14 June 2013

Published June 12, 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.
    • REMINDER: 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 will follow the prompt for those who might be distracted by reading a story before writing their own . I enjoy your comments. :)

  • Copyright -John Nixon

    Copyright –John Nixon

    • 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

Genre: Literary Fiction

Word Count: 99


            “Tell me about your childhood.” Audrey tapped her pencil against her cheek and pierced me with her eyes.

            I squirmed into a fetal position in my chair. “Bicycles, Barbies and circus clowns.”

            “Why are you starving yourself to death?”

            “I eat.” I counted the knots in the carpet.

            “Popcorn and celery. 85 pounds and dropping. What have you buried?”

            “Nothing. I remember my childhood in detail.”

            “You invented it.”

            To make her prying stop, I shut my eyes. In one heart-stopping moment, long dormant memories stirred and shattered my perfect life.

            “The first one was my uncle,” I whispered. 

The song’s intro is kind of long but it begged to be included.  

128 comments on “14 June 2013

  • Boy, this is a first! Wish I could whip out a quick 100.

    I like yours, Rochelle. As hard a job that would be to be a therapist, the reward when someone starts to break through and talks must be very rewarding.


  • Dear Rochelle,

    Thank you for sharing this story with us. You never know how moving through and eventually past the pain can help someone else save a life down the road. Good writing can do that. You do that.




  • great story…. but I’m sorry but I don’t get the connection with the prompt unless there wasn’t supposed to be one for you this week or I’m too thick (don’t answer that) to see it.
    Happy Wednesday on Friday (or verse visa). Randy


  • Hi Rochelle, Shattering experience for the child and a loss of childhood. Therapists like these carry out a commendable service to the society, countering the damage caused by a few people.


  • Sensitively crafted dialogue about something that’s all too common these days. Or did it always go on and it just never came out into the open… Well done Rochelle.


    • Dear Sandra,

      I fear that this type of thing is as old as human beings. I believe there’s more light shed on it now. All too many little victims are threatened in some way or another if they tell. And grown ups are always right, aren’t they?

      Thank you for your kind words.




  • Utter tragedy. Just utter tragedy. The world still has a long way to go. When I was a teenager I took a baseball bat to the car, front door and face of the father of my girlfriend, who whispered about that awful happening to me, how it had happened to her. I was rightfully locked up a short while. He got away scot-free. I would do worse to him now, but these days I think he would get arrested more easily. Powerful piece.


  • Too often, it’s a member of the family who does the abusing so the memories are part of her (or his) everyday life. Horrible. Good story, Rochelle, but can the damage ever be undone?


    • Dear VB,

      No. I don’t believe the damage can be undone. What I believe is that we can have beauty for ashes in facing the abuse and moving on. The memories don’t go away and learned reactions can be unlearned or overcome. Not to mention once accepted and dealt with these memories can be used as grist for the writer’s mill. 😉




  • What a great treatment of such a tragic and sensitive subject. Wonderful, heart-breaking dialogue. As an elementary school teacher, the idea that someone would or could harm any of my students (or any child) makes me sick and makes me want to do violent things.


  • I agree with the other commenters that you handled this delicately and well. Your story suggests of horrors endured and their consequences, and through this is heart-wrenchingly sad. Us readers can only hope that Audrey with her piercing eyes can help the narrator.


  • I can think of no justification from any adult to do something so hideous. I love children the right way and celebrate them and their youth. I am not sure what I would do if I ever came in contact with someone who hurt a child close to me. Let’s just say and eye for an eye might come into play!


    • Dear Jen,

      It didn’t really come out of nowhere. It came from a deep place inside and a conversation that said I had to write the story. I’m planning on a blog in the near future to possibly elaborate if I can find the right words.




      • Hi Rochelle,

        I meant it as a compliment, I assure you. You have a way of taking the picture prompts and carrying me a million miles from wherever I start. Your stories, more than probably any others, epitomize the concept of using the picture as inspiration, but then letting the story fly. I’m in awe. And if you find the time / strength (because these topics, whether fictional or otherwise, take courage to write about) / words to post that blog, I’ll be sure to read it.



