20 June 2014 -Summer Rerun

Published June 18, 2014 by rochellewisoff


 Summertime Blues

Friday Fictioneers Rules.

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Below is the photo prompt. I’ve tried to enlarge it but it defies all my attempts. :\

PHOTO PROMPT  Copyright -Mary Shipman

Copyright -Mary Shipman

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*I have out-of-town guests coming this week so I won’t be reading or commenting much after Thursday.  I really appreciate all of you.*

This was the fourth story I posted for Friday Fictioneers, 1 May 2012. It’s still one of my favorites and  it’s fun to go back there to see who commented and what they said. 😉

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word count: 99


            In 1901 taxidermist Jefferson Thomas constructed a home and a thriving business. His petulant mail-order bride hated rural life.

            One day her prized ruby from a former suitor disappeared. Blaming Jefferson, she demanded a divorce. Tongues wagged when she abandoned both her husband and child.   

             A century later a tornado devastated the house to a pile of clapboard. Amid the rubble, Jefferson Thomas III found nothing left of his heritage save a lone wall. He tore off a length of wallpaper and yelped.

            A glass eyed, mummified woman stared back at him, a ruby ring clinched between her teeth.          

113 comments on “20 June 2014 -Summer Rerun

  • Dear Rochelle,

    I remember this story. I liked it then and I like it even more now because it brings back memories. There were only about 45 regular writers in FF and yet, because that was more than double the original numbers of the charter members, we thought things were getting out of control.

    You’ve inspired me to post my story for that week. Thanks for the impetus. (And for all of the hard work you do herding all of us cats.)

    Enjoy your guests and your well deserved time off.




    • Dear Doug,

      45? Who knew it would almost triple? I’m so glad that some of those longtime FF’rs such as yourself have stuck around. Without your moral support I don’t know how I would’ve made it through at times.

      This story is near and dear to my heart for a number of reasons.

      Thank you for stopping by. Safe travels, my dear friend.




  • The ruby ring clenched between the teeth brings a wealth of action to the history of this piece. Sometimes it’s the little things that really give a story ‘legs’. Nice one Rochelle, enjoy the partial hiatus. 🙂 (I’ve been dying to use that word for a while…


  • It seems we all need a break. I missed the last two weeks and I’ll be missing this one also. I’m finishing up a renovation project that is taking all of my free time then leaving for a camping trip this weekend. Hopefully I can return next week refreshed and with no more renovations in the near future!

    Enjoy your break! I’d say you more than earned it.


    • Dear Indira,

      I might add that it’s lovely to have you as part of our group. In your willingness to learn I’ve watched you grow as a writer and I always appreciate your kind words and support.

      This story actually surprised me a little. I never know for sure where the muse will take me which makes writing such a thrill.




  • I love this story. It’s amazing. You know, you hear about people walling up their victims , often in the killer’s home. That has got to smell! Well, done. Have a nice time off. Lucy


    • Dear Lucy,

      Exactly the point. I wanted to wall up my victim but thought about the smell. So how could she not? He stuffed her. 😉 Then I thought “taxidermy.” So I googled “taxidermy, human” and, voila, came up with this.

      I am enjoying my time.

      Thank you,




  • What a spooky story! Is it true? Often your tales come from history itself. I could almost see this one happening for real. Great story Rochelle! In the end, I guess he wasn’t a pauper after all.


    • Dear Eric,

      This is a work of pure fiction. It is, however, the first flash that I did some research for. I didn’t want the body to stink so I had to find a way it wouldn’t. I googled “taxidermy, human” and came up with mummification. Aha! I guess I took a bit of liberty calling this one “historical fiction.”

      Thank you for commenting.




  • I’ll keep this short – you have better things to do! Enjoy your break, and thanks for still hosting even while you’re away from us.
    Don’t take this the wrong way, but I often find looking back shows me how much I’ve grown as a writer. I enjoyed this story, and can find no fault with it, but I think your more recent pieces are even richer and more powerful. This is good stuff though, and a lovely grizzly surprise at the end.


    • Dear Jen,

      Good friends. I’ve hardly been online in the last 24 hours.

      I agree and took your comment as a compliment. It’s fun to look back and see how far I’ve come. I was a green novice at flash fiction. Addicted from the start and have learned so much about editing. (Like maybe I should edit that last sentence. 😉 )

      Thank you.




