21 March 2014

Published March 19, 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.)




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TO THOSE WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION (MYSELF INCLUDED): While WIKIPEDIA is usually a decent source of information, it’s not always reliable one. As a rule, I use it as a jumping off point to other research threads. It’s a good rule of thumb to use more than one source. I speak from experience when I say that a simple 100 word story can bring serious repercussions. 


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  • Copyright -Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

    Copyright -Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

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Genre: Speculative Fiction

Word Count: 100


            “Classic nineteenth century architecture,” I tell my clients, “complete with functional…el-elevator.”

            In front of me looms the steel leviathan that’s haunted my dreams for as long as I can remember. A thousand times I’ve clung to its lacquered grate only to slip and fall to my death at the bottom of the shaft.


            In a ruffled pinafore, a child skips toward the elevator. With eyes I know like my own she smiles up at me and waves. Transfixed, I watch her stumble through the open gate.

            “…pocket-full-of-posies. Ashes. Ashes…”

            She screams, grasps at the grate and vanishes like smoke.

160 comments on “21 March 2014

  • That’s one of my fears also, so I can identify with that nighmare. Some of the elevators in India don’t even have a protective grill that closes. Some aren’t kept in good condition, and some don’t work at all. Every once in a while there’s a terrible accident. This was well written as usual, Rochelle. Great description.


  • My guess is those clients won’t see that on the disclosure. I can just hear the question…”So, are you saying the elevator is or is not a death trap?” This has the makings of the perfect movie about a couple who buy a downtown loft and get the shaft. Terrific!


  • “Nice” change of pace, Rochelle, and the stuff of which many night mares are made. I used to have dreams of falling and then I’d wake up. I always read that if you hit the ground, you’d die. Then one day, I dreamt that I touched the ground as softly as a feather and I’m still here to write about it. Or am I? 🙂



  • Oh, my goodness, Rochelle, this has so many layers of possible interpretations that it can keep your readers thinking about it for days — even months! Is it really her in another sphere of time; is it in reality her daughter; is it a description of the dream itself, which is recurring because it’s something that is going to happen to her daughter; did this happen to her daughter in the past, and that’s why she relives it in her own dreams …….??? Writing like this can so capture your reader that it “clings” to him for a long time as he tries to get a final handle on it. I’d be interested to know — if you’re in the mood to share — whether this intriguing layering was deliberate on your part from the beginning or if it just developed as the story unfolded.

    Really good writing!


    • Dear Sandra,

      I’d tell you but then I’d have to…nah, not really. My intent is actually that the little girl really is her in a past life and that’s why the dream keeps recurring. It’s not really a dream. I hadn’t thought about it being her daughter. At any rate, your comments turn my head and make me smile.

      Thank you.




  • Rochelle,
    I’d say you never cease to surprise me, but by now I’m not surprised at the stellar stories you produce. This is like that recurring nightmare that you just can’t shake. If I dream about elevator shafts tonight, I’ll be sure to credit you. (By the way, this seemed like a particularly Jewish elevator, with all the Stars of David in the grill. I like. 🙂 )


    • Dear David,

      Thank you for the high compliments. Friday Fictioneers is a great venue for experimentation, isn’t it? Although with this one, I’m feeling a little guilty as a few have blamed me for their nightmares. (Okay, I don’t really feel guilty…I take that as a compliment as well.)

      Yes, I did notice the stars in the grill. Seemed too obvious for me.




  • Your use of “Ring Around the Rosy” makes the chill in this more effective. Neat take on the prompt.

    I tripped over “with eyes I know like my own.” I reread it several times, and that phrase still feels awkward although I understand your meaning. JMHO 😀

    Marie Gail


    • Dear Marie Gail,

      You know what they say about opinions. 😉 Seriously, I struggled with that line and was limited by the word count. I’m a bit of a slave to it.

      Thank you for your comments and compliments. Sweet to have you aboard.




      • I’m thoroughly enjoying the journey, Rochelle. My personal opinion regarding the word count is that it is there to help me improve my writing. As you know, when I feel that keeping strictly to it would harm the story, I add a few extra. I think that’s a carryover from my work with poetry as I’ve found that some themes don’t work in certain poetic forms. When that happens, I just move it to another form.

