26 April 2013

Published April 24, 2013 by rochellewisoff


As always, writers are encouraged to be as innovative as possible with the prompt and 100 word constraints. 

Henry David Thoreau said it best.

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”



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.


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  • 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).
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    **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 enjoy your comments. :)

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  • Copyright-Claire Fulller

    Copyright-Claire Fuller


get the InLinkz code

Genre: Literary Fictoin

Word Count: 99


            “You should get a Kindle.”


            “Convenience. It doesn’t take up any room and you can download a whole library. Think about it, sis. Call me later.”

            Charlene hung up the phone and sighed. Since the accident Donna, the quintessential caretaker, had only gotten worse. Always trying to improve Charlene’s life.

            But Charlene didn’t want an impersonal, electronic-voice activated device. She loved the scent and texture of books.

            “Where was I?” Skimming her fingertips along the raised dots on the page, she savored her inner voices. “‘The library was a little old shabby place. Francie thought it was beautiful.’” 


The quote at the end is  from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. Since the first time I read it as an eleven-year-old it’s remained at the top of my re-reading list.

117 comments on “26 April 2013

  • Arrrggghhhhh!!! I’ve got to wait for Jules. 😆

    I love your story. I can see how it would be difficult using a kindle. They don’t do them in Braille yet 😉

    I remember looking at some of my granddad’s books which were written in Braille. He had a Braille watch as well. Watching him reading while his fingers were moving .. he had a Braille typewriter as well. That was interesting piece of equipment.


    • Dear Alastair,
      Before I write I make sure that my story is not only believable but possible. There is actually a Kindle for the blind which has received both commendation and condemnation. Of course it’s text to voice, not braille. That would be very difficult. 😉


      • Wow. That is brilliant!! I’m sorry for jumping to conclusions. I should have checked first. Personally, I prefer to read and I think if I knew Braille I would with that as well. Someone speaking constantly would make me drift off and I would miss integral plot points.


        • I used to have a partner that was partially sighted. He could not read a book although he could see a little bit from the corners of his eyes. He had, probably still has, retina pigmentosa. While we lived together, he opened the glories of radio to me: we listened to BBC plays all the time and we ‘read’ books on audio tape. There is not enough being done. Imagine how much blind people miss out because there’s no way that every book published is available in braille, or on tape. We also had a reading group, where someone would actually sit and read and we’d sip tea, or beer or wine and listen. It was wonderful.


  • I’m with Lyn and Charlene: the scent and texture of books is something I’ve loved for a long time. Staring at yet another screen won’t replace that for me anytime soon. A wonderful story, Rochelle, for savoring the beauty of books.


  • Rochelle, a lovely story about a love of books and reading which is especially poignant as Charlene was blind. If I were ever to become blind, learning Braille would be one of the very first things I would do, as a life without books would be one of the worst things I could imagine. And I completely understand her love of old books and their delicious smells (new ones, too.)

    Having said all that, I have a Kindle and am thrilled to be able to carry my quite extensive Kindle library with me anywhere I go, something I certainly can’t do with my many, many boxes of real books. So, as with so much else, there is a time and place for everything and having found another way to access my addiction, I don’t plan on giving it up any time int he near future. Nor do I plan to give up my books. 🙂



    • Dear Janet,
      I’ll admit that my Kindle library is starting to grow. It’s great for reading in bed. Love the convenience. But love books and I don’t have to give them up.

      Glad you liked my story. I, too, would have to learn Braille post haste if I were ever stricken blind.


  • Oh, Rochelle, this is wonderful. I once wrote an entire editorial column (definitely no 100-word job) on the importance of “real” books that you can touch and smell as well as see. They will always offer a richness to life that nothing else can match.

    You have written this story masterfully. Just the right combination of the main character’s quiet, restful demeanor, along with the tad bit of conflict and just enough suspense with the mention of the “the accident” to make us want to keep reading every following line. The conclusion is a surprise, yet it flows so seamlessly into the rest that we’re not ready for it to end. Just perfect.

