27 June 2014 – Summer Rerun II

Published June 25, 2014 by rochellewisoff


Summertime Blues

Friday Fictioneers Rules.

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PHOTO PROMPT Copyright-Madison Woods

PHOTO PROMPT Copyright-Madison Woods The photo is actually from Lura Helms for whom I have no link.

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Here’s another of my favorites revisited. 😉 originally posted August 16, 2012

Genre: Literary Fiction

Word Count: 100


            In the woods on the outskirts of town is the Tree of Life. Not to be confused with the original, this one earned its name from a century of discarded oddities which have grown into its branches.  

            Jason and I carved our names into the bark the day before he left for Viet Nam. We’d marry when he returned.

            When the final letter came my heart cratered to my stomach. 

            He’d met Trinh-Lee, his true love.

           Today you can still read the crude print that says, “Jason loves Karen.”

            Just below it, imbedded in the trunk, is my disengagement ring.



66 comments on “27 June 2014 – Summer Rerun II

  • Wonderful story, and an unusual take on the heartbreak of war.
    I was of course expecting something else from the ‘final letter,’ but the character’s outcome was perhaps equally difficult to move on from, especially as so many people would have been grieving at the time so she would have had little sympathy/support.
    I am glad she was able to leave her disengagement (great word!) ring in the bark.


  • Rochelle, Lovely story once again. Something similar happened to an older cousin of mine, only worse, during WWII. She and husband were married young and had a child before he left for the war. He met and fell in love with another woman where he was stationed overseas. He divorced my cousin, who eventually remarried. Well written as always. 🙂 —Susan


  • Argh! Sebastian just deleted my comment…
    I think I must have missed this one first time round because I don’t recognize your story, so I’m glad you reposted it because it’s just become a favourite of mine! I liked the misdirect, the emotion and the word choices. Just REALLY good all round. Have you heard the song “Chainsaw”? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Q8qjpQ9svk) I find the song a bit annoying, unlike your story.
    One tiny thing (you know I have to!) – my brain jumped at “original this one”, something I think a comma would help.
    Hope your break is going well and you aren’t enjoying being away from us TOO much!!!



  • Great story, darling — I wasn’t around for this one, so it’s new to me. I’m taking another break this week, but will try to pop in to read a few stories. I’m on a roll with my novel, and I fear trying to make my mind come up with something non-novel related will kill my groove.


    • Dear Helena,

      Friday Fictioneers has grown and changed so much in two years. You’re one of the good things that’s come out of it for me. I understand the need for a break. I’ll admit to having enjoyed mine this week. And of course it hasn’t been long enough.

      Do what you need to do. We’ll be here.

      Thank you.




    • Dear Patrick,

      I envision this tree as having many reminders for Karen. I wonder if it wouldn’t have been better for her if she’d just taken the ring to a pawn shop.

      Thank you. I always appreciate your comments.




  • Loved the story, as always Rochelle. I hope your break is going well and the visiting tons of fun! I want to hear all about it when you return.

    BTW, that photo isn’t mine, but one of the other Fictioneers (can’t recall which one…), but I enjoyed the trip back in time and I also love your graphics for the Fictioneer posts!


    • Dear Madison,

      The break feels very strange and the visit it going waaaay too fast. I know there will be tears when it’s over.

      I couldn’t find who the photo came from until I went back and visited Jen’s story on the original site. It was Lura Helms. I vaguely remember getting a few comments from her a long time ago.

      Janet Webb gets credit for the graphics. Much easier than cutting and pasting every week.

      Glad you stopped by.

      Thank you.




  • Dear Rochelle,
    Hope you continue to have a fabulous time with visitors. This is a fun gem, and I’m happy to catch it on this summer retread. I particularly love “disengagement ring.”

    Because truth is stranger than fiction, this story actually happened in reverse for my parents. My father was stationed in the DMZ in Korea during the Viet Nam Conflict and got engaged to a Korean girl that he met at a house of ill repute. Upon arriving back home in Illinois, he saw a yearbook photo of my mom and the rest, as they say, is history.

    Peace to you, my friend.

    Marie Gail


    • Dear Marie Gail,

      Every so often the muse will play with a word and it just works. Disengagement was one of our finest hours. 😉

      The vacation and the visit have gone way too fast.

      I love it when a story I’ve written in some way mirrors real life. Your father’s story is classic. You should work it into a story.




  • Love this story, Rochelle. I’m looking forward to getting to this one. I need something small, with big aspirations, to help distance myself from mss that begins rewrite next week. This could easily do it.

    Enjoy your time off. You’ve earned it.


  • Oh, so sad! I thought she would lose him to combat. I guess she did, on the battlefield of love. So sorry for her, and now the tree has another ornament. Great story, Rochelle!


  • Rochelle, Janet said she had trouble with my link. I checked it and there didn’t seem to be a problem. No one else has reported any trouble with my link, so I don’t know why Janet had a problem. She suggested that I have you check it. Thanks. I hope you’re having a great vacation. 🙂 —Susan


  • You always hear of Dr. John letters, but this is the first time I’ve heard of a Dear Gabby Jo letter. How in the world could he dump a sweetheart like Karen? I’m flabbergasted.
    – Yours truly, Bubba


    • Dear Bubba,

      I suppose it’s best that Karen sees Jason for who he is before she commits to marriage. But personally I think she should’ve pawned the ring and gotten some cash for her grief.

      Thank you.


      Gabby Jo


  • The ‘disengagement ring’ embedded on the trunk shows that she has not moved on while he has…This is very sad, as the cheater is happy while the cheated is not…but a very realistic story


  • War changes everything. Oh, sorry this didn’t last for them, but maybe it’s for the better. I don’t think I ever carved my name in a tree. I feel deprived. It feels like it’s something everyone should do in their lives.

    I decided I’m going to take a break. I dare! I’m going to finish up some writing. Have a wonderful weekend!


    • Dear Amy,

      I never carved my name into a tree either. So we can be co-deprived. 😉

      I hope you’re enjoying your break. Mine’s almost over. Sigh. It’s been better than I can say.




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