20 December 2013

Published December 18, 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: Since next Wednesday is Christmas, when many will be busy with festivities and family, I won’t post the photo prompt until Thursday the 26th.  I will also extend the link one more day. So there will be a one day overlap in link lists.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.**



Write a one hundred word story that has a beginning, middle and end. (No one will be ostracized for going a few words over the count.)


Make every word count.


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  • While our name implies “fiction only” it’s perfectly Kosher to write a non-fiction piece as long as it meets the challenge of being a complete story in 100 words.
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  • Shalom,



Copyright- Jean L. Hays

Copyright- Jean L. Hays

get the InLinkz code

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100


            In March 1956, the year I turned fourteen, my best friend was murdered. They found her mangled body wedged in a rock crevice at Koutu Point.

            For days I refused to get out of bed. No amount of Mum’s tea and sympathy could ease my broken heart or stem my anger.  

            The winter wind off the Tasman Sea brought waves of loneliness.

            Never again will Opo and I swim together in Hokianga Harbour, but whenever I watch a dolphin spin above the water in gleeful abandon, I see her.

            I hope the fisherman who blew up my Opo exploded, too.   

Original artwork.  Copyright -Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Original artwork.
Copyright -Rochelle Wisoff-Fields


89 comments on “20 December 2013

  • Every week when I read one of your stories, I feel my world has broadened just a bit more. So used to today’s horrible headlines, I thought a young girl had been murdered until the very last line of the story. I was grateful for the link that provided more information about poor Opo, a name I’d never heard before. And of course I next had to search for the meaning behind the title. Thank you for bringing a bit of New Zealand and Maori culture to my desktop this morning.


  • A wonderful and sad story… and of course I was also thinking first of the friend being human… and the link was so interesting to follow.. had never heard about Opi before..

    I will not participate this week. Christmas will send me to more southerly latitudes… I hope to bring back some interesting pictures and stories from the beautiful island of Madeira..


  • Another true story I would never have discovered without you, Rochelle. What a lovely slice of history with a tragic end. I remember being 14 and I know your character felt very real grief at her loss. Well told.


    • Dear Jennifer,

      When you’re 14 everything is magnified. Well I remember, too. 😉 Truly the history took me by surprise. Google is my friend. 😉 Glad you identified with my character. Compliments don’t get much better than that.




    • Dear Helena,

      As is usually the case, this was a learning experience for me, too. I looked up “famous dolphins” and came up with several articles about Opo and even some youtube videos. Who knew? Glad you liked. Thank you for the greetings.

      Merry Christmas and Shalom,



    • Dear Lindaura,

      One of my favorite things about writing historical fiction is putting myself in another place, another time. This story grabbed me and I had to write it. Your comments make me smile.

      Thank you.




  • Another fantastic story from our brilliant leader! Your stories always take me away… and today, I needed it! I loved the historical link as well. So interesting, and terribly sad. When will humans ever learn that animals are not something to treat in whatever way they like. You have really captured a distinct cultural feel to this piece, Rochelle! Simply beautiful. Shalom, Dawn


    • Dear Dawn,

      I’m happy to have taken you along on my journey. If you’re interested there are also videos on Youtube about this poor. ill-fated dolphin. Thank you for your head-turning compliments.




  • Ooh this touches on a sore point with me. The hunting of dolphins or even the killing of them through carelessness, really makes me mad. In my mind, dolphins are a fellow sentient creature, not just a common food animal. So yeah, I hope those guys got blown up too. A sad tale that I hope will become something so distant it is myth one. Fantastic writing as always Rochelle!


  • Thank you for your excellent writer’s circle — I’ve participated before with another penname and really benefited from the feedback.

    Your story is, as usual, impeccably written. I have a quick question for you — how do you come up with these topics? You have pulled a subject matter very foreign to me and have made me well up with emotion — chops, you have them.



    • Dear Connor,

      Thank you for the lovely compliments. Sometimes I’m not even sure where I get my topics. Often I’ll start with an idea and then do a Google search. As I follow the thread, more often than not, I end up in a very different place.

      For this story my starting search was “Famous Dolphins” which took me to Opononi in New Zealand.

      The fun for me is that, invariably, I learn something new in the process.




  • A beautiful tragic story! Your historical fiction is just so touching. Thank you for the knowledge of your words or I would not have known about this terrible practice.