    • Dear Contactrida,

      I wrote this one two years ago. 😉 Dark side already in place. I have to let this morbid little muse come out to play every so often. It keeps people on their toes. I guess it’s more dark humor than historical fiction and I’m glad it made you laugh.

      Thank you.




  • Taxidermist husband, disgruntled mail-order bride longing for an old flame, final battle over missing ring….I love it when I have to tease out the details to understand the story. You did an excellent job. Sorry I missed it the first time around.


  • Rochelle, this isn’t a re-run for me. I wasn’t with you until about August or September. This is a great story to return to. I love the ruby ring clenched between her teeth. That’s quite a visual!

    Enjoy your guests! Oh, you so deserve a break! Don’t worry about a thing here.
    Shalom, Amy


    • Dear Amy,

      This is still one of my faves. I had a blast researching and writing for it, ie how would the body not have offered up an unholy stench? Glad you liked. Hm. Seems like you’ve always been an FF’r.

      Thank you.




      • I know, right? The time seems to just fly by! I think my 2-year anniversary with FF will be sometime in September. I’ll have to check. Thanks again for all your time. You are such a shining light for all of us.




  • Dear Rochelle,
    I enjoyed your telling of this story. I’ve read other versions of this in the past from other authors, and the details are so amusing.

    I also like the retread idea. It’s a great way to give yourself a break while keeping the action alive in the blogosphere.

    Have a great time with your visitors!

    All my best,
    Marie Gail


  • have a wonderful weekend celebrating some time for yourself and sharing with your friends, Rochelle. you kept me wondering what would happen to that mail-order bride . . . she should have been grateful but guess it’s hard when the marriage was somewhat arranged.


    • Dear Sun,

      I have a hunch the mail-order bride did it for the money and when things didn’t turn out the way she imagined…well..you get the picture.

      Having a lovely time and am very slow to answer or get around this week.




  • Something about old wallpaper just makes for a good scary story. I figured she didn’t just leave her husband and son, and so figured she must have ended up in that wall… but the ring in her teeth, oooh, so creepy! The image really stays with me. Another good one, Rochelle! I hope you enjoy some much deserved time off with your friends.


  • My goodness that’s spooky! ! ! I tried for spooky this week but yours has hit it out of the park! Enjoy your break. I think a flashback is a brilliant idea for when you have a much-needed rest.


  • Hi Rochelle,

    What a great story! Not quite the best way to meet an ancestor.

    Thanks for hosting this exercise, and enjoy your break!

    All the best,


  • Hi Rochelle, I very much enjoyed your story! I wrote my story and linked to your site on my blog. I also used your linking process, and the link works – not sure why my gravitar didn’t show up in the link, however.

    Thanks for hosting the Friday Fictioneers. It’s great fun to try to think fo a story based on the photo prompts chosen.


    • Dear Kate,

      It’s hard to say why your gravatar didn’t work. Gremlins? At least your story posted. .

      Friday Fictioneers is very special to me and hosting is my pleasure.

      My story is still one of my favorites after writing and posting over 100 thus far.

      Thank you for commenting.




  • As your friendly neighbourhood spammer, I’ll attempt posting comments again 🙂
    Great story even though Grandma turned out to be a mummy (just like any TV soap worth it’s salt). And looks like Grandpa carried his secrets with him. Hopefully her gift of the ruby ring will help him through the rough time.


  • Enjoy your guests and taking a break. This was a new story for me and such a good one to show the passing of time and how much you can get into 100 words. I’m left wondering if Jefferson’s wife is related to the shrew in the cellar in Doug’s story.


  • I found it really hard not to follow in your wake, Rochelle, and have a walled-in person or else take Mr. Poe’s cues for a tell-tale something in the wall/floor. Anyway, I wrote a long FF (190-something), yet again, that I won’t link up but I’ll mention here in case someone wants to take a gander (http://leighswordsmithery.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/friday-fictioneers-meditations-museum/). I love writing these; thanks for providing the “kin’lin,” Rochelle! Hope you’re enjoying the time off as I write this!


    • Dear Leigh,

      I was still a novice when I wrote this two years ago. I wasn’t the only one who walled up a body that week. But I didn’t want the body to stink. 😉

      I’m enjoying a bit of a respite with a good friend.

      Thank you,




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