        • Dear Jen,

          While I enjoy the extended compliment I wanted to make sure you know that I take your first comment as anything other than a compliment.

          I am contemplating a blog either this week or next explaining how I’ve arrived at some of my stories. Time is a major deterrent at the moment. .And you hit the nail squarely on the head with you comment about strength and courage. 😉




  • Super story! Especially that ending. Are you going to write more or was that part of one of your short stories? Seemed familiar.

    It happened again, you know. You went serious, I went funny.


  • Rochelle,
    This was wonderful, but I wonder what it might take to make you laugh, when a clown in a piano brings out a story about child molestation? (Just teasing, darling — your writing is powerful, but on a very sad run…)


    • Dear Helena,

      I agree, my last couple of stories have been dark. I can’t explain why a certain prompt sends me in one direction or another. I pretty much listen to my muse voices and go where they tell me.

      Actually I laugh at a lot of things. 😉




  • This powerful story is yet another reminder of how blessed most of us are and that we often don’t know what lies behind the seemingly perfect lives of some of those around us. This is, as always, well-written, heartfelt and heart-rending, but I was thinking the same thing as Helena. Perhaps something a bit more upbeat soon, just for a change. 🙂



    • Dear Janet,

      Some of us are better at putting on the clown face than others. 😉 I promise you an upbeat story for next week…if my muse allows. I only write what the voices in my head tell me.




  • Thank you Rochelle. This story too true for all ages, many adults who buried memories now find them resurfacing. Clever with the clown reference, for all of us, a moment of memory can release the hidden secrets (and abuse) that had been kept inside for too long. Well done. Your last sentence whispers the pain held inside with a roar!


    • Dear Penny,

      I’m happy that someone finally mentioned the clown reference. It’s amazing that a person can bury such trauma so deeply until one day a word, a song or a smell can bring it all flooding to the surface. Thank you for your kind words.


  • Rochelle — I did something I never do this week — I read yours first. Before I wrote mine. Which I never do. Never.
    SOOOOO…. I’m just going to say that your post made me very angry at child molesters, and that’s where my ugly story came from.
    So, it’s your fault.
    (no, I’m just a horrible human being, I know….)
    Great story, as always. You know how to tug on the emotions, that’s for sure.


    • Dear H. Ken,

      Since I read your story in all it’s well written ugliness, I’m not sure if I want to accept the blame. 😉 However the fact that my story evoked such strong emotion is the highest compliment you could give me.




    • Unfortunately, too many would and have done such things to children. It is dark. It’s where my head went this week. Might try to lighten up next week. But it’s how we writers are. We hear voices and then do what the voices tell us.


  • Dear Rochelle,

    I’m speechless. Fantastic story. I think my heart skipped a beat or two. I can completely identify with your main character. Sad that so many men and women can.



      • I guess that’s why I put it out there. I don’t want to be silent about it. If my comments or stories help one person, then I’ve done the right thing by speaking out.




  • Dear Rochelle,
    Nicely inter woven story. I think I identify with the clown being a freaky memory of anyone’s past. And then to lead to a much deeper and darker place…well done. I’m speechless, too.


  • After reading many of the other comments here I begin to fear there’s something wrong with me. I simply didn’t get the reference to paedophilia. In fact I thought the final line of the story was funny. Clearly it’s her uncle who is stuck in the piano – the first event in a life of traumatic memories as the child of circus performers.

    Thank you for using my photo.


    • Dear John,

      I’m hoping your comment is tongue in cheek and you didn’t really think her uncle was stuck in the piano. No doubt she would like to have put him there.

      Thank you for sharing the photo. A lot of interesting stories came from it.




  • Powerful story Rochelle, there is so much in the media about this abuse at the moment – in the UK there are cases going back decades and only just coming to light – not to mention the cases of Local Authority homes, and Catholic priests. It’s sickening, but we all need to hear it. Good story.


    • Dear Trudy,

      This is definitely one of my personal soap boxes. Too much has been hidden behind bedroom doors and swept under moth-eaten carpets. Thank you coming by with your comments.