    I’m gearing up for teaching another creative writing class this summer, and if you don’t mind, I’d like to use this story as an example of using all the right combinations of story essentials in a very few words. Naturally, I will make sure all your copyright credits are on the material and will encourage the students to visit your blog. I’m going to use one of Lucid Gypsy’s as well. (Of course, if you’d rather I not use it, that’s fine.)


  • Lovely story. There is nothing to rival a book, be it old or new. In fact, I like them better old because it’s almost painful to crack that glossy spine. The tactile value of a book… Well done.


    • Dear Moondust,
      It really wasn’t my intention to start a Kindle vs Book debate. There are pros and cons for both. Personally I prefer the latter but sometimes that Kindle is more convenient in a tight space.
      Thanks for your comments. I’m glad you enjoyed my story and the prompt.


  • I can understand both sides of this issue. I won a Kindle and love the technological convenience it offers. I like to look and touch books, but when i buy one I can never get any value out of it when it is something I only want to read once. I like the way you pulled in the scene from the movie.


    • Dear Joe,
      I, too, understand both sides of the issues. When my anthology came out on Kindle a few months ago I downloaded the Kindle app to my iPad and bought a copy so I could check it out. I now have 3 more books downloaded.
      As for my story…the quote at the end is from the book “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn.” One of my all time favorite books. I saw the movie once and it just didn’t live up to my expectations. As the old saying goes, “Never judge a book by its movie.”


  • Just wonderful Rochelle, I enjoyed this story for all the same reasons the others mentioned. The first thing my (now adult) daughter does is open a book, hold it up to her nose and smell the pages. She has done this since a child. I ask her why at that time and she said it was part of her reading experience! I have many hundreds of books (old and new, classics and other, hardback and paperback) and a kindle. I reread almost every one of the books. The kindle is convenient when I travel and in some other cases, but nothing takes the place and experience (for me its also about feeling the textures of paper and cover) of reading a real book – ever!
    Thank you, Penny


  • I felt really drawn to your character, like I was actually watching her. Wonderfully written! Also, kind of funny that you also thought of Kindle, but in a different manner than I did. I had never thought of what an e-reader would be like for the visually impaired. Thank you for that perspective, and in such a nice story!


    • Dear Kristin,
      The part about the e-reader for visually impaired I wasn’t quite sure about so I did a Google search. It seems the technology is in its infancy and there are many pros and cons out there.
      Your kind words warm my heart on a cold morning. I’ll be by to read yours soon.


  • Another 100-word jewel from Rockstar. Glad I read the other comments. Not owning a Kindle, I had no idea it came in braille or used via text to voice. Ah…how sweet! the aroma and texture of books. A few years ago, I inherited a neighbor’s wall-to-wall collection of beautiful books (some rare)…however, I was allergic to them. Layers of dust, horrible musky odor, plus he was a heavy smoker. Goodbye books.


    • Dear Lora,
      How awful to be allergic to a fine collection. Too bad you couldn’t have had them fumigated or something. I think it would be tough to make a Kindle in Braille but definitely text to voice. Thanks for the kind compliments.


  • Ah, I have outgrown most of my book nostalgia and read only on electronic devices (except the newspaper). And I never write on paper either… it’s kind of sad, but still it’s more practical.

    I loved your story though, and the point that she was blind is really most important… and the combination of the reread point is most important. On top of my reread list is probably the stranger by Camus, but I would really like to learn french to do it properly.


    • Dear Björn,
      It amazes me that you communicate well in more than one language. I’ve always wanted to be fluent in another language. I do fairly well with Spanish and enough Hebrew to order my lunch in Israel.
      I rarely write on paper any more either. I find typing cathartic and rely a lot on my backspace key. 😉
      Glad you liked my story.


  • I think I have at least 11 overflowing book shelves. I make sure my grandson books here – with the help of our library cafe bookstore and garage sales, he is not yet three and must have over 100 books of his own. I love it when he (pretends) to read to his toys. He already knows the alphabet in upper and lowercase letters and I think he might recognize some color words too.

    For anyone who might be interested there is a wonderful site that you can register, exchange and free books…set them free that is. I’m also JulsePaige at:


  • HI Rochelle
    A lovely story- a proper homage to the book. It makes me want to grab a book quick and give it a cuddle, maybe even open and close it noisily and sniff it! Praise be to books!


