Short story: Funeral for a Bell


Dear Rex,

Yesterday the clapper broke on that old bell you bought me on our honeymoon. Perhaps the rain had rusted the chain through, or I had been too vigorous with ringing the children back from the beach for supper.

You aren’t here to fix it; you aren’t here to fix anything anymore. Today we hefted the bell into Flora’s old pram and wheeled it down to the sea, like a big brassy baby. We dug a hole, laid the bell to rest under the sand and toasted it with flat lemonade. When I went back tonight I was sure I heard it ringing.




For those who don’t know how Friday Fictioneers works, this picture (this time supplied by David Stewart) is our inspiration for our weekly online writing group hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Click here to read other people’s amazing stories or to join in. And please comment below with any suggestions for improvement on mine.

53 thoughts on “Short story: Funeral for a Bell

  1. Claire, you have such a lovely matter-of-fact way of telling stories. My first thought was that he’d left them for someone else or just for himself, but then I thought he could also be dead and she’s writing this in her diary or something. Heart-breaking either way.



    • Aww, thanks Janet. I liked the fact that it wasn’t clear what had happened to him – he could have left, or just not be around or be dead. I do have a plan though, because these are characters from my second book, but I’m still very much working out what happens. Thanks for reading and commenting.


  2. Pretty much what Janet said. 😉 I love your style, and I, too, wonder whether Rex left or died. Either way, the story is great, but it could be read in such different ways… sinister on the one hand, sweet on the other.


  3. Loved this bitter-sweet piece and that the bell was buried and yet she thought she heard it toll,was eerie and reminded me of a poem I taught this year,”The Inchcape rock” by Robert Southey 🙂


  4. As kz said.. just the idea of funeral for a bell is brilliant.. and I love the letter-form… and especially “You aren’t here to fix it; you aren’t here to fix anything anymore.” — tells so much more than what those words says… very effecient.


  5. There was so much pain in the words, “You aren’t here to fix it; you aren’t here to fix anything anymore.” The metaphor of burying the bell is very effective. But oh dear, she still hears it. So sad, Claire.


  6. Claire, I especially like the letter-writing style you use here. Interesting twist on the prompt. The frugal farmer’s granddaughter in me cringes at the waste of not fixing that bell, though. 🙂


    Marie Gail


  7. This one is tinged with sadness and an implied death of a partner. Very effective and nicely done.

    P.S My blog is being marked as Spam in WordPress, can you unblock me from your spam folder.


    • Thanks for your comments and for reading. I’ve unblocked all your previous comments, and said that they weren’t spam – but I haven’t approved them for posting – because I doubt you wanted the same thing four times!


  8. Today, I went to the beach with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my
    4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.”
    She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit
    crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never
    wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic
    but I had to tell someone!


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