31 January 2014

Published January 29, 2014 by rochellewisoff


Seize the opportunity to free your muse and allow her take you on a magic carpet ride. 

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 a few words over the count.)


Make every word count.


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Genre: Coming Soon

Word Count: 99


            Grandpa’s tattoo fascinated me. No birds or snakes, just a row of numbers.

            “When I grow up, I want one just like yours.”          

            I was six and didn’t understand his tears as he picked me up and squeezed until I couldn’t breathe.

            Over the years, his horror stories changed my mind about the tattoo.

            “How did people let it happen, Grandpa?”

            “One freedom at a time.”

            “Never again, right, Grandpa?”

           I’m now the same age he was then. Times have changed. Absentmindedly I scratch the still raw RFID tag site on my wrist.

            Rome wasn’t burnt in a day. 

What’s RFID? Click to find out. We live in interesting times.

119 comments on “31 January 2014

    • Dear Michael,

      Amen to that. Fortunately this story isn’t true as far as my own grandpa who escaped the pogroms of Eastern Europe in 1903. Unfortunately it is true for too many and certainly for relatives I never had a chance to meet.

      Thank you for your wonderful comments. We live in interesting, if not frightening times.




    • Dear Managua,

      I love technology. Without it we wouldn’t have this blog challenge and I’d never have made some of the best friends of my life. However there’s the cloud in the silver lining waiting to destroy us.

      Thank you for your insightful comments.




    • Dear Liz,

      Right you are. Thanks to the Nazis and their insane pride to chronicle their atrocities we have more photos and films than anyone should have to see. But under our noses genocide in the name of racial purity is happening across the globe.

      Thank you for your comments.




  • very chilling! even more chilling when I noticed the genre: “Coming Soon”. A few years ago, the whole RFID thing was mere horror fiction for me and I kept swatting away the thought, but with every year, it’s turning into reality. a sad and terrifying cycle. i feel like this is two stories melded into one, bravo for another masterfully crafted tale.


    • Dear KZ,

      You’re an astute young lady for catching my “genre”. Not sure the literary gurus would agree with it as a true genre, but I didn’t feel I could even call it speculative fiction. I’m very creeped out by the RFID chip.

      Thank you for your kind words.




  • You made me shudder, Rochelle. One Freedom at a time and Rome wasn’t burnt in a day. I don’t know which of those lines is my favourite; they are both so chilling. I don’t know why, but this message keeps coming up in my life at the moment – the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. I hope the good men are as busy as the rest, right now.


    • Dear Jennifer,

      I guess in writing this story, I deal with my own fears. From all reports, many died in the camps because they just couldn’t believe it could happen. Thank you for taking time out of your busy life to swing by and comment.




  • I admire your ability to tell a chilling, emotional tale in so few words!

    The first time I read about your 100 word count prompts I became excited for how I could hone my writing with them. I’m going to give it a try.


    • Dear Marnie,

      I had to visit your blog because I didn’t recognize the handle. It made me smile when I recognized the magnificent collages.

      Many thanks for visiting and commenting. It means more than I can say.




  • Rochelle- There are somethings that never should be forgotten in human history and capacity. You do that legacy proud in honoring those before. As usual you story moved me. The line “one freedom at a time” was halting. That is how we disappear -sliver by sliver, shaving pieces of ourselves off. Great story.


    • Dear Dana,

      I do believe we’re like the frog in the kettle. The water’s gradually heating and by the time it hits the boiling point we’ll wonder how it happened “so fast.”

      Thank you for coming by with your kind comments.




    • Dear Millie,

      While my grandfather did suffer the pogroms of Russia, he was in America by the time of the Holocaust. Although I did know my grandfather I never really knew him. So many unanswered questions I never thought to ask when he was alive, So…I’ll take the hugs anyway. 😉

      Thank you




  • Dear Rochelle,

    Coming soon is coming sooner than everyone thinks. It is happening now. The Internet is no longer ‘neutral. Soon you’ll be paying more for more bandwidth and if you complain you go on a list. Too many entries on various lists and you are labeled an agitator. The slippery slope ends when the Internet is denied you for the safety of others…

    Prison, starvation, destruction of your ‘reputation’, credit, and life. You are not a person, you are a government asset and theirs to do with what they will. And they will.

    It is happening now.

    Great story. Too bad it’s not fiction.




    • Dear Doug,

      Your comments would be less depressing if I didn’t agree with them. On that note, I’ll say thank you for complimenting my writing and let the rest stand for any and all with courage enough to read and heed.





    • Dear Dawn,

      Experimentation is good for the soul. And this is truly one of my concerns of late. I wonder how much is what I’d call sci-fi or even futuristic. Thank you for your comments. They mean a lot to me.




  • Rochelle,
    what a great comparison between the tracking systems of the past and present/future. It must have been a terrible reminder for Holocaust survivors to live with that chilling reminder of what they went through always in plain sight. Great story.


  • A very interesting contrast Rochelle-the horrors of Holocaust from the grandpa’s pov and the child’s innocence and fascination with the tattoo at first and the gradual dawning of the bitter truth!Loved the way you added the twist in the end-that things are not that different still,though we may pretend to-technology has its fall outs too!Amazing piece:-)


  • All should remember this history. Younger people need to carry it forward so it doesn’t just disappear when the elderly are no longer with us. Stories like your’s help to do just that. I know that’s what you must have in mind.


