19 September 2014

Published September 17, 2014 by rochellewisoff


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The following photo is the PHOTO PROMPT.  Where does it take you? Tell me your story. 😉

NOTE: All are welcome to participate but please tell the story on your blog page not in my comment section.

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Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 100


            “They say the minerals are curative.” My sister pointed to a picture of the Dead Sea. “Come with me.”

            “You want salt?” I said. “I’ll buy you a box of Morton’s.”

            “You know what I mean.”

            “I’d rather visit Australia.”

            “Be a pal. Think about it.”


            “I knew it wasn’t a cure,” my sister whispered from her hospice bed. “I just wanted to visit the Holy Land before I died.”  


            The water’s buoyancy made it fun for us to swim but I’ll always prefer the Hebrew name Yam HaMelach, Sea of Salt, to Dead Sea.

             I swim with her still.




“We have returned to the cisterns
To the market and to the market-place
A ram’s horn calls out on the Temple Mount
In the Old City.

And in the caves in the mountain
Thousands of suns shine –
We will once again descend to the Dead Sea
By way of Jericho! “

-from the song “Jerusalem of Gold.” 


115 comments on “19 September 2014

  • Love your story Rochelle and the picture is great! Salt Water isn’t any fun to swallow or go up your nose – but you can stay afloat a long, long time. I’m sure you are still swimming with her. I’m sorry. Nan.


    • Dear Nan,

      the salt water in Yam HaMalach goes above and beyond. I got a snoot-ful of it and it burned through the top of my skull. Aside from that the float was fun.

      This really is a work of fiction. I’ve never had a sister although I have friends who are as close as sisters. The fact that it came across as truth is a high compliment.

      Thank you.




      • Color me embarrassed, so silly of me to jump to conclusions. But, your story sure rang as the truth! I really enjoyed your story. We used to take the kids to beaches in Alabama every summer and we usually swallowed a large amount of salt water and you’re right – it burns all the way to the back of your head. Great story!


        • Dear Nan,

          Silly girl! Please don’t be embarrassed. You couldn’t have paid me a higher compliment.

          I’ve been swimming in Florida, California and St. Thomas. The Oceans don’t begin to match the saline content of the Dead Sea. Take it from one who’s breathed in and swallowed salt water. 😉 The Dead Sea out-burns them all.

          Thank you again, Nurse Nan.




  • Dear Rochelle,

    It is no wonder that some readers, drawn in to your story by your evocative words, feel the loss of your sister and seek to console you. It’s one of the signs that you’ve hit your mark. Think on this during those moments when you think you can’t float.




    • Dear Sandra,

      I look forward to your affirming comments every week as much as I look forward to your stellar writing.

      I’ve already received condolences on the loss of my sister. 😉 That in itself is a high compliment since I have one sibling and he’s definitely not a sister.

      Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Nice story.
    Who would not want to spend their last days not only being supported, held, and uplifted in a buoyant seasoned sea, but more so, one in a buoyant seasoned holy land.
    I’m glad the healthy sister relented. As I’m sure whe was, too.

    great pic, Rochelle.



  • Wow! I could have sworn you had a sister from this but the depth of the emotion captured here could be that for a sibling or merely a loved one. Very nice.


  • this was heartbreaking and beautiful. for a while i thought i was reading a light story.
    it’s really amazing how everything changed on the third to the last line… i’m glad that your character decided to accompany her sister.
    and a great photo of you too! thanks for sharing. 🙂


    • Dear K.Z.

      I heard a quote from Spike Lee on the subject of movie making. “First you make them laugh, then you make them cry.”

      I think the sister would’ve had a life of regrets had she not gone. Glad you liked my photo.

      Thank you.




  • There is such emotion in this story, so gently balanced, that I wondered like others whether this was a true story. I’m glad it wasn’t, but this is just more proof of your brilliance. You bring characters, both real and fictional, to life with your words. A rare skill even among great writers.


    • Dear Dawn,

      Sometimes the muse takes me in unexpected directions. This story seemed to just download in a matter of minutes. Must be the influence of a great photo. 😉

      Mi púpura es tu púpura. Always happy to see you here.

      Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Kirizar,

      As soon as I received the first two notes of condolence I knew I’d hit the target. 😉 I’m pleased that it rang true with you, too.

      I couldn’t resist pitching my own photo in. The Dead Sea was a lot of fun.

      Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Poignant, tender, and truly moving, Rochelle. Look at you floating away. What a gorgeous photo of you! I swim with her still…This speaks volumes, you being the water baby that you are. You must hold her dear. How can I write anything now? Ha ha.


    • Dear Amy,

      I’m pleased to see that my story had a ring of truth for you but I must confess that it’s a work of fiction. The only truth of it is that I enjoyed swimming in the Dead Sea. 😉 Yes, I am a water baby. 😉

      One of my fondest memories of Israel was snorkeling in the Red Sea in Eilat.

      Thank you.




    • Dear Anita,

      I suppose if one tried hard enough he or she could drown, but with the high salt content in the water it would be a painful way to go. It is a lot of fun to float along in it though. I hope one day you get to go, too.

      Thank you.




  • Rochelle,
    That is such a beautiful story. My sister visited the Dead Sea and she said it was the most wonderful feeling to walk around in and this reminded me of that. It feels so real the way you told it, with the humor and the poignancy of missing her sister. It really struck a chord with me.


  • Dear Merriam,
    How old were you when you got that snoot full of salt water? Aren’t you the one who said I had taffy for brains? This is a very real story and highly believable. Well done. You deserve a Keebler cookie.
    yours truly, Ernest


    • Dear David,

      The Dead Sea was truly amazing…until I got a snoot-full of salt water. 😯 I hope you get to go there. It was the trip of a lifetime. I even was able to use my minimal Hebrew. Sticking notes in the cracks at the Wall and snorkeling in Eilat in the Red Sea were my two other favorite things.

      Thank you.




    • Dear Indira,

      My heart goes out to you. When I was eight, my aunt died and my mother never recovered from the loss of her only sister. I also lost a good friend to cancer three years ago. So while the story is fiction the sentiments and feelings are not.

      To have others mistake this for a true story is the highest compliment I could receive as an author.

      Thank you.




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