28 March 2014

Published March 25, 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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  • 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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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. 


    • 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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    Genre: Historical Fiction

  • Word Count: 100

    I chew on a date, savor its sweetness and spit the seed into my hand. The Romans will soon be upon us like ravenous hyenas.

    Perhaps someone will plant this seed and a date-palm will spread its leaves in our memory.

    “Amrit, my beloved, it’s time.” Yonah unsheathes his sword.

    “Aim true, husband. Be swift.”

    I drop the seed into a jar, utter a prayer and gather my infant son to my breast. His mouth is moist and warm as my life flows into his. I focus on his innocent eyes and wait for Yonah’s blade to set us free. 

  • For the story that inspired this story click here. 
  • Methusaleh Date Palm
  • HPIM0413.JPG

142 comments on “28 March 2014

  • Rochelle,
    that’s very cool, about the date pit sprouting. As soon as I read your story, I thought about Massada. I can’t imagine what that must have been like to be there. Still, the date pit is like a symbol of hope or at least rebirth. You caught me by surprise but now I’ve got the Fictioneer engines working, coming up with a story. 🙂


    • Dear David,

      Sorry to throw you off, David. It’s kind of thrown me off, too. I write and schedule ahead to preserve my own sanity. Apparently I hit the wrong date in the schedule. So, as I told Al earlier, consider it a gift of an extra day.
      Glad you liked my story. I, too, see the date pit as a symbol of hope.




  • Dear Rochelle,

    Great story, title and all. You pack a lot into your tales. Centuries, centurions, Chopin… Oh, wait…never mi……jorca.

    Don’t think for a minute that a little writer’s block can stop you. There is no writer’s block.




  • Two excellent stories – your fiction and the real one behind it. One thing puzzles me, though – the text states that the pits were fossilised, but surely a fossil cannot sprout?


  • So sad, yet so powerful. I read on to the link you included and then understood. Massada is one of the most famous fortresses in history. Such brave people guarded it. I love the pictures of Methuselah and the one of you at Massada. That must have been a fabulous moment for you. Great story as always, Rochelle. Love the informative links too.


    • Dear Eric,

      The history of Masada is a sad one that has always resonated with me. Finding Methuselah in the my research path was exciting. Standing there on the site was a one of those lifetime pinnacles. In fact the whole tour was. My favorite part was praying at the Wall.

      Thank you for commenting. I’m happy you liked it.




    • Dear Bryan

      For the women I’m sure it was a better alternative. The Romans were notorious for ravaging them. It would’ve been a tough decision. Thank you for reading and commenting.




  • Now Rochelle you have furthered my feeling of being stuck in a timewarp by posting a day early. Oy! I suppose it is good to keep us all on our toes.

    Though melancholy I loved this story. She is so brave. And this story is full of love. The idea that her lips were the last to touch the date pit is fantastic. No wonder the dates were known to have medicinal powers. I see a sci-fi spin off where they extract her DNA from the plant. hmmm…I digress. Great story.


    • Dear Dana,

      Never thought about this as sci-fi…hm. 😉 But the sprouting of the 2,000 year old pit intrigued me. Glad my story worked.

      As for your time warp, I humbly apologize. It was a date error in my scheduling ahead. It threw me off as much as anyone. I’m on the last two days of working a 9 day stretch and Monday I kept thinking it was Tuesday. So it didn’t help when I woke to find 3 likes on my 28 March story. What the…?




  • I thought the photo prompt was you standing in a hero pose by the railings with the excavations in the background. I either had a jumper or superhero story lined up. Or possibly a combination of both. Ah well, time to wheel out invasion of the lizard people instead!!!


  • I panicked when I saw this post.lol i’m supposed to be in a certain place this Wednesday. whew.
    i’m going back to bed.. but not before telling you that i love your photo.
    your story gave me chills… so sad and powerful.


    • Dear KZ,

      Sorry to cause you undue alarm. Hope you were able to get back to sleep. I’ll try not to let this happen again. 😉

      Thank you for commenting on my story a day early. He he. Glad you liked it.




  • I loved the photo and the story that accompanied it 🙂 seems befitting and I can just imagine ravenous hyenas (I mean Romans) 🙂 making their way through branches that look like an a natural obstacle course. Well done.


  • Beautiful story this week, Rochelle. Nicely woven.

    I’m actually glad you posted a day early because this gives me sometime to concoct my own tale during the busy week I have ahead.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail


    • Dear Marie Gail,

      I’m glad that the extra day worked for you. Totally threw me off. My busy week is over this afternoon. 😉

      Thank you for the compliments on my story. Always nice to read.




    • Dear Patricia,

      I’ll be sure to pay better attention to the schedule date from now on. On the other hand, it’s given us all something else to talk about. 😉

      Glad you liked my story.




  • Ah… what a sad story.. and what an explanation for the old date…. I did send a tweet to John and telling him his pic is online… Hope he will get back and write… (he just recently started tweeting again after a long absence)… Now this one I will have to ponder.


  • Good inspiration. If it had been me, I would rather the date be poison-laced. Or, at least, a Teflon blade for a smoother, less irritating cut.

    I like that picture. I never knew you had that one taken. We had a BLAST on that trip, didn’t we?


  • What an interesting history about something so simple as a date! I really enjoyed that link, and I’m still just in awe of the spectacular revelations we can find by using carbon dating! I sincerely admire your talent to incorporate history into such emotionally rich stories!


  • This is a wonderful story — told so well like only you can say it, Rochelle! (And what a great picture of you btw). I guess we can live on in plants. I’ve always wanted to knock on the door where my grandparents lived and get clippings from the plants my grandfather planted — maybe someday I will.