        Clearly, I love literary theory at least as much as I love writing. 🙂

        All my best,
        Marie Gail


  • How different from your usual fare, Rochelle. I could feel the fear creeping around the edge of this story, and the rhyme fitted well with the child’s POV while keeping the menace of the adult’s.


  • Well, that would put a twist on one’s life. Seeing another ‘you’ as a young child falling down an elevator shaft. Scary stuff there. Well done! You’ve given all of us nightmares. 😉


  • You know the story of ring around the rosy? It was a song sung during the black death. The plague was recognized by a rosy color ring on the skin. The bodies were burned and smelled so bad people put posies in the pockets to cover the smell of death. Your story reminded me of this story. Well done Rochelle.


    • Dear Al,

      Thank you for the compliment. I snapped this photo last summer in an old building in Kansas City’s West Bottoms which was downtown in the late 19th century. The whole building was set up with antique shops. No air-conditioning, very hot and dusty. It would be magnificent if someone would restore those buildings. Beautiful architecture and a place to let the imagination run wild.




      • Living in a 19th century building myself, I know what mean with those. Although mine doesn’t have an elevator – which is a pain as there are loads of stairs. My place needs restoring as it is full of holes in the ceiling. 15 foot high rooms, chandeliers, 13 foot windows, huge balconies and views to die for.


  • Dear Rochelle – can you tell me if the links back to your blog and to the FF stories are working on my blog? When I copy and paste yours it looks okay but the one to the other writers doesn’t look right.Thanks – Liz

    Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2014 07:31:56 +0000 To: lizmaryyoung@hotmail.com


  • Yeah, that’s what I think about when I see these rickety elevators. Like something will go terribly wrong. Oh, what a tragic end, Rochelle. Beautifully crafted. I had no idea where it was heading. And, of course, your choice of song is haunting as well, considering its history.


    • Dear Amy,

      I remember those elevators from childhood. And there was just something about the building itself that spoke to me in eerie terms. Thank you for your comments and compliments.




  • As I started to read this I thought it was the story of her child who died in an accident but the ruffled pinafore gave it a past-life reference. Good story either way–and a warning to check the status of the elevator before you skip into it.


  • Rochelle,

    I’m going to give you what I assure you is a compliment, darling, though it may not seem so at first — this didn’t seem like your writing at all.

    This is a side of your writing I don’t think I’ve seen before, and that you continue to surprise me by pulling new tricks, new flavours, new ideas out of that Mary Poppins-esque bag of yours gives me new respect for you each and every week.

    You are a marvelous writer, and this was creepy and ethereal — there was a dream-like or ghost-like quality to it, leaving, as Patrick says, much open to interpretation.

    Fantastic story.


  • Rochelle, Rochelle
    I never realized the 100 word stories I could tell
    Until the the day we met – my inner writer I did neglect
    And now it would appear that the Wednesday/Thursday/Friday Fictioneers
    Have secured a place of prominence in Blogged Artistry’s web presence
    So – until we meet again next week with creative gas tanks replete
    I can only wonder if the next prompt will end in victory or defeat! 🙂


    • Dear Jen,

      Happy you joined. It fast became an addiction for me two years ago. I didn’t start out as the bus driver. You never know what will happen when you accept the challenge, do you? 😉




  • Rochelle
    Your story has reminded me of a childhood experience with an elevator that my mom brings up every so often.
    I got over it. Not sure about her.
    Escalators? Another story.




  • Despite the horror of this, it has such an ethereal quality and lightness to it. It think it’s the nursery rhyme and pinafore dress. You words describe the scene so well that I can see her skipping along.


  • How horrifying! I’ve never been much of a fan of elevators myself, mostly because I got my fingers caught in the door of an elevator when I was small.
    I think my favorite part of this was how you incorporated the song. I heard it echoing in my head as I read!


  • What is it with nursery rhymes and unhappy endings. “when the bow breaks the craddle will fall, etc.” It reminds me of the hillbilly family that had 20 kids. One fell down the outhouse hole, when he tried to climb out his father whacked him in the head with a 2 x 4.
    “Why did you do that?” asked the neighbor.
    “I figured it was easier to make another one than to clean him up,” says the dad.


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