16 August 2013

Published August 14, 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. 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).
    • 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.

  • ***********************************************************************

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


  • ;) My story follows the photo and link tool. I enjoy honest comments and relish constructive criticism. :D
  • Shalom,


Copyright - Roger Bultot

Copyright – Roger Bultot

get the InLinkz code

Genre: Memoir

Word Count: 100


            Dear Hank,

            Remember how we saw Billy Jack four weekends in a row? I always thought you imagined yourself to be a bad-ass who could kick the hell out of injustice. And with the black belt you earned in Taekwondo, perhaps you could have.

            After graduation our paths diverged. Letters, phone calls and occasional visits kept us connected. 

            When I learned of your fatal crash I reeled with disbelief.

            You were the epitome of masculinity, but you were never afraid to cry. Your tears at my attempted suicide infused me with an indomitable will to survive. 

            Thank you.




83 comments on “16 August 2013

  • Hi Rochelle – At first sight of this week’s photo prompt..I said to myself…Oh, that poor car…until I read your story. Another good one, Rockstar…albeit sad and thought provoking.

    Question…how come you never responded to my first Ebook, MISTY ROSE??? Just wondering.

    Hugs, Lora




    • Dear Lora,

      This one’s entirely true and had me in tears as I wrote it.

      When your ebook first came out I tried to download it to my iPad and couldn’t seem to find a way. After that I got distracted. How’s that going? I’ll try again. I’m considering smashwords when I have 100 flash fictions as one of my publishing options.




    • Dear Sandra,

      Your comments are always among the ones I appreciate the most. It started out as a narration which seemed flat and impersonal. This is the second time I’ve done a letter format. I wouldn’t do it often but in this instance it was the only way to go. Thanks for dropping by.




  • It suddenly became very powerful when I realised it was true, and the description took onnew meaning. His nickname for you was poignant…and there’s another story underneath that one,isn’t there…


  • Thanks Rochelle for the story I love the memory of the legend of Billy Jack and how generation was going to make a difference in the world against corrupt greed and hate and war.
    Sorry I was not there for you, in your times of trouble soul, and I glad you with us the world would be one less candle for joy without you.
    Laugh out loud until it hurts.
    Tim Ward


  • This certainly invokes a lot of emotion. Sometimes when people put some of their personal life into their stories, it can feel a little uncomfortable, but this piece is beautiful, and speaks to me a lot. I don’t really feel like I’ve ever had a Hank, but I can certainly imagine the kind of pain that would follow a loss like that.


    • Dear Miss KZebra,

      As Joni Mitchell so aptly wrote, “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.” I don’t know if I realized how dear Hank was until the day I got the news he was gone.
      I’m grateful for having lived through some self-inflicted hard times. Thanks for commenting.




  • I figured this one to be less fiction and more non, and I liked the easy flow and honest dialog you embraced to make a great response even more heartbreaking, though life-affirming. God bless, Rochelle.


  • Knowing that this flash is not fictional breathes even more power into it – the raw emotions are evident, the loss, the pain.
    I think the letter is a great approach to speaking this story out in the form of a personal narrative.


  • Dear Rochelle,
    There is so much heartbreak in this story, I’m all out of words. I don’t know why, but there is something about the death of a friend we’ve moved away from that gets us right in the stomach. I momentarily played with the idea of writing a very different story for my FF entry this week, and now I wish I’d had as much courage as you.
    As with all great writing, it’s the details that make this piece so vivid – the first and last lines in particular, and the nickname which leaves another story untold.


    • Dear Jen,

      I’ll admit to shedding a few tears in writing this piece. Some people leave footprints that will never be washed away. Hank was one of those although I don’t think I realized to what extent until he was gone.

      I’m glad you didn’t change your story this week. It was wonderful and evoked a lot of other emotions for me.

      Many thanks for your comments and compliments.




  • It’s always the inspiration within the sorrow that is really the most powerful and the sweetest. This story leaves me inspired as well as wondering and wanting to know more, Rochelle. And as in all your stories, you always give us the tantalizing tip of the iceberg.


    • Dear Leslie,

      So the saying goes. However I lost a friend a couple of years ago who was in her 90’s–full of life. She was most certainly the contradiction. But yes, Hank was young, too young. Thank you for your kind words.




  • Hello darling,

    Sorry I missed everyone last week, but here I am. I love that you experiment with different styles and genres (and you write the saddest stories known to woman — but that’s okay, I like sad stories.) I haven’t seen Billy Jack in ages, but remember singing One Tin Soldier in school choir.
    Thanks for the memories, and for the sad story.



