31 October 2014

Published October 29, 2014 by rochellewisoff

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MAKE. EVERY.WORD. COUNT.

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Below is the PHOTO PROMPT. Sit a while and study it. Does it tell you a story? Share it in 100 words or less.

There is only one PROMPT.  Any sketches or photos following my story are meant to be illustrations for it. 

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Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 98

ROLE REVERSAL

            “Your stepfather’s in this chair,” says Dr. Rice. “Talk to him.” 

            “I can’t. It’s empty. He croaked twenty years ago.” 

            “Try.” 

            I sit in the chair opposite my ‘stepfather.’ “You filthy pig.” 

            “Good start.” 

            “I’m glad you’re dead…Daddy.”  

           In that moment I’m thirteen. Just as he’s done since I was seven, he slips into my bed. I wrestle from his grasp. 

            “How did he die, Natalie?” asks Dr. Rice. 

            “I don’t remember.” 

            “Yes, you do.” 

            “I…” My hands sweat and shake. “I used his gun.” 

            “Tell me.” 

            “I’d do it again. He stole my life. I took his.” 

.

.

.

ORIGINAL ARTWORK - copyright-Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

Not the Photo Prompt. ORIGINAL ARTWORK – copyright-Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

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146 comments on “31 October 2014

    • Dear Sandra,

      Nice of you to say so. The story, of course, is fiction. The drawing is really an illustration of what was going on in my head at the time. Happily things have changed.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Susan,

      Yes, it happens. Today it’s more out in the open. Back when we were children you were told it was your fault and if you told your parents you’d get into more trouble. 😦

      Thank you on both counts.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Randy,

      Multifaceted….as we all are.

      The artwork is twenty years old and I was then the girl in the picture.

      It’s all grist for the mill.

      Your lack or words speaks volumes and for that I say Todah Rabbah.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • I was wondering where it would end. Without a doubt, was stunned at the end. The pent up emotions of a 13 year old, suppressed for years and letting them go, with the vengence still staying back.. Loved it..

    Like

    • Dear Subroto,

      I like your alternate view. Could’ve been the way it went had the story been longer. At any rate she wanted him dead.

      The artwork is twenty years old. I drew it during a dark time in my life.

      Thank you.

      shalom

      Rochelle

      Like

  • That’s a very powerful and sad story. Your artwork is terrific as it perfectly justifies the dark situation (both mentally and emotionally) that the person is going through.

    Like

    • Dear Norma,

      The story is fiction, thankfully. The drawing, however, is something I did twenty years ago when my therapist suggested I draw my feelings.

      Thank you for coming by and commenting.

      shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • I’m HOME! Nothing like the sights, sounds, and tastes of home to make you leap for joy! Now, to rejoin my friends… wait, the table’s empty…..

    Like

  • You make your point so cleverly, so brilliantly. Voices – cruelties – from the past haunt us all the time. It’s good to talk back to them, kill them if we must. (And the pen is mightier than the sword.) Shalom, Rachel – May His peace be with you.

    Like

      • Dear JD,

        I have found writing to be cathartic over the years. I used to use poetry as a means of journaling. A few stories I’ve written have actually brought resolution to an old problem.

        I’m often called Rachel. 😉 No matter. It’s my name in Hebrew. Different pronunciation.

        Thank you.

        Shalom,

        Rochelle

        Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Alicia,

      You are indeed one of the lucky ones. I’ve known a few through years of therapy, myself included. At any rate, I’ve reached the other side of the tunnel and can speak of it openly without pain. More grist for the writing mill.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Dear Rochelle,

    Oh, the relief when these monsters are dead, whether through natural causes or otherwise. I guess that as long as they’re around, there’s little chance of any closure; although unfortunately, even after they’re gone, it’s impossible to erase the memory or the damage done.

    Of the many things possible to forgive in this world, this comes very near the bottom of the list. And what is particularly difficult to forgive, is the way these people rationalise that it’s in some way the victim’s fault — that they must have encouraged them — even to the extent that it often convinces the victim this is the case.

    That artwork is an excellent illustration to go with a very brave and sad story.

