Friday Fictioneers – Realising Perfection

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story, based on a photoprompt, with a beginning, middle and end, in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz (the blue frog) on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

FF - Realising perfection (icicles) 171206

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Word count: 99

Realising Perfection

“To work with gemstones, you must learn how to dress them.”

Young Jason learned eagerly about cutting, cleaving and polishing.

“You must learn to assess their quality.”

He voyaged to Rotterdam and learned about colour, clarity, and flaws.

“You must learn to buy them.”

Jason toiled across desert and ocean to far-off places of the world; until he found the perfect stone.

He studied it for a month. He worked on it for a year.

Then he placed it in a beam of light and exulted in the many-coloured fire he had kindled in the crystal’s heart of ice.

61 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Realising Perfection

      • It was from the 1968 (third season) episode, “The Empath.” In the same episode, actor Davis Roberts was a guest star on the show playing Dr. Ozaba and he said, “In his hand are the deep places of the earth. Psalm ninety five, verse four. Looks like he was listening.” This was back in the day when quoting from the Bible on television wasn’t a horrible thing to do.

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  1. I really like the way you structured the story. The reader goes along on Jason’s journey to ‘perfection’. Instead of telling us that he is passionate and tenacious, you show us how committed he is by the actions he takes. Well done.

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      • Ja eine Leidenschaft hat sicher immer seinen Preis und man muß zusehen, wie man das Geld dafür verdient, denn manche Leidenschaften scheinen sehr teuer zu sein. Heutzutage scheint nur noch Geld wichtig zu sein. Wie schön, dass es Gottes Liebe umsonst gibt und den Weg sich selber zu finden auch.

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      • sorry did not want to comment in german: Yes, a passion certainly always has its price and you have to watch how you make the money for it, because some passions seem to be very expensive. Nowadays only money seems important. How nice that there is God’s love for free and the way to find oneself too.

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  2. I’ve always been fascinated by stones, precious or not. You really captured the beauty of working with a “rock” that possesses amazing potential. I love the words you used: cutting, cleaving and polishing, colour, clarity, and flaws. Love this.

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    • Dear Sandra
      Thank you for reading and commenting. Your question goes to the heart of what it is to be human – is it our actions that give our lives significance? Because, of course, there are other things that also give our lives significance.
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s an interesting alchemy, cutting a stone, somehwere between an art and a science so I gather. You’ve captured it brilliantly Penny. I like how you’ve answered what he’s supposed to do with what he actually did – the structure works well

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    • Dear Lynn
      Thank you for reading carefully, as you always do. I’m glad you liked the structure. I was aiming to copy your technique of having successive paragraphs amplify what went before. I’m glad to have achieved partial success (personally I’m not satisfied with the fluency of the piece, but, hey! I’m developing, I think.)
      With very best wishes
      Penny

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      • Oh, I think you’re too hard on yourself. I think that comparison between expectation and his hard work worked very well. It’s a great thing to analyse your own writing though – I so often reread something and think ‘could have done that better’. At least we’re looking to improve, eh? All the best, Penny

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  4. I admire Jason’s passion and pursuit of perfection. We are all in search of writing the perfect story, yet we strive to make our next offering better the last. It’s a fun journey for those willing to put in the work.

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    • Dear Russell
      Thank you for reading and commenting. You and I will probably never write the perfect story, because we are not single-minded enough. But, hey – I reckon we probably have a better life than Jason. I’d rather have a good life than a good epitaph!
      With best wishes
      Penny

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  5. How lovely that you have taken us on a voyage of becoming a master. A “young Jason” becomes “Jason” and then is polished himself into a master. The stone and the master need meticulous work and that is drawn out beautifully here. Loved it Penny!

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    • Dear Fluid Phrase
      Thank you for reading and commenting with such insight. You put it beautifully that Jason ‘is polished himself into a master’.
      I love the way that different readers find different things in the story. You have focussed on the parallel between the master’s life story and the work that he does with gems – which was certainly in my mind, as you saw from the structure. Others have noticed most the perfection of the final stone.
      But the phrase that I personally intended as the most significant was ‘the crystal’s heart of ice’. Jason had created perfection, but in something that couldn’t appreciate it, and couldn’t respond; whose merit would always be solely in the eyes of those who looked at it, and whose fire is only ever a reflected and refracted version of the light shone upon it.
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 2 people

      • Wow! What a thought! Almost any piece of art is that way, isn’t it? Every art has a heart of ice – even what we write then! Thank you, sharing such an insight Penny. I never thought about it like this before.

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      • ohh, how poetic and sad this comment is. But who knows, these are the actions that you have repeatedly emphasized that count. Perhaps he has attracted attention with his actions, showing his passionate and loving personality as he could never have shown otherwise. And maybe that’s exactly how he found happiness for his life.

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      • The story is really interesting when you see it from different perspectives. How the boy has perfected himself and the stone.
        That the stone can not appreciate the fact that he has made him beautiful is clear on the one hand. However, when we are in stories and tales… I think a bit of the beautiful rose in the little prince and it makes my sad. Because then I would definitely have rewritten the story in any case so that the boy gets his reward … in the form of a beautiful woman alla 1001night, who appears to him in the stone and become his wife … or something like that …; )

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  6. Yes, ultimately there is a heart of ice in any work of art. But at least with writing we are focussed on the people who will read our work, and we can hope to influence them to be more humane individuals. I know you care deeply about that, and express it in your work, most recently in ‘The Cold Reality’.
    With best wishes
    Penny

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There is a heart of ice in every art? Is it like this? I’ve never seen it like that before. I think in every human being, no matter how loving he is, there is a spark of coldness, sadness and anger … because it always needs opposites.
    Whether this spark is then put into the heart of the artistic work, I do not know … it certainly depends to the work. But in any case, it is true that you, Penny can not only influence the positive with your writings, but also explain it. It is much more important that people understand than manipulate them (although it was a positiv manipulation). That’s what I want aöways for the religions. The aspiration to let people understand and to follow voluntarily. And they will follow their heart and will remain, because theey have understood where their heart belongs.

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