    With knowledge comes understanding.
    Thank you


  • Rochelle, I read this last night, but then my Internet died so I had to wait until today to comment. I like the way you start this, with the shock of a murder. It doesn’t really lessen much to find out it was a dolphin and not a person. Beautiful storytelling. Also, I learned a new phrase when I looked up your title. See you after Christmas,


    • Dear David,

      Your comments are always most welcome whenever they come. Thank you for your sweet compliments. I’ve so enjoyed your writing this past year. I hope you have a wonderful holiday and look for more of your quality work in 2014.

      Shalom and Merry Christmas,



  • i like when i have to read something more than once to fully understand what happened. thanks, and happy fri-wednesday.

    also – here, ” Never again will Opo and I swim together in Hokianga Harbour but whenever I watch a dolphin spin above the water in gleeful abandon I see her.”

    consider commas after “Harbour” and after “abandon.” grammatically, they belong. however…


  • I don’t know why I never saw that one coming. I thought of the friend as another girl, not a dolphin! Every time I read your stories I get the feeling that they are true. I don’t know if they are all autobiographical or if it just your skillful and authentic penmanship, either way I always enjoy. 🙂


    • Dear JWD,

      Fortunately, no childhood friend of mine was ever murdered (that I know of). And, alas, I’ve never met a dolphin, unless you count watching them jump for trainers in large holding tanks, which I don’t. So thank you for the glowing and affirming compliments.




  • Dear Rochelle, I was blown away when I read your story. I have written about Opo on the first pages of my book The Sound of Water which came out this week…
    She was called Opo of course because she lived at Opononi, which I describe in my book.
    Your story was brilliant. and as usual the punch in the stomach at the end !!!
    I really like the spare unadorned prose… it works beautifully


    • Dear Valerie,

      I bought and downloaded a Kindle version of The Sound of Water some months ago and am just now reading about Opo. Honestly, I had not read it before. When I start digging for a story, I begin with a Google search. From there I follow the threads. For this one I started with “famous dolphins”. The story of Opo was the first thing that popped up. I couldn’t not write about her and her friend Jill. such a sweet friendship.
      Your comments, in turn, blew me away. Thank you for, dear friend.




      • Dear Rochelle,
        It never occurred to me that you might have seen my book. I was just amazed at the coincidence… it is such a moving story isn’t it…
        Am just beginning a cooking marathon for tomorrow and the hungry hordes – have a happy Christmas,
        Love Valerie


  • Goosebumps…
    So much send in so less words and the plot is somthing very different…
    Loved this…

    And guess what?
    This prompt has invoked so many different stories…
    From murder to vengeance to love to habits to nostalgia and what not!!!

    Wishing you an advanced Merry Christmas and Happy New Year…
    Next week I have exams. So not very sure if I could write…



    • Dear Loco,

      I agree. This prompt has inspired a number of different stories. This is a good thing. If we all wrote the same story it would be so boring, wouldn’t it?

      Study hard and pass those exams. We’ll still be here. Thank you for your kind comments. A blessed time to you as well.




  • Your tale carried me back to my native Pacific Islands. The names almost sounded Hawaiian. However naive, I never think the sea creatures are in danger where I once called home. I can only hope that’s the case. Great piece, as always. hugs…


    • Dear Millie,

      The names do sound Hawaiian, but are actually Maori in New Zealand. I fear that wherever there are humans there’s danger to sea creatures. Thank you for coming by with your kind comments.




    • Dear Maggie,

      For me this was enlightening as well. There’s so much history that most of us are woefully unaware of. I count myself among the most unaware. Thank you for coming by with your comments.




  • Dear Rochelle,

    I didn’t see any of Opo’s kindred while I was gone, but can see her now in every bay, riding the waves and breaching for joy. Your story captured the direct voice of a teen in anguish and made me feel the loss that the entire country of New Zealand must have felt when she died.

    Jean Hays’ stained glass piece that inspired your story is deceptively simple and elegant. The smooth flow of the water created as the dolphin moves at the speed of joy, the vibrant colors of wave and reef, the sleek lines of nature in motion.

    I hope you both understand that the ripples created from your art move outward forever and you’ll never know who feels their energy or why. Know this and remember it, in compensation. It came from your work and it is a gift to each of us.

    Thank you.

    Kia Ora,



  • Oh, so sad, Rochelle! I like the “waves of loneliness.” This is a strong story full of emotion. My story has something in common: tea. Happy Holidays, Rochelle! Thanks for all you do for this group. You’re such a wonderful host and I always appreciate your thoughtful comments!


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