    • Dear Helena,

      Your comments make me smile. I love experimenting with styles and genres. I love the song. Might just be the best thing that came out of that movie. It sill haunts me. Perhaps because it will always be a reminder for me.




  • Amongst the many wonderful things about this community one thing that stands out for me is the way that people like you share your pain, your joy and your humour through your honest and heartfelt words. It makes me feel amongst friends, and miss you all when I’m not here.


    • Dear Ron,

      Billy Jack looms large on the nostalgia horizon for me. Happy to know the story felt that way for you, too. I’d like to think that somehow, some way, Hank is reading my letter.




    • Dear Rich,

      Nice to see you here. Good catch on the NJ license plate. This is one of Roger’s many stunning photos from Hurricane Sandy.

      Glad you enjoyed my story. Yep that was my lifer Marine friend Hank. Nothing if not macho but I knew that very sweet side of him.




    • Dear Ms. T,

      It’s too easy to take people for granted and think they’ll be around forever. Hank’s death was tragically sudden at at time when I thought I wanted to die. Thank you for your generous words.




  • Fantastic story Rochelle. In my youth I lost a lot of friends to car accidents, suicide, and a heart attack. They called my town Death Valley. Doesn’t matter if you lost one or a dozen though. No one will ever call you that nickname in quite the same way he did will they?

    Love, Renee


  • Dear PB,
    Thanks for including the song. I always loved that ballad. I went to high school with a guy whom nicknamed Roach, this made me wonder what became of him. Looking back, we were very idealistic. I don’t see that with today’s youth and their apathy makes me sad.
    Well done (once again) – Ted


    • Dear Ted,

      I hadn’t thought much about it, but now that you mention it, I don’t see that idealism in today’s youth. They seem to have complacently accepted things as we left them. A guy nicknamed Roach? I know what mine’s short for…what was his real name? Thanks for dropping by and commenting.




  • Full of strong emotions, strength from strength – there are those whose passing we will never hear about. That saddens me. Once so close, they will go without my knowing. You made me feel that.


    • Dear VB,

      I’ve been wanting to answer your comment, but not until I could do better than an iPhone.

      I do have a positive outlook, for the most part, as we all have our ups and downs. However, in 1996 when this all took place, I was as close to death as I’ve ever been. I was in the hospital the day Hank, having only recently visited in person, called. He could hardly speak. After a soft “Hi Roach” there were only tears until he told he loved me and didn’t want me to die. It was the last time we spoke.

      How ironic that he died instead.

      As with all healing, mine was a process, not an event. I have a loving husband who stubbornly stood beside me and others who cared. But you could call that last conversation a wake up call. It wasn’t just about me. I was hurting more than myself.

      For those in 12 step programs, I think this could be considered “sharing my experience, hope and love.”




      • A lot to go through at one time: a personal life trauma and the loss of a close, supportive friend. You were fortunate to have a wonderful husband and caring extended family. And we’re glad everything turned out well so we can have you as our FF leader. Take care, Rochelle.


  • Dear Rochelle
    This was a great way to deliver your story. The fact that this is a ‘memoir’ makes the telling of it even more poignant and not without pain I guess.
    Thank you for shaing this


    • Dear Amy,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the letter and glad you asked the question. No. I didn’t start out with the letter. I started with a first person narrative. No matter how I wrote it seemed anemic. Then, driving to work, it hit me. The story needed to addressed to Hank. Hence, the letter. It was an emotional write for me so I’m pleased it resonated with you.




  • A letter always seems to make the words more powerful and heartfelt. As this is something from your past it makes it even more heart wrenching.


    • Dear Jackie,

      I’m pleased you dropped by. This was one of the harder pieces to write. How do you distill a person’s life and your relationship with him down to 100 words? Glad that it worked for you.




  • So much has already been said that I’ll simply say you know my thoughts about these personal stories. I remember “Billy Jack” and the song and you put a sad but completely personal touch to it and the story.



  • Rochell,

    Fantastic take on the prompt. It is amazing how the truth of life can open our hearts, minds, and expand our creativity. Thank for sharing something so personal.



    • Dear Tad,

      I believe everything happens for a reason. I still don’t know why Hank was killed when I was the one trying to commit suicide in a most painful way. In any case I’m in a good space now and those life experiences are not only grist for the mill, but, perhaps, messages of hope for someone else. Thank you for commenting.




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