Too Late: Friday Fictioneers

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© yarnspinner

The young boy lived up the road.  Whenever I saw him he seemed to droop, never looking at you, his brow a field of ridges and furrows and his shoulders sagged. He never smiled and the most response from him was a grunt.

When I heard he’d hung himself the line from The Loved One echoed round my head. giving me visions of red protruding eyeballs and a black protruding tongue. I fixated on the ability of anyone to lie in the bedroom where he had hung. Most of all I wondered if I could have made more of an effort. 

Thank you to our Friday Fictioneers host Rochelle Wiseoff-Fields  and to Yarnspinner for providing this weeks photo prompt.

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and in Australia each year around 1 million people suffer with depression and 2 million with anxiety. The number of deaths by suicide in young Australians is the highest it has been in ten years and is the biggest killer of our youth – higher than car accidents. Beyond Blue and other organisations are well equipped to give assistance to those concerned for loved ones and for those who need help.


About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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61 Responses to Too Late: Friday Fictioneers

  1. Dale says:

    So very sad. And to have that image imprinted… awful!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a topical story Irene. Mental health is indeed a criminally-ignored area.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. shivamt25 says:

    That was sad. Even I dia has seen increase in such cases. The big problem is, many people don’t even understand here that someone dealing with depression needs assistance. A pat on the back might not be sufficient.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is so true. for many years here you were seen as being weak if you became depressed so people learnt to keep it quiet. In reality almost 50% of people will experience depression in their lives and it is a huge problem. I hope your country tackles it and I hope so does mine.


  4. Moon says:

    A powerful story with a great message.
    All too often, we assume that the sufferer’s family will take care of them , un-burdening ourselves of whatever little support we could offer.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Liz Young says:

    Awful, young deaths, yet we see and do nothing for fear of being rejected.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sandra says:

    It’s a worrying thought, isn’t it – could we have done more?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. yarnspinnerr says:

    Another tragedy another news item. Topical take.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yes, I think one does feel like this when something bad happens. A very striking piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A beautifully done portrait of despair. Well done.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Suicide is worth talking about and it never hurts to ask, “How can I help?”
    I vivid story.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. lisarey1990 says:

    This is a wonderful story about a very important topic that affects so many people.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. pennygadd51 says:

    You’ve tackled an important topic with your powerful story. By making it personal, making it real, you open your readers’ eyes to the issue. Well done.
    Of course, because of the constraints of 100 words you’ve made the victim very obviously ill. Here, in the comments, without any word count, it’s probably worth mentioning that many people who suffer from depression and/or anxiety don’t show severe symptoms – but they’re still seriously at risk. It’s really important that we are sensitive to the state of mind of our family and friends.
    The good news is that professional help can improve matters greatly. Both depression and anxiety can be effectively treated with appropriate therapy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for adding further information Penny. You are of course right that often no-one knows. Unfortunately in our society we become isolated in our boxes and it is not just depressed that suffer but also new mothers that aren’t coping and the elderly to name just a few. Perhaps we should make more of an effort to be inclusive of those around us whether we know they need help or not.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. subroto says:

    Youth suicides are such a tragedy and depression can strike anyone regardless of their age and status. Very topical take on the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. mumpoet says:

    I like the way this is handled – such a delicate subject. Nicely done 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. LucciaGray says:

    Sad and touching story, Irene. Devastating last line “I wondered if I could have made more of an effort.” I know the feeling and it will haunt her for a long time…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Oh, I hate being left with that feeling ~ “Could I have done more?”

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Dear Irene,

    Such a tragic story. Very well told.



    Liked by 1 person

  18. Michael says:

    [A powerful tale, Irene.] Sadly depression is often difficult to spin down to one cause, which can make treatment difficult. But one starts to manage it: by talking about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. granonine says:

    Irene, this is one your best. You drew that boy so clearly, and my heart wanted to reach out to him. Depression is something I deal with every day in my counseling office. It’s surely a terrible enemy.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Your story is a sad one but those statistics…wow.
    I was curious to see if it was here and it is the second largest cause of death for young people.
    Staggering numbers.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. jillyfunnell says:

    Someone once wrote that a suicide kills two people. I think it is at least two. The living torture of wondering was there anything that could have been done to prevent the tragedy. Signs and signals are absent in so many vulnerable people.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. gahlearner says:

    All of this is absolutely true and well told. Painful and sad. It’s absolutely essential to have people understand that depression is a sickness and not just a mood.


  23. That’s a hard hitting story, well told

    Liked by 1 person

  24. James McEwan says:

    Sometimes it’s the guilt that hurts the most. A sad tale.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Lynn Love says:

    This is heartbreaking Irene. And all the more so because of the simple prose you used, the thoughts surrounding the boy’s death. It’s so frightening, this phenomenon, especially in young men who seem unable to discuss their problems. Very well written

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Dahlia says:

    So sad and makes me think…

    Liked by 1 person

  27. So sad, Irene. The emotions left by a suicide are always with the ones left behind, wondering.

    Liked by 1 person

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