Friday Fictioneers-The Bell Jar


copyright-Claire Fuller

My mother smiled. “I know my baby wasn’t like that.”
I looked at her. “Like what?”
“Like those awful people. Those awful dead people at that hospital.” She paused. “I knew you’d decide to be all right again.”-Sylvia Plath

Celeste peruses shelves while her mind flutters.

Wishes for clarity that never comes.

Says prayers for bliss that won’t subside.

How does she slow her savage heart?

With words, music, and love.

Wants to make others see her.

Hear her.


She begs for forgiveness.

From God.




Is she Esther?

Caught in the Bell Jar?

Gasping for precious breath?

A force of nature.

Longing to be cared for like a child.

Unaware of her strength.

Her force.


She opens the book,

And begins to read.

Finding comfort in Plath’s darkness.

Sylvia, found no light.

Until death.

100 words (Genre: Hell, I don’t know.)

For anyone unfamiliar with Friday Fictioneers, we write 100-word stories. Stories based on a photo prompt, posted weekly on Wednesdays, on our master site: The stories run the gamut and the authors come from all over. Stop by Rochelle’s page to find out more. I promise, you won’t be sorry.

As I state every week, please criticize the hell out of my work. Either a red pen, or riding crop will suffice.

58 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers-The Bell Jar

  1. “Finding comfort in Plath’s darkness.
    Sylvia, found no light.
    Until death.”
    Beautifully dark! I love it!

  2. I like this, Renee. This composition, what I refer to as free-form streaming (most of my work begins this way) shows a certain growth in your process, an open-mindedness, and a vulnerability, all ingredients necessary to the creative side as compared to the comfortable place where people mimic others. It’s a good sign. Unleash and let it run.

    • Thank you my dear man, for every word. I have to tell you that writing like this has left me spent. Emotionally and physically. All I’ve done is cry since I posted. I want to go to bed. Who knows where this free-form streaming will lead….

  3. This is a rich darkness – in a good way (for a writer). Your words projecting those troubling emotions carrying poor Sylvia along to the bitter end. Very well written. Renee. Oh, I loved your genre.

    • Penny, I want you to know that your comment makes me feel incredible. It was so hard to write the verse. I was emotionally spent afterward. I still am.. As for the genre, I’ve never taken a writing class. I just write. Thank you, thank you, thank you for every word.

  4. Oh hell. Sylvia Plath. You’ll know I’m in a maudlin, mopey mood if you catch me reading The Bell Jar while listening to Leonard Cohen and sipping a Grey Goose Greyhound. Darling, you nailed it.

    • You sound like my kinda woman. I can be quite maudlin myself, hence the free verse you just read. Think I might have to pick up my copy of The Bell Jar and dive into the murky sadness. Maybe more words will come to me…. XOXOXOXOXOXO

    • It’s true though Bjorn. Sylvia didn’t find her light till her earthly one went out. We, her readers are here to reignite it every time we pick up a book and read her story.

  5. This is a powerful and cathartic piece. I loved the last lines most of all. I almost critiqued the comma after Sylvia in the second to last line but in thinking about how it sounds I do like the pause, putting an emphasis on her name as if to say Silvia… found no light (implying that you do or will but just not tonight.)

    I was just reading a discussion which pointed out how people seem to feel they have to be positive and inspired all the time – shiny happy people holding hands even when we’ve just been through a tragedy. I just don’t get the cheerleader approach to tragedy but I’ve always been a little too in touch with my inner goth I guess.

    • Thank you for your comments and the understanding why I added the comma where I did. I thought it worked. I’m glad you thought so too. While this story was born of sadness that I’m feeling right now, I do know that the feeling will pass. I will be shiny and happy. Sparkly even. Right now I’m not. I want to use the sadness to write a little more darkly than usual. Sometimes we sunny people give away all of our light, and we need someone to shine a little back on is to reignite ourselves.

      I’m with you on the inner goth statement. I am too. I may be a blonde haired blue eyed blond, but within me beats the heart of a maudlin pin up girl.

    • Dear Rochelle,

      Thank you for your kind comment. I’m battling a bit of sadness this week. Not sure why, it’s just something that happens to me from time to time. At least the sadness made for a good story.


  6. I love this! The writing, the topic, everything. I’ve been reading Sylvia a lot this month, thinking a lot about how she died. This was perfect.

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