1 February 2013

Published January 30, 2013 by rochellewisoff


We are a growing community of blogging writers who come together each week from all parts of the globe to share individual flash fictions from a single photo prompt. The prompt goes up early Wednesday morning  CST to give each writer time to compose a story by Friday. Some use the photo as a mere inspiration while others use it as an illustration. Use your imagination and think outside the box.

WARNING! This is an addiction for which there is no 12 step recovery program.

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Write a one hundred word story that has a beginning, middle and end. (No one will be ostracized for going over or under the word count.)


Make every word count.


  • Copy your URL to the Linkz collection. You’ll find the tab following the photo prompt. It’s the little white box to the left with the blue froggy guy. Click on it and follow directions. This is the best way to get the most reads and comments.
  • MAKE SURE YOUR LINK  IS SPECIFIC TO YOUR FLASH FICTION. (Should you find that you’ve made an error you can delete by clicking the little red ‘x’ that should appear under your icon. Then re-enter your URL. (If there’s no red x email me at Runtshell@aol.com. I can delete the wrong link for you).Thanks to Blogspot bloggers for disabling their  CAPTCHAs.  
  • Make note in your blog if you’d prefer not to have constructive criticism. 
  • This page is “FRIDAY FICTIONEERS CENTRAL” and is NOT the place to promote political or religious views. Also, you are responsible for the content of your story and policing comments on your blog. You have the right to delete any you consider offensive.  

**Please exercise DISCRETION  when commenting on a story! Be RESPECTFUL.**

Should someone have severe or hostile differences of opinion with another person it’s my hope that the involved parties would settle their disputes in private. 


🙂 My story follows the prompt for those who might be distracted by reading a story before writing their own . I relish your comments. 🙂

/copyright-Claire Fuller

Copyright-Claire Fuller

The prompt this week comes twice from Claire Fuller; both photo and artwork.

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*Genre-Literary Fiction*


            “It takes time to recover from major surgery,” said Jill’s doctor. “Your body suffered trauma. I suspect the nightmares will stop soon.”

            “Thanks…for nothing.” She slammed down the phone. “What’s it to him?  He’s not the one afraid to sleep.”

            “Honey, you need your rest.” Tom slipped in beside her and shut off the light.

            Her attempts to stay awake failed. The bedroom faded. A two-headed monster with razor-sharp fangs in each mouth seized her shoulders. She struggled against its iron-grip.

            “Jill! Wake up!”

           Drenched and shivering, she opened her eyes and groaned.  “Not again.”

            “Yep. The twins are hungry.” 

And just for fun or if you’re having trouble getting to sleep click here. 







126 comments on “1 February 2013

  • Dear Rochelle,

    Pavor Nocturnus has the ring of the ‘Stobor’ in Heinlein’s Tunnel in the Sky. I am very happy to say that I can only imagine what a waking nightmare having insatiable twins would be. Simply put, this story is a well crafted chronicle of fever dream and real life all rolled into one. Or is that two? Good job.




  • Rochelle,
    This was too clever. I was seriously thinking she was about to face some kind of inner demon of epic proportions. Instead, it’s the true life misery of raising twins. I had to laugh and gladly released all the building tension you raised in the beginning. Well done.


  • you got me there! poor woman! i could feel her suffering and guilt… i can’t even begin to imagine how difficult motherhood is.. but when faced with this added problems, it’s gotta some sort of hell..ish. that woman needs — deserves — a day at the spa. ^^


  • I remember those days. The exhaustion and elation. The fear gripped me so tightly sometimes I didn’t sleep for days. My body and mind would finally give out and I would rest. However, the anxiety would creep back in once I became conscious again. Oh how I longed to sleep forever. Fortunately God saw fit to keep me around to watch my children thrive. In watching them, I began to live again. How lucky I am to be able to see them succeed and live adult lives. How lucky I am to be alive.


  • “Two-headed monster with razor-sharp fangs” — very cool metaphor for having kids, let alone twins. In the early stages, one has the feeling that life is on edge every second, that every moment of rest is a moment that cannot be spared …. and that’s without having to feed them! Excellently conveys those early days which, of course, are .. um…only a few years back for me.


    • Dear Perry,
      Those early infant years were a challenge and I did have to feed them. Oy. Some days I felt that I was a none sleeping, milk machine. Can’t imagine what I’d have done if any of them had been twins.


  • Finally, my first visit here….you, as usual, are so creative my dear friend!!! I don’t know what I expected, but the short read was fun….remembering times with our kids…we always thought there should be a book….Remember washing the soap out of the tub?…with a garden hose?….drug through the house from the kitchen sink?…another word picture I’ll never forget..


    • Welcome, Ruthie.
      Feel free to read back through the others. I started doing these short shorts in April. and do I ever remember some of the crazy times with our collective little ones. There’s still time to write that book, right?


  • I could only imagine what a chore that would be… and with two at once. Maybe Tom should get his butt out of bed and take care of the twins. The pic of the twins is appropriately creepy for a nightmare… the way they are colored… I thought they were dead.

    Love the prompt and impressed with Claire’s artwork.


    • Dear Ted,
      In my mind, hard to convey in 100 words, Tom does help with going to get the twins but is physically incapable of feeding them. as for the picture…hmmm…I guess I didn’t see it as creepy. It’s all POV, isn’t it? But you liked the story, right?


      • I did like the story. I was relieved at the ending, because it put her distress in another light, and I was sure something so sad was going to happen. You do have a track record. But Tom could certainly feed them with saved breast milk?


        • Se moi? Track record? And to answer the question…it’s a tossup. My kids would take saved breast milk from others as long as the source wasn’t in the room. Funny how those little nippers know the difference at an early age. So much for Playtex nursers being most like mother herself, eh?


