11 July 2014

Published July 9, 2014 by rochellewisoff



Friday Fictioneers Rules.

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Below is the PHOTO PROMPT. What does it say to you? Tell me in one hundred words or less. 

PHOTO PROMPT - Copyright - Kelly Sands

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright – Kelly Sands

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100


            Nine-year-old Laurel shivered and rubbed her eyes.

            “Are we going to die, Mum?”

            Her mother held her tight and shouted over concussions that juddered the shelter. 

            “The storm will pass.”

             The ceiling caved in, their lantern shattered on the floor and her world went black.   

            In the morning sirens sounded the “all clear” and by afternoon civil defense workers had dug their way through to them.

            Laurel squeezed Mum’s cold, stiff hand.  “Wake up. Please, wake up. The bombers are gone.”


            In the cold darkness of the wine cellar the storm still raged.

            Eighty-one-year-old Laurel shivered and rubbed her eyes.    


104 comments on “11 July 2014

  • Rochelle, I loved your use of strong verbs like, shivered, juddered, shouted, shattered, caved, and raged to convey a sense of fearsome assault. The impact that bombings have on those who survive them, lasts a lifetime. Beautifully conveyed.


  • Excellent story Rochelle! There are so many sad stories from WWII and WWI and the Korean War, Spanish/American War, and all the Middle East Wars occurring now. We are a wicked species but when you look at a newborn baby – there is always that “HOPE” in you. Great job Rochelle! Nan 🙂


  • My Mother was a young child ( born 1934 ) growing up in Stamford Lincolnshire during WW2. When we moved to Canada in the early sixty’s we lived near a town hall that blasted a siren at noon and six p.m. She never got used to that and would visibly blanch every time. The fear stayed with her to the end. Although she was quite young when she passed away your story reminded me of her and what she endured. May our children and our children’s children never know this fear.


    • Dear Pat,

      I based this story on several firsthand accounts. Thank you for adding your mother’s story to the mix. It’s gratifying to be told that my fiction reads like fact. I share your sentiment.

      Thank you.




  • Rochelle, Excellent story yet again. We were so blessed in the U.S. that we were out of reach of the bombs at that time. No one knew what would happen. Mom said my dad was afraid after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, they’d continue on and bomb the U.S. mainland. My brother was already serving on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific, but wasn’t at Pearl when it was bombed. Well written as always. 🙂 —Susan


  • Great story for an amazing photo-prompt ! Your story brings out the death behind the clouds, while clouds are closest to my heart… too much work and a bout viral keeping me away!


    • Dear Indrajit,

      Sometimes life happens when you’re busy making other plans. I’ve had a week like that and am only just now getting around to reading and commenting.

      Glad you liked my story.




  • Excellent book-ends on this one — and great passage of time — the nightmare never ends. Well done as always, and good use of the Floyd tune.
    FYI, your story is not in the link up, darling.


    • Dear Helena,

      The Pink Floyd video was a jaw dropper for me. After I posted my story I Googled “Blitz, London” and it was the first thing to appear on the list.

      I’m late getting around to everything this week and while I was in VA all I had was the iPad. Not the greatest tool for linking, writing and commenting.

      Glad you liked my story. And thanks for the moral support. 😉




  • I imagine traumatic event like that would stick in the mind. How awful that Laurel could never heal from the wound in her mind. The music accompaniment is perfect by the way. A great one, Rochelle!


    • Dear Eric,

      I can’t imagine the trauma. Those are the kinds of things that stick with you. To be a child and lose your mother like that. I found my father dead on the sofa when I was 31. Despite the fact that it didn’t come as a total surprise, the image and feelings linger after 30 years. ‘

      When I found that video in looking for a link I was amazed.

      Thank you.




  • Rochelle, today in the WP reader all I saw was the video and not the photo prompt. I clicked, I watched, and suddenly I was channeling something similar to your work this morning. So now, the original photo forgotten, only the video remains…

    Which brings me to this: If my writing is from the video, is 100 words exactly, and is from personal experience, is it ethical to link in with the group today? (???)

    I hadn’t thought of her over all these years, and after reading your story, I have to wonder: Does my little friend from my youth still live in terror too?


  • I was thinking this morning how WW2 came at a pretty special moment in Western history when civilians were embroiled directly in war for the first and last time in generations. Such things are still happening in other parts of the world, of course, but the rest of us are cut off from the realities. You brought them flooding back in. As others have said, the verbs are particularly powerful here


  • Well told, powerful story, Rochelle. I like your passing of time and reflecting in the end. That would be something that would stay with you forever. I hadn’t expected the prompt so early. 🙂 Maybe I can get this done before I leave town.