    • Dear Freya,

      If there’s anything I dislike, it’s being obvious. 😉 Therapy, if the therapist is worth his or her salt, is a wonderful thing. One never knows what will speak. I’m pleased to know that my story is that for you.




  • You once again make me feel bad about posting my own effort. This was perfection in its pain, its honesty, and (hopefully) soon to be realized redemption, Rochelle.



    • Dear Troy,

      Ah always nice to read such high praise. However, you’ve no need to feel bad about your own story.

      Healing and redemption begin with facing the pain with honest. I believe the MC will be able to do this.




  • horror stories don’t tend to create such a shock for me.. as do such tales that reflect and touch reality.. i can only pray and hope such a story doesn’t turn into a reality.. though i know many are suffering such a fate sadly


  • Just came across this blog, what a wonderful concept! Your entry for last week was heartbreaking and lovely.

    Actually, my blog is for an audiobook podcast that I run. I would love one week to read a small collection of the submissions to Friday Fictioneers on the podcast, if you (and the other writers) would let me. You can hop over to Telling of Tales if you want to see what I do. 🙂

    All the best, will definitely be following your blog from now on.

    – Magnus


    • Dear Magnus,

      I took a quick jog to your blog and I’m honored that you would ask. I can only speak for myself. Feel free to peruse back through my blog for other stories they go back to April 12, 2012. I started Friday Fictioneers as a tenuous flash fiction beginner and ended up taking on the whole shebang. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

      Hope to connect with you soon.




      • Hello,

        It would be interesting to collaborate at some point. You could, for example, let those who would respond know one week that I would choose ten shorts to read on the podcast, if they’ve added a quick line to say “yes, I consent to having my story read” or something to that effect.

        I could also go through your archive and pick the ones of your own that stick out to me. It would be a pleasure to read your words. 🙂

        – Magnus


  • Another heartwrenching but beautifully written story, Rochelle! We know something’s terribly wrong as soon as she goes into a fetal position, but you keep us guessing all the way to “the first one…” – of how many? The poor girl.


  • From your (great) story I got that the prompt was like an ostrich with its head buried and symbolised the victim’s handling of the abuse situation, but also was the trigger for the victim to release and reveal. And I don’t agree with others who believe that childhood abuse can never be healed. You’re only a victim if choose to see yourself as one. Thank goodness that times are changing and it is getting harder to get away with this sort of disgraceful conduct. Ann


  • P.S. Curiously, two evenings ago, I watched the film ‘The Pianist’, which was about a Polish Jewish concert pianist’s experiences during WWII. Based on a true story. Harrowing and compelling.


      • I cried too. One of the most compelling aspects for me was how the hero, the pianist, was reduced to watching. His face (alone!) made it impossible for him to venture out and gain his ‘bread’. Oh, I could go on and on about this film and I’m not surprised about the Oscar.


  • Such a powerful and sensitive piece – the body language (squirming) so telling, showing up the avoidance of saying the words as a useless defence. And then, ‘The first one…’ You really weren’t pulling your punches this week. 🙂


  • your story, although fiction here, unfortunately lives in every culture around the world. pure evil. i just hope justice is made (here in this life or the next…) for the innocent ones that have a life stolen from them.
    thank you. ♥


  • Liked your take on Childhood’s End, Rochelle. I took an adult view of that photo even if the legs are obviously a child’s legs. The idea just popped into my head and I couldn’t go back to the spirit of the prompt after that.
    Maddie Cochere of Breezy Books thought I might be able to exercise my grey cells by taking on the hundred word challenge,. I love it, but I need help, please. I am absolutely hopeless getting things set up. I thought I followed instructions, but I can’t set myself up in that link section where al the other stories are.


  • I’ve just had a check and it worked after all. Must have been a fluke. I’m just too hopeless for words.
    PS. Rochelle, I tend to speed read. I slowed down and re-read your story,. That last line really packs a punch.


  • Dear Mary,

    It seems that your link…both of them…worked just fine. Glad you liked my story. As you might have guessed, I used the prompt as a jumping off point, not an illustration of my story. So the legs in the piano are neither here nor there in Childhood’s End.

    Happy to have you aboard. Going to read your story now.




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