SHATTERED

That was it after twenty-five years.

A note on the table when he got home from work, the suitcases gone, an empty wardrobe.

He re-read: ‘can’t carry on like this… your temper… mood swings… deserve better… fighting… better for us both.’

He felt the anger building. He crumpled the note in a clenched fist.

The crystal bowl on the table stared at him, their fifteenth anniversary gift.

He lashed out, sending it flying over the edge.

It hit the ground with a dull thud. It didn’t shatter or break, it just sat there.

He slumped futilely on the chair, alone.


bowl-and-leaves
Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

103 responses to “SHATTERED”

  1. The bowl didn’t break but something did. Powerful tale!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, thank you.

      Like

  2. The sense of powerlessness is palpable

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Neil, for once he is not the one in control.

      Like

  3. So many feelings in such a short story. Brilliant write, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Annie

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re most welcome!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Iain

    So much emotion. And the throwing of the bowl is a clue as to why she might’ve left. Well done.

    Shalom

    Rochelle

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Precisely, thank you Rochelle

      Like

  5. The bowl was trying to tell him something. Not sure what though!

    Click to read my FriFic tale

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Even the bowl has had enough of him.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the irony of the bowl not shattering despite the shattered marriage. You really punch that home by telling us it’s an anniversary gift. Excellent!

    Like

  7. You did a great job portraying both his and her emotions. Lovely piece Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Em

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Scary guy. And yeah, leaded crystal doesn’t shatter as easily as the human heart. Good one.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. His frustration comes through clearly. The anniversary bowl is a lovely subtle touch.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Well, that’s the end of that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some things do just end with a full stop.

      Like

  11. Maybe it didn’t break because it wasn’t glass? A subtle hint that all was not what it appeared to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Made of stronger stuff perhaps? Thanks DI

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Breaking of glass is a bad portend. The dispute is likely to resolve. Great take.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Interesting reading, thank you

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Liking the emotion in this short tale. Anger causes a lot of hurt and breakages.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Great write Iain.
    Marriages are often easier to break than crystal glass bowls.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And more difficult to mend, thanks Mike

      Like

  15. Grim tale, well told, as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. What a great piece of writing. You have shown both side’s emotions perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. The bowl was more robust than their relationship. Sad but with a real truth to it. Nicely done Iain

    Liked by 1 person

  18. This is a very good piece, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Robbie

      Liked by 1 person

  19. You showed so many emotions and the passage of time very succinctly. The letter, I assume chopped to show only the high points, worked well. Kudos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Alicia, chopped also to fit the word count 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And the word count, but it also made it a bit harsh, informative and blunt. Just as it should have been.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. I love the little detail of how the bowl is a 15th anniversary gift but they’ve been married for 25 years – conveys a whole decade of misery!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, indeed it does.

      Like

  21. Not even his temper can swing anymore… I think he has fallen to the bottom.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He certainly has, and perhaps rightly so.

      Like

  22. Great story Iain. I really loved that the bowl didn’t break. A metaphor perhaps for the unexpected consequences of his actions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, not the first thing his anger has failed to break…

      Liked by 1 person

  23. What a nice, strong bowl. Too bad he didn’t reconsider his temper sooner.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed Alice, thanks for reading.

      Like

  24. The bowl nailed it, Iain. Well done!

    Like

  25. What a powerful story Iain. I like the way you emphasised how he was shattered by not shattering the bowl.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Took her long enough, I’m thinking… And it the bowl not breaking sure is a funny sign…

    Liked by 1 person

  27. So much anger, it all explains why she left. The bowl did not shatter but the marriage did. Nice one.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. The bowl not breaking makes this even more powerful. Nice one!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. What a powerful imagery! Within such few words the range of emotions play out so well. Well done, Iain. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  30. That was quite different from your usual stuff Ian. He deserved it. Loved this one

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Aks

      Liked by 1 person

  31. I am bowled with the ending! amazing

    Liked by 1 person

  32. A lovely snapshot of love’s graveyard accepting another casualty!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Vivian, what a nice expression 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Ha! The bowl remained unbroken. Brilliant

    Liked by 1 person

  34. his rage was understandable. that the crystal bowl didn’t shatter seemed to offer a glimpse of hope of reconciliation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Possibly, thank you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  35. May be that’s why she’s gone. He’ll never change, will he? I think, even the bowl knows that. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, he won’t. Thanks Norma

      Like

  36. Great story Iain…so very real. I love that the bowl didn’t shatter!

    Liked by 1 person

  37. You pack so much into one hundred words. Well-written as always. The emotion was palpable. The bowl not shattering might be a sign. Reconciliation? =)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Or futility? Depends how he takes it I guess. Thanks Brenda

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I really felt the futility of it.

        Liked by 1 person

  38. Poor chap – even that didn’t work out as he planned!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nope, he’s at a low point.

      Like

  39. Poor guy. He never had a chance of shattering a bowl like that, though. They weigh a ton, it would drop like a bowling ball, haha!

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Ah, the only solid thing in their relationship was the crystal bowl, perhaps he’ll realise the omen. Perhaps not. You’ve raised a difficult subject in a focused few words, not easy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you James, I like your interpretation of the bowl.

      Liked by 1 person

  41. A perfectly captured moment – very nicely done Iain!

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Perhaps he should take up bowling. But I guess he’d just throw a gutter ball.
    I feel sorry for both of them. Fifteen years is a good chunk of your life to have invested in a relationship just to let it go. He needs to go to anger management call, big time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He certainly does. Thanks Russell.

      Like

  43. Felt his emotions…great job!

    Liked by 1 person

  44. His temper may have been what pushed her out the door. Sad …. a highly emotional story on the photo prompt. Loved it ….
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Isadora 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  45. Good story, full of emotion.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. That is one strong bowl, and must have dealt him another blow in its non-shattering – even it is against him..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When you’ve hit rock bottom there’s nowhere lower to go.

      Like

  47. This was so well put, Ian!
    Filled with emotions!

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Shattered is the perfect title for this story–especially since it seems all but the bowl were left that way. I really liked that the bowl didn’t break. It made your story all the more powerful and even made me feel some sympathy for the man.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jan, very kind.

      Like

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