  • Hi Rochelle

    I have avoided reading your story until I’ve written my own. I have been putting the prompt image in my blog/story. I note that this one has been copyrighted. Could you clarify whether this means we cannot use the photo in our story? Thanks. Ann


    • Dear Ann,
      You’re more than welcome to paste the photo into your post. Copyright means that to use the photo for anything but Friday Fictioneers you would ask permission of the owner.
      Thank you for asking.


      • Thanks for the clarification, Rochelle. I’m about to post my story, so it’s timely. I look forward to reading yours. I could not avoid the title: “Pavor Nocturnus”. Latin is so sexy! Shalom to you too! Ann


  • My guys are 8 months apart. The older is adopted. Thirty years later and I still dream about those razor sharp fangs! And I would do it all again. Their mother? I think she would, too.


  • Rochelle, I can identify with those feelings and those days (fortunately long over.) I remember sitting in the chair in the middle of the night, nursing one of the girls and thinking that I was going to fall asleep and drop that poor child right on the floor! It never happened, I don’t think, but some nights I was so tired that perhaps it did and I don’t remember. 🙂

    At one time I thought twins might be nice because then it would all be over at one time (we wanted two children), but I’m so thankful God didn’t listen!!



    • I know what you mean, Janet. I’ve always been grateful that none of my boys were twins. I have similar nursing stories as well. My second son was every two hours until he started solid foods at 5 months. I thought sleep was a thing of the past.
      My mother was a twin so I was a little nervous back in those days before routine sonograms.
      Thanks for the comments, Janet. I’m afraid my story has turned this page into a “hen party.” Sorry guys.


  • eek! i’m so dense..on the first read, i thought Tom had turned into a vampire or something…but now i get it! what a great story!! :p
    on a different note…a friend recently had premature twins and she would love to breastfeed but unfortunately, at this time, both are struggling just to survive…all we can do is keep praying. i loved your story. thanks.


  • Awww.. such a sweet ending to the story, Rochelle .. Totally unexpected. 🙂 And all new moms am sure will vouch for those dreams. It gets difficult with one and having two can be pretty rough. Enjoyed reading.


  • Much happier ending than anticipated at the beginning of the story. Of course, Jill and Tom will have to gear up for the terrible twos will make the late night routine seem like a piece of cake..


  • Good story. 🙂 As a grandmother of twins who were first breastfed I can understand her inability to get any sleep. Our oldest, Stephanie started out breastfeeding the twins but could not continue on account of Chris not wanting his milk that way, so refused it, whereas Kristen was the hungry little pig with a big bite. We called her piranha mouth. 🙂 She had to resort to bottle feeding then for both.


  • Very funny! Or not, depending on whether you have twin babies or not! Never had children, but bottle-fed a kitten from 2 weeks. That was bad enough. A bottle every one and a half hours round the clock. There were days I never managed to get out of my pyjamas! My first and my ‘son’. Deeply loved and sadly missed.


  • Haha! I remember those breast feeding days well. Ouch. And a note to young moms–don’t tell your daughter you breastfed her at the squeamish age of 14 like I did. Bad idea. She ran from the room! Thanks for the memories, Rochelle. I think.


  • Well, I’m coming at this from a whole different direction. From what I can see, I’m the only one commenting so far who did not have children. I do understand from having so many friends who were mothers that what you’ve presented is pretty true-to-life. But since I am not in that audience, I saw the story as a genuine piece of “literary fiction” and found it ingeniously hilarious — in that it was as though you had played a huge joke on all of us. You had us bound to the character in sympathy and trepidation, and then the real story jumped out in our face like a “jack-in-the-box.” This was just excellent writing, Rochelle.


    • Dear Sandra,
      I’m not sure where to begin in thanking you for your comment. While it’s gratifying to hear back from so many who could relate to motherhood, it’s really about the writing. So your words of praise are music to my ears (and eyes).
      Humbly yours,


  • You mean the man is not supposed to sleep through? I am the ultimate dead head when I go to sleep, so I was little help whne it came time to feed, but then at first they were breast fed, so I really had no place. What an interesting take on the prompt. That is one of the most enjoyable parts of the FF, seeing how many directions the stories will take. It is why i always do mine before I read the first.


    • Hi Joe,
      One of the reasons I quit posting my title in the subject line was so that others wouldn’t be influenced. I’m the same way. I don’t want to read anyone else’s story before writing mine.
      My husband used to sleep through the feedings, too. I can pretty much sleep through anything. But when it came to my babies crying it was another story.
      I agree with you. So many different impressions from a single photo. My favorite obsession.


  • This brought a smile to my face. I wonder why Dad did not go. A mother’s work. LOL…I also had to go back and look at my story. My character name was Tom as well.


    • Hi Erin,
      I understand those sleepy moments between dreamscape and waking. One night I heard my first son cry. When I woke up I was rocking my pillow and couldn’t figure out why the baby wouldn’t stop crying.


  • Ooh Rochelle – brings back long-suppressed memories of my every-two-hours son! Funny and scary at the same time. (Well, scary at first; it wasn’t funny until you told us what’s really happening 🙂 )


  • holy crap. 82 people and it’s only friday. i have a lot of reading this weekend. we should take bets on an over/under which date will break 100. today is feb. 1. so i’m guessing that by the first friday in march it’ll break 100. do you think before or after?


  • Rochelle,
    Interesting take on the prompt. Your story is well crafted. I have a good sense of her feverish dream. I’ve had a few of those right after giving birth. You don’t know sometimes if you’re awake or asleep! I enjoyed this.


  • For some reason I went to other stories before I read yours!
    This is most hilarious (and a bit sad at the same time) and with a newborn son at home, I so very understand her fears and nightmares.
    I love this story.


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