17 MAY 2013

Published May 15, 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.


  • 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).
    •  Make note in your blog if you’d prefer not to have constructive criticism.
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    :) My story will follow the prompt for those who might be distracted by reading a story before writing their own . I enjoy your comments. :)

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  • Aqueduct -Sarah Ann Hall

    Copyright – Sarah Ann Hall

     To post the prompt to your page simply right click on the picture and then left click “Save image as…” This will download it to your computer. Then paste it into your blog page. Please respect the copyright and use it only for Friday Fictioneers purposes. Any other usage requires permission from the photographer. Thank you. 

get the InLinkz code

One – two – three… eight feet long

Two strides across, the rest is dark…

Life is a fleeting question mark

One – two – three… maybe another week.

Or the next month may still find me here,

But death, I feel is very near.

I could have been 23 next July

I gambled on what mattered most,

The dice were cast. I lost.

by Hannah Senesh,  executed by firing squad 1944



     Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 99


            Esther’s leg throbbed where a Nazi bullet lodged against the bone. Fueled by adrenaline, she refused self-pity and inched through the sewer on her belly, stolen rifles strapped to her back. Her partisan unit’s need for weapons outweighed her pain.

            Once outside, she eased down in the weeds, unslung the guns and handed them to her sister. “Leave me. I’ll only slow you down.”

            “You’ll bleed to death.”

            “Better here than Auschwitz. Go!

            Tears streaming, Rachel took the guns and raced after the others.   

            Esther watched them disappear into the tree line, bared her leg and unsheathed her knife. 



.In memory of these Jewish Partisans and countless, nameless others we cry out, “Never again!” 

Vitka Kempner

Vita Kemper

Eta Wrobel 1918-2008

Eta Wrobel

Hanhah Senesh 1921-1944

Hanna Senesh

112 comments on “17 MAY 2013

    • Ah ok. Decided on a story since I posed my question. Now really doesn’t matter what it is but it’s always good to know.Thanks.


  • Dear Rochelle,

    The poem by Hanna Senesh? Was it found on the wall of the cell she was describing? Very moving and and tragic and a fitting lead-in to your stellar (as always) story.

    Loved the title, too. Very evocative and a testament to your following Mr. Thoreau’s dictum that you post every week. I love reading your stories because I know how much work and love you put into them and because, in the end, when you have put the final punctuation mark in place, they will be riveting examples of flash fiction and examples to us all of how to tell a tale.




  • That’s a great story. Those are hard times, but as Esther said, better than the alternative.
    Thanks for clarifying in the comments what the picture is, although I immediately thought of it as a graveyard. I can see now that it’s not.


  • Shalom, and may we never forget! I interviewed an Auschwitz survivor. I asked her why she agreed to my interview, and why she so willingly shared a story that I could see caused her such pain to relay. Her response was that we (meaning the next generation) needed to know what happened so that we could make sure it never happened again. Her words, her story, to this day still inspire me. When I struggled to learn to walk again, I had a copy of her picture taped to my walker. In her I saw a strength of faith, of hope, of sheer determination that could not be found in any who had not faced what she faced and survived. Her story began my 20 years of research and recording the personal stories of people faced with such… sigh… we all know that if we forget, then millions will have died in vain. Thank you, Rochelle, for reminding us and keeping the memories alive!

    Shalom, Buffy


  • I struck so speechless.. the story in my mind that goes with this would take far more words than the limit… I didn’t see cemeteries or aquaducts in this pic, what I saw was a gateway into a garden… could it be eden? could it be the overgrown remains of what had once been a gulag, or an auschwitz? Either way, it is inspiring. When I recover from the shock of the story and video, I’ll post something.


    • Dear Buffy,
      Once more, your comments overwhelm me.
      As for your story…it’s not what’s there in the prompt per se, it’s what it makes you see. There’s plenty of time to post. Let it percolate.


  • Oh, Rochelle, this is a touching tribute and a well written story of bravery in the face of certain death. Just lovely, darling… off to read it again now.


  • This is one of those stories I want to read again and again, Rochelle. So powerful, in so few words, becuase of all we know went with it. I’m sure this prompt will yield a great variety of stories… hopefully I’ll have chance to read a good proportion this week!


  • Rochelle,
    I could feel the adrenaline. Hear her wince in pain. Taste the salt and metal. This story holds truth and tenderness in one hand and the gritty texture of harsh reality in the other.
    Moving. Deeply, deeply moving.


  • I know well of Hannah Senesh. I actually was in a very progressive Jr, High in the late 1960’s that showed some films/news footage/documentaries of that time period. And what your charactor says; “Better here than Auschwitz. Go!” Are indeed truth even if the rest of your words are fiction.

    Thanks for the prompt of how to get the photo, but alas it is still not enough for one such as computer illiterate as I. I did the right click but got stumped when my computer asked me what to do with it, as in where to file it to retrive it or how to name it. Maybe next week with the help of my son…


  • After all those lovely, and accurate, comments, there isn’t much left to say. I think historical fiction is the thing you do best and I always enjoy your stories, even when they aren’t enjoyable. I’ve read a lot about WWII and your story brought some of these stories to life again. As far as any of the camps were concerned, her line rings completely true and was, I’m sure, said (and acted on) many, many times.




    • Dear Janet,
      Guess it’s no secret that historical fiction is my favorite. I love doing the research and learning about those who lived before us.
      This particular story was one of the most educational for me. I spent an entire day just watching interviews and reading articles. Hannah Senesh I knew but the others I didn’t. And these barely scratch the surface.
      Said all that to say thank you for the kind words.


  • wow, the story and the poem are very moving. i honestly don’t know what to say next. you’re really great with these historical fiction pieces.


  • I am currently reading this book called – “Man’s search for meaning” written by a psychiatrist who survived the Auschwitz concentration camp. Moving. Some experiences, no matter how much you have listened about them, never fail to shock and appall.


  • I’m certain there’s a number of true stories that played out like this. These are the forgotten heroes of ww2. It wasn’t only bombers and battleships that won the war. Civilians, ill-trained for combat, endured great risks for freedom.


  • So brave and so sad. Is she planning to try to cut the bullet out, all alone? And of course, antibiotics were barely known at the time and she’s just been crawling through a sewer. The more I think about this story, the more chilling it is – and even so, “Better than Auschwitz.”

    All right, now I have tears in my eyes. You keep doing that to me, Rochelle. Good job.


    • Dear Sharon,
      A writer can’t receive a nicer compliment than a reader with tears in her eyes.
      Yes, she is about to cut the bullet out of her leg as did Eta Wrobel, one of the ladies pictured.


  • Compelling because of the deep research and truth-saying. I like this: “I gambled on what mattered most,The dice were cast. I lost.” But contradict. She didn’t lose. Ann


  • I love your stories based on truth and history. Very well done as always. It makes me wonder if given the same circumstances if I would be as brave. I would like to think so. Thank you Rochelle.


  • I was crawling along with Esther – another powerful and vivid tale. We need never to forget partisans and resistance fighters.
    I have just finished reading all the stories prompted by my photo. I don’t know how you, Janet and the others who read and comment on every story each week do it, but thank you for doing so.


  • What a powerful and riveting read, Rochelle. Yes, we must never forget. I was reading a story about the Holocaust to my son last night and thought about him hearing about it for the first time. It was about a feather bed that later became a feather pillow, but it survived the Holocaust and made its way back to the little girl and her mother.


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