Simple House

Published May 4, 2012 by rochellewisoff

Here’s my response to Madison Woods’ photo prompt for this week’s Friday Fictioneers. Also check out Friday Fictioneers Facebook Page.

In 1901 taxidermist Jefferson Thomas constructed a home and a thriving business. His petulant mail-order bride hated rural life.

One day her prized ruby from a former suitor disappeared. Blaming Jefferson, she demanded a divorce. Tongues wagged when she abandoned both her husband and child.

A century later a tornado devastated the house to a pile of clapboard. Amid the rubble, Jefferson Thomas III, found nothing left of his heritage save a lone wall. He tore off a length of wallpaper and yelped.

A glass eyed, mummified woman stared back at him, a ruby ring clinched between her teeth.

33 comments on “Simple House

  • Dear Rochelle,I read this story from cover to cover, sucked in immediately by the tone and timbre of your voice. What a wonderful ending. Macabre and yet telling. (Our stories are joined at the hip, and not just by tornadoes. See what you think.)Aloha,Doug


  • Those mail-order brides can be so fussy. Imagine, loving a ruby more than rural life. She's obviously related to the woman in Doug's story.Thanks for visiting mine. Here's the link for others


  • Exactly! I was thinking of writing something similar, but yours came out perfectly. I love that the ring was clenched between her teeth! What a shock!Yours in Bath,Uk,Linda Lindaura


  • Yikes. Dark and Creepy. Great twist at the end. Didn't expect it, even though him being a taxidermist was a neat clue. I spook easily so I can imagine what the sight of that mummified face would have done to my heart murmur. Nice work Rochelle. Here's


  • Hello Rochelle,I adore this story! Even at the point where I guessed what would happen, the pace and the crisp narrative kept me engaged. Very well done!Wakefield Mahon


  • I liked this story better than the others. It was a little more clear on what was happening, and a little suspenseful. Got your message reply. I have the site Writeforacause following my blog site. I am going to submit too, and try a 100 word piece. A little different for one who likes a bit more detail, but we'll see. I'm still teachable. Ha.


  • Well, at least she got her ring back! And at least Jefferson Sr put his skills to good use and there’s part of me that doesn’t blame him – she made all that fuss over a ring a ‘former’ suitor had given her? What a baggage! Grisly and yet it made me smile too.


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