  • Oh Rochelle, maybe I am feeling unduly sensitive today, but your story made me cry. I was afraid to click on the link in case it gave me even more of the same, but I’m glad I did. Reading the link story wasn’t just interesting in its own right, it also went on to show just how incredible your imagination is – to get this from that.
    I can’t type any more, I’m still reeling.


  • Dear Rochelle

    The retelling of the massacre at Massada always makes me tearful, but what a great take on the prompt; rebirth out of madness and destruction, well done.

    Take care



    • Dear Dee,

      I’ve always been intrigued and chilled by Massada. Being there amid the ruins brought it home in a tangible way. Then to find the story of the date pit was too good not to write about. Thank you.




  • Hauntingly beautiful and so sad. Clearly, your words move us all, Rochelle. I love the bit about the mother locking eyes – and breath – with her child. Isn’t that the universal closeness a mother feels? Awesome!


  • I always find the story of Masada very moving… it also reminds me of the story of the Cathars at Montsegur.. the story of the date was wonderful… had n’t heard that before – fascinating little vignette of history, Rochelle, beautifully told as ever


    • Dear Valerie,

      It was thrilling to find the story of the date along my research path. Glad you enjoyed it, too. I didn’t know the story of the Cathars. So I’ve learned something from your comment. Thank you on all counts.




  • i have watched documentaries and read of what happened at massada. your words capture it so well! and the picture of the ruins gave me an idea to write a poem about it. i’ll put it on my site in a few 🙂


  • Profound truth of life-every end can be a new beginning if only we believe and act accordingly!Loved it Rochelle-as always your story made me “feel” 🙂 Apologies for the late visit this week-haven’t yet started reading but am a little upset with my blood tests showing a lot of unwanted “peaks”-now to get the house-oops I mean body in order-sigh!Hope you are doing well ,love xx


    • Dear Atreyee,

      Sorry to hear about your blood tests. Hope things level out for you. You really aren’t late. And I was rather early this week. 😉 It’s the highest of compliments for an author to know the reader felt something. Thank you.




      • Thank you for your wishes Rochelle-have been missing in action on the blog world as my energy level is very low and am getting tired easily-it will take some time to get back to some semblance of normalcy.I am not sure if this week I will be able to join FF,for if I submit and people are kind enough to come by to read and leave comments,I feel it will be unfair on my part not to be able to return the favour-am not sure what I should do-am still catching up om last week’s comments-could not visit everyone last week too 😦 You tc and hope to see you soon,love


    • Dear Joanna,

      Nice of you to say so. It’s sometimes hard to remember that those who lived so long ago were breathing, feeling humans with emotions and fears just like us. Writing them brings that fact home to me. I’m pleased it worked for you, too.




  • Dear C’est laVie,
    Once again, you make history up close and personal. Serving up flesh and blood people and putting us right next to them to experience the anguish of their situation–and the eternal hope. Well done.
    Robin Hood(winked)


  • Hi Rochelle,
    I feel like the characters in your story are empowered, because they took action in a courageous, if sad, way. It’s powerful because I’m sure this has really happened many times and it’s a good reminder of what a great thing it is to live in a peaceful and orderly society. You story made me think about that and appreciate it. Ron


    • Dear Ron,

      One of my earliest remembrances of learning about Masada was a photo of the bones of a mother and child, her skeletal arm still around it. I had them in mind in writing this story. Thank you for your encouraging words.




  • This piece is so poetic, it’s beautiful. I love this, “His mouth is moist and warm as my life flows into his.” It’s so nurturing and just mwah! I have no words. Such rich language, Rochelle. Really well done!


  • You always serve up the most haunting bits of history as if they are still steaming hot. My heart was in my throat for the whole story.


  • Rochelle, as usual your stories always amaze me. I’m hoping to try and hit the link and read the backstory, but I have limited Wi-Fi right now. However, this story of ancient struggle is really beautiful! Final paragraph, is deeply moving; one that I can totally relate to as a mother. Nicely done!


    • Dear Dawn,

      Truly I look forward to your comments. I understand the limitations of Wi-Fi and trying to comment from a phone. I thought you would relate to this one in particular so, yeah…I fished a little. Thank you. When you have the time and the wherefore I’ll be interested to get your feedback on the link. It was a tremendous find on the research path. Have a great trip.




  • Dear Rochelle,
    The only thing better than the research you shared about modern propagation of the Judean date is your story. Amrit, Yonah, and their baby’s story is so authentic and touching (and, as others have said, it is very relatable, especially to mothers). I had no idea hyenas were around in Judea (or in Scriptures of the time); thank you for that initial nugget of information!
    Happy writing and take care,


    • Dear Leigh,

      “Hyenas will howl in their fortified towers And jackals in their luxurious palaces. Her fateful time also will soon come And her days will not be prolonged.” Isaiah 13.22 NASB

      Masada has long been a fascination of mine and when I found the date in my research thread I was off and running. I’m glad it worked.

      Thank you.




      • Thank you for the addenda, Rochelle. I was reading about how there was some confusion/debate as to hyena meaning “striped bird” in certain (I suppose translations) Scriptures, so this is great to know. Beautiful metaphors/allusions in the “original” that you quote here [is it referring to the fall of Rome–“her days will not be prolonged”?]. Shalom!


  • Such a wonderful story before I clicked the link and read about 2000 year old date pips germinating. Lovely image of her life flowing into his. Hope this ended well for all of them.


    • Dear Merlin,

      And I posted a day early. Well, that was an accident in scheduling. Thank you for your comments. I’m glad you liked my ‘date with destiny.’

      Apparently I missed reading and commenting on a few stories last week, so going to read yours now.




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