window at the glistening street below. The neon pinks and blues reflected in a puddle and shattered when a large water drop fell from the awning above.
It was ever more beautiful than I could have imagined.Follow @jessieansons
I’ve been selected as a finalist for the Newcastle Herald Short Story competition this year and my story was published today in print and online. It’s a 1000 word piece called Bloodstained about a bird and a woman who find they have a lot in common. Have a read here and tell me what you think!
Friday Fictioneers is a challenge set by Rochelle each week where writers from around the world post 100 word stories based on a common photo prompt. For more information, and to read other stories, visit Rochelle’s page here.
57 responses to “Neon reflections (Friday Fictioneers)”
Excellent piece. But your story in the Newcastle Herald is a powerful, heart-wrenching piece. I’m not in the least surprised that you’re a finalist, and look forward to hearing the outcome. Well done, Jessie.
Thanks so much Sandra! What lovely feedback. We find out at the end of this month, so I’ll keep you posted 🙂
Beautiful, Jessie. And your story in the Newcastle Herald is wonderful. I loved the mirroring of the husband and the bird. It was very clever, and apparently (though I know it wasn’t) efforttless
So glad it came across that way. Thanks for the support!
beautiful imagery Jess you too us there with you.
Thanks Marg! Glad you liked it 🙂
Wow. You brought me to tears on this one. No wonder you got what you so richly deserved in the Newcastle Herald. Bravo, Jessie! All the best!
Thank you so much! Oooh, I love the fact it moved to tears… thanks for the feedback!
It was great. BTW, what was the response from your writer’s group on my story? Did you get to share it?
A very powerful take on the cue, Jessie. Well done!
Thanks for reading, Di!
You had me in the scene. Lovely use of light and color. Congratulations on your story. No doubt there’s a reason.
Thanks Rochelle 🙂 The photos you choose are always so inspiring.
Nicely rendered. I like the portrait of Jeff hunched on the bed. Congrats on the award, too.
Thank you! Glad you could picture him there on the bed 🙂
Jessie, I’ve just read your short story in the Newcastle Herald and it sent shivers through me. It was such a sensitive, meticulous dialogue between the woman and the bird where the grief is so intense and all-consuming…I loved it.
It’s also great to run into someone almost local as I’m on the Central Coast, not far from Palm Beach and it’s great to hook up with another Australian. We’re quite a rare breed and hence my blog has quite an Australian flavor to it, yet written with an overseas reader in mind. I get very little Australian traffic.
We have a lot of cockatoos around our way and they’re forever swopping in front of your windscreen with kamakaze intent. We also have loads of ducks but they have trained the cars well and expect them to stop.
Great to touch base & good luck with the story!
Thank you so much Rowena!!! Always great to hear from a local too! Your feedback was so kind 🙂
You’re welcome, Jessie. It was a fantastic story!
A friend and I each entered the Central Coast Short Story Competition and didn’t get a place. Neither of us write short stories but we thought our submissions were good. I’ve now realized mine was more the basis of a novel with too many threads. I am intending to re-write it but will need to wait until school’s gone back. We’re about to head over to Tassie. My husband is from there and as ancestors going back to Port Arthur so it’s going to be a very interesting trip with loads of threads to explore.
Reblogged this on beyondtheflow and commented:
As a bird-lover and as a fellow-Australian, I had to share this. There’s a link to Jessie’s short story which sent shivers through me. A must read!
Thanks so much for the reblog!
What a great story – very strong, intimate tale of love and loss. Congrats on the Herald shortlisting – well done! Will try to go and check it out 🙂
Thanks for the feedback Lynn 🙂
My pleasure 🙂
This story should be read to every boy who think that strength is not to cry… wonderful and thoughtprovoking.
Your comment means so much. That’s exactly the message I was trying to get across. Thanks for the feedback!
I like the description of the lights shattering in the puddle. Beautiful.
Thanks Clare 🙂 I’ve always found something magical about lights reflecting in water.
Oh now that is a powerful story. The image of the rain reflecting Jay’s mood and it being somehow beautiful is really an extraordinary use of analogy.
Thanks for the wonderful comment! So glad you understood the message I was trying to get across. Thanks for stopping by!
My pleasure thanks for posting.
I felt him being shattered like the when the water drop fell in the puddle. That was a great use of image.
Glad it hit the mark. Thanks for the lovely comment!
Well written and well captured emotion. I know that moment of release when your father dies and you can no longer keep it all in.
Thanks Mick, and for sharing such a personal reflection.
Beautifully done.. both this one and the Herald one.. .
Thank you Dale! Glad you liked them 🙂
You paint a clear vignette of that view – and congratulations of=n being a finalist.
Thanks Elizabeth 🙂
Am I wrong in sensing a hint of schadenfreude in your/her thoughts?
Love the story.
Um, in the last line, did you mean ‘even’?
I had to Google schadenfreude… love that word now! It’s interesting you read it that way. Maybe she does have a wicked side to her. I meant ‘ever more beautiful’ as in ‘more and more and more beautiful’, but I can see how ‘even’ would have worked too.
Interesting take on the prompt photo.
I enjoyed your Herald story, the first line had me hooked. Liked the wink at the end.
Thanks so much for having a read of both Ted. Glad you liked them!
OH my….love the story about the bird and woman….wow very powerful…..great story….kat
Thanks Kat. So glad you liked them and thanks for the lovely feedback!
Oh yeah, Bloodstained. Beautiful images and symmetry.
Thanks Julie 🙂
I love where you took the neons in the picture. Well done.
I like your use of imagery. Bloodstained is a great short story, well done.
Thanks for the lovely feedback Fatima!
Beautiful imagery and I loved your short story.
Thank you so much 🙂
I could feel the heartache Jay was going through. Sad and emotional piece. It’s very well-written, Jesse, as is your entry in the Newcastle Herald. Congratulations and Good Luck.
Happy New Year 2017 🎉 Cheers 🍷
Happy New Year to you too! Thanks for the lovely comments 🙂
Love the nuance of this piece, such gorgeous imagery. Love your story for the Newcastle Herald too. Congrats and good luck!
Thanks Lori, fingers crossed!
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