  • I READ ABOUT THIS JUST THE OTHER DAY!!!! That they’re thinking of micro-chipping children in the EU
    Having grown up hearing tales of the Christian Anti-Christ and New World Order conspiracies, it’s certainly frightening!
    You’re such a clever writer, with a knack of punching just the right spots — like an expert martial artist or something!
    Very well done, darling.
    I’m not writing this week, but I’d love it if you’d drop by my blog for a second anyway, I posted a big announcement today.


  • I like the way you link the tattoo and RFID, or rather I don’t. As Grandpa says, ‘One freedom at a time,’ what are we sleep-walking towards?
    When I first heard about the Japanese using RFIDs to track school children I wrote a story about a world where everyone was chipped, like pets, for their own good. And then there were a few rebellious souls who chose not to be.
    Thank you for your very poweful story that has me thinking (and worrying) all over again.


  • You’re one of those writers that can hit us over the head without us even realizing we’ve been hit until the end. (I mean that as a compliment if that didn’t come out quite right!) I often worry about what kind of a future we are gradually stepping into –and I wonder why none of us are kicking and screaming . . .


  • Rochelle, this piece is so well done. You make the chilling point that history does indeed keep repeating itself — because we always have that evil element with us. So many people like to push that thought under the rug and pretend that things are different now. But they are not. They are only worse. In this little 99-word story, you have clearly issued the alert that unless we CARE enough to recognize the evil and be constantly on guard for our freedoms, we WILL lose them — and you did it without sounding the least bit preachy. Great job.


  • A very tender story with a reminder of the evil past. I had a college Professor with one of those tattoos. He shared some personal stories. I think it was the first time I became aware that people in the camps were branded like animals. Evil. Sad. Scary ending.


    • Dear Robin,

      I’m glad your professor was comfortable enough to share some stories. Often survivors are not. It’s horrible what people are capable of, isn’t it? Thank you for your insightful comments.




  • Technology teeters on that sword edge does it not? It can be used for so much good, but it can also be used for so much evil. Makes one think and look at things differently. Great story.


  • Great Story Rochelle and for a young person like me it was particularly chilling when thinking that things as cruel as that did happen and may still be happening in the world…well done 🙂


    • Dear Camgal,

      It’s sobering for everyone if we really give pause to think about the possibilities. It is happening all over the world and, I suspect, given the news media, more than we know. And on that cheerful note, I thank you for your comments.




  • Dear Esmeralda,
    Another chilling reminder of a time we should never forget.
    And speaking of chilly, it was so cold here on Monday that the teenage boys actually pulled their pants up. – Kris


    • Dear Kris,

      Sometimes I have to throw out those reminders and pray that I don’t become tedious.

      Winter storm warning here. Perhaps some extra writing time on the horizon.

      Thanks for commenting.




  • Wow, Rochelle, shocking and upsetting, especially in that I didn’t know what an RFID tag is. As always, very effecting writing as well as elucidating issues, history, and human nature. And I got schlock humor. We’ve got it covered!


    • Dear Perry,

      A tattoo wouldn’t really be effective anymore, would it? It wouldn’t show up among the rest. I find it all frightening. I’m going to your site now for a dose of humor to cheer me up. Thanks for the wow. Wow is always good. 😉




  • A moving story of history and a lesson I hope we have learned. I had two different German language professors in college–one a Holocaust survivor, the other a former Hitler Youth. When class was over and the former had to turn the classroom over to the latter, he would always roll up his sleeve so his tattoo would be visible–a very personal way to signal to never forget.

    Here’s mine: http://unexpectedpaths.com/friday-fictioneers/family-ties/


    • Dear Maggie,

      Now that’s one intriguing scenario. I can feel the tension in the reading of it. I hope we’ve learned the lesson but not convinced we have. Thanks for commenting and sharing your experience.




  • Rochelle, I’d not heard of this RFID implant thing till I read your story. Then I did some research. This is about implanting something into the body for ‘identification purposes’? This cannot surely be true? This is just high-tech tattooing (read branding) isn’t it? You’re right. One freedom at a time. I received a letter the other day from my local health service, which plans to make patients’ health record details available to other health care providers in the area. I can voice my dissent to this; and I will. I am not allowed to read my OWN health records beyond a certain point back in the past – why should other people I don’t know or have anything to do with, have access to this? One has to get up and say NO! Great, well-written story by the way, on a topical point. Ann


    • Dear Ann,

      I fear it’s true. Mostly we use it for pet ID but I understand in some places it has been used in humans. I believe it’s a feasible, if not, becoming truer, story.

      Thank you for your comments. Best wishes on resolving your health care issues.




  • Oh liebe Rochelle,
    as usual a great story. So few words and so deep feelings.
    I am sure there are forces who´d like to tag anyone of us, transform us to numbers instead of humans….like the Nazis did.
    We should all be aware of that and stand up for our rights.
    Liebe Grüße


    • Dear Carmen,

      I don’t understand these less than human wastes of skin, be it the Nazis or others like them. What is it that makes one race think it’s more or less than? I only hope that moral people will stand up before it’s too late.

      Your comments mean a lot to me. Thank you.




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