23 January 2015

Published January 21, 2015 by rochellewisoff

The disc and the dragonfly

FIC

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The photo below is from our lady in Italy. What does it say to you? I dare you step outside the boat and walk on water. 

My story follows the prompt and the elusive blue frog.

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

IN ISMAY’S PLACE

            Logan hunched his shoulders against the icy North Atlantic wind.

            “Me wee Patrick’s one tomorrow.”

            “Dinnae fash yersel,” said John, the coxswain. “The morrow’ll be the cold start of May and there’ll be eight more months of 1912 to play with the boy.”

            “Two points starboard, John,” said Logan from the bow as he readied the boat hook. 

 

             Four months later the memories of the baby they pulled from the water tormented Logan. Patrick’s cries woke him from a nightmare. He gathered the child into his arms and whispered.

            “Let fly, lad. ‘Tis a hard life, but a good sign.”

Unknown Child

 

137 comments on “23 January 2015

  • Such a sad story Rochelle. It must truly be a nightmare for all those involved in rescue operations at sea. Beautifully done. I’ve not seen that memorial before; I wonder why people have left coins on it – it seems such an inappropriate gesture. Great pic this week, but then I would say that, wouldn’t I? 🙂

    Like

    • Dear Georgia,

      First, thank you for letting me use your beautiful photo.

      I can’t imagine what it must’ve been like for those sailors retrieving all those bodies. I’m pleased that the story worked.

      Thank you twice.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • I read 1912 and panicked, Rochelle, but your story had a hopeful ending out of a tragic time. I’ve never seen the memorial before, so thank you for sharing that too. And I felt the dialogue worked well to give flavour without slowing the story.

    Like

  • What a sad story, Rochelle. Well told, and I think the dialogue was very effective. Nicely done! Thanks for sharing the photo of the memorial. I find it interesting that coins were left. I wonder if that’s symbolic of something. I can’t imagine what I will write…

    Like

  • Great story of how tragedy affects us and makes us so thankful for what we have. It’s so sad to be apart of sea rescue/recovery. My 28 years in the Navy gave me a glimpse of this. You are, indeed, a wordsmith.

    Like

  • I love how you used the dialect in this story, Rochelle! You always make me feel like I’m “in” your story as a participant, not just a reader. That is truly a gift! Beautifully sad. The memorial picture at the end was heart touching.

    Like

    • Dear Patrick,

      I love learning new expressions, especially when it comes to using them in writing, Thank you for commenting. As always, it’s much appreciated and half the fun of Friday Fictioneers.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Dear Gertrude Guppy,
    You turned this into a whale of a story. Your characters make these tragic events so personal to us. We feel their pain, and sometimes their joy (but mostly pain). This one will stick with me for a long time.
    Gone fishing’,
    Junior

    Like

  • This story connected on a number of different levels. The historical aspect, the grief and the wonderful use of dialect. I’ve never had much interest in the Titanic but your story made me think about it in a way I never have before.

    Like

  • Dear Rochelle,

    I wonder how many of your readers realize the significance of your title? Bruce Ismay could not bring himself to stay with his ship like so many others were forced to. Hard to imagine what his life was like after that.

    Beautiful story.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    Like

    • Dear Doug,

      I can imagine that while Mr. Ismay escaped death by drowning he had to live with at least two thousand souls on his conscience. Your comments always add an extra dimension.

      Thank you for swimming by after all your swamp draining activities. I’m sure your friend appreciated the help.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle without a space

      Like

  • Dear Rochelle,

    I came to read and apparently wasn’t paying much attention. (Shame on me!) Your use of dialect halted me mid sentence (what’s he saying?) and made me go back to the beginning to start again. Thank you for getting me focused and for the wonderful, if sad, story.

    I learn a lot from you every week via your style, which most always reflects compassion, and through your expanded story links.

    Thank you,
    Lynda

    Like

    • Dear Hilary,

      I learned something new about my husband from writing this one. He’s never before told me of some of the search and rescue (or retrieval) missions he’d been part of.

      I would think it would be hard to cope with it.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • You’d told such a sad story so well, and I like that you gave one of the boatmen a baby. I can imagine him watching his child grow up, always reminded of the baby they pulled from the water,

    Like

    • Dear Ali,

      I appreciate your kind words. It would be hard enough to retrieve a baby’s body, but to be the parent of a child around the same age, I think, would make it twice as hard.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Sad but lovely story, Rochelle. Well written as always. The dialect added a lot to it. It’s heartbreaking when someone comes in contact with a child who’s died. My dad was a fireman and had carried out the bodies of children who had been overcome by smoke in a burning building. He’d almost cry when he’d tell how they looked like they were asleep. — Suzanne

    Like

  • Dear Rochelle

    A sad tale, beautifully told. The dialogue worked very well as did the dialect. You struck a chord of sadness and of what it must have been like for the sailors who recovered and cared for all those bodies, especially the children.

    As an aside to your story – following extensive DNA research in Canada, in 2008 the child was eventually identified as Sidney Leslie Goodwin, born in Melksham, Wiltshire, I’ve put the link here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidney_Leslie_Goodwin

    The band leader who played while the ship went down was Wallace Hartley and he was from my home town of Colne in Lancashire, so I was brought up on stories of what happened to the ship and have been interested in her ever since.

    Take care

    Dee

    Like

    • Dear Dee,

      I actually did know about Sidney Goodwin and the DNA findings. I almost posted a picture of him and a link but decided to go the minimalist route this week.