    All the best,
    Sarah

    Like

    • Dear Sarah,

      Although it’s tough to make out in this photo of the drawing, the date in the corner is January 1994. The story is fiction, of course…for the most part. Most of my memories didn’t surface until after my perpetrators were long gone.

      My therapist (Dr. Audrey Rice) suggested I draw my feelings. Later she said she wasn’t prepared for the results.

      At any rate, I didn’t have a stepfather, nor did I murder anyone. However I relate to Natalie. It took years and good therapy to come to the point of being able to look back and say I’m glad I’m alive.

      It’s all grist for the mill.

      Thank you for coming by and commenting.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Ouch! I like where you took that third chair, Rochelle. I’m someone who was raised to be doubtful of therapy, but it intrigues me and I imagine it can help a lot if done right.
    Thank you for leading us down this merry (or less merry, week by week!) path, and Happy Anniversary!

    Like

    • Dear Jennifer,

      There’s therapy and then there’s therapy. 😉 I was fortunate in encountering some good professionals (and a few not so good).

      Thank you for the anniversary wishes and kind comments. Maybe one day we can meet for that pum runch.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Lily,

      There are too many ugly stories out there and they’re true.

      The drawing, on the other hand, is something I did twenty years ago. It’s part of a series of drawings that came out of my therapist’s suggestion that I draw my feelings. (There are lots of secrets there.)

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Rochelle,
    the dialogue here sounds so realistic it’s a bit of a gut-punch to read, although I mean that as a compliment. Great picture as well. You have all sorts of talents. You still decorate cakes, right? I’d order one if I was anywhere near Kansas City. 🙂
    -David

    Like

    • Dear David,

      Yes, I decorate cakes…at least for the next twelve months. Once I retire that part of my life will be relegated to the past.

      Years of therapy make me familiar with the dialogue. The drawing is twenty years old.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Dear Rochelle, Great story that is well told. Too bad this happens all the time. I agree with Marie Gail though. I guess I would be looking out of bars for the rest of my life – unless I could be so clever as to make it (being the demise of the offender) look like an accident. Rochelle, you are so multi-talented! – with your brilliant writing and beautiful artwork. Do you play any musical instruments or dance? I’m in awe of you! Nan 🙂

    Like

    • Dear Vinay,

      As Thoreau said, it’s not what you look at…it’s what you see. That’s the beauty of Friday Fictioneers for me. We all see something different in the various photos.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Dear Rochelle. I feel so inadequate to comment on your powerful writing. It touched my heart. Awful for the girl. So difficult to come out of it. Very beautifully expressed. I just sat looking at your artwork. It’s haunting. I just wonder what thoughts were going inside you when you drew this. Only true artist can depict their emotions in words as well as in drawing.

    Like

    • Dear Indira,

      There are too many true stories like Natalie’s. It makes me wonder what could make anyone treat a child so. I don’t understand, either, the devaluing of women.

      As for the artwork. You may have already seen in my comments above that I drew it twenty years ago. At the time I was going through a lot of therapy. My mind and emotions were in a tailspin after suffering flashbacks of childhood sexual abuse. I dealt with it by trying to starve myself to death.

      Happily, those days are behind me. I can speak of the past without pain. It’s all grist for the mill now.

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Amazingly powerful and evocative story.

    And how you are so full of amazing surprises! What an amazing artist you are – who knew you were so well-versed in so many different ways?

    Tough content – but so well done. 🙂

    And as I’ve read through the comments – all I can say is: too many of us can relate – in some way – but we can take heart and courage in our own personal journeys, when there are people, like you Rochelle, who share freely.

    Blessings to you.

    Shalom

    Pat

    Like

    • Dear Pat,

      How sweet of you to say such things. The twelfth step is to share experience, hope and love. There was a time I didn’t believe I’d make it to that point. I was sure the serpent in the picture was going to finish me off.

