9 August 2013

Published August 7, 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.”


😦 Note: Please limit your entries to 100 word stories that pertain in some way to the prompt, Last week I pulled two links that had nothing to do with Friday Fictioneers. 😦



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. However, I respectfully ask for your consideration. Please refrain from taking the  liberty of posting 200 words or more as a Friday Fictioneers story. Thank you.)


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.

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    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.

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  • Shalom,


copyright-Renee Heath

Copyright -Renee Heath

get the InLinkz code

For posting and linking tutorial click  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkHVLkS3mH4


Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count:  99


            With a wary glance over her shoulder, Laura rushed into the general store, her lungs burning. She thrust a basket into the shopkeeper’s arms.

            “Hold this until the train comes.” She dropped a dollar on the counter. “I’ve more if necessary.”

            Just then, a barrel-chested man with savage blue eyes burst in, cracked a horsewhip and bellowed,  “That’s my property. This Quaker witch is a thief!”

            A calm smile on his face, the shopkeeper reached into the basket and caressed the mulatto infant’s light-brown cheek. “Your son, sir?”

            “How dare you!”

             The shopkeeper winked at Laura. “No charge, Mrs. Haviland.”       




Renee snapped this week’s photo in Tecumseh, Michigan where she lives. By the architecture  I could tell that the building is old. How old I wasn’t sure but looks like 19th century. So I began the journey on the Google super highway which led me to the Underground Railroad. Tecumseh, for the most part, was anti-slavery and helped many an African American on the journey to freedom. Among these unsung heroes was Laura Smith Haviland.  A champion abolitionist, she did have some slave owners angrily on her trail.  To Tecumseh’s credit, there’s no record of any escaped slave ever being returned to his or her owners. 


Laura Smith Haviland

For more info on this courageous lady click here.


83 comments on “9 August 2013

  • I love how you weave history and flash fiction together in a storytelling delight! I can imagine you reading your tales out loud. Loved this photo – it took my mind to so many places instantly and I can’t believe I have made it in first this week! Shock! Horror! Be back to read more later! x


      • Well I doubt I will ever be 1st again 😉 so enjoying being on the reader at the same time as your post today! Great photo – was loving it before I realised it was even attached to your blog or FF… then as I copied and pasted I saw her…. and I nearly called her Laura too – how strange! 😉


    • Dear David,

      I’m smiling. I have a very clear picture in my head of what he looks like. One of those calm, wry sorts who sees things as they are and doesn’t say more than necessary. Glad you liked him. Thank you.




  • I see the shopkeeper looking like Johnathon Garvey, Merlin Olsen’s character in “Little House on the Prairie.” What a lovely story! I’ve sometimes wondered how you decide where to start you research, but I realize that you have the information on where the photo took place, something we don’t see, to provide that jumping-off point–no supernatural powers involved. 🙂 You always make the most of your words.



    • Dear Janet,

      Honestly had to dig deep for this one. I surmised that since Renee took the picture and lives in Tecumseh, MI that could be where she snapped it. From there the rest is…um…well…history ;). Finding the underground railroad connection was one of those serendipities I always hope for.

      Yes, I could see Jonathan Garvey as the shopkeeper with a twinkle in his eye as he thwarted the efforts of the slave owner.

      Thank you for taking time out from your vacation to read and comment. Now go relax!




    • Dear MissKZebra,

      It starts with something popping into my head first, I just spend a couple of days editing and tightening. When the story warrants I research to make sure I’m not just blowing smoke and steam. Don’t be ashamed…just keep at it. 😉




  • Like so many stories of resistance, the Underground Railroad is a part of American history which creates such a mixed impression of admiration and distaste (for what they are running from). You give us a glimpse of both sides in this little piece – nicely woven together into 100 words.
    My only query is the line “I’ve more if necessary”. When I read it first time, I thought this referred to the contents of the basket, rather than the money. I don’t know if there’s a tweak you could do to make that clearer. Or maybe I just need to read more slowly.
    Oh, and I enjoyed the glimpse into your process too!


    • Dear Jen,

      Slavery is such an ugly slice of American history and when my research path led me there I couldn’t resist.

      I’ll give the line some thought, I do have one more word and could add “money” to the sentence. Although when I went back and read it it seemed clear to me. In any case I appreciate the honest crit.




  • another winning piece of historical fiction. i really admire how you put so much research in your work and how you manage to say a lot about your characters without actually describing them too much, wonderful skill. 🙂


    • Dear KZ,

      Many thanks for your glowing compliments. I’m warmed by them. Always happy to impart knowledge as I am learning. As writers we are both teacher and student. Glad you dropped by my classroom.




    • Dear Ron,

      I found Tecumseh’s history quite interesting. There were plenty of directions to go, but when I found the tidbits about the underground railroad I was hooked. Happy you liked my story and took the time to comment.




    • Dear Amy,

      Google is a wonderful tool. I wish it had been around when I was in school or, for that matter, that I’d given a second thought to history. Better late than never, right. I didn’t know about Laura Smith Haviland until this past week. Now I will never forget her. Glad you like it.




  • Brilliant moment – that touch – both of your ‘pen’ and store owner, but so tragic, the racism that pervaded our history – therefore so important stories like these are read.


    • Dear Lindaura,

      Thank you for your warm comments. I’m often asked how I arrive at some of my stories that seem to have little or nothing to do with the prompt. So I thought it would be fun to show how I got from point A to point B. 😉




  • Dear Rochelle
    You have woven a lovely piece of history into your story again – I love how you do that. What a brave woman Laura Smith Haviland was, thank you for telling her story too.
    Take care


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