    • Dear Amy,

      I didn’t post the prompt any earlier than usual. Did I? I schedule it every week to go live at 2:30 am CDT every Wednesday. I’ve been out of town as well and have been using an iPad which is a pain for posting, linking and commenting.

      Thank you for your comments. Hope your time away is for pleasure.




      • Dear Rochelle,
        I thought I saw the prompt on Tuesday! I may be mistaken. My time is all out of whack. As you can see, my posting schedule is off! I often have to blog and comment with my smart phone, so I understand. I feel your pain! Oh, technology.

        I’m watching my son in a water polo tournament. It’s been a lot of fun but a lot of driving.



        • Dear Amy,

          California is two hours behind Missouri so if you were up at oh dark thirty (12:30) you would’ve seen the prompt. At any rate, I’m happy to see you made it.

          My whole week’s been off. Not only did I take an iPad to Virginia with me but we had a family emergency. I’m still waiting for the outcome on that one.

          Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.

          Enjoy the water polo.




          • Rochelle,
            That could be what happened. I may have seen the prompt early morning. Way early!

            I hope all is well with your family. I’ll think positive for you and say a prayer.

            Water polo was a good time! Thanks.


  • Lovely story Rochelle. I especially love the line, “the storm will pass”. All we can do is hope that every storm we encounter does pass so we can return to some form of a normal life once again.


  • Rochelle, I always look forward to what you will do with the prompts. This week, your story comes on the heels (just hours) of touring the Museum of Occupation, in Århus, Denmark. It is housed in the building that was the headquarters of the Gestapo, when they occupied Århus, and Denmark. It was chilling– so hard to see the photos and read the stories. I’m sure you understand. Your moving story comes straight from several photos I saw of homes that were bombed. The ending of this story, sent a shiver down my spine… knowing how true it likely is, for someone. Have a good week, R. and thanks for all you do!


    • Dear Dawn,

      I had the same feeling going through Yad V’Shem in Israel.

      As part of research for this story I read a few first-hand accounts of those who had been children during the Blitz. I wanted to pay them homage.

      Thank you.




  • Great story!

    Question: Are the steps I need to take to get the link to my story? I do not see the little blue guy and cannot find the other stories either… I feel really dumb!

    Thanks R!


  • Very powerful story – with an interesting cycle closure at the end, bringing it all to an ending, that doesn’t end with the words.

    It lingers on the palette and in the mind.


  • What a way to lose a mother. Terrible. Great title; clever.
    (Technically, the bombers needed a clear sky so they could see their targets. It were different back then, lass. No drones, etc. The V1 and V2 rockets – doodlebugs – on the other hand were fired from France and did both damage and created fear. We have modern examples as we speak!)


  • a powerful story Rochelle… an emotional, tragic piece. i can’t really imagine how difficult it is for those survivors whose loved ones didn’t make it. It’s really something that one would never fully recover from… but I’m glad that Laurel had been strong enough to carry on.


  • from little Laurel’s perspective, a moving and very sad moment. what survivors have endured over the years and still today in so many parts of our world. your character really moved me.


  • You captured the horrendous noise and vibrations that must have been felt underground in that first scene. And I see the older Laurel shuddering and flinching again as she relives it. Wonderfully done.


  • Dear Rochelle,

    It is a pleasure to be able to read the stories you write each week. It is obvious to me that you spend a great deal of time and a lot of care on each one. The numbers of your readers will continue to grow long into the future for this reason. It is happening now.



    P.S. Your foot(s) will heal quickly from here on out. You are doing well in spite of yourself. India Lima Yankee.


    • Dear Shirley,

      As i said before, it’s great to see you here. 😀 It would be very hard to put such things out of mind. I’d think you learn to function and move on but you’d never forget.

      Thank you.




  • I wrote about war too. Growing up during the cold war colors every aspect of my life. I used to fear seeing a nuclear cloud on the horizon.


  • Now they call it PTSD. Your stories are always so touching, Rochelle. You do your homework and take it to heart before spilling it onto the page. You chose a great title to go with it, too.


  • Dear Rochelle
    I see what you mean about us being joined at the hip this week!
    A very powerful story and sadly typical of those dreadful times.
    Loved your title.
    Take care


  • Beautifully done! You have a wonderful way with words. The video was especially powerful. I’ve done response to the challenge, though mine is a little late. Vittoria


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