      If someone is encouraged through my writing or visual art it has been worth it.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dawn,

      Too bad there wasn’t anyone for me like that when I was a child. But back then you didn’t talk or tell. So I tucked it neatly away in my psyche, only to have it come raging back to mind in my 30’s. Not to worry. I didn’t have a stepfather nor did I murder anyone. If anything my dad was wholly respectful and loving. I can’t say the same for a neighbor and a couple of uncles.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

      • I’m so sorry to hear that, Rochelle. It is staggering how many men and women can say the same thing (as indicated in your comments, and my experience). Sadly, once abused, other predators seem to see it on young victims. It’s so often a vicious circle. I’m glad you’ve found healing, and support. With love, Dawn

        Like

  • Dear Rochelle … Such a terrible story .. and your art work adds to the poignancy rendering it closer than reality .. too close for comfort. I know the fantasy well … glad you got through that period as safely as you did. Georgia.

    Like

  • Dear Howlin’ Wolf,
    A very haunting tale that has rang true for far too many children. I assume she’s institutionalized for having killed him–or from the abuse. Too bad she couldn’t have made herself invisible at thirteen. Loved the art too.
    Steve

    Liked by 1 person

  • A sad reality all too often of lost innocence…the dialogue was so real, I could distingush the two voices clearly. I love your art work!!! I write poems about this every now and then and can never find the right image…my words have to do but that art is stunning!

    Like

  • The story is good and tragically sad. But it’s the drawing that really grabbed my interest. I keep looking at it and seeing different things and feeling different things. I’m crazy jealous of people who can draw something this cool and this good!

    Like

    • Dear Michael,

      Thank you on both counts. The drawing is actually twenty years old and is part of a series I did while in therapy. At that point I truly believed the serpent would win. Happily he didn’t and now lies beneath my feet.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • I usually comment after I write my story up, but today’s a backwards kinda day for me.

    I was just thinking about some of the girls I grew up with who went through something very similar. Well done story, Rochelle. You’re very strong to get to where you are today, too.

    And I’m very impressed with your artwork, as well. Once the holiday season’s over, I might try my hand at visual art again, too. Writing, crafts (I make most of my gifts by hand) and family obligations must take priority ’till then.

    Like

    • Dear Emilie,

      I had some wonderful support along the way. And even with that there were times I was convinced I wouldn’t and didn’t want to make it.

      By all means, tap into the visual arts. The drawing on this page was part of my therapy. Hand made gifts are the best.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • A stunning story this week, Rochelle. Wow. I get the sense that this therapist is wanting her to regret her actions. Well, I don’t blame her one bit for taking matters into her own hands. This is such a painful, horrible reality for some. No one should have to endure this.

    And your art work!!! Amazing! I had no idea you were such an accomplished artist. I’m really impressed.

    Like

    • Dear Amy,

      I’m not sure the therapist is trying to make her regret her actions so much as getting her to remember them. Part of healing is acknowledgement. It’s amazing what trauma can do. I never imagined that one could block out those kinds of things until my own flashbacks started.

      This particular drawing was part of my therapy twenty years ago.

      Thank you. Thank you for such lovely compliments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Hi Rochelle – this made me simultaneously furious and sad. This sort of story pushes my buttons readily – and you did a masterful job.

    A respectful, yet still powerful take on a difficult topic.
    KT

    Like

  • So strong and powerful – the release that comes with being able to recognise and accept the past. It is easy to understand why she did what she did. Hopefully Dr Rice can help her to a better future. So well written.

    Like

  • I just don’t think there’s anything I can add to what’s been said. And every accolade is so accurate and well-deserved. I know it must have been a little painful to pull out the artwork and work up the story, but as you said in one of your replies: grist for the mill. If we couldn’t make use of what we’ve been through or are going through to create something positive, it would be an even sadder world indeed. But, thankfully, we can do so.

    Like

    • Dear Sandra,

      Surprisingly, this hasn’t been as painful as you might think. And this says a lot for how complete the healing has been. 😉 I won’t say that I don’t have regrets or that I never think about things that happened or that it never hurts. But I can say that the serpent in the drawing lies beneath my feet. The more I can talk about it and, perhaps, give hope to someone else going through it, the less strength the beast has.

      Thank you for coming by with your affirming comments. They mean a lot to me.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

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