      I’ll bet you do know some stories.

      I’m glad that my story rang true for you.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dear Rochelle

        After I posted my comment it struck me that you would know about Sidney, if only through all the research that you do.

        Glad you chose the minimalist route, you gave us a lovely story.

        Beat wishes

        Dee

        Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Claire,

      Comments like this from an author of your calibre give me a reason to smile. However I think my retrieval would’ve been more successful if they’d recovered the baby alive. As always, I’m in awe of your writing.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Thank you for this story Rochelle. As well as moving, it’s intriguing. If the child was not on the list, was he or she a stowaway? Smuggled on by a mother who gave birth out of wedlock? The possibilities are many. Ann

    Like

    • Dear Ann,

      It turns out that after all these years, DNA tests were done and the child was found to be Sidney Goodwin who at the time of the sinking, One Year and two-hundred-fifty-five days old. Although your possibilities are more intriguing. 😉 Another story perhaps?

      Thank your for paddling by.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Wonderful story, Rochelle. Well timed, too, since my husband and I were just talking about the various things that have happened with cruises in recent years.

    As for the coins, I wonder if it may be some sort of nod to the old custom of putting coins over the deceased’s eyes, which may have originated back during ancient Greek times. Paying the tithe to get across the River Styx and all. Snopes has an interesting piece on that here.

    Like

    • Dear Emilie,

      It makes you think about taking a cruise doesn’t it? One of the many things I found interesting about the Titanic was that it had an Olympic size pool. If I’d been there, I’d probably have been swimming laps when the ship sank. 😉

      Interesting thoughts on the coins. By the same token, there’s an old Jewish custom of leaving stones on the grave.

      Thank you for your comments. I’ll have to check out your link.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Linda,

      I suppose the only “consolation” to the baby perishing is that there was no family left to mourn his loss.

      I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. Nice to see you here.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Nan,

      No one gets out of this life alive, do they? Are there any survivors of the Titanic still alive.

      I think I’m going to have to dig deeper into this coin thing. I hadn’t given it much thought when I posted the picture but it has become a hot topic.

      Your comments are always sweet and appreciated.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Lily,

      The monument is in Fairview Lawn Cemetery in Halifax. Of course now, through DNA, the child is known, Sidney Leslie Goodwin. He was almost two. Very sad.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I don’t take that for granted.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

      • I did like it…And there’s me thinking how appropriate the dialect was to the date. A nice bit of serendipity and coincidence. We only celebrate Burn’s because me wee daughter has a Scottish education – we sent her North to seek her fortune and now she’s home with odd Scottish habits.
        MJ

        Like

  • A beautiful and tremendously moving story, Rochelle. It’s hard to think of all those lost on that fateful voyage, and the heartrending work done by the lifeboatmen to retrieve the bodies. You have written this beautifully, evoking wonderful images aboard the boat, with the lilting dialect playing against the icy Atlantic wind. You have also made excellent use of historical evidence. Overall, a briiliant interpretation of the picture.

    Like

    • Dear Millie,

      I can’t imagine the magnitude of the Titanic. When the idea of writing about it in a single flash fiction was suggested to me I was somewhat daunted. There are so many stories that can be told. When I read of little Sidney and the impact finding him had on the sailors I knew that was my story.

      I’m pleased that it came across so well. Thank you for swimming by to say so. 😉

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Adam,

      History was my worst subject in high school, although historical fiction has always been a favorite. It’s only been in the last ten years that I’ve started writing. I’ve probably learned more about history through research. Or maybe it’s the fact that at this stage in my life many of my memories are history. 😉

      Thank you for your kind words. I really don’t get tired of hearing it.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Ellespeth,

      It is sad and it’s only been in recent years that, through DNA testing, they’ve learned the identity of the child. He was Sidney Leslie Goodwin, not quite two years old. He perished with his family.

      Thank you for commenting. I’m glad the dialogue worked.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • dear Rochelle,
    back to FF after months finally…
    the dialogue ist brilliant (although I had to google “Dinnae fash yersel” 🙂 ) It brings the whole scene to me, the weather, the two guys, the sea. I always admire how you put so much content in so less words. And you get me with the emotions between the lines. A great welcome for me after a long time of abstinence. My mum had a cerebral haemorrhage and life got completely new focuses. But it was so good to see, that there are things that last and I could come here again and find you and some familiar names.
    Now I`ll check up inlinkz and more great stories…

    Liebe Grüße aus Deutschland

    where all the flags fly at half mast today
    in remebrance of the relief of Auschwitz 27.1.1945

    Carmen

    Like

    • Dear Carmen,

      First welcome back. I have missed you and am sorry about your mother.

      I didn’t realize that Germany flew flags at half mast in remembrance and it brings tears to my eyes. Thank you for telling me that. It means a lot to me. Never again.

      I’m glad that my story came across the way I intended. Thank you for your sweet comments and, again it’s good to read your voice again. 😉

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Rochelle, your story is written beautifully with so much poignancy. I teared up reading about little Sidney.

    Incidentally, in my country coins are given to the dead in the belief that they would buy their passage across the Biblical River Jordan. (Hades in Greek mythology) 🙂 But Christianity is making this tradition redundant now. 🙂

    Like

  • Dear Celestine,

    I’m guessing that you’re probably right about the coins.

    There’s something very wrong about the death of such a young child. I suppose the only consolation with Sidney is that his whole family perished so no one was left to mourn his loss.

    Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

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