  • I loved the way you placed technology in it’s place. At 43, I am still laughed at by my children as with every book read, I must first inhale it’s scent. I can’t imagine ever being able to do so with a kindle.

    Oh, and thank you much for the well-wishes you gave via Renee. The support of my Blogsville chums has been a bright spot on an otherwise gloomy skyline =)


    • Dear t,
      I’ve truly found this to be a great community as a whole. Over the past year I’ve made some friends so dear to me that I can’t believe I haven’t known them longer.
      Technology has its place. Without it there would be no Friday fictioneers and I would have to buy White-out in the gallon size. 😉
      But nothing can replace a good book, with pages and musty scent.


  • Dear Natasha,
    Your story set off my olfactory system.

    I have a book coming out later this year. Instead of a signing, I think we’ll schedule a book sniffing party to promote it. Hopefully, other authors will bring their books too and we can sniff each others. Who says you can’t judge a book by it’s odor?


  • Everyone’s reading experience is determined by the personal frame of reference he/she brings to the interpretation of the words–this is understandably diluted when the text is read by a professional reader as on your kindle for the blind and books on tape. Good story with a message, Rochelle.


  • I’m always enthralled with your stories Rochelle. I’m with you on the kindle. Technology be damned. Give me a good book any day. Preferably a used one with the fingerprints and memories of the others that have read it before me.

    My prose is sad and exasperating. It’s not easy to be in this blonde head of mine sometimes.


  • Yes, being read to is a lot different than reading yourself, braille or otherwise. And the Kindle speaking voice is quite annoying! I’d stick with the braille too if I was in her shoes 🙂


  • First time doing Friday Fictioneers today and I have to admit I’m a little intimidated by how good the other entries are, haha.

    I’m glad I wrote mine before looking at anyone else’s,


    • Dear Miss Zebra,
      Always a good idea to write first and read later. 😉 Welcome to Friday Fictioneers. No need to be intimidated. It’s a safe place to write and learn from others if you so desire. And perhaps the rest of us can learn from you.


  • Definitely more than two sides to this argument. Your story seemed as much about the interference of the sister as the technology question. It’s something that we have to learn, that sometimes people want you just to accept them as they are not try to fix things.
    The Kindle will never replace the book completely (in my lifetime anyway, I expect) but it is wonderful for my friend who due to physical disability can no longer hold a book but the Kindle works great for her.


    • Dear Anne,
      Thank you for your insightful comment and seeing that this story is really more about a relationship than an argument for or against Kindle.
      I like my iPad Kindle app for reading in bed but it can’t replace books.


  • I always write a short based on FriFic, but don’t usually post here as they’re not good enough. This week, following a suggestion by our friend Mr T Strutz, I’m making an exception. I’ve used the word “steps” as a prompt rather than pic itself:
    Oh, and i wrote another using the prompt pic more literally:


    • Thank you, Patrick. Glad you liked my story. As for selecting 10 others, you just choose 10 bloggers you really enjoy and feel are worthy. The ten people thing is why I normally don’t accept awards.


  • Mostly, gotta admit it, I side with Charlene. I just haven’t bonded successfully with my Kindle. On the other hand – well, my grandfather-in-law was legally blind and relied on Braille. Braille books are ENORMOUS, so I can see Donna’s point too.

    And I love libraries.


  • Hey, Rochelle, is the link already closed for this week’s prompt? When I went to the page to post my link, it says “This collection closed,” and there’s no place to click to add to it. Not sure if it’s my computer or the system. If you could let me know how it looks from your end, I’d appreciate it. I’ll leave you my link here, but if it’s the system, it’s probably keeping others out as well.

    Here’s the link to my story: http://sandraconner.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/friday-fictioneers-43013-entrusted/


    • Dear Sandra,
      Yes, I’ve set the link so it closes Tuesday afternoons. At one time t was set for a couple of weeks. Stories would trickle from the prior prompt in but never really get read. I did read and enjoy your story.


      • I’m sorry. I guess I missed your post that told us about the change. I usually get mine in earlier, but I was working on that challenge to National Poetry Month as well, and, you know how it is: borrow time from one to